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Tom Carey

Stories by Tom

Tom Carey: Summer herbs for Florida gardens

The ultimate taste of summer is the green goodness of basil.

Just about any plant exposed to the pounding rain of a thunderstorm will take a beating, but even more so for tender basil.

Tom Carey: Future of local farming

Your future food source might be a throwback.

Regional crop choices are encouraged by climate, soil, culture, and micro-economies.

Down-in-the-dirt, high-efficiency gardening

Don't grow $1 strawberries. Manage your small-scale garden efficiently.

Our backyard gardens, scaled to be efficiently managed by the size and shape of our bodies, should rarely mimic the iconic farm.

Keeping critters out with technology

Take advantage of work-saving devices to keep your garden critter free.

As I toil at this tome on Labor Day, the work-saving devices of my garden come to mind.

Tom Carey: Ditching uncooperative plants

Balancing productivity, profitability and creativity in your garden.

The gardener in me is always experimenting, exploring, examining.

Tom Carey: Nematodes are everywhere

Know the nematode, so you can win the war against them.

As life forms go, nematodes are found in every possible habitat on Earth (they even survived the Shuttle Columbia disaster).

Tom Carey: Know when to till it under

Learning to garden in this year round growing climate.

The extreme weather potential that we risk on a daily basis during our Florida summers must be taken into account.

Tom Carey

Thomas Jefferson: America’s gardener.

An inspirational leader’s involvement with righteous endeavors deserves the honor and respect history bequeaths them.

Tom Carey: Grow boxes and raised beds

Don't drown your plants in afternoon storms!

Summer in Florida means an incessant risk of extreme amounts of rain from any single thunderstorm.

Tom Carey: GMO? No!

Educate yourself on genetically modified organisms.

GMO crops are grown from seeds that have genetic (DNA) materials taken from completely different species.

Tom Carey: Growing everything

Should we grow everything, simply because we can?

Once we’ve mastered the mechanics of growing crops well enough to expect success, should we grow anything and everything?

Harvest the bounty

Harvest your cool weather crops before they go bad.

As summer descends upon us, many crops reach the end of their productive growing season.

Tom Carey: Squiggly garden helpers

Here's how to use worms to help make your garden beautiful.

Red wiggler earthworms create more of what we recognize as black topsoil than most other natural systems.

Tom Carey: Pests of spring

Here's how to keep the bugs out of your spring gardens.

The bugs are back from their winter hiatus and have their sights sets on our gardens.

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Tom Carey: A mere sip of water

The Biblical axiom “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” holds sway for most things in our lives.

As spring days get longer and warmer just as rainfall tapers off to a trivial memory, our garden’s potential for productivity soars to unexpected heights.

Tom Carey: Grow your own mushrooms

With thousands of edible varieties, our being limited to a few store bought examples of mushrooms is a tragedy.

Simple button caps or Portobellos are the least tasty or nutritious options we could be adding to our to our planetarily diverse menus.

Tom Carey: Regional garden choices

Understanding what grows best in our region.

Miniaturized industrial agriculture does not transmute to neat, short rows of wheat, corn and cotton in our backyards.

Tom Carey: No garden? No problem

Maximize your space for healthy crops, even if you only have a balcony to work with.

I am often disappointed when high hopes are dashed because of a lack of growing space or functional knowledge.

Tom Carey: Onions for all

Find your appreciation for all types of onions.

To be honest, onions have never been a favorite of mine.

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Tom Carey: Kombucha tea another fad?

Home-brewed Kombucha tea: health trend or fad?

First impressions of what frequently is good for us often run contrary to our best interests.

Tom Carey: My neighborhood farm and farmer

Sundew Gardens sprang from the ground in 1983, one square foot organic garden at a time.

Unlike our early years when families would visit from all over Florida, today most of our “Harvest Gardening” members are practically neighbors.

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Tom Carey: Garden chores

More than multitasking

Garden chores, unlike the one-off projects I live for, are those multifarious tasks repeated by necessity.

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Tom Carey: Year-round successes

Having options to easily generate a crop during the summer bestows a whole extra dimension to the gardening experience.

Gardening options for off-months

Tom Carey: Starting seeds for the autumn garden

The majority of vegetable crops we grow at Sundew Gardens are started as transplants.

This initial chapter in a plant’s life is the best time to invest in quality, especially seeds and a seed-starting soil mix.

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Tom Carey: Compatriot farmers of Florida

Only a small percentage of the expense of most processed foods actually goes to the crop producers.

With only a small percentage of the expense of most processed foods actually going to the crop producers, we have quite a bit of available margin to achieve.

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Tom Carey: Fruits of our labors

Looking to grow berries in your backyard? Be sure you know what you're getting into.

Tips for growing tropical fruits in Central Florida.

Tom Carey: Huney bottles

American homesteaders knew the best place to plant an apple tree was the depression left at the location of last year’s outhouse.

American homesteaders knew the best place to plant an apple tree was the depression left at the location of last year’s outhouse.

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Tom Carey: Types of tropical spinach

Prepare to be amazed by what tropical spinach can do.

The classic leafy green plant we call spinach may not survive Central Florida summers, but these numerous tropical plants of similar culture will.

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Tom Carey: Summer vacation from your garden

It is time to take a summer vacation from gardening.

Although we can grow our gardens year-round here in Central Florida, a few of us would happily tag summer with the “off-season” moniker.

Tom Carey: Protecting your garden

Garden taking the summer off? Here's how to keep the weeds at bay.

Garden taking the summer off? Here's how to keep the weeds at bay.

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Tom Carey: Sowing safe seeds

Should you use GMO, chemically treated, organic or traditional seeds? Old fashioned could be the way to go.

Should you use GMO, chemically treated, organic or traditional seeds? Old fashioned could be the way to go.

Tom Carey: Peas right for summer

Who has time to shell peas and beans these days? If you harvest early, the solid, young pea pods can be prepared like snap beans, shell and all.

As summer growing conditions approach, black-eyed peas (not the hip-hop musical group), crowder peas, yard-long beans and cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) can be grown in our gardens as a substitute for green snap beans.

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Tom Carey: Joel Salatin talks gardens, technology

I spoke with Joel Salatin who is working on the leading edge of sustainable farming practices.

Rollins College will host author Joel Salatin as he discusses his book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18.

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Tom Carey: Is your garden safe?

What could possibly be dangerous safely ensconced in the tranquility of my garden?

Sandals or flip-flops, let alone bare feet, are out of the question when considering garden attire.

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Tom Carey: One mere sip of water

A few homemade tricks

One mere sip of water

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From my garden to yours

Productivity gardening

I am not jealous or in a competition with any of my gardening compatriots. In an occupation as rewarding as food gardening, the more the merrier.

Tom Carey: Magic beans

Vining pole beans have been a staple crop for modern Americans since the first pioneers settled the continent.

To sell something as valuable as the family livestock for a handful of beans would put any of us in either the nuthatch or poorhouse.

Tom Carey: A visit with Tia Meer

Tia Meer, compatriot gardener and president of the Simple Living Institute, found a few spare moments to stop by my garden for a chat.

A visit with Tia Meer

From My Garden to Yours: Tom Carey

Some of the most productive plants I grow in my garden could be categorized as Asian greens.

Asian greens easy to grow

From my garden to yours

Do you innovate?

Do you innovate?

From My Garden to Yours

Are you smarter than an AP high school student?

School tour quiz

From My Garden to Yours

How does understanding our journey through the space-time continuum help us grow better crops?

Gardening in the fourth dimension

From my garden to yours

It's fall harvest time. Eat, share, waste or preserve?

It's fall harvest time. Eat, share, waste or preserve?

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From My Garden to Yours

A traditional spread, including our efforts from the local garden, is an understandable way to manifest our contemporary Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving salad

From My Garden to Yours

If our elected representatives are unduly influenced by an advantaged percentage of the electorate, our voice must be heard through other methods.

Occupy my garden

From my garden to yours

Red, round radishes are some of the simplest crops to grow in the garden.

Red, round radishes are some of the simplest crops to grow in the garden.

From My Garden to Yours

Each crop you choose to plant will have two factors: how much you like them and how easy they are to grow.

So many options

From My Garden to Yours

To create a reliable foundation when building our gardens, try using a few of these practical tips.

Top 10 soil improvement tips, 6-10

From My Garden to Yours

As we approach the end of summer, preparations should be under way to start our 10-month gardening year.

Top 10 soil improvement tips, 1-5

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Raising chickens in Central Florida

Backyard chickens

Predators, not disease, are a flock’s biggest threat.