Emphasis on the need to keep your GHB/BOB separate from a vehicle kit. You don’t want to take things from your GHB/BOB as a matter of routine, so have duplicate items if needed for your vehicle kit.
Introduction to the PrestoGarden
Jay described the PrestoGarden product that he is working on. He currently has a patent on the design, and the molds for production are being built in China at this point. There are a number of prototype models now in use for testing throughout the U.S. and other countries. The PrestoGarden is a self-contained hydroponic “Grow Tower” that lets you grow a large amount of food in a small amount of space. We’ll add more details here as they become available.
When to Plant in This Area
We are located in Zone 9a for the northwest part of Volusia County, and 9b for the rest of the county. The split between 9a and 9b is State Road 40, and it divides Central and North Florida as far as planting times. Keep in mind that this is a guide – not a hard and fast rule. Know your area and adjust accordingly.
The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide includes a chart that shows the best planting times for a vegetable garden. It is important to note that the times shown are for planting outdoors. If you are able to start your seeds indoors and then transplant them outdoors, you can get a head start on your garden.
Early planting is not just about getting your harvest earlier – it is a very effective way to avoid insect damage. Insect cycles are closely tied to plant cycles. By planting earlier than the insect cycle, you are able to plant, grow, and harvest before the bugs arrive, giving you a huge advantage. Starting your seeds indoors and then transplanting makes it possible without worrying about the danger of a late frost.
Be sure to DOWNLOAD and PRINT the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide. It is as close to a “Single Source” guide to gardening as it gets.
Container Gardening, Part 2
Medicinal Plants & Essential Herbs – Plantain, St. Johns Wort, Mullein (Kelly’s Corner)
Sources: Kelly was asked about where to buy herb plants and seeds. This was not available at the meeting, but her primary source is Logee’s (link).
Discussion on plants that grow well together (Companion planting) and some that just don’t do well with other plants nearby.
Discussion on the importance of building up your immune system to better cope in a time of increased stress and disease, and decreased sanitation and nutritional availability.
The materials presented in this portion of the meeting are available by clicking on the “Downloadable resources” link on the Kelly’s Corner page.
Rogan Tools – Mike Rogan gave a demo of the tools that he produces. These are very tough, made-in-the-USA, multi-use tools. Each tool is designed to do the four functions shown in the graphic below:
Tools for Large Scale Gardening
Tools to Consider:
Note: Be sensible; you don’t need everything;
start slowly; buy quality
Work gloves, leather and rubberized
Hat, long sleeve shirt, sunglasses, sweat band
Grubbing Hoe – breaking new ground
Broad fork – breaking new ground
4-tine Spading fork – breaking new ground
Standard round shovel – “everything”
Short small shovel – transplanting, digging potatoes
Scuffle hoe / stirrup hoe – weeding
Wheel hoe – weeding, cultivating, planting prep
Earthway (or equivalent) Seeder – row planting
Jab seeder – large seeds, more control, slower
Landscape rake or iron rake – seed bed prep
Speedling trays – seed starting
Harvesting bucket – frees up both hands for picking
Garden knife – harvesting, general work
Pruning shears – pruning and harvesting
Garden trowel – planting and transplanting
Wash tools after each use
Store in clean, dry place
Thin coat of oil if needed
Keep a file handy to sharpen tools
EasyDigging.com – excellent source for a wide variety of top quality hand tools for gardening.
Tools: Meadow Creature Broadfork – as close to an indestructible tool as it gets. Manual tiller for breaking new ground and preparing ground for gardening. Expensive, but your great-grandchildren will probably still be using it.
Hoss Wheel Hoe – The key to weed control is to cut them down when they first come up, and then keep cutting them down. The Hoss Wheel Hoe is perfect for running down between the rows. In our sandy soil, you can weed almost as fast as you can walk.
ProHoe Scuffle Hoe – ProHoe tools are made from recycled disc blades, and are about as tough as it gets. All of their tools should last a life time (or more) if given reasonable care.
Harvesting Bucket – An ordinary bucket or basket will work just fine, but these allow you to use both hands to harvest, it keeps the bucket close to you and not swinging around. Well worth it if you have a large garden or more than a couple of fruit trees. It’s also easier on your back since you don’t have to keep setting the bucket down and picking it up to move. Very heavy duty construction.
Earthway Garden Seeder – There are other seeders available, and for some applications, the Earthway might not be the ideal choice; however, for general garden use for average size seeds (most of what is planted in the Central Florida area), you can’t go wrong with the Earthway seeder. They have been around for a long time, replacement parts are readily available, and it is a simple design in a rugged package.
Speedling Tray (72 Cell) – One of the fastest, most efficient ways to start larger quantities of seeds. These are made from Styrofoam.
Marilyn described how tower gardening works – the advantages and disadvantages. If you are away traveling, this might not be a good choice for you. If you’re usually at home, tower gardening is a good way to grow a lot in very little space. Marilyn does a good bit of traveling, so she is selling hers. Please contact her directly if you are interested (members-only email went out with details on this).
Fisch System – The “gold standard” (pardon the pun) for authenticating most mint-issued bullion coins. It checks circumference, thickness, and weight. If a coin falls outside the specifications for the coin, then it is most likely a fake.
If your plans include the potential for a currency collapse, then having some silver on hand would be a good idea. Keep in mind, though, that silver and gold are not an “investment” – they are simply hard currency.
Mint-issued bullion coins vs. “Rounds” – A “round” is a “coin” made by a private company. There is typically a lower premium on rounds, which is what makes them attractive. The initial purchase price is lower than a mint-issued coin. The problem is that this also means that the over-all value is lower than a mint-issued coin. When a coin is sold or used to purchase something, the added premium that was initially paid is still calculated into the value of the coin. The main point, though, is that a mint-issued coin can be authenticated, where a round can not without additional testing. This is less of a factor for silver than for gold, since the value of gold makes it a high-value target for fraud. Coins and bars sold as “gold” have been found that have a Tungsten core and a thin gold outer shell – yet another reason why gold is not the best choice for economic preparedness.
Summary: Having a means to authenticate silver coins would be valuable capability – even if you only have a small handful of it yourself. Authentication would be a valued service should hard currency become “the new standard”. While gold gets the headlines, it is far too valuable per ounce to be of much practical use – silver is far more useful, and silver coins are still quite recognizable to people.
Discussion went well beyond the topic of authentication. How and where to buy precious metal coins was a popular topic. One source that several members have had experience with is True Metals Group (located here in Florida). Others have purchased coins at gun and coin shows, and at store-front coin dealers.
Before buying bullion coins, check to be sure that your bank safe deposit box is currently paid up. If you will need a larger size, then it’s time to upgrade.
Gold and Silver Price History
Group Radio Purchase – Bud described the radios that will be purchased as part of the group order. This is the same radio as the previous group order several years ago.