met last month for
the December meeting and holiday gathering at Brian Longstreth’s
Breakfast House in St. Petersburg.Thanks, Brian, for providing us with a
wonderfully festive location for our Meeting!
New Year Everyone!Our next Meeting will
be on Sunday, January 17, 2010 at at the St.
Petersburg Metro Center. Yes, this is a new location for us, but
infinitely practical since we may be indoors and out of this
unseasonably cold weather - Global Warming indeed! Everyone
local should know where the Metro Center is, but the directions will be
available on the member's page as usual. Please
make plans to join your
fellow Club members for the first Meeting of the new year!
January is a great month to begin
planning and planting your spring vegetable and flower gardens. The
dry and daytime temperatures rarely go above 85°F. The nights get
rarely below freezing - although many years ago, January 19, 1977 to be exact, a trace of snow
fell in Miami and cities north.
Freight Trains of cold Polar air will push their way out of Canada and
Florida, sometimes getting only as far as Central Florida, other times
barreling their way down to the Keys.Last
year was memorable for two of these
Siberian Express cold fronts,
which dropped temperatures below freezing in Tampa for five nights!
Because this month tends to be so dry,
your lawn and plants require supplemental applications of water.
January is also an important month for
gardeners in South Florida to
fertilize tropical fruit trees, lawns, and shrubs.Citrus trees especially, should be
this month. Insect pests, plant diseases, and nutritional deficiencies
become apparent now.Aphids, whitefly,
caterpillars, grasshoppers, and scale insects attack citrus.Citrus trees can also become home to sooty
mold, fungus, foot rot, gummosis, "greasy spot" and a host of other
diseases resulting from poor nutrition.Now
would be an excellent time to
schedule (on your new calendar of
course) regular feedings of 6-6-6 fertilizer around the drip
line of your
trees. The rule of applying fertilizer to fruit trees is one
pound of fertilizer for each year of the tree's age.
Watermelon anyone? Now is a good time
watermelon if you are in Central or South Florida
(North Floridians should wait until March).
bets for starting a traditional garden this month are:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots,
Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive,
Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion Sets, Parsley,
Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Rhubarb, Romaine, Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash,
Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips Watermelons,
and almost any other vegetable or fruit you desire.
Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic,
Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Sweet
Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.
Longstreth’s Bed and
Breakfast House in Central St.Petersburg provided an ideal
venue for our Holiday Meeting. There was an especially good crowd
Meeting, which was held on crisp but sunny day.
The turnout for this Meeting was the largest in several months.
provided a perfect spot for friends to relax and socialize before the
and during the potluck!
was delicious!There were several pasta
dishes and salads,
as well as hearty casseroles and many holiday - inspired desserts.The homemade baked ham and roast turkey were
very tasty, as was the homemade gravy.Bryan
Hopper was the chef
for these delicious roasted dishes and the
hearty gravy and deserves a big THANK YOU for his efforts in making
we were all well fed!
Ron and Shige made
the winning dish—a wonderful “Salsa Cheesecake”
appetizer that was certainly
“rave-worthy”.Thanks guys!Second place went to Rich Pollin for his
“Chili Tarts”.Good work, Rich!Third place went to Barry Campbell for his
yummy “Sweet Potato Casserole” that was a perfect side dish
for the ham and
turkey.All in all, we had a great
showing food-wise at this Meeting!
was no program for the Meeting other than good
cheer and an opportunity to visit with other members at this special
even had a karaoke machine present for those who
wanted to impress the other members with their singing skills!
Brian C and Barry C regaled us with several carols to make the
this year was a Cookie Exchange, which proved to
be very popular.Bill Ward’s tasty
healthful) Oatmeal, Cranberry & Pecan Cookies took first prize and
Bill a $25 gift card! Below is a photo of Gary and
Gary sampling the cookies to determine the winner.
new this year was the Holiday Gift Exchange,
which was also very popular.
Barry thanked our host and presented a nice bottle of wine to him.
meeting ended with the raffle conducted by our
plant expert Jim.The raffle was full of
interesting plants, including Dyckkia Bromeliads, Angels Trumpets,
Begonias, Geraniums (which are great plant for Florida winters), and
varieties of the ever-popular Clerodendrums (Butterfly, “Red
dues time!This is a final reminder!Dues
are only $15 for a full membership-year (September 2009-August 2010).You can pay on the Club’s website via
bring cash to the next meeting (exact amount is requested), or bring a
the next meeting.If paying by check,
please make the check payable to “Gary Raush” the Club
Raffle is an important
part of the Club
Meetings.Please remember to bring a
plant or two for the raffle so that we can continue to have a good
If you do not have any plants started, then you might want to consider
visit to your local nursery or home improvement store to pick up an
plan or two.Plus, participating in the
raffle is fun!Let’s all try to keep
raffle selection top-notch in terms of number and variety!
I hope you
are getting the information you need in The Friday Update. If you
have information that you want to share with the club, please send it
to me, either by email, snail mail or phonecall - no later than
Noon on Friday for inclusion in that week's update.