New Books, and the Florida Basket Weave

Good morning…and welcome back.

With a little down time in regards to our garden, I’ve had the opportunity to pick up a book here and there and do a little reading.

One purchase I’ve just made was a ten volume set of books on the Civil War, from a really good friend of mine. He picked up three sets, had already sold one, was going to keep one, and I talked him out of the other set…for a price. Actually, we did some bartering, and I think we both did pretty well.

The books are titled, “Photographic History of the Civil War.” It is a Semi-Centennial Memorial. Trevelyan Miller was the Editor-in-Chief, and Robert S. Lanier was the Managing Editor.

The text was written by, Henry W. Elson, a Professor of History, Ohio University, and the photograph descriptions were done by James Barnes, the author of “Naval Actions of 1812,” and “David G. Farragut.”

This set was published by the Review of Reviews Co. in New York. The copyright was held by the Patriot Publishing Co., Springfield, Mass., with acknowledgements to The Trow Press.

I’ve gone through the first volume pretty extensively, and the photographs amaze me. There are literally thousands of photos, and all taken between 1861 and 1865. The quality of these, are simply outstanding, and I find this pretty astonishing in its own right. We ain’t talking Canon here people.

This set is in remarkable shape, and honestly, I have to give my buddy Kevin…a tip a’ the hat!

Kevin is, and makes his living as a writer. He loves to read, and is pretty accomplished as to finding such as this, whereas I’m like a fish outta’ water in this regard. So again, I appreciate him thinking about me with his extra set.

These books were printed in 1911, which means that this “Semi-Centennial” of the Civil War, now is celebrating a full Centennial this year in regards to its own birth, or printing! I think that’s pretty cool, huh? Plus, anything I find any more that’s older than I am IS pretty cool, and rarer and rarer!!

Then, upon opening every volume of the set, you find a placard, it almost being a business card.

The picture on these is just of a bookshelf beside a desk, and a book on the desk opened up. Beside the book is some type of container, obviously of the medical variety, with a stem sticking out to stir the ingredients of the container. Beside all this is a candle burning, this simply being the light source for whoever was behind this studying….

Written at the bottom of each of these cards is an inscription, this bestowing this set of books being given as a gift…a gift from a grandfather to his grandson.

They state, “Presented to Edmund Walker Stevens…by his grandfather Stevens. 1912”

At the top of the card it says…Comuno Horace Stevens M.D. Ex-Libris

This too I found really neat, isn’t it? Dern near a century ago, a grandfather gave these to his grandson as a gift, and now they sit on my bookshelf, for me to take down and go through at my convenience, that’s something…to me anyway.

I had to share that with you guys today, and again I appreciate Kevin giving me a heads up!

Now, in regards to reading, I ran across something else I found pretty neat. Honestly, I find this kinda’ embarrassing letting you guys in on this one…this procedure has a Florida based name, yet I’d never paid any attention to it prior to stumbling across it this past week, and where am I from? Florida.

Actually, two years ago I’d seen this done in my Dad’s tomato garden, but really paid no attention to how he’d tied his tomatoes off. Anyway, it’s called the Florida Weave. Many of you probably know all about it, but again, it was news to me. I do know though that from here out, this is how we’ll tie our tomatoes.

I’ve never liked the store bought cages, as most times my tomatoes out grow them anyway. I’ve always just used stakes beside the plant, and tied them off with strips of rags. This always seemed to work out for us.

This year though, I used twine instead of cloth strips, and honestly this became a disaster. Plants drooping down on the ground, it just really didn’t work well at all…for us anyway.

So, the other night I came across the article on the Florida Weave. It’s very simple and not very time consuming. We can use our current stakes and will just use a good twine for the support.

The two pictures above come from:

As you can see from the picture and the illustration, this is actually very simple. Even a dummy can do it, and this is in reference to myself, and no one else.

First, you want to plant your tomatoes in rows. At the end of each row you’ll use a stake. We’ll use 2×2 strips of lumber, 8’ tall, set a foot and a half to two feet in the ground.

Between every plant, or every other plant we’ll set 1×1 stakes as twine support. Once the tomatoes have grown to the point of beginning to need some support, you then will create your first layer of weave using untreated twine.

You’ll have tied off at your end stake (2×2), then as you continue down your row going down one side of your plant until you reach your first 1×1. Wrap it around your 1×1 once, then going to your next 1×1, you’ll be on the other side of your next plants with the twine.
Keep this up until you get to your row end. Then, do the exact same thing, once more, only starting on the opposite side of your plants during this next run. By doing this you’ll have twine supporting each side of your plants.
As your tomatoes continue to grow, you’ll continue on with your weave, I’m guessing every time they grow a foot or so in height. Just study the picture as well as the illustration. Again, this is very easy to do, and not labor intensive. I see a lot of potential with this type of staking.
By helping to keep your plant and its fruit off the ground, everything will be less disease prone, and just basically help in ensuring a good, healthy crop of tomatoes! This is what it’s all about, wouldn’t you agree? So, if you’ve never used this method before, give the ole Florida Weave a try!

On a lighter note this morning, Dale and I were talking. I told Dale that Deb and I were considering taking a little vacation, but this year we may go about this a little differently than in times past.

Well, with Dale being Dale, he asked what I meant by differently? I explained that the last two years, I’d gone where Dale had suggested, and by doing so things had happened. He asked once more, “How so?”

I said well, two years ago you suggested going to Louisiana, and Deb got pregnant. Then last year you suggested going up to our son-in-laws place in Georgia, and sure enough, Deb got pregnant again!

Dale said, “Well, what are you thinking about doing this year that’ll be so different?” I told him first of all, this year…I was taking Deb with me!
Thank you all for coming in this morning, and God Bless.

As Deb says, “Keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!”

Dub and Deb

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