So I have finally come to the conclusion that collecting the reagents for Avalon and Azteca crafting (amber, agave nectar, potent trap tc) is NOT for your primary wizard that you are questing with. These are for your subsequent wizards on your account.
It is clear that your first wizard doesn't need these things to reach level 90 and complete Azteca. And in many cases wizards will get the necessary reagents way too late in the game to make a difference, or simply won't get them in time. (and who cares once you completed Azteca... what do you need them for now??). But they would make your next wizards so much more powerful (overpowered?) getting shared-bank items as their appropriate levels are reached.
You can't shared-bank crafted spells, but you can shared-bank reagents which is essentially the same thing.
Obviously the crafting quests, recipes, and gardening will be ridiculously easy for your 2nd wizard. Apparently the game is designed to be extremely easy for your subsequent wizards.