The Editors’ Preps for the Week of June 5th, 2017

To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors share their planned prep activities for the coming week.  These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week.  (Leave a Comment with your project details.) Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
We are looking at another very busy week, here at the Rawles Ranch.  Our Good Lord-willing, these are our plans for the week:

Now that the main garden is planted, we plan to help the children put in their own gardens in another area of our property.

We’ll be teaching number one daughter how to use the rototiller.  She’ll be tilling the new garden areas and transporting composted manure to them with some help from us and will plan what she wants to plant and where. The other younger children will be helping and developing their own gardens, once big sister has tilled them.

Ranch Infrastructure Maintenance and Projects

Jim will continue his carpentry, plumbing, and wiring projects. He will also be bucking some felled trees.  Jim will begin teaching number one daughter how to use our chainsaws.  It’s her week to learn and try her hand at some new skills.

In the Orchard

We need to weed-whack the orchard, set up the water hoses, now that drier weather patterns are setting in for the summer, and put composted manure around the fruit trees.

In the Garden

Avalanche Lily will be planting a few more veggie seeds, weeding, mulching with straw. She also will be adding composted manure to various beds in the main garden.

In the Greenhouse

Lily wants to plant more Butternut squash in the Greenhouse and has a few growing experiments, she is thinking about. We’ll tell you about them, later.


We’ll continue working the horses and may ride them in the arena (a very controlled area) at the end of the week, depending on their attitudes.

Outdoor Skills Acquisition

We hope to hike this week, do some more canoeing and kayaking,  maybe go fishing after we renew our licenses, and cook a meal or two over the campfire.


The Latimers will get a late start on prepping activities this week, after we return from our gathering with friends and family. (I sure appreciate JWR’s work to cover my duties on the blog while I was away. We had a great time camping with people who mean a great deal to our family!) However, we now have much to put away and camp supplies to replenish as well as a need to get caught up on the basic homestead duties.

Shop and Freeze Dryer

I will be working on organizing the shop to get it in a more usable state as well as getting the freeze dryer functioning in the food storage area.


It’s definitely time to clean out the chicken’s hen house and do a little work on their area.

Gardening, Harvesting, Fertilizing, and Weeding

We are sure that while we’ve been away our garden has produced vegetables and herbs. So we need to harvest as well as do some fertilizing of various areas. – HJL


  1. Note on the rototiller: consider a no-till method after initial rototilling. Repeated use of rototiller can compact the soil at the bottom and upend the natural balance of organisms and their underground ecosystem.

  2. This is a big week in our work here at our homestead.
    Monday through Friday this is what is planned.
    #1 Priority; Change the well pump motor from 220VAC to 110VAC. TEST IT. Pick up our 5Kw Inverter from our home (75 mile round trip) & bring to the homestead, perform maint. and repair work on it, install it and the AC circuit breaker panel in the Power / Work Shed. TEST IT. Dig a trench from the Power shed to the well and lay in the wiring for the well pump. If it works OK hook up the wiring to the CB panel & inverter and verify the well pump works. Pick sweet corn, squash and peppers; canning and freezing the same. Take some of the Fresh Picked corn & squash to #2 daughter and help her with her garden. Replace the seals in her hubby’s floor jack. Defrost the freezers and repack same. Change the oil and all filters in both old pick up trucks. Purchase spare starter and alternator for the old FORD PU.
    SUNDAY– Thank the LORD for another great week of Preparing

    1. Why would you want to change your well pump from 220VAC to 110VAC? The latter draws much higher current for the same capacity motor, has greater wiring losses, and is shorter lived.

  3. I was finally able to correct dental issues, but will be away from the house this week on business. We shall see what next week has in store. I did find out that tangelos do not come out well in the dehydrator. Nasty stuff! More experimenting next week.

  4. Continuing to clear brush (there’s no end to it), and work our way to the bottom of the deep freezer so that we can make room for the beef we hope to buy this fall. Also hope to begin organizing my shop. I’m trying to create separate areas for welding and minor gunsmithing, but have to get the bench and pegboard up so that everything else can be unpacked. I heard turkey in the woods on my property last evening. So make that both deer and turkey I hope to harvest from my land this year!

  5. When I built my shop (after saving for many years) I had 10 ft high walls. I had been given a lot of metal roofing. After insulation was up, I put a layer of “tin” on the bottom (3ft) Followed by 4 ft×8 ft peg board(4ft) with the top another layer of tin.(3ft) Very durable,and 4ft high pegboard on all four walls!

  6. I started laying out plans for a smoothing attachment for my harrow. It will consist of angled steel running across the top of the harrow towards the rear gangs and beyond. I’ll attach more angled steel at a 45-degree angle running towards the ground. I’ll then place a one by six board across the angled pieces so that it will act like a sweep following the harrow. This should smooth the ground directly behind the harrow allowing for a nice flat and smooth seedbed. It will also allow me to do a light plowing and smoothing all in one pass. I am hoping this will cut hours off of the planting I plan on doing in two weeks. I also started my research on the fruit and nut trees I plan on planting around the field edges.

  7. We’ve been splitting our birch rounds for winter which is only a two months away; we let our rounds set for three years before splitting them, and have two years supply ahead for each winter season. It takes 4 cords a year average to burn. The season starts in mid-September and goes into mid- March, sometimes a few burns in April. We’ll build a new 20 X 16 greenhouse this summer; the old one was getting too small and falling apart so I told my bride we’ll just bite the bullet and build a nice big one and add heat for a months head-start. Of course up here in the Arctic a month is very valuable for starts because when it turns summer it’s 2 1/2 months of no darkness.

  8. No darkness for 2 1/2 months makes for some interesting gardening issues; plants tend to go to seed with out making fruit so we have to be able to blank out the sun to force them to rest. But when you harvest a 20# cabbage ….

  9. Jim: I am curious about the horses. Could you tell us a bit more about their age, size, training, breeding, and typical use during the year. Are any of your horses trained to drive? How many do you have?

    1. Dear BTC,

      Please forgive us, but for our OPSEC, we are not able to answer these questions, except to say that we train with them in the arena and trail ride them. None are trained to drive at this time, which is a future goal for us.


  10. Lily:
    Many SurvivalBlog readers who have not yet added horses to their homestead are considering how important horses might become in a grid-down situation. This is tempered by the need to provide forage and/or hay as well as shelter. Since you do have horses, would you consider sharing your experience with the readers especially the type of horses you thought were suitable? This might be a separate article or an extended post in the “Editor’s Preps.”

    We have just added three Highlands cows to our list of critters. Even though my family had 400 mother cows in a cow/calf operation, this will be a new experience for us. Once we have more experience, we were hoping to share that for everyone’s benefit.

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