As preppers work to make progress to achieve prepping goals, we took some actions this week too. The SurvivalBlog editors made plans earlier in the week and now reflect upon these. At this time of year, gardening is at the top of our lists. Below, the editors share what we each accomplished. Please write to us in the comments and tell us what you did this week to get your preps in place and to be ready.
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
Well it was a busy, very warm, and humid week here at the Rawles Ranch. Because of the heat, not everything we planned to do outside was accomplished. However, this is what we did do outside:
In The Orchard
Our orchard is about 1/2 acre in size and the weeds were two feet high, so Lily weed-whacked three quarters of it. The fruit trees were composted with manure. One more apple tree was added, and the hoses were set up for watering.
Our number one daughter rototilled the children’s garden area. Even though she weighs just 100 pounds, she was able to master using our Troy-Bilt Horse tiller. The kids still need to plant their garden plots.
In The Garden
Lily weeded the onion, squash, and bean beds. Everything is beginning to sprout: corn, squashes, asparagus, lettuces, kale, broccoli, and more. It’s so exciting to see all the new growth.
Ranch Infrastructure Maintenance and Projects
Jim worked on the plumbing and electrical projects. He also limbed and cut rounds from some of the trees that he dropped this spring. (These trees will supply our firewood for next winter.) He taught our older daughter how to use the rototiller and the chainsawas. The gas chainsaws are large and heavy and were a challenge for her. Our smaller Makita electric chainsaw will probably be used as her trainer.
All of the horses were ground worked this week. One is being ridden on a regular basis. The others need to lose a little bit of weight in order to get the cinches around them. They were fed a little too well this winter.
The heat drove us inside in the afternoons. We spent many hours studying our personal interests and watching the world news events. Our family are true news junkies. Last night we enjoyed a meal of some tasty steaks from our recent butchering.
We hope and pray that you all had a productive week.
We had a short week at the Latimer homestead this week after returning from our gathering with friends and family. There was clean up as well as restocking of camp supplies and laundry to do. I also returned with more ideas for improvements on our bug out trailer as well as our camp setup. But, here at home, we tried to get back into the swing of our regular preparedness work and activities.
Shop and Freeze Dryer
I only got a small amount of work done organizing in the shop, but I did get the freeze dryer in a position where we can begin using it again. Sarah will be happy to have it running again, as our refrigerator is overflowing with eggs right now as well as other items that needs to get into the freeze dryer.
We mucked the chicken coop and hosed it down. Some mold was growing on the lower wall areas but came right off with vinegar water and a brush and then a second power wash. (We don’t like to use harsh chemicals if we can avoid them.)
Garden, Harvesting, Fertilizing, and Weeding
We returned from our trip to hot weather, but the automated drip system worked beautifully. We did need to make a few repairs, but the LORD was good to keep it working while we were away and it was dry and hot. Our garden grew and prospered in our absence. We spent significant parts of two days this week weeding and fertilizing the vegetable gardens as well as harvesting peas, lettuce, and radishes. Some of the tomatoes are beginning to form blossoms, so it was time to fertilize these again. We will need to protect them from tomato worms also, as I have seen a few tomato moths floating around.
The cow peas and sunflowers are doing great in the new livestock garden, even though nothing has been grown in this soil before. Some of the cow peas have eight leaves already! This is the first year of soil preparation in that area. It is nice to see that these are hardy plants and doing well to help us get this soil ready for other vegetation in the future.
We have greatly enjoyed the beef bacon this week in everything from breakfast burritos to baked potatoes and BLT sandwiches! It is very tasty, but we will make a few adjustments in the next batch. It was really quite easy and everyone who has tried the beef bacon gives it a hearty thumbs up. We used a lightly marbled round roast with this batch, rather than the traditional (and more expensive) brisket or beef naval, so it is very lean. To get it crispy, Sarah fries the thin slices in a small amount (1-2 teaspoons) of coconut oil. Next time though we will leave it in the brine more than four days to help the meat better absorb the spices and flavors. Because of our plans away from home, we could only leave it the minimum amount of time. We suspect it would have been tastier if left in the brine for seven days instead of four before the rinsing and smoking stage. Sarah is willing to share her recipe at some point soon. We took a 6.5 pound beef roast and ended up with 4.8 pounds of bacon. Our total cost was approximately $30.