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. Today’s highlight is combating some raspberry cane fungus.
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
Some recent rain was great for our pastures, orchard, and gardens, but it drove us indoors.
In The Garden – Cane Fungus!
Lily weeded the garden again. Nearly everything is growing nicely. However, she had recently noticed that her red and black raspberry canes looked liked they had taken a very serious beating from our hard winter. Their bark was peeling and, some had died, while others had very poor growth of their leaves. The more she looked at them, the more she realized that they must have a disease. So she looked up raspberry cane diseases and discovered that they really were not suffering from our severe winter, but rather from a cane fungus infection caused by wet and humid conditions from our very wet summer last year and also, probably from running the wave sprinkler on them too often during the wrong times of the day. Bummer!
Since we do not and will not use chemicals at our ranch, the next methods of control are to cut to the ground the diseased canes, which are the ones to produce fruit for this season. This protects this years’ new growth for next years’ crop from the spreading of the fungus to them. She also removed all tall weed growth around the few un-diseased fruiting canes, also must water them via drip irrigation or first thing in the morning with the wave sprinkler, so that their leaves dry in the sun more quickly.
It is noteworthy that this fungus can be spread by splashing water, splattering the fungus to new leaves. So, thus this week, Lily has been weeding the raspberry patches and cutting canes and putting them in the burn pile, so they don’t keep spreading the fungus. One needs to completely remove the diseased canes and to burn them, not compost them, to eradicate the fungus.
Lily also added cotton twine to the climbing pole bean beds’ T-post trellises. The beans are now growing their third set of leaves and will shortly be shooting up with their typical rapid summer rate of growth.
Ranch Infrastructure Maintenance and Projects
Jim continued work on the plumbing and carpentry project. It is now nearly complete.
We inspected and picked hooves on all of our horses. (We find this is particularly important whenever they change pastures.) Also, we worked all of the horses. The cows and now back out on sub-irrigated pasture. They appear to be putting on weight.
Most of the family went on a rain-soaked bushwhacking exploratory hike in the adjoining National Forest to build endurance and to get more familiarized with the terrain and vegetation.
Lily went through her Get Home Bag (GHB) to update the emergency food and clothing which she packs in it. She moved some items from the GHB to her Sustainment Pack, to cut down on the weight.
Our # 1 Daughter made some biscuits and a berry cobbler from scratch.
Because of the weather and a few other factors, the emphasis was on homeschooling, this week.
We hope and pray that you all had a productive week. Please let us know, in the Comments section!
We accomplished a good portion of our prepping goals for the week in the areas of gardening, food preservation, shop organization, security (video surveillance), and poultry feed.
Of our gardens, which in total consists of many thousands of square feet, we were able to weed about 1/4. We enjoyed some fruits of our labors as we harvested some peas, lettuce, radishes, and more. Additionally, we are monitoring our water system and keeping an eye on the pests that desire to devour our food source. We chased off rabbits, skunks, and other predators this week and also dealt with our fair share of squash bugs. Sarah and one of our sons took care of spraying all of the cucurbita plants and tomatoes with a neem-based organic insecticide. Some transplanting was done, as a few seedlings were crowded while there were some open spaces. We are beginning to see some grasshoppers and have been lax in placing our annual order for NOLO bait this year, so that will be on next week’s agenda.
NOLO organic grasshopper and cricket bait has saved our garden in past years, even when our community threw up their hands and gave in to the grasshoppers a few years back. (The people at M&R Durango who make NOLO for organic gardening are also very nice people to deal with, out of Durango, Colorado! Be sure to say you heard about them from SurvivalBlog’s managing editor.)
Anyway, the weeding led to happier chicks.
We did mix our own chicken feed this week, though a few ingredients have yet to arrive. (They are expected early next week.) We did make up for any lost ingredients with some treats, such a extra black oil sunflowers, mealy worms, and piles of dandelion, grass, and other weeds pulled out of our organic gardens. Sarah watered down the dried garden compost in their run, and they were good at scratching it into the soil. Their feathers are growing back even more this week than last and they are extremely happy about their new feed, though struggling a little with the simultaneous removal of the metal feeder in exchange for a larger pail variety feeder.
Hugh got the freeze dryer back in service, so Sarah put a batch of eggs in the freeze dryer, but the pump is having some issues. I will need to make a few repairs before she can use it again.
I didn’t make much progress on organizing the shop so I’m still “searching” for tools. You know you’re in trouble when you spend more time looking for a tool to do a job than you do actually doing the job.
I did get two cameras installed on areas of the property that were previously not covered. These HD cameras are really good with the recorded video being crisp. I may have to do an article on this system when done.