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Editors’ Prepping Progress

As preppers work to make progress to achieve prepping goals, we took some actions this week too. The SurvivalBlog editors made plans [1] 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 [2] 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!

No Chemicals!

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 [3], 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.

Outdoor Preps

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.

Indoor Projects

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 [4] 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.

Poultry Feed

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.

Food Preservation

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.

Shop Organization

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.

Security/Video Surveillance

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.

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Comments Disabled To "Editors’ Prepping Progress"

#1 Comment By Jefferson Franklin On June 17, 2017 @ 11:54 am

Yes please HJzl, do indeed write an article review on your Security/Video Surveillance.

#2 Comment By Pat W On June 17, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

Love this section.
Mr. Latimer, will be interested in your security cams. I myself, need ones with no flash, time and date and easy to program, under $200.00.
Love and pray for you all.

#3 Comment By patientmomma On June 17, 2017 @ 2:32 pm

I recently purchased a freeze dryer and I’m interested to hear about your “pump” issue. If there is somethings I should or should not do, I’d like to know.


#4 Comment By Kathy S On June 17, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

HJL, I would be very interested as well in a review of your video surveillance system when you can. We seriously need to install one on our property. Thank you for all the hard work!

#5 Comment By SgtChf On June 17, 2017 @ 4:08 pm

From our Chicken coop and our garden since the 1st of June we have done the following: Friends and family have been provided 13 dozen fresh eggs with another 5 dozen to be given away this weekend. We harvested 168 ears of yellow sweet corn and gave away 50 ears with another 18 to be given away this weekend, harvested enough crookneck yellow squash to put up 36 qts and will be given away 6 more qts this weekend for a total 9 qts given away since
1 June 17. We will be turning yesterdays harvest of sweet corn into creamed corn today. Of the 62 tomato plants; all have green maters on them and should start turning red by the end of next week, the we will start canning them. Pepper plants are all starting to produce and they will be canned to make pepper sauce for seasoning the greens & beans.
Will be planting beans and peas for a fall harvest next week, reorganizing the power house / shop, installing the wiring from the inverter to the circuit breaker panel and from there to the well pump (meant to accomplish this week but way to wet outside to do safely). Will be doing some welding repairs on the bush hog, cutting and splitting wood for the coming winter.
To all in the redoubt, may god bless you and keep you safe.

#6 Comment By Anonymous On June 17, 2017 @ 4:47 pm

We did some re-panting of our small patch of Painted Mountain corn. We have great difficulty growing small patches of corn here: some critter (perhaps crows) pulls the 2-3″ sprouts to eat the seeds; then as the ears ripen, some other critter husks and eats the kernels as they stand. Scarecrow fails to deter the first. Had partial success against the second surrounding the garden with rat-poison stations during the whole season. Better, more sustainable suggestions solicited.

#7 Comment By Once a Marine… On June 17, 2017 @ 10:23 pm

An inflatable snake or owl often deters rodents.

#8 Comment By Steven Scott Duffy On June 17, 2017 @ 9:16 pm

Yes, I’m looking forward to getting prepped

#9 Comment By CentOre On June 17, 2017 @ 9:26 pm

We experienced this same problem years ago. The corn shoots got about 2 inches high, then were gone the next time I looked. At the time, I was working two jobs at 60 hours a week. I didn’t check things every day. Anyway, I re-planted. This time they only got about an inch tall, and were gone, and I mean 100% gone. The nebulous “they” didn’t leave a single one. So,,, I replanted with the last of my seed. When nothing came up, I went out and tried to find the seed corn. Where wasn’t any in the ground.

About another week later I came home early. As in, before dark. There was a full murder of around 24 crows diligently scratching the ground to see if I had put out their next week’s course for them.
The funny thing is, I never saw a track. They tilled the ground so well it did not look disturbed!


#10 Comment By VT On June 18, 2017 @ 1:24 am

Had a preps failure with pancake mix,tried to make pancakes and they wouldn’t brown properly(went to slightly burned) they had a “off” taste and caused burps. Checked dates and found it to be over a year out of date. Remember to rotate!

#11 Comment By Hugh James Latimer On June 18, 2017 @ 1:41 am

I’m wondering what went wrong with those. Usually, on dry mixes, the expiration date has to do with nutrition or texture. I’ve never heard of a failure like this. The off-taste might have been due to oil/fat going rancid or oxidation of the ingredients though. Just curious.

#12 Comment By North Woods On June 18, 2017 @ 8:35 pm

Planted second crop of bean’s, some of the first planting did not come up. Have a piece of ground I have given up on,will till more organic matter in and try again.