The Editors’ Preps for the Week

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,

This has been a delightful summer week, here in the Northern American Redoubt. The weather was sunny with seasonal temperatures in the mid 70s- low 80s, which were perfect for outdoor work/living.

Jim completed one of the plumbing and electrical projects this week. There is one more plumbing project to do sometime in the next two weeks. He gathered in a large pile of four foot logs which will need to be gang-cut and split.

In the Garden

Lily weeded the garden and planted some green beans, black beans, another row of carrots, summer squash, some more winter squash, pale green Zucchini, and turnip (these are mostly for the cows for a treat, since their sharp flavor doesn’t agree with most of us).

We’ve now, pretty much reached the end of our outdoor seed planting season for warm weather crops because of the time constraints of when the average first frosts occur. However, I can still plant lettuces, spinach, and kales for Fall harvests.

We’ve harvested our first Strawberries on Friday. They’re super sweet.

All of the potatoes: Red, white and Fingerlings are growing and are looking very good.

We are down to our last six Red and White onions from last year’s harvest. Our Walking onions are setting out bulbs that we will use for cooking onions for a few more weeks until our greenhouse onions are ready to harvest and then a few weeks later after those, we’ll be able to start harvesting our garden onions. We’re also still eating potatoes from last year’s harvest.

In the Greenhouse

Our vegetables are growing very well. We’ve been harvesting Yankee Mixed lettuce blend now for about three weeks. These lettuces keep growing back more leaves and have wonderful flavors. We believe we’ll have lettuce from this patch for a few more weeks which will carry us into our outdoor lettuce patch harvest. The broccoli is at the size where we expect to be seeing the Flowerets to begin growing any day, now.

I planted eight different tomato plants, specifically, in my greenhouse beds, and in some large pots in the early spring. However, now that the Green house is consistently warmer, we have had a large number of volunteer tomatoes springing up in the beds from last year’s crop. Some of these I have replanted in large pots in the greenhouse, and others, I’ve pulled, and still others, I have decided to leave in the beds, to see how they will do around the other plants.

I could use some more tomatoes since, I’m not planting tomatoes outside this year. After six years of gardening here, I’ve discovered that it’s rather useless to plant the tomatoes outside since they usually do not ripen in time before colder weather sets in. Therefore, they are a waste of garden space which is better used for crops that do, do well, here. I do think we’ll get a good harvest from them in the greenhouse, although it’ll turn the green house into a jungle once again this year.

The Zucchini, also will start to put out flowers in the next week or so. Because there are not many pollinating insects in the greenhouse, I’ll be picking male flowers of my squash species, in the mornings, and fertilizing the female flowers with them. Already, I’m doing this with a Q-Tip for the tomatoes and cantaloupe.

Indoor Preps

Lily and the children updated the children’s Get Home Bags. Older daughter bought herself a new backpack for her GBH and repacked it. We also updated the children’s First Aid Kits and made a list of what we need to purchase to replenish the main family First Aid supplies the next time we’re in the big city.

Our older daughter and youngest son made some Beef Jerky this week, using our Excalibur dehydrator. They made three different flavors.

  • Salt and Maple syrup
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce and honey
  • Teriyaki sauce with black pepper and Maple syrup.

For preparation, they thawed the beef over night.The next day cleaned off the fat, soaked the meat in salt water to draw out any remaining blood. They then marinated the meat in their marinades over night in the refrigerator. The following day they put them in the dehydrator at the 165 F. temperature and ran the machine for about 8 hours. The results were quite good. The next time we make Jerky, we’ll be changing up the the spices.


Horses are being worked regularly and are enjoying their work. They like the attention, stimulation and pleasing us. One can tell that this is the case when they put their heads down and really get into it and are obedient to our cues, and you see the calm, sweet look in their eyes. Also, when one walks by them in the field and they lift their heads and look at you inquisitively, as if to say, “Now? Can we work now?” And start to follow us around. And it’s not because they’re expecting us to give them a treat. We seldomly give them treats out in the field. We give treats only after they’ve done their work.

Outdoor Living Skills

We’ve cooked two more meals over the campfire in our cast iron pan and dutch oven: a beef stew with biscuits and Huckleberry cobbler, the first night, and a Salmon filet and Biscuits with Stir-fried Butternut squash and a Raspberry Cobbler on the second night. Both meals were a smashing success, so incredibly yummy, that we’ve decided that we’ll be cooking outside this summer, on a regular basis.

Older daughter and youngest son went on an two hour bushwhacking hike together up the mountain in the National Forest across the river from the ranch. She reported afterwards, “Imagine doing the crawl stroke through thorns, mosquitoes, ticks, up a rock slide and brush so thick that half the time you were crawling on your belly, definitely a Patrick McManus style hike!” Older Daughter brought her new GHB Backpack with her. They carried a MURS Walkie talkie. Once they reached the intended lookout destination, they radioed in and we practiced communicating with the Walkie Talkies.

Next Week’s Prepping Plans

This coming week, as the Lord allows, we fully intend to do more hiking, campfire cooking, horseback riding, garden weeding, weedwhackjng the walking paths of the garden and again in the orchard, and soil prep in another future garden area. The chicken coop needs to be cleaned. We’d like to go fishing. This week’s temperatures are going to be in the high 80’s for a few days so we think we’ll check out the local lake temperatures to see if they’re suitable for swimming, yet. Every year we have to pull Daisies, Knapweed and Bull Thistle out of our meadows. It’s time to get out there and to start pulling them. Thankfully, because we have pulled these weeds regularly during the last four years, there is less and less of them each year.

As a matter of interest to you, we homeschool year round, so during the summer for a few hours in the morning after chores, we’re studying/working “academically”. Jim works on the Blog and his next books, Lily is studying a series of related subjects of an intense personal interest to her which may come into use in our future empty nest years–and is of some use now. Often she’ll edit something for Jim, and she also spends much time searching the Internet for news of interesting developments for the Blog that she shares with Jim, all the while being available to answer the children’s school questions. After lunch is when we, usually, do our outside activities. We’re very fluid and relaxed in our scheduling, especially in the summer.

We hope you all have a blessed and productive week of prepping. – Lily Rawles


As expected, the heat and its effect on the garden and animals was the main concern for the Latimer family this week. Work slowed to a crawl for much of the week. Towards the end of the week we began to get acclimated to the heat and the work pace began picking back up though. We are looking forward to slightly cooler weather starting today. Triple digit heat all week long sure takes a toll.


With the extraordinarily high temperatures this past week, we added an extra daily watering to the gardens and also a mid-afternoon water check on the animals. Sarah contacted the good people at M&R Durango and received the NOLO grasshopper bait within 48 hours from her call to them and will need to spread it early next week. She got up at dawn and sprayed the cucurbita plants early in the morning last week and purchased some additional organic sprays to ward off the squash bugs. She will spray next week.

The family did some very early morning weeding on a few mornings to make progress and will continue to work on weeding next week. Sarah also laid down some small animal repellent, as we have seen evidence of rabbits getting into the garden. Some radishes and potatoes were dug up and in the heat, several drip tapes were cut with teeth markings.

Animal Feeding and Watering

We put our own, new, feed mixture into the poultry feeders and removed the old feeder that contained the store’s grain mixture. Our feathered friends got quite excited. They are now beginning to get used to the changes. The hens are eating out of the new feeders more readily than the rooster. For now, they are all enjoying the weeds coming to them from the garden as well as the treats of sprouted tritecale, maggots, and black oil sunflower seeds.

Security/Video Surveillance and Shop Organization

The heat prevented the surveillance camera work this past week, but I did get a bit of work done on the shop organization, though it is a slow process. It is my plan to install two more surveillance cameras on the property this coming week. I will continue to work to make a little progress on the shop each week.

Canine Toothpaste

Sarah made the canine toothpaste with coconut oil, turmeric, ground kelp, parsley, and two drops of thieves essential oil. Our best indoor dog was excited about getting her teeth brushed and just licked her lips. We shall see if the teeth whiten at the gums and the teeth get better or not. On Sunday, she will get one of the bones we have for her in the freezer. What a great way for a dog to begin a new week, right?


  1. Here in SW NY we are still planting also, mostly shorter season and frost tolerant crops left to go. The plan this year is to work on adapting several old Native American varieties to our micro clime here. As our forbearers did. Experimenting with no till and deep mulch gardening, looking to relieve the strain on our backs and prepare for our elder years. Seems to be working well.

    1. Hillbillynick,

      We also were looking for relief on our backs. we built raised beds, raised up 4 feet so gardening was done reaching over not bending down. straw bales were covered in topsoil. this is the first year we did it and it’s working out fine.

      1. L.O., We have raised beds also but the main garden is 100’x20′. Not very practical for raised beds. Also working on the rest of the property which is (was) a played out hay field. Planting buckwheat on much of it this week to act as a cover crop till fall when winter rye will be planted for the same reasons.

  2. I didn’t get to plant a garden this year due to the possibility of moving, but the few herbs and tomatoes are drowning in the Middle GA weather. Always a learning curve. I do plan on cranking the dehydrator up this coming week. Frozen veggies, and perhaps some jerky.

  3. It’s surprising how much labor is involved in ‘old time’ living! I just moved to my redoubt location in early May and was able to get a large raised bed built and filled with local black gold organic soil from a drained moose bog! Quickly planted organic starts (planted a little late due to moving) of brussels sprouts, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, cucumber, chard, bok choy, roma tomato, and red pepper. Hoed a row and planted provider beans, phew! All are doing beautifully in these long summer days. Also had strawberries from previous owner, and planted a blueberry bush and two thorn-less red raspberries. Another row of green beans goes in at sunset today. Made a huge purchase at big city box store last week of long term provision… watching the news lately has me feeling to hurry up and exchange baseless green paper for real-life food and necessities. Life is good since my much-anticipated strategic relocation, and the locals here are super kind and welcoming. I feel like I have travelled back in time to when people were normal. Madly in love with Northern Idaho!

  4. We are already harvesting large golf ball size strawberries here in SE Washington, and Last month the rhubarb at our place in Idaho was ready to be picked. This certainly has been an odd start to a beautiful summer.

  5. Storm Cindy kept me in most of the week. My last batch of picked tomatoes were split from too much water. I did make the trip today out to the field to see how the brown top Millet was doing. Of course with just over an inch and a half in the past week where the rain was falling daily and not too heavily, the seeds have sprouted. I have a nice green quarter inch carpet over the five acres. I took the time to pick some black berries while there. Unfortunately, they did not make it home. I couldn’t help myself and ate them all. I also took the time to shoot my break down Ruger 10/22 with the new threaded barrel on it. I had the suppressor screwed on and was using CCI 1050 FPS subsonic ammo. I was very please at being able to drive tacks with it at thirty feet and it was whisper quite. I noticed on the way out that my neighbor’s field corn had brown silk tassels and thought that I need to find some sweet corn form a local grower to pick in the next few weeks.

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