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! This week’s focus is on NOLO Bait.
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
This has been a very busy and hot week for us here in the American Redoubt.
A Camping Outing
We had a marvelous time with our friends camping during this past weekend. It was a somewhat primitive campground, located on the shores of a reservoir. We didn’t have any running water, nor toilet facilities, nor power. We brought our own well water for drinking and for hygiene from home. Cooking was done both over a fire in cast iron pans and over a propane stove; Beef stew, pancakes, sausage and eggs were cooked over the fire.
The children and adults swam, fished, and went rock hounding and collected driftwood. Children played board games while the adults talked about world and spiritual issues. A 30″ Northern Pike was caught. Jim gutted and cleaned it, and our friend cooked it over the campfire in coconut oil and a mixed Cajun seasoning. It was quite tasty. The children, surprisingly, really enjoyed it. Some of us took a hike to identify the local edible plant species that will be producing their abundant fruit during the next weeks.
We celebrated Independence Day by reading a text about the Declaration of Independence and then reading the actual Declaration out loud together. Then we traveled to a regional theme park. We spent the early part of the day in its water park playing in its river, wave pools and slides. In the evening we went on all the ride attractions and then went to a large open field where we saw the best most spectacular fireworks display, that I think we’ve ever, ever seen. They were truly amazing.
Our Preps for the week were less than the usual because of our camping trip and the celebration of Independence Day and some very hot weather at the end of the week. We had about three very late nights with very little sleep between camping and our Independence Day Celebration. We tired ourselves out. Thus the cool mornings were spent outside weeding and watering the garden and the greenhouse and afternoons were spent in the house, reading, studying, cooking meals, and, dare I say it, having a few siestas. Lily did a little bit of weedwhacking of the daisies and knapweed in some of our meadows. The orchard was ignored, as well as the chicken coop. Well, there is always this next week to get to these projects.
Jim excavated an area outside one of our outbuildings, hauled about 1,800 pounds of rock from there, and then planted grass seed in that area. He cut up more trees he had previously dropped, hauled lots of slash and made large piles that we’ll burn in the fall after the first heavy rains come. Late in the week Jim also delivered some livestock to a friend.
The Children and Lily have begun a serious study of edible and medicinal herbs that grow in our area. The children have created beautiful Nature Journals in which to draw and color the plants, label them with their common and Latin names and then write about how it’s identified, it’s use, and how to prepare it, et cetera. We are gleaning our information from several books. The main two books we are using are titled From The Shepherd’s Purse and Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies.
So for this coming week, Lord willing, we’ll continue with our plant identifying hikes, the usual gardening and weeding, and weedwacking. At this time we don’t have anything really special planned for prepping so we’ll tell you what we accomplished at the end of the week.
May you have a very blessed week. – Avalanche Lily Rawles
Gardening – NOLO Bait
The Latimer Homestead was busy this past week working in the yard in spite of the heat and some rain. We spent multiple days working the weeds. Not only within the gardens but in the perimeters around the gardens and on the outlying property. The battle against pests in our all-organic gardens are raging, but we are faring well. We have legions of ladybugs keeping the aphids and larvae populations under control. The NOLO bait seems to have minimized the grasshopper population, as we are rarely seeing any now. However, the cucurbits are being attacked and flea beetles have hit. So, out has come the diatomaceous earth, nettle leaf powder, and several of our organic sprays. The powders have taken care of the flea beetles it seems this week.
Then, the corn is reaching a point we are seeing those wasps that lay their larvae as well as tomato moths. So, this week all of the cucurbits, corn, tomatoes, radishes, beans, peas, potatoes, celery and broccoli got a good spraying of various forms of organic treatments, as these were all showing evidence of pest damage, pest presence, or future pest damage (from eggs that would evolve into destructive corn or tomato worms). Fruit trees were also sprayed.
We also made significant progress on staking and stringing plants this week, though there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to complete this task. The peas in the poultry garden were fertilized, as some of them are showing signs of stress as well as pest damage. Sarah fertilized first and then sprayed. We believe that some of the loss of plants is due to rabbits but some is also due to inadequate or excess quantities of water in various areas and stress from the high heat temperatures with poor quality soil in this first year of growing. We will be amending the soil more often and have made adjustments to the water schedule to attempt to rectify some issues.
Hugh is finally making progress on the shop and garage. This project has been pushed off for so long that we can’t even remember the last time it was cleaned. It seems we’ve been pushing piles around for months and looking for the proper tool takes as long as actually doing the job the tool was needed for. It will be good to complete this project!
Next week, we need to continue our weeding projects, as many undesirable plants, spurred on by the heat, are beginning to go to seed. We also need to thin some plants in a few garden beds and fertilize them. And the chicken coop is in need of a thorough cleaning, and the run area needs to be shoveled and some of the compost moved to our compost pile to complete its decomposition for use in fall or spring planting.
Additionally, Sarah has some potted plants, including some potted vegetables and herbs that need to be repotted into larger vessels this week.
Hugh will continue the work in the shop/garage. First on the list will be additional insulation though. When we built the garage, it was intended to have 3 bay doors. Though only one was installed, the remaining two were roughed in and just covered with the siding. With the sun beating down on those uninsulated sections, significant heat is pumped into the garage. This is not good for the food storage. That will be rectified this week!