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 review their week’s prep activities. They also often 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 always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,

Our report this week is that we have little to report!  In the past week we’ve been quite busy with house guests. Otherwise, things have been in quiet Winter Mode, here at the Rawles Ranch. We did some closet reorganizing and did some cleanup of our bunk house. Jim did some planning and parts ordering for an a gunsmithing project. He also ordered a digital caliper, which he will need for the same project.

I was pleased to see that more of the winter garden beds are germinating. We are hoping that the Greenhouse Within a Greenhouse experiment continues to be successful.

We are looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps this winter.

May you all have a blessed week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles


The Latimer Household had a few days of exceptionally warm and clear weather this week. So instead of working on food rotation and organization, we took this opportunity to clear some of the weeds on the land and pull the final stakes and supports from the garden. With the discovery of termites on some of our stakes, we were reminded it was probably a good time to spray the building perimeters for termites, before the ground freezes and they tunnel deep. So, we also accomplished this task. We plan to get back on the food rotation project this coming week and will continue to work with our chickens.

Additionally, while we had already put most of the seeds up for next year’s garden, we still have a few vegetables that we set aside to dry that have not yet been cracked open to reveal their seed for collection. We’ve begun to crack open the okra, and we appear to have a large batch of okra seed to share. We also still have some dried beans and peas yet to crack. So, these final, little seed collecting projects will also be scheduled for the coming week. Then, it will just be a matter of collecting, washing, and drying the winter squash seeds as we use them throughout the winter.

Seed Inventory

Sarah completed an inventory of seeds this week and is feeling very good about having collected plenty of seed for the garden next year without buying any seed, except the new plants or varieties we add, like the Seminole squash we read about this week. We’re expecting those seeds to arrive soon, so we will know we have what we need for the coming season. Having the means to put a full garden in the ground and being able to carry this with you is a comfort!

Sarah is anxious to get the organization that is required in the food stores and household completed so that she can begin working on crafts, sewing, and quilting this winter. Hugh is anxious to begin doing some woodworking projects also and has been cleaning and organizing the shop.

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. A few weeks ago, I saw this article,
    “The Resilient Gardener – Grow Potatoes, Corn, Beans, Squash, and Eggs”,
    November 2, 2017,
    by Laurie Neverman

    The setting for the book is the NW & it has been mentioned in the SurvivalBlog in the past, but certain concepts work as well in the SE.

    So, I order the book,, and have been reading it this week.

    Although I have been doing a few things right, there is room for improvement next year.
    I’ve never considered ducks as a protein source and I can do a few thing different with corn.

    A few recent articles in the SurvivalBlog relating to Potatoes and Seminole Squash/Pumpkins have helped as well.

    Have the Editors ever tried raising ducks?

  2. I’m obviously not the Editor, but I do raise both ducks and geese. If you are only looking for meat yield, then I highly recommend geese over ducks. Geese can be brought to weight on grass alone. They are less prone to predator losses. And they yield far more meat per carcass.

  3. Working this week on a small fuel storage shed. Added another ton of coal into the coal shed. Collecting rock to level the area in front of the coal shed with the addition of fill dirt in order to make it easier to unload the coal from the truck. Working on chimney pipes for basement coal stove. Christmas shopping as well. Looking forward to a blessed season.

  4. Calipers.
    In 1973, I went to work in a machine shop at age 22. I bought a dial caliper made by Helios. It cost me nearly four days pay. Today, at age 62, I still have this marvelous instrument, which has served me faithfully for 40 years.
    I also have two digital calipers, which require batteries. More often than not, when I pick up the digitals, their battery is dead. I can’t use them until I locate another source of odd batteries for them. The dial caliper works, rain or shine, battery or no battery. I’ll never buy another digital caliper.


    1. @Paul,
      I would have to agree with you. 30 years ago, I bought a Starett dial caliper. I’ve owned several digital ones since then and they always die. The starett is still my go-to caliper.

      1. I have a Starett digital caliper that I’ve been using for over 20 years. The battery lasts for years, I’ve only changed it twice in all that time. That said, a quality dial caliper would serve better in the long term when replacement batteries are no longer available.

        To that point, has anyone seen a quality charger for button batteries? I’ve been looking and just have not found one.

  5. Next question: since we don’t want to use insecticides that are poisonous to animals or humans, what would be a good one to use to defend against termites?

    1. @Charles
      Regarding termites: Ants are your best friend.
      I used to indiscriminately kill ants because they bothered me and I didn’t like it when they stung or pinched me as I worked around the property. It didn’t happen all that often, but I considered them the “enemy” and when they popped up, I killed them. At the same time, every piece of wood left outdoors was eaten alive by termites. On one particular occasion, I was cleaning the yard and found a weed next to a harvester ant bed. When I grabbed the weed, I noticed that it had dirt attached to the branches. When I moved it, the dirt crumbled and it turned out to be termite tunnels. The termites and ants proceeded to go to war and in short order, the ants wiped the termites out.
      The lightbulb went on in my head at that point 🙂
      Now, we keep the ant population down, but allow a significant number of mounds to exist. The only areas that have termite issues are those areas where I have been forced to eradicate the ants (like the sand pit for the grandkids to play in.)

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