Editors’ Prepping Progress

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! This week’s emphasis is on small arms mechanical training.


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,

I was very busy writing this past week, so I didn’t have much time for prepping activities.  But I did find some time to do some more gunsmithing. I also segregated another model-specific tackle box of spare gun parts.  I already  had separate tackle boxes variously labelled: “Glock”, “HK”, “AR”, “Bolt Actions & .22s”, “Misc. Shotgun”, and “Picatinny Bits.” I  have now further divided the “Misc. Shotgun” box, creating a new box that is labelled “Saiga-12”.

Avalanche Lily has begun planting seeds in our sprouting trays. They will be started in the house in a spare room under grow lights. Their transition to the greenhouse will have to wait until the snow comes off and the nighttime lows inside the greenhouse are consistently above freezing, probably during the second week of April.  Indoors, she planted a full tray of broccoli; tomatoes: yellow sweet, orange cherry, purple, Beef Steak, Siberian, and Black Krim, Three six packs of celery, Peppers:  orange, green, yellow; Butternut Squash, Burpless cucumbers, the middle eastern cocktail cucumbers, and Straight Eight. Also some Brussels Sprouts.

She also planted three large packages of four year old spinach seeds in one of the greenhouse beds.  She is curious about what the percentage of their germination outcome will be?  The temperatures are mostly holding above freezing in there, and the Kale and spinach that were planted in the “greenhouse within a greenhouse” last fall are continuing to grow. This coming week the temperatures will be in the high 40s with sunshine, so we expect that the growth rate of the seedlings will go exponential.  We’ll be harvesting Spinach and kale by the third week of April, I expect.

I also heard from a friend last week that peanuts can be grown in the north!  I love peanut butter!!  So I bought 225 feet worth of Virginia peanuts.  This will be a major experiment for this summer.

Spring is coming!

Please continue to post comments about your own preps.

Thanks, – Jim Rawles


The Latimer Homestead is adjusting to the newlyweds among us. What a joy to see this perfect union!

We have had to continue to do some work to get the new bride’s nest in order for her and to help with their wedding gifts and the aftermath of a most beautiful wedding. In spite of this, we were able to make some progress on the kitchen and clear a small area of weeds from the property.

In the kitchen, we have degreased and cleaned all of the cabinets and removed the cabinet doors. We have only a few items remaining in any of the cabinets and some things in a few drawers, which still have their faces intact. We hope to finish removing the drawers and remaining contents, make repairs and finish sanding this week. The refrigerator will have to move as well as various appliances to get to the cabinets before painting can begin. Some electrical work in one wall is required before painting in that part of the kitchen. We’re not sure how far along we’ll get with the painting step this week, but it is our goal to at least begin.

o o o

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


  1. I grew peanuts last year for the first time as well! Tennessee Red, since I’m in Tennessee!
    Crop grew well and produced a decent harvest. They took up some space (I would allow 3 feet per row), but did not require any maintenance and experienced no pest issues. We ate a few raw, did not roast any. They are mostly food for our pet bird, but it was just an experiment, anyways. Yield per plant was not great, but 250 feet will net you something at the end of the season (I planted about 20 feet). Hope to re-seed with some from last years crop, just to see. Good luck!

  2. got a good start on next winter’s firewood, noticed live traps were shiny which hasn’t affected their use, but makes them stand out so got some camo paint and killed the shine. got load of compost and top soil for new raised bed. planted potatoes

  3. Spanish peanutsf have a shorter growing season by 35-40 days than runners or Virginia. They will all make peanuts and can be harvested early. But the quality of the peanuts will not be as good. If harvested 30 days early there will some mature peanuts but not many and the rest will be small and shriveled . Sandy soil is almost a must so the pegs can enter the soil. Also the wet sandy soil will help with Harvest .You can push it till frost but after a frost you have about 3 days before you’re crop starts falling off the vine. If your peanuts get a freeze out of the ground before they reach 28 percent they will become bitter. Feel free to ask any questions. North Texas peanut farmer

  4. We can relate. All of our vegetable gardening is a science experiment. Lettuce, herbs, beets and other experiments started in the green house. Spuds and asparagus planted outside.
    We found a used chainlink kennel that we used to complete the garden fencing.
    We also found the time to clean out the flower beds. My Wife’s flowers help to feed the soul but if I had my way everything would be edible.

    Peanut butter is a staple. Please keep us posted on the experiment.

    HJL congratulations and God’s blessings to the newly weds.

  5. Chicken flock expansion planning was started much earlier this year. Had two hens go to brood at the middle of January but felt this was too early with cold weather still being predicted. Opted to just bust their brooding and wait for the next broody hen. Late February placed clutch of eight (8) eggs under one of our more mature hens that started to brood. Even with her kicking one egg out, this will end up being the largest clutch we’ve ever attempted. Hatching of seven chicks expected tomorrow (11 March) which coincides with our Church’s 4-day Revival. (There’s a sermon in that somewhere) Also placed an order for six hens to be picked up in mid-April. Hoping for other brooder around the same time and we’ll just remove the faux eggs we placed under her, slip the chicks under and she’ll raise them like her own.

  6. It finally happened…we ran out of cut/split wood; however, we are so cozy and warm in our insulated cabin that it was worth it. We can keep cutting from the piles of downed wood aging nicely around the snow. I expected to run out earlier, but this Vermont Castings stove burns significantly less wood than our previous one. We will start cutting this spring for next winter.

    Not much else is happening with the storms dropping snow by the foot. Did some snowshoeing and resting up. Keeping the bird feeder full for our feathered friends.

    I broke down and bought two more trash cans to store the dog food as the mice are still a menace. Updating the “get home” bags still. I expect to have them in the cars and ready to go this week. They are in addition to the winter supplies in the trunks.

    Congratulations on adding a daughter-in-law to the family!

    1. I hear you on the Vermont Castings stoves. I love mine. We have an Encore that we heat the house with and when I started on my shop, I purchased another one for it. (commonality of parts is what I was thinking). It’s way too much stove for the shop though. The shop is part of the garage (40×40 garage with the shop on the back side 16×40). I often have to open the door to the garage and let the heat spill out into the garage even with the stove on it’s lowest setting with 1/4 load of wood. (A well inslulated shop helps with that too.) I don’t mind because it keeps the garage above freezing.

  7. Well, it appears that I am going to survive a serious bout of the flu. Does that count? I’ve been down with it for 7 days now and finally getting better. Wouldn’t you know it? The missus woke up this morning with what looks like the start of her turn with it. This is a darned serious strain of flu we are dealing with this year. I haven’t had a flu shot in 10 years, and had the flu only once in that 10 years, maybe 5 years ago. We’ll be thinking about getting the shot next fall for sure.

    I felt good enough to get the pepper seeds planted today. Still 18″ on snow on the ground here. Oh, one more thing. I broke a tooth a week ago and had to postpone dental work until this flu runs its course. Sure glad civilization is still kicking for now. I am one who plans for the worst but hopes to heaven the worst never, ever happens. Sometimes I think some people WISH for TEOTWAWKI. Not me. Not for a minute.

  8. We live in a small Arkansas city. We miss our 30 acre property in the redoubt terribly but that doesnt mean we can’t continue to prep. Right now we are focusing on organizing. A place for everything, everything in its place. Also bringing all vehicles up to peak operating condition and researching schools for advanced shooting skills (pistol) with a commitment to attend at least one full course this year. We’ll eventually move rural again but there’s plenty we can do right here, right now.

  9. James,

    Have you ever considered or experimented with geothermal heating for your green house? Seems to me that would be enough to keep your greenhouse above freezing all winter long. A trench (maybe 100′ or so by 6′ deep), some plastic pipe (6″ maybe 8″), and a low voltage high velocity fan ought to do the job. Of am I missing something?

  10. Spent several hours over three days cutting back brush, and beginning the long (years) overdue pruning of the apple orchard. The chain came off the chain saw, so I put it back on. (Thank you, YouTube — please don’t censor THOSE videos!). And it came off again. So I”ll have to wait for hubby to find time to figure out the problem. I got a lot stronger doing some serious sawing through large limbs on he apple trees. The lettuce seed I planted only a week ago is already sprouting in our very sunny South Bay window, so today I picked up beet and cabbage seed. Hoping to get son or husband to build a couple of window boxes from old deck boards (last summer’s big project) for those. Yesterday and today spend several hours to bag campaign literature, then walking neighborhoods in a nearby city, as the state primary is coming up in a few days. More than ever, we need to put action to our words and elect lawmakers who truly believe in “We, the People!”

  11. JWR – before you plant those peanuts, barely dampen the seeds and coat them with hot pepper powder…or better yet, make a strong hot pepper tea, let it cool to room temp then soak the seed a couple hours right before planting, then coat them with more hot pepper powder. Otherwise varmits will eat them all up – trust me on this! I do the same thing with corn and sunflower seeds. You will need to wear gloves when planting.

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