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!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,

We’ve had great weather for the past week. It is great seeing the transition from Mud Season. Our pastures are greening up. It is now joy to get out in the woods here at the ranch with my chainsaw, cutting up deadfall trees. I prefer larch and red fir, but when clearing deadfall, I of course can’t be choosy.  So inevitably there are several other types of fir and some western red cedar mixed in. The cedar trunks make awesome fence posts, while their smaller diameter tops make great kindling, when I split them small.

My other tasks at the ranch this week included:

  • Decanting some stored gasoline into smaller containers for our quads and rototiller.
  • Mixing a fresh 2.5 gallon batch of 2-cycle gasoline for our chainsaw.
  • Putting out some D-Con in the straw shed and under the house. (Both are places that the local wood rats can get to, but our barn cats can’t.)
  • Organizing and coiling our assortment of AC power extension cords. (I use the contractor method.)
  • Pulling the first of the garden hoses out of storage, to get ready for irrigating.
  • Constructing a reinforced wire mesh lid for the chick enclosure. (To prevent the adult chickens from destroying the lid.) The new lid uses a stiff hog panel as backing for small mesh poultry wire.

This week I also took advantage of a jump in Bitcoin (to over $9,100 USD) to buy some more guns, stripped AR lowers, and gun parts. Many of the parts were sold to me by BOLD Arms–a small company in Arizona that gladly accepts direct crypto currency payments. In the past five months, I’ve liquidated 90% of my Bitcoin holdings. Half of that went to my kids and to church donations. For the rest of the liquidation, I waited for “up” days and then bought tangibles directly, rather than selling BTC through exchange services. FWIW, I’ll still hold on to “a bit of Bitcoin”, but I’ll sleep better knowing that I’m more firmly invested in tangibles.  I should also mention that my kids subsequently chose to turn about half of the Bitcoin that I gifted them into silver. They made no mention of a desire to blow it on clothes or gadgets. That never even entered their minds. I marvel how practical homeschooled kids can be!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

I am so enjoying the warm sunny weather that has graced our region since last Wednesday. It has been glorious!  I just love to get out and do my favorite kind of work: cleaning the yard/property and preparing our various garden beds/areas for the upcoming growing seasons.

In the main house garden, this week, I re-plowed the whole thing and planted Walla Walla, Red, and Yellow onions, carrots and beets.

I spent the rest of the week clearing out our orchard of rogue cottonwood saplings, along the fence-line, weedwhacking overgrown dead weeds from last fall’s growth and new grass that is already 5 inches high, and pruned some broken branches off of my apples trees, It was a rough winter on our forest and orchard  this past year.  There is much damage, almost everywhere we look.  I also raked and will continue raking many of the areas along the orchard fence and the trees to clean it up.

We have a newly developed Annex garden that I’m seriously preparing for this year.  It will be the garden for the large area crops such as wheat, corn, baking beans, squash/pumpkins, sunflowers and for the first time, this year, there, potatoes. This week I spread some mineral fertilizer in those beds. It contains: calcium, sulfur and gypsum to boost the nutritional content.  I will also spread a thin layer of Magnesium salt, (I use Epsom salt) next week to boost the soil’s Magnesium content.  Also we had large manure piles dropped there last fall that I took a pitchfork to and spread them out relatively evenly.  Then I rototilled. This coming week, after the forecasted rain lets up, I will re-rototill the Annex garden and begin planting potatoes.  I’ll see about planting other crops, depending on the potential longterm frost outlook.  I’m a little bit worried about more frosts.  We’ve had frosts every night this week.

Our latest batch of chicks have done quite well. They are gaining weight and thriving.  Thus far, we’ve not lost any chicks save the two extras that they always throw into the shipment.  They died on the way to our Post Office. We moved them out from the living room to the chicken coop this week.  They are remaining in their tank for at least another two weeks before we’ll integrate them into our flock.

We had one chick that appeared to be sick and constipated, it’s vent was protruding and angry red in color and it was screaming, a lot.  We made it drink Olive oil and helped to clear it’s vent, with a warm washcloth and gently squeezing the vent, manually.  It kept screaming so we though there might be something else wrong with it.  Jim was busy and I didn’t want to kill it. It’s not my job to take animal’s lives, not while I have my husband around!  (Jim slaughters our poultry and does the basic gutting and skins them. Then I do the rest of the butchering in the kitchen away from the Scene of the Massacre.) But since he was indisposed, I put the chick out behind a shed in the nice and warm sunlight for a few hours, leaving it to it’s fate, letting nature take it’s course.  I checked on it a couple of times throughout the day.  Nothing ate it, so we retrieved it about six hours later. It was quiet and appeared happy. So we put it back in with his mates and it immediately ate and drank and we haven’t seen or heard any problems since from it.  Thank God this had a happy ending for all of us.

I went through our camping gear this week to see what we have and what we need to gather together to be ready for any camping trips this summer.

I practiced some more fly casting this week to perfect my aim and ability, etc.

The kids are studying for some homeschool final exams.

Please continue to post comments about your own preps.They have been fascinating!

Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


Last week at the Latimer Homestead, we continued planting and caring for our animals with a visit with the vet. We got a good report from the vet that we are doing well and blood work came back negative for anything of concern. Shots were given, and the drama is over. I am recovering from my laceration. Sarah is cleaning and bandaging daily, and we expect suture removal next week to go smooth. I am at that stage of itching and very much look forward to having these stitches out and bandages off, though I will be cautious for awhile as it continues to heal. The rest of the family will continue planting.

Planting will likely go on for the next month as temperatures continue to rise and more plants can go into the ground. We also have a bit more pruning and clean up to do in a few areas on the property between our planting activities this week, and of course we will be busy managing water and weeding the rest of the growing season.

o o o

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


  1. Had great success last year planting fingerling potatoes using the trench method. Easy to grow, good harvest, and were tolerant of a wide range of weather. I was able to get 3 batches in by planting at successive times. The first batch went in very early spring/winter (but didn’t sprout until the weather warmed), middle batch was planted as the summer just started, and I harvested the seed potatoes for the 3rd batch, from the first, about midway through summer. We ate the 3rd batch over the winter, left them in the ground until needed. Granted, we don’t have the snow cover you do up there, but I’d wager you can plant 2 batches a year? Try a second crop around July, they will grow well into the fall, and can tolerate a light frost (probably more with row covers).

  2. It is my sincere prayer that all in the Survivalblog community, administrators, et. all, stay safe and situationally aware at all times and are touched by the healing spirit of our Lord Jesus. God bless.

  3. I can sum up this time if year in one word…mud! It is too muddy to do much garden wise; however, there is a lot of yard cleanup ahead of us. I agree that this winter has left it’s mark, and we are also still cleaning up from clearing. I have saved the large dog food bags and am filling them with kindling. This way we use what we have and clear the brush as well. Definitely labor intensive.

    I continue training the dogs. This week will be our big test as I am taking them to the free rabies clinic Wednesday. Next weekend we are taking them on the 10 driving hour trip to stay in a hotel for our daughter’s graduation. Pray for us!

    I am working to get the rain barrel set up again now that the deep freeze is finished. It means cleaning the gutter and checking for leaks. We were wondering if the gutter we put up just for the rain barrel would survive the winter. It seems to have.

    This past week we returned our outdoor table and chairs to their spot which, when it’s not raining or snowing(!), extends our small cabin space significantly.

    This week my son will again set up the tubing to the distant spring on the hill to fill the water tank. The tubing in not able to be buried because of the terrain it covers. He is also going to put up the laundry line if he has time.

    Yesterday, I drove into the city for a meeting and realized that I was much more uncomfortable being there this year than ever before. Might not attend next year.

  4. Planting fruit trees, evergreens and several gardens. I’ve probably bitten off more than I can chew, but I’m in need of the motivation for locomotion. Too much couch time this winter. No time to die, got too much to do… Lord Willin.

  5. A big step for me on the journey to get my rabbit hutch up and hopping (pun intended). A couple of friends are coming to help put up the walls and lay the plywood roof. I have all of the materials on hand or I think I have everything on hand. So this should go pretty quickly. It’s a 3 sided 16’x8’x8′ and will be using rough cut boards on the walls.
    Yesterday I pulled the dead canes out of the blackberries, transplanted some tomatoes and bought a few bales of straw to plant my cucumbers in. This is a new method for me based on an article I read.
    My fall garlic is doing well and the chicory and horseradish are coming up too.
    May the LORD bless and keep you and may His countenance shine upon you.

  6. For whatever reason my only appliances gave up the ghost recently. A compact clothes washer and refrigerator. Both went to the transfer station then I decided to replace the refrigerator this week.

    For about 3 weeks I’ve been clearing my property of deadfall and bug infested trees.

    Carpenter ants are coming out now and I’ll have to stand guard over what’s left of my chickens so they can manage the ants. 90% of my flock was needlessly destroyed by a series of back to back dog attacks. As they refuse to make it right I’ve been forced to file with small claims court against those new neighbors and offer a $50 cash bounty for any loose dogs killed on my property.

  7. We had a lot of dead-fall trees this winter due to heavy snow loads. Today we sloshed through the snow left and marked out 23 birch trees and a couple of spruce trees to cut down, or cut up those that were already down. I rolled over a huge part of a 401K into silver, and some gold … use a self directed IRA to make this move and take personal possession of the metals. APMEX is a GREAT supplier to buy from, every helpful and good advisers to help make the biggest bang for the buck. They also advertise on the blog so its great to support those who support us … building a new green house this year for my bride; its almost impossible to grow in the arctic without a great green house.

  8. We bought green firewood for the 2019/2020 season as we are not set up or skilled yet to get it from our woods. Have begun stacking!
    Further perfected sourdough wheat bread, adding raisins and chopped walnuts. Bought local wheat flour but will buy wheat berries and grind in the future. It is great to know that with stored wheat berries, salt, water and a wood cook stove I can make bread!!
    Transplanted kale, chard, lettuce and put marigolds and tomatoes into bigger pots.
    Did a walkabout to meet the neighbors on the road of our new house in redoubt northeast.

    1. Yes, I’m writing at least two sequels. But I’ve been delayed in getting them finished because I’ve been busy working on a television series project, based on my completed Patriots novel series. I hope to be able to announce some news on that in May or June. Stay tuned.

      1. That’s wonderful news on both fronts! Congratulations on getting “Patriots” on TV. I’m glad you’re nvolved with the project, as we all know how television can ruin a great book series!

  9. We’re currently leasing our home so not much work can be done to set up for large scale gardening. However we are using this season of our lives to build skill sets before we buy our next rural property. We’ve had a very heavy focus on learning to repair cars and trucks, and YouTube has been extremely helpful plus helps me put together lists of parts that should be stockpiled. We also continue to make investments in quality tools which allow us to fix nearly anything, not just vehicles. I’m currently identifying videos to download that show specific repair procedures for vehicles, appliances and power tools that we already own. So while we can’t manage our own land like we used to (had to move for job purposes) we are still building proficiency and expertise that will be useful in the future and saves us a ton of money now. I cannot remember the last time I sat down to watch a full length movie. In addition my two oldest sons have decided to attend trade schools rather than a traditional college or university. We are very proud of them as their chosen courses of study and hands on training will give them a solid career and fall back skill sets should they ever need them.

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