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,
This week was dominated by gardening tasks, horse work, and looking after our rapidly-growing chicks.

Lily and our kids had a bit of a rodeo, getting ready for our local farrier’s regular hoof trimming visit. But it went well.

I did some organizing in JASBORR, and the whole family did a seasonal re-organization of our bug-out bags.

We also did a repair on our main garden fence. (Even cedar posts rot out, eventually!)

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Earlier this week I moved all of the seedlings out of our indoor greenhouse and into our large garden greenhouse. I’ve been out there doing the watering and picking spinach and kale.  After Jim took down and stowed our pair of LED grow lights, this freed up our guest bedroom. Now we’ll be ready for summer guests.

I planted three rows of my Broccoli seedlings, but haven’t done much else in the garden, yet. There is supposedly, another cold spell coming our way around the 14th of May.

Chicks were integrated in with the adult flock this week.  I took them out of the shallow water tank, put fresh straw on the floor of the coop and readjusted the heat lamp so they still had access to it when needed, and did a walk about of the chicken run to make sure no four-legged beasties could enter, and no chicky could wander out.  I keep my chickens and Turkeys together.  We’ve never had a disease problem.  I think that this is because we’re so isolated.

Yesterday I did some more horse brushing. Our hairy monster gave me another box’s worth.  I think the amount of hair is a major indication, with this horse in particular, how hard of a winter we’ve had.  I also doctored another one of our horses with a sore fetlock joint or tendon. I rubbed it down with DMSO, gave it a wrapping of kitchen cling plastic, and then covered that with some veterinary stretch wrap. We’ve been giving it two Bute pills twice a day with a large helping of COB as an acid buffer, to bring down the swelling and pain.  We have corralled it with a buddy to keep it’s movements to a minimum.  We’re not too sure how the injury occurred and are hoping for a quick recovery.

I continue to clean up the manure droppings around the property and bring them to a central manure pile for long term composting.

Please continue to post comments about your own preps. We enjoy hearing what you all are doing.

Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


The Latimer Homestead has been busy planting whenever the winds and weather allowed this past week. We’ve put in more plastic mulch and seeds and seedlings this week and we’re seeing some more crops germinate and come up. Of course, with all of the gardening comes weeding and watering work too. We are watching the lettuce, radishes, potatoes, brussel sprouts, beans, nasturtium, borage, chamomile, dill, and even some melons come up. In fact, we’re seeing the first of our seeds planted in the plastic mulch come up and through the mulch this past week. We still have a significant amount to plant next week. Our tomato seeds have taken a long time to germinate in pots and grow into strong, sturdy plants for transplanting this year, but we will be patient. We’ve ordered more onion sets that we hope will arrive this week, as some of those we put out earlier were small and weak and didn’t survive, and we have determined we have room for more than we originally ordered also. So, this week we’ll be planting carrots, several more varieties of beans, more corn, and also some other melons and squash, and hopefully more onions too. We’re planning to put fennel on the back side of the chicken coop (where the chickens don’t have easy access). We hear that it is a good idea to “plant fennel near the kennel” to keep fleas and other pests away, so why not also apply this to the chicken coop as well? Any scraps from the fennel grown will be good nutrition for our feathered girls.

The plastic mulch is a new addition this year in an attempt to combat the unwanted weeds that invade every year. The hope is that it will ease the chores of caring for the garden through the growing season. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

I was also able to have the sutures removed from my arm this week, but the wound is still tender and required Steri-Strips to keep it from separating again. As the wound seals up, the strips become less necessary and now only two strips are required on one section of the wound. I expect by next week, I’ll be back to about 90% of full function.

o o o

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


  1. My grape cuttings are showing the first signs of forming roots after 3 weeks in water on our sunny window sill. I used garden safe TakeRoot rooting hormone from Walmart-@ 5 bucks for volume of 2/3 cup in the container.

    I’ve started grapes without the Indole-3-butyric acid before, but found certain varieties made roots easily and others did not. If these are successful, I’ll be up to a total of 8 varieties now. When the roots are a few inches long, transplanting will be pretty successful.

    Grape cuttings can be started directly in the garden, but I really enjoy having some on our window sill, and we now live in a northern coastal climate with temperatures still getting into the 40’s at night. Pollinators are just starting to get active.

    Hundreds of homesteaders in our area have plastic-over-frame greenhouses, and just yesterday we saw one with the sides rolled up and fully bushed out raspberry plants 5 feet high. Raspberry plants outside of structures are about a month behind them. if you have everbearing raspberries like our favorite Caroline variety, it means you could get 2-3 times the production from greenhouse-reared plants.

    I just read the new prepper novel, A Great State- The Divide, by Shelby Gallagher, and am reading a book by a member of the Black Robe Regiment titled Hijacking the Historic Jesus, by Dr Phil Fernandes and Kyle Larson. Also reading God’s Mighty Warriors in the Last Days by Dr. Don Bell (MAJ, USMC, Ret.).

    Just got my wife the new telescoping flagpole she’s been wanting.

    We leave an evergreen wreath on the wall be our door. Last month a Junco nested on it. Wife banned use of that entry. Now we have four baby Juncos peeping just 2 feet from our observation window.

    And I am reading the depressing Lucifer’s Hammer book. Glad I waited for a sunny season to do so. It’s so real and so depressing that I have been visiting two gun shops for feel-good purchases. So added two estate-sold .22 rifles to the stockpile from one shop for a total of $175- a Speedmaster 522 and a High Standard with scope, and a bag of Black Rifle Coffee from the other shop.

    God Bless you all.

    1. WF,
      Thanks for the reminder. “Lucifer’s Hammer” is a great sci-fi classic. I need to get another copy for my library.

  2. Got peas, kale and lettuce planted out here in the People’s republic of Cambridge. Also dug up blueberry bushes to make room for the coop, run and two chickens which are coming today from Rent the Chicken (we need to learn how to do this without a big time investment). Blueberries will go to our new house in redoubt northeast. Second coop and run will be there and chickens will go back and forth with us.
    Planted peas and set out kale and lettuce. Potted up the tomatoes and marigolds.
    Sawed more bed slats, got box springs and mattresses delivered, bought some mattress pads. We are mostly set up for furniture now.
    Stacked more wood.


  4. There are posts in the ground at ranches Around here that have been here for at least 40 years. I understand they were soaked in motor oil first as a preservative. It might save you future work.

    1. Not sure which is more available in this day and age, might want to look for creosote to soak those future fence posts.

  5. Hit a local plant sale for grape vines and herbs, also some new potting soil. Will be tilling garden plot this week. Asparagus and strawberries are already bearing. We are buying several of anything we use when it’s on sale. It is astonishing how much you can save on one trip to the store. Our goal is 30% so it’s become like a favorite game. Scouring thrift shops for extas like pants, shirts etc., is also constant. Lol, I only wear designer clothes. At that price they could be worn out and thrown away. Would like 6 pairs of practical shoes for each of us. Learning more and more about essential oils. No access to medical care is quite sobering.
    Prayers for all daily.

  6. Rototilled garden,tested soil and added fertilizer. Will test seeds I grew last year. Also did a little bargain shopping(cheap but quality motor oil)

  7. Not much happening here this past week as we are attending our daughter’s graduation. 1645 young men and women are graduating from a Christian University in (mostly) useful disciplines. Doing our part to help our country!

    Glad to see the weather back to some semblance of normal. Lots of work ahead.

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