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 we hope you had a wonderful celebration of Independence day.  We did some traveling to visit with friends in another state to celebrate Independence Day. We also took some other shorter road trips for shopping and other errands. This mostly kept us away from the ranch so we didn’t  accomplish much more than our regular chores.

We took delivery on several truckloads of 3/4″-minus gravel, to keep our driveway and parking area comfortably driveable.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Yes, this week, Sunday and Monday, I weed-whacked the garden paths, did more weeding in the main garden, and spent much time in the kitchen preparing food, reorganizing the dish cupboards, refilling spice jars, cleaning the refrigerator and such.  I also cleaned the chicken coop.  The rest of the week was spent traveling, visiting friends and celebrating our Independence. I hope we can keep it for many more years. Pray!

Many Blessings, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


We are late in getting the Preps of the Week column out this week due to some disastrous weather that the Latimer household experienced this week. The gardening and fencing projects were moving along as planned when the disaster struck. A freak weather cell moved through the area and dumped over two inches of rain in just a matter of about 30 minutes. The storm was extremely localized and the the area just couldn’t handle that amount of water. What used to be our garden became a raging torrential river with very little warning.

The river cut its path across a number of properties that have apparently never seen flooding like this. While the river raged for only about an hour, our garden was particularly vulnerable because of the soft earth of both it and the area where we have been working on the fence line. As a result, we may have lost a significant percentage of the garden. We are still in the process of digging the plant life out of the muck and mud and trying to salvage what we can. We originally thought that the whole garden was a loss and it was quite disheartening to see the entire garden under fast flowing water. All hands were mustered during the storm and while I worked the tractor and frontend loader to move dirt and gravel to protect and save what we could, everyone else wielded shovels like their life depended on it. That action may be what saved the rest of the garden.

So far, at this point, it looks like about 2/3 of the garden may be salvaged.

o o o

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


  1. Hugh, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your garden. That is a big setback.

    This week we had family visiting so we were limited to our regular chores.

    Comment: every week reading the accomplishments of the Rawles and Latimers reinforces the best survival plan of having someone living year-round at your retreat and maintaining in ‘working condition’.

  2. Our lessons probably do not apply more experienced farmer gardeners on the blog.
    We blinked and several large tomato branches were out of the cage. With the weight unsupported it just took a little wind to break them. Stakes and twine saved the day.
    Check those tomato cages!
    Plants in the green house require a lot of attention and water. We have found romaine lettuce to be a hardy and forgiving greenhouse lettuce. Swiss chard is also strong. Tender leaf lettuces have wilted and died. Beet greens are good in our salads too.
    Peppers of all kinds like the heat.
    Outside our snap peas are almost done. Time for beans.
    Things are going well. We are looking at purchasing a dehydrator and pressure canner before the fall. We are checking the sales for jars and lids.
    God’s Blessings to all.

    1. @Lee,
      Don’t know if you are looking for suggestions or not. Most people seem to tend towards the Excalibur food dehydrator. Our neighbor has one and I spent some time looking at it. It certainly does the job. Call me old fashioned, but I like metal guns and metal food prep gear. I ended up getting the all stainless steel Weston. I’ve been running it for about three years now and am very pleased with it.

  3. Enjoying our garden harvest. Cucumbers are tasty this year. Poblanos are flavorful and mild. lettuce finally shot craps and we’re waiting on a new planting to come up.

    Went fishing yesterday and got into some 2lb bullheads for the second time this year. Got into a bunch of bass as well, but we’re not allowed to keep them in this pond. ranged from 1-5lbs, must of hooked a couple dozen. hungry fellows….
    I don’t care what The weather service says about global warming, winter was COLD last year. Lost several mature fruit trees last year that I cut down into firewood last week.

    Continuing to reload ammo when there’s time. .45 colt, .44 and .38 special and .32-20. Need to get on .45 acp as I just shot up a bunch of it. Gotta keep those old 1911’s limbered up you know!

  4. Very hot weather, high humidity with scattered thunderstorms limited activity this past week. None the less we found things to do. We went though our city and BOL homes with “sticky notes” deciding what furniture to keep or get rid of. Our BOL home is less than half the size of our city home so this is a chore considering much of our furniture is antique and family heirlooms. Found out the neighbor at the BOL is keeping a milking cow (much to his dismay) and is producing butter. His wife is also making cheese. They sell much of it at a local Amish “store”. More like a farmer’s market than a store but they sell more than just food. Since our new barn was not completed as planned (anyone else have problems with builders?) a friend came out with his daughter to help me complete our shooting range by adding 4 additional railroad ties and a half a yard of sand to what I already had done. Later that week we took some time and went shooting as a family. I had my new Rockriver 20″ AR out and my 12 y.o. son wanted to shoot it. It was a little heavy for him but he did a great job for his first time shooting anything but his .22 rifle. I bought him a 16″ AR (Mforgery) several years ago so I guess he is ready for it. He was getting “unchallenged” with shooting his 22 rifle. My daughter who is a lefty is a great shot. Very challenging to help her since I’m right handed but at least over the years I have practiced shooting left handed. I did need to support the barrel for her but that was it. For a 10 y.o. She had an impressive group and several bullseyes. This did NOT make her brother happy.

    Will be starting to read the 2 bee keeping books that I picked up this spring.

    Getting ready for the addition to the BOL home to start. It will be an 12’x25′ addition. The primary space will be an addition to the master bedroom to include a walk in closet and master bath. Since this is our “retirement” home we are also adding things like an upstairs laundry area. My 78 y.o. Father just moved due to issues with stairs so we learned from that.

    The wife caught up with some old friends at a wedding of another friend and they all planned a girls re-reunion camping weekend. Her one friend’s brother and wife bought a nearby in Ohio and also operate a farmer’s market selling products they grow, raise and make. That is where they will be camping. Wife will be getting a tour of the place to pick the owner’s minds while there. We think raising goats will be the best option for our farm. I had goats before and I’m not too Keen on the idea since I fear for our apple trees!!! But I have a few years to get prepared for that and the trees will have a chance to grow. The wife (not ever having raised goats) is naïve to their sometimes troublesome behavior.

  5. In Western PA, we also received 2 inches of rain in about 45 minutes this week. However, our garden survived, as we now do major hilling/raised rows to plant the seedlings in (for the past three years now, after similar rain/flooding episodes). Also, the 4 week old pastured meat chicks were smart enough to move to the higher end of the pen, even though they were soaking wet from the wind blowing the rain inside. We thank God that the winds were not as severe as other storms, and that He gave a much-appreciated 5 minute reprieve of the rain for us to get the chicks moved to a better location. We also thank God that the power did not go out, although we were ready with an alternate power source to keep running the incubator full of chicken eggs!

  6. Great lesson on how important it is to have a large food storage even if you have a large garden. Weather can happen. And if the stores aren’t working you don’t want to starve because of it.

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