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 are now bringing in the last of our outdoor fall harvest, here at the Rawles Ranch. The outdoor gardens are nearly done, but the greenhouse ifs producing in abundance. It is still producing lots of greens and tomatoes.

The sporadic late summer rains have prompted me to one of my annual chores: Draining, rolling up, and storing nearly all of our garden hoses and pasture irrigating hoses. The only one that will be left in operation part time is the one inside our main greenhouse. Meanwhile, the short hoses for our stock tanks and our poultry house can be left in place. But after mid-October year we have to start draining them after each use, to keep them from freezing.

Our cows are now nosing longingly through the fence at the hay in the barn. But we won’t start breaking out bales for them as long as there still grass still standing in two of their pastures. That would just be throwing money away.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

This week was cool and rainy for the first part of the week and then the sun came out and we had some gorgeous days interspersed with showers.  This week was mostly all about school for me with a couple of afternoons and evenings of working out in the gardens.  I pruned the last bed of the spent black raspberry canes. These were my late-ripeners.   Now I need to prune the red raspberries. Last week, I harvested the last handful of red raspberries. If the frosts hold off there is a set of canes that could perhaps give me a small harvest of late summer raspberries.  We’ll see if they make it.  My fall gold raspberries are coming on quite strong and are so sweet.  I’m really enjoying them and am glad I planted them.  I harvested another two gallons of broccoli and zucchini and froze them.

The young‘uns and I traveled in August to visit relatives, Jim held down the ranch and did many of my chores in addition to his own work.  What a wonderful husband, God has given me.  However some of the beans were not harvested in a timely manner, so I’ve let the beans grow to full maturity.  This week I pulled all of the bean plants and stacked them in a warm dry place to dry them out.  Once they are dried, I will winnow them and collect the seeds for next year’s gardens and for soup beans for this coming winter. I harvested the last of my white potatoes.  I still have to finish harvesting the rest of my red and purple potatoes, dried corn on the stalk, squashes, and cranberry beans. That will be this coming week. Also I need to harvest and dry mint and celery.  I like to both freeze and dry celery. My tomatoes out under the hoops are slowly ripening.  There are not enough of them ripe at one time, yet, to can. We keep eating them!

There is something that I’ve been thinking about: Each year, I have so many volunteers of potatoes, tomatoes, kale and lettuces, that I’m thinking about planting these this fall deep into the soil and letting them over winter already planted in the garden and see how they fare, come next spring?  The volunteer potatoes are always the first to appear in the garden in the spring which makes them ready to be dug a few weeks before the regular planted potatoes.  The volunteer kale, likewise, is always coming up earlier than the others.  So I’m going to give this a try.   It will save me some time come spring.  I also read that with two year old carrots that have gone to seed, one can take the ripe flower heads and rub the flowers to scatter the seeds and they, too, can over winter in the soil and will sprout come spring.  I’ll also give that a try, too.  I need to plant garlic skapes and cloves and walking onions, too, this fall.

Yesterday, Friday afternoon, the kids were finishing up essays and didn’t need my help. So by myself, I spent almost three hours cleaning out the chicken coop and scrubbing the tops of their grain bucket lids and food and water containers, etc.  It was a big job this time, but my birdies are all clean and happy, now! Yay, I felt bad for them, their home had been a tad bit neglected this past month.  Now with them all cleaned out, I finally feel like I may have our life back under control again since returning from our trip–and having quite a number of guests since returning.  Now, I’m getting the homeschooling organized and under control, and trying to get the garden produce all harvested and preserved . Whew, this past month has been quite the ride!  I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the summer garden harvested, so that I can then plant the overwintering veggies and then settle in to a quiet winter of just homeschooling, helping Jim, keeping house and all critters and people well fed.  I hope?  🙂

May you all have a very blessed and productive week. – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


This week a portion of the Latimer clan will be departing and setting up camp with some of their bug-out gear in a practice scenario that will continue over the next few weeks. Before heading out, there is much to be done to get the animals and garden situated and those left behind filled in with care instructions.

o o o

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


  1. Work bench and shelves in the New Pole barn workshop is done. It is an “L” shape. Most of the Peg board is installed above it. Started to hang stuff on the finished part. Since this workshop pegboard is much larger than then the old one I had I am able to better organize my stuff. For example in the old workshop I had all my hacksaw blades on one hook. Now I have them seperated by number of teeth per inch. He “Great RE-ORGANIZATION” continues. Today I will be organizes the stuff in the loft above the workshop. I have several plastic shelving unit that no long had a purpose so those will be used in the loft. Will be hanging my “Come and Take it” flag today as well. Got that on a trip to San Antonio TX awhile back. Will be moving more stuff from the old workshop to new one as well today. The only things that will remain in the old workshop are things that can’t freeze.

    The BOL home addition saw some good progress this week as the interior wall were put up and new electric was run. I think the addition will serve the wife an I very well in our retirement as we considered our aging in the project. For example we have a large shower with built in bench seat and grab handles installed. We have also integrated a first floor laundry into the addition.

    Picked up new rechargable Batteries for one of my flashlights and also picked up a new 350 lumen flashlight that was on clearance at Best Buy.

  2. We’ve been putting tomatoes into totes in the freezer as they ripen. When we get enough to do a canning session of tomato sauce we run the tomatoes under warm water which makes the skin slip right off. Just have to let them soften enough to core and squeeze out the seeds and continue making sauce, then can. Sooooo much easier than the boiling water/ice water method and you can save them up til you get time to can.

  3. Mybfirst post in this area. I usually enjoy reading other’s progress, and felt it was time I started contributing as well. Most of last week was spent on final preparations for Florence. We came through fairly unscathed, although I lost a couple pounds of persimmons. I also finished my jelly making for the season… muscadine and scuppernong…canned the last of my tomatoes, and also canned some beef stock. This week, I’ll continue processing my remaining persimmons as they ripen, and we’ll be picking up half a cow, which will handle our beef needs through the spring.

  4. New school year = totally tired

    We have loaned our truck out and have quite a bit waiting on its return. I’m still cutting brush and stacking what wood is cut. Working on the small stuff.

    Enjoy the fruits of the season and making some new plans. Looks like we will get some more land from my parents afterall. That means putting in a garden and moving the berry bushes. I think fruit trees this spring, too.

    I’ve sorted through so much in the past 3 months. I just cannot believe we had accumulated so much; however, I am thankful to be able to outfit our daughter as she moves into her own place (we will not discuss where – let’s just say that I’m going to need to trust in God’s protection mightily!) as well as our cabin for our son’s college years. I’ve been planning for such a time as this for years.

    I keep reminding myself of the ant and the grasshopper.

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