To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, 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!
I’ve been very busy with my contracted writing project. But I did have some time to do a few projects here at the ranch. For example, I helped Lily in the main garden and orchard. She’ll let you know all of those gardening details. I also disassembled a disused chicken tractor, to save that lumber and hardware. Oh, and I bought a few more cattle panels, in town. Those seem to have umpteen uses.
I’ve just lined up one of my usual local hay suppliers. I’m scheduled to pick up six tons in the field, next week. We’ll see how that goes. Stay tuned.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week was a crazy week trying to get things done around the ranch, gardens and orchard.
The orchard was weed-whacked. I need to mow it, too, so the grass will be very short. We bought and planted three more fruit trees and a new set of grape vines (Last year, we tried to plant a vineyard up in the garden and it didn’t take. This year we bought larger potted grape vines and prepared a very nice arching arbor from hog panels for them in the orchard. We’ll see how they fare, there). Additionally we planted 12 Thornless Blackberries to get a blackberry patch under way. I trimmed suckers off of the apple, and plum trees.
In the garden, paths were mowed. I harvested 4 pounds of carrots which were part of the experiment plot, I planted last fall from carrot seeds I had harvested here on the ranch last summer. They did super well, with over-wintering and gave us an earlier harvest. I also harvested a large amount of turnip fronds with seeds pods from turnips also planted last fall. And I harvested seed fronds from kale and mizuna greens. The seeds fronds are drying out in large shallow bins in the greenhouse. Later, when they’re fully dry, I will thresh and winnow the seeds. I rototilled that section, where the carrots, Mizuna and turnips over-wintered, and will plant something in it, later. I also did a lot of weeding all over the garden, Misses Eloise and Violet helped me with this..
In the greenhouse, I pulled up the kale and spinach seed fronds and put them in bins to continue drying. I will be preparing to plant in that bed, too, soon, for a fall/winter crops.
I planted some yellow potatoes in three large planter pots. The potatoes had begun sprouting, so, I though, “Why not?” I can always cover them with plastic if we get some cold nights to prolong their season.
My “broccoli” failed this year. I think the seeds I bought, from an “new” company from a regional store were not what the package had said they were, seriously, and grew this really weird broccoli type species that had super tiny heads that bolted/went to flower super quickly. I think it’s Raab broccoli. I don’t like it. So, I tore out all of the “broccoli” and weeds and rototilled that section. Not sure what I will do with it, yet. I have only one true/proper broccoli growing in my garden, as a volunteer, and have bought the broccoli species from a trusted vendor, that I really wanted and will use to try for a fall crop, shortly. Sometimes, I just buy seeds at local stores, just because. This time it was a mistake.
I really want to harvest my own broccoli seeds, one of these years. I tried for it last summer, but none of those seeds took this year. I had planted them in a patch and none came up, so I replanted that patch with something else. Those seeds that I took from some of my broccoli that went to seed this last summer in their first growing season, were not viable, because the plant itself has to over winter, the cold does some magic to it, and then it needs to regrow and produce flowers and seeds in the second summer which makes the seeds viable. In other words, as I have read, broccoli plants that produce flowers and seeds in their first summer, the seeds are not viable. But I tried anyway, and found out that this is true. I had used seeds from flowers from a plant that hadn’t experienced the cold dormant stage of winter, therefore weren’t viable. Maybe next summer? Is there anyone out there in in our community that has saved broccoli seeds from their own plants? If so, then please tell us what method you use.
We harvested our first purple cabbage and along with some of the harvested carrots, and some raisins, made our first coleslaw of the year.
Last year I didn’t quite have enough Zucchini, imagine that!! So this year I planted a whole row of them. Well, now, I have a boatload of zucchini coming in. I love Zucchini! So I have begun dehydrating it for soups. I cut up six medium sized Zuchs, and dehydrated them and ended up with two thirds of a quart. I froze 2 gallons worth and still have 10 more Zuchs. sitting on my counter awaiting processing. I will continue alternating between dehydrating, freezing, eating them, and giving them away.
I harvested a large amount of green beans. I blanched and froze a gallons worth, but have a large stainless steel bowl full of them, still in the fridge awaiting to be frozen or canned. I will process them on Sunday.
Raspberries: They are going gang-busters for us this year. I have already picked two gallons between the reds, blacks and goldens, which we are freezing, and we’ve only just begun the season. Yeah! I have always wanted large patches of berries and finally this dream has come true!!
Our farrier is no longer available and there isn’t another one in our area at this time. So I have been studying a farrier textbook that Jim had acquired sometime in the past, and have been watching videos and ordering up a couple of farrier tools that we were lacking. I was very present and attentive each time our last farrier visited the ranch and worked on the horses, so I have a really good idea on his method of hoof trimming for our horses’ particular needs. So I will be giving that a try sometime in the very near future. More on that later.
Please warn your friends and family to begin stocking up on food, etc. The crop failures worldwide are mounting and foods will be becoming scarce and unavailable. I suspect that prices will be skyrocketing very soon. Famine is knocking at the door for all nations within the next two years! Please be discerning and wise. Take this warning to heart!
May you all have a very blessed and safe week.
– Avalanche Lily, Rawles
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.