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 just returned to the Rawles Ranch after a lengthy trip out-of-state to help an ailing relative. One of my projects while on this trip was helping to transport some newly-purchased e-bikes for my nieces and nephews. I’m also bringing one home for our use at the ranch. These new e-bikes are a far cry from my first mountain bike motor unit that I purchased from Omni Instruments (aka E.R.O.S.) back in 1996. (I alluded to that in my first novel, Patriots.) That unit worked on friction drive, with the motor’s wheel in contact with the tread of the rear tire, and a simplistic momentary on-off controller. These new e-bikes have the motor built into the rear hub, and controlled by sophisticated adaptive circuitry that cleverly assist your pedaling, to reach a desired speed. You can select four different “assist” levels, and there is also a handlebar twist-throttle override.
There is no point in mentioning the brand name of the bikes, since that company went out of business. Thankfully they used all “off the shelf ” components, so I’ll be able to maintain and repair them. In all, it is a solid design, but I have doubts about the weatherproofing, particularly for main control wring junction box at the bottom of the frame. So I think that I’ll relegate this bike to Fair Weather ONLY jaunts.
It felt very good to get home. I always pine for my wife and kids, whenever I travel. I’m now looking forward to burning my slash plies, and then deer and elk hunting season!
Avalanche Lily Reports:
Yes, my manly man is home safe! I missed him very much! We’re looking forward to catching up on those hugs we missed out on during the past few weeks.
Jim is super excited about that e-bike. As soon as he got home, today, Friday, and had the SUV only partially unloaded, he called me out to try out that bike. We’re talking within the half hour of him driving into the barnyard! It is a powerful bike. I was very impressed with it. This was only the second time I’ve ever ridden an e-bike. On it’s Level 2 of the assist, I reached 11 miles per hour with three pedal strokes! I zoomed down the meadow and zoomed up the driveway, chick chock. Whoa, Nellie! I can’t wait to try it out on the National Forest roads. In the evening, I sweet talked Jim into calling the man who owns them to claim his last available e-bike, so that we both can ride them together, in the future. Jim called and the man said Jim could have it and would save it for him. Therefore, when Jim goes back to help that relative in a few months, he will pick it up.
The snowstorm last week was terrible for folks east of us on the main ridge of the Rocky Mountains and into the plains. They received three to four feet of snow! The storm killed all of the agricultural crops still standing in the fields in southern Canada and into Montana, North Dakota and further south into Wyoming. This does not bode well with such a late start of planting this past spring. We are entering Global solar minimum and that will likely intensify over the next two years. It is the beginning of the time of food scarcity in the USA and worldwide.
We, here, did get snow showers and dustings of snow in our valley that accumulated on leaves and colder objects, but then melted very quickly. Our surrounding mountains however received about 12 inches of snow. The heavy frost didn’t come to us until Tuesday night. That killed the last of the sensitive plants in the garden. I harvested about half a bushel of yellow and fingerling potatoes from the large pots after the frost killed the plants. I think it was also the end for my raspberries. Another few days will tell me the true story. I did bring all of my pepper plants into the house. As I am writing this, I sent Jim to JASBORR to get our grow lights. We’ll set them up soon, in the spare bedroom.
I finally made relish for the first time in my life from the cucumbers that I harvested from the garden last week. I used my own onions and green peppers, but used store-bought sweet peppers. I made eight pints. It is quite good tasting. Miss Eloise mentioned that it wasn’t as sweet as the store bought, but was good none-the-less.
This week someone that we know who has an apple orchard and doesn’t have the time to pick, invited us to come and pick and take as much as we wanted. I was so excited. We picked over five hundred pounds of various kinds of apples over several days. We are having a family get together with our kids and grandkids at an apple pressing place this weekend and will be pressing half of the apples into cider. The rest will be for applesauce, apple butter, pie filling, apple leather, apple butter, apple cobbler, apple crisp, and fresh eating.
The girls and I went on a foraging hike last Sunday for rose hips and found an old old apple tree with awesome apples of which we gleaned and turned into seven quarts of applesauce. I also made a batch of applesauce from some of these other apples that we gleaned–eight quarts. The rose hips will be dehydrated, soon.
I dehydrated beet greens and kale greens and blended them in our blender until they became powder. This will be added to my smoothies this winter. I wish that I had been doing this sooner…
Tomatoes are on sheets on the guest bedroom floor slowly ripening. As they ripen, I am canning them. This week I canned three quarts of tomato sauce.
I am very busy saving seeds from much of our garden produce for next year. This week I saved seeds from, cherry, a small red, and sweet yellow tomatoes, an over-ripe rotting Zuch, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, carrots, red and yellow onions, and some over-ripe rotting spaghetti squash.
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.