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. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
This past week I bought just over a ton of hay, to hold us over, until the upcoming hay cutting season. Most of this year-old hay will be for a couple of corraled cows. One of them already has a calf at side, and the other is bagging up and due to have a calf soon. I used our trusty gooseneck 3-horse trailer to haul the hay.
I also got out in the woods and hauled limbs and some small deadfall tree tops so our slash piles. Our eldest daughter helped me with this project.
We received another larder restocking shipment. Upon seeing a lug box of oranges, I began quoting: “Who wants an Orange Whip? Orange Whip?, Orange Whip ?” And sure enough, I got out the coconut cream, began squeezing oranges, and broke out the blender. The key ingredient for that perfect taste? Two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
We also took a road trip, to pick up some antique gun inventory. (Elk Creek Company  will resume taking orders this coming Monday, May 4th.) This was the first time that we had driven more than 50 miles in nearly a month. I observed that most folks in The American Redoubt are considering the state-ordered lockdowns simply “advisory.” There were full parking lots at many stores. Lily can fill you in about ours stops at both an Amish surplus food store, and at a grocery store…
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This has been a beautiful sunny week. I’d like to report that I have seen my first Mountain Bluebirds, five pairs of them flying around our meadows, beautiful birds! Additionally, I’ve seen two Blue herons and have heard the vireos singing. On Tuesday, I was buzzed by a Rufus Hummingbird. Immediately, I went into the house and prepared a sugar syrup for their feeders and put them up.
Our meadows are now flooding from some recent downpours and higher temperatures beginning the melting of the snow pack on our high-peaked surrounding mountains. Therefore Miss Eloise and I retrieved my canoe from the barn and I went for my first paddle around the flooded meadow. I just love it! 😉
We received orders for apples, oranges, grapefruit, mangoes, limes, peanuts, walnuts, oats, and flour this week. Miss Violet and I spent some time scrubbing all of the fruit with hot soapy water.
During our road trip, we stopped at an Amish store and bought about six pounds of one-pound packaged beef and a very large roll of ground turkey, some boxes of cold breakfast cereal, and some deeply-discounted Larabars. At the grocery store, we bought about 12 pounds of ground sirloin beef, some apples, and five pounds of cheese.
I went to town at the end of the week to pick up our two orders of honey bees. I had them ride inside the car with me for the hour and a half ride back home. I wore my bee suit, just in case they decided to visit me at the front of our SUV. Just a few did, so I just opened the window and let them go. When we arrived home, I safely got them transitioned to the hive. I made them their sugar syrup for emergency food. I’m very happy to have bees again, hopefully this time I can keep them healthy and safe through the winter. We are planning on setting a tarp over a hog panel arch over their hives as an open tent, to keep the rain and snow off of the beehives. This coming week, I need to also set up wasp traps near their hives to keep wasps from invading their space. Several years ago, I lost one of my first hives to wasps.
“Yum”, says the wasps, “Sweet honey, and honey bees for protein, keeps wasps fat and happy all winter” ( But not the beekeeper.) 🙁
Maybe one of you seasoned beekeepers out there could write an article on how you care for your bees through the winter? Actually, I’m curious if any of you have a natural way to keep the mites off of them? I think I remember a bee brush? We have to search the JASBORR for some of our equipment. If I remember correctly, the the pesticide for bee mites was really dangerous for humans, so I never bought it.
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.