Editors’ Prepping Progress

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 your e-mailed letters. We post many of those –or excerpts thereof — in this column, in the Odds ‘n Sods Column, and in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

This past week was dominated by hay hauling. Picking up traditional bales of grass hay directly in the field, we averaged 3 tons per day. That may not sound like much, but we had a long distance to traverse, each day.  We started out with 4 tons in the barn left over from last year.  So we’ll need to gather 12 to 14 more tons this month, to ready ourselves for winter.  Fun in the sun, and some great exercise…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

HI Ya’all!  This week has been an incredibly busy week.  The temperatures have been in the low nineties.

We received a call back from the folks who had said they didn’t have hay for us that said someone had canceled and that we could come and collect hay after all. This was coming from part of the field that we had collected from last year, and from a new field.  He may not have all the hay that we want though, this year…  He is rationing it out among some of his customers.  He generally sells an average of about 500 tons a year. This year the demand is higher with the yield much lower, because of the drought and fewer fields to harvest from…  We are very thankful and appreciative that they called us back.

This week, we’ve been so busy.

In the beginning of the week, I was often quite sad and mourning our W. kitty that passed last week, whenever I thought about him. He was born here on the ranch. He was eleven years old. He and his half sister, S. and their siblings were such cute kittens and helped make the transition for the girls much easier when we moved out here.  He was the friendliest cat. He greeted everyone that came to the ranch. He was huge, reached eighteen pounds at one point, and had fluffy thick fur.  Jim used to refer to him as “The BFC”  “The Big Fat Cat.”  He supervised everything we did and was great company for walk around the ranch.  We shared many adventures together over the years. We miss him very much!

Jim and I finally, mid-week, dehorned the two calves.  The first-born calf’s horns had nearly broken through the skin, by the time we got to him, at the age of fifteen days.  We shall see if we succeeded in dehorning him  in the days to come…

The two calves need to be castrated at the beginning of next week.

We finally, got Miss Eloise’s chicken tractor constructed and her birds moved to it at the beginning of the week.  They are very happy birds.

In the main garden, I planted in a bed for the fall harvest, carrots, turnips, lettuces, and one last bussing tray worth of sprouted potatoes from last year’s garden that I found in our root cellar closet this past week, oops!

Our raspberries are even more abundant than last year.  I ate the first few ripe berries at the end of the week.  Next week there ought to be a lot of ripe ones.

I dehydrated mint, kale, lambsquarters, and clover flowers.

I harvested our first Zuchs.

I have been spending a lot of time watering the gardens and trees in the orchard by moving sprinklers around, hand watering with buckets the large planters, and watering the greenhouse beds.

I finished weeding the very large potato patch.

I reorganized, cleaned off the lids, and refilled the spice jars this week.

We all have been swimming daily, at our very local swimming hole to cool off.  Additionally, I  have been working out with the kickboard and treading water/running in the water, specifically, to build muscles.  Swimming, by far, is my most favorite mode of exercise, but obviously because our northern location, is limited to a very short window of time during the summer when the outside air and water temperatures are optimally warm.  😉 To me, swimming is what makes a summer, summer!  It’s wonderful!

I went bike riding several times.

Somehow, recently, this channel showed up in my YouTube feed: “Country Life Vlog” out of Azerbaijan, Kand Hyati.  I am enjoying watching this couple do their gardening, harvesting, preserving, and cooking over various types of fires.  I am a little bit envious of their incredible abundance of fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables that they grow.  Jim watched a few episodes with me, and just said, “It helps that they live in a region that has been inhabited and farmed for more than a thousand years.”  Yeah, unlike our ranch that until us was never been farmed before…  I have my work cut out for me.

They have renewed my desire for a simple outdoor kitchen.  A project that Jim and I have discussed doing in the past, but so many other things have demanded our attention over the years. Therefore this week, Jim and I have been working on setting up a small area near the house in our meadow.  Thusfar we have built a table from a cedar stump and a beautiful multi-wood plank that Jim had hanging around the ranch.  I have set up a cinderblock fireplace. We also bought a short round barbecue to cook over small fires.  I am thinking and planning on possibly building our own mud brick oven. We’ll see…  It seems that sometimes I mention things that I am interested in doing but don’t always complete the project. Life just gets so busy, sometimes.  Also, I have finally set up a clothesline and a simple dishwashing station:  a plank with two dish pans and a hose set up as a faucet.

You must listen to Awake With JP, “When the Biden Administration Knocks on Your Door”.

You folks must listen to Alison Leal: “Tribulation flunkies and You”

I am listening to the book of John once again. I read Psalms 60 and 61 in Hebrew. Getting up so early in the morning to get hay, kinda interrupted my studies this week.  I should get back on it this coming week.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

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As always,  please share and send e-mails of your own successes and hard-earned wisdom and we will post them in the “Snippets” column this coming week.  We want to hear from you.