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:

My annual firewood cutting ritual is nearly complete. All of the wood is now stacked up near our woodshed. I still have some crosscutting to do, as well as some splitting. But the hard part of the job is over!

This week we also replaced our hot water heater.  I also did some work on building a new pasture cross-fence.

Now on to Lily’s part of the report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
This week the weather was a tad bit cooler, very refreshing with one brief rain shower to wash our land and give it a brief drink. We had a number of smoky days from the forest fires surrounding us, one of them within fifteen miles, the rest are further away in Canada and in other states to our west, south and east.

Yes, finally, after seven weeks of no hot water in the house, we have it.  Running hot water, what a concept!!!

BUSY!  Is the only word that describes this past week.

The girls and I are harvesting raspberries like crazy.  It literally takes me about three hours a day to go through the large patches that we have to stay on top of them.   We’re eating them, dehydrating them, freezing, jamming, canning and giving them away. And, as of Friday, the wasps and our “during the day free-ranging chickens” have found them. So now it’s a race to see who gets them first.

I harvested 38 cabbages.  Some I dehydrated, four quarts worth, and I made a gallon and a quarter of sauerkraut. I still have fifteen left to process. I do have another cabbage patch that are a few weeks younger that will be harvested later in the summer.

I weeded the harvested cabbage patch and rototilled it.   I will put compost in it, rototill it again and plant a fall crop in its place.

I harvested my garlic and onions that were growing in the greenhouse.  They were small.  For some reason, bulb-type plants just do not grow well in there…  onions, turnips, carrots, and beets. Well with the beets, they probably don’t produce bulbs because with them I am continually cutting their greens for salads and smoothies…   Maybe these types of plants need direct sunlight/ultraviolet rays or something else the sun gives off, because the onions outside are going gangbusters this year. They’re huge. They love the hot days and warmer nights we’ve been having.  Most of our summer nighttime temperatures have been in the fifties and sixties this year, versus the high forties and low fifties of the previous three years.

I transplanted back to the greenhouse twelve celery plants.  They were growing in the garden but were in a row next to the Delicata squash.  The squash was beginning to encroach on their mounded row. So I decided to move them back into the greenhouse.  I put them in the bed where the garlic and onions had been.

I had a very small strawberry harvest this year…  Maybe I didn’t get to watering the strawberries in time this year. I have four beds and only two of them produced.  The other two younger beds did not produce at all.  I will be digging out the few strawberry plants from those two unproductive beds and moving the plants to another area.  The two beds of strawberries that are doing well are my original beds and they are growing outside of wooden frames.  One of those beds,  I weed-whacked down the center of the patch, then rototilled it.  I heavily manured it and will be planting some of the strawberries from the other beds and will also be training the runners from the plants on either side of the rototilled section back into the rototilled section. Hopefully, that will strengthen the bed for next summer’s production.

Grrr!  A skunk has been rooting around my potato patch looking for giant grubs that are developing in the very fertile composted soil. As the skunk is rooting around, it is exposing my potatoes and dislodging some from their roots.  Therefore, daily, I am walking the rows collecting the dislodged ones and covering with the soil the exposed potatoes.  Despite the skunk activities, I am happy to report that we have a lot of large potatoes, already for this early in the season. Perhaps we’ll have a bumper crop. I have to say that I would love to kill the skunk, but that requires laying in wait for it and there are usually stinky repercussions for days from killing one near the house…No, thank you!

I cannot seem to get oregano to grow from seed.  I’ve been trying for several years.  Therefore a nearby friend invited me over to dig up some of hers that has grown outside of its designated plot.  I did so this week and transplanted it into my herb garden. Now to water it daily and to hope they take root.

I think the Borage is emerging from the soil in Miss Violet’s edible flower garden.  Some other flowers may be  there also, but it’s tough to tell them apart from the weeds at this early stage.

I mowed and weedwhacked the Main garden paths, I hadn’t done that for a few weeks.  The girls and I pulled weeds and I rototilled some rows between crops.

In the greenhouse, I tied up to the ceiling some very long cucumber vines. They are producing well.  The Honeydew melon vines are taking over the bed they were planted in.  We very well might get some fruit from them this year if the heat and warm nights return and continue in a few days. I hope…

I harvested some tart cherries from the orchard this week.  The drought appears to have affected them also this year, not as many.

Our matriarch cow gave birth to another bull calf at the first of the week. Jim and I, banded for castration the first two bull calves. We use an elastrator. It works well, and we’ve never had any complications. It’s very exciting to have three babies about the ranch.

That chicken predator struck, yet again, after shoring up the fence, Therefore we suspect it’s a weasel or a marten which is an animal small enough to get into the run.  They eat the chickens alive. :-0

We moved Miss Violet’s birds in with mine in the chicken tractor for the time being until we will be able to make her a secured chicken tractor with chicken wire surrounding it. Jim found a game trail camera advertised on sale at MidwayUSA, so he ordered two of them. We’ll be curious to see what is lurking around our chickens.

I washed our Great room’s Oriental wool rug out on the porch with a soft horse brush, Oxi-clean, and the hose. That was a big job.

Because of the cool weather and all of the extra work, I swam only once this week, but I did short bike rides around the ranch while using the bike as transportation from one place to another so I didn’t have to walk to do some chores, check in on the various sprinklers, check up on Jim while he was chainsawing and to visit a few neighbors to give them some produce.

Dear Readers, I have to announce that I have turned into my grandma.  My grandma used to get the local paper mostly just to read the Obituaries.  As an adult when I would go over to her home in the mornings for a visit, she’d tell me to get her the paper and bring it to her.  and she’d say, “I have to see who died.”   My grandma lived to be 94 years old and was a “Tough old bird”  as she would refer to herself.  I used to think she was so morbid. As a kid and a young adult it totally depressed me when they would talk about death and and who had died. Sadly almost daily someone she had once knew had passed.  She would tell me about them and how she knew them. My grandmother knew a lot of people.  They had had a furniture store and participated in a lot of social activities about town.

The reason why I am telling you this is that, yep, like my grandma, I am regularly checking in on my hometown’s newspaper and others around the northern Redoubt region weekly to see if I know anyone that has passed. In the process,  have been seeing how many “unexpected deaths” there were in the past two months in my New England state and the young ages. Just on Thursday I checked in with the Obits and I saw ten reports just on the first two pages, of people of the ages of 38, 41, 43, 48, 51, 52, 53, 54, early sixties, seventies, “dying suddenly” and “unexpectedly” or with “cardiac issues/complications”, “strokes”, etc.  THIS IS NOT NORMAL!  These people, though they are not saying it, I strongly suspect were vaccinated or have been closely associated with vaccinated people.

I was wondering if you — our readers — have been seeing a similar trend in your local papers? If you have, would you please let us know, shoot us an e-mail.  And we’ll report what you all are seeing in Snippets this coming week. Like Dr. Vernon Coleman, I believe this is a depopulation kill shot! And it’s a precursor to the Mark of the Beast, if not part and parcel of it.  Do not take it no matter what!  Your body, your choice. Prepare to live outside of the economic system. Food will be the Powers That Be’s weapon, to control you.  Grow or buy fresh food, can it, freeze it, dry it. Research your local edible wild plants so you know what you can eat outside.  Read the Word of God, and pray that you would escape all things.

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.