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 week I’ve been very busy, catching up on projects here at the Rawles Ranch. In addition to unpacking and organizing,  I worked on our new (larger) hen house. I also dropped off a load of furniture and a dozen chickens that were our gifts to a young family that lives nearby.  Lily and I shoveled up a couple of tons of bull manure. (The real kind, versus the virtual/rhetorical kind from Washington, DC.) This took more than a half-dozen trips with our electric ATV and its small dump trailer.  We moved that manure to fertilize the right side of the Annex garden.  Next up will be wiring our replacement henhouse with lights, 117 VAC outlets, and a fan.

I’ve also started boxing orders for Elk Creek Company, since our month-long sale is underway. This year we are calling it the George Patton’s Birthday Sale. It runs from November 11th to December 11th, 2021.

Now, over to Lily, for her details…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers:
This week has been mostly rainy with some snow showers and a bit of snow accumulation that melted quickly with the few hours of sunshine here and there.

With the manure hauling, we also put a lot of it around our fruit trees.  We still have some fruit trees that need manure around them and much more of the Annex garden need manure.

Yeah, we have a new chicken coop.  It’s very nice and our birds seem to like their new digs.  I am also glad and relieved to have given away a dozen laying hens and a few roosters to lessen our egg glut and population pressure from too many birds.  We now have a very manageable chicken flock.

A Chicken story

The day we received the new hen house, I transferred the birds to it. The next day as I was transferring the grain barrels to the new hen house, a group of about seven birds escaped.  “Okay, fine. You birds can have a bit of outdoor time today, and I will catch you in the chicken shed this evening and transfer you back to the new Henhouse.”  Come evening, I went out when it was nearly dark.  Six of the chickens were huddled together outside the Chicken shed, while, one of the roosters from that Five-O group had roosted up on the bar gate of the barn. I went over the chicken shed to let the chickens into the shed. I then went to feed the cows and horses with the intention of getting the rooster later. I entered the barn. Just by me entering the barn, upset the rooster. He flew to the ground and ran around the barnyard like a maniac not knowing where to go.  I ignored him and fed the cows and horses.

As I came out of the barn, I noticed the rooster was near the Henhouse. He could hear the other birds in the hen house. I watched him.  He went closer up to the door of the Henhouse.  I decided to see if I could get him to go into the new hen house.  I walked a wide loop around him to the hen house and opened the door and left it ajar, then I walked wide around to behind him and stepped towards him in the direction of the hen house. He took a few cautious steps towards the open door.  I stopped and waited and he went around to the open door and jumped up into the Henhouse.  Wow!  I laughed. He is a smart bird!  I am very impressed with him. After only one night in the new henhouse and he already knows that it is home. He is a survivor! He is a keeper bird.  I want offspring from that boy next summer. The other birds are not so bright.  They still think the old, small henhouse shed is home.  It’s going to be a while before they know where their home is.

I took a three-mile walk along the nearby county road and picked up two garbage bags worth of trash…What’s wrong with people?  Haven’t they heard that it’s bad to pollute our environment by throwing their trash out of the vehicle’s window? There were lot’s of cans and glass bottles: beers, teas, sodas, chip bags, candy bar wrappers, blown up tire pieces, plastic parts from vehicles, paint chips from the road centerline, broken reflectors from the guard rails, and general trash that probably flew out of open pick-up beds.

I organized some cupboards, got caught up on laundry, cleaned the refrigerator, and the stove/oven.  We finally found a “home” for all of the stuff that Jim brought home from his mom’s. Hah! Our ranch house is stuffed to the gills with stuff  — mainly storage food. It is such a battle to keep it all organized and neat and looking “Minimal-istic” Hah!  Yeah, right! 😉

I planted six wide-mouth pint jars with cilantro and basil and placed them on our kitchen windowsill for herbs to eat later.  I already have parsley and others growing out in the greenhouse.

I soaked some raw sunflower seeds and almonds for twelve hours and now am in the process of dehydrating them in the dehydrator between the temperatures of 115 and 125, because it releases the Phytic acid. Too much of that can interfere with nutrient absorption.  I have never done this before. Therefore, I am taking the time to give it a try. I will let you know what I think next week. I’m also in the process of soaking broccoli seeds to sprout for microgreens.

We made a deposit to acquire a breed of sheep that, Lord Willing and weather permitting, we will pick up in a couple of weeks.

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.