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:

On Tuesday, we wrapped up our annual hay hauling and stacking project — a total of 21.6 tons of grass hay. It feels good to have it all safely tucked in the barn. Now I can get back to my summer firewood cutting and other projects.

Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

We have guests this week. My parents are visiting with us after three long years of not seeing them face to face.  We’re having a wonderful time together.

My mom is very interested in our homesteading life, so I have been showing her some of the things that I do here around the ranch.  One of the things I showed her was how to thresh turnip seeds from their pods that regrew as volunteers in my Extension garden this spring.  I let them go to seed. I had harvested them a few weeks ago and dried them out in the greenhouse.  This week I cut all of the seed fronds, put them in a pillowcase and stomped them to thresh the seeds out of their pods.  Then I shook the seeds out from the pods and removed the stems and pods until I had mostly just the seeds left and put them in a jar.

The other thing we have been doing is washing our clothes in our off-grid James Washer out in the Main garden and hanging the wet clothes on laundry racks.  In some ways the James is much better at cleaning our clothes than our electric washer and dryer because I can use much more water and it is faster.  The sun also dries our clothes faster than the propane dryer.  Our washer and dryer are newer, bought in the past three years and I think they are very shoddily made.

I’ve been harvesting my strawberries and they are just about finished.  My Raspberries are slowly coming on.

From the greenhouse, I harvested oregano, parsley, anise, lemon mint and basil. I washed them and dehydrated them in our dehydrator and then put them in jars.  I foraged mint that I planted around the ranch and dehydrated that too at the end of the week.  It’s still in the dehydrator, as I’m writing this.  I need to go put it in a jar.

I weeded the Annex garden. As I weed and thin our beets, I have been collecting the greens and Lamb’s Quarters, washing them and putting them in bags to use in my smoothies.

I weedwhacked the Orchard.  I am weed whacking the orchard slowly because I like seeing what will grow naturally in there.  I like foraging in there for Plantain, Clover, Dandelions, Self-Heal, St. Johnswort, and so forth.

An Animal Story

H. our almost yearling pup loves to do chores with me.  Whenever I feed the steer and the bull, who are now residing in the bull pen, H. squeezes in under the low bar and barks at and tries to herd the bull and steers.  You all have heard about the antics of our bull, SH.  Well, he loves sparring with H.  He is so gentle with her.  She bites his poll and nose and ears and he just butts at her in the sweetest gentlest manner.  They love each other.  You know that if he wanted to he could severely hurt her, but he just plays with her. I love our animals!

Please continue to pray for Miss Eloise.

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.