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 mostly devoted to insulating and re-organizing our shop.

I took three of our yearling steers to the butcher, on the hoof. Normally, I’d wait until they were two years old. But given the sky-high price of hay, it makes more sense to butcher them at 13 months. You may be asking: Why not wait and pasture them until Fall? My local butcher told me that he is now completely booked with appointments, until February. He probably won’t have another opening for processing any hooved livestock until after then!

I attended a gun show on Friday, looking for pre-1899 antique cartridge guns at affordable prices. I found a few to add to my inventory. The price of pre-1899 guns seems to be accelerating faster than the general rate of currency inflation. That means that they are a great hedge on inflation, but it certainly makes it tough for me to add any to my inventory.

Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather has been very hot in the mid nineties, once I saw the temp at 97  degrees Fahrenheit!  These are fairly normal temps here for a short heat wave in the summer.  Thankfully, we have cold-ish nights down into the fifties to cool down the house.  We open up all of the windows at night and then close them up about 8 am.  By 4 pm the house is super hot for a few hours until sundown.  Additionally, we have a wonderful swimming hole close by, to cool off in.

This week, in anticipation of the three steers going to the butcher, I had to clean out and defrost one of our freezers.  Most of the foods in that freezer was reallocated to our other three freezers.  Since we were overflowing the other freezers, I had to bring some of the food amounts under control. Therefore, I made twenty-eight pints of strawberry and raspberry jams. We ate some beef stew and some borsht soup that was frozen last winter.  And I gave to the chickens some frozen foods that we no longer wanted. My mother, who is visiting, and likes to bake, made blueberry and peach pies. I made peach ice cream with four pints of peach puree and a gallon bag of diced peaches.  I was informed that it was incredibly yummy.  I don’t eat dairy.

My mom has been enjoying using our Country Living grain grinder to grind wheat berries to make bread with. She makes beautiful loaves of bread. She is the bread making queen!

We continue to stock up. I recently bought dried mangoes, cranberries, pineapples, blueberries, cherries, peaches, chocolate nibs, chocolate powder, salmon packets, and some ground turkey and chicken.

This week I harvested about four pounds, so far, of volunteer fingerling potatoes and cooked some up for dinner. Oh, are they super yummy. We still have about ten pounds of Purple potatoes to eat and about twenty pounds of red potatoes from last year’s harvest.

I have been watering the annex garden and pulling weeds and also pulling weeds from the Asparagus bed up in the perennial bed.

The raspberries are beginning to come in now and I have been picking them, some.  We really don’t have the storage room for them in the freezer.  Therefore on Sunday, I will pick and plan to dehydrate most of them.

I picked and dehydrated a quart’s worth of mullein for future medicinal herb use.

I weed-whacked the Main garden, again.

E. our youngest heifer birthed her first calf on Friday afternoon, our first of the season, out in the meadows.  We expect three more in the coming weeks.  Interesting timing considering we just sent off three yearlings to the butcher, at mid-week.

As of writing this, I haven’t had a chance to get a really good look to see if it’s male or female.  I suspect it is a bull calf…I only was able to ascertain that it is up and nursing vigorously.

I am enjoying riding my mountain bike around the ranch on a regular basis, once again.

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.