Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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 the Odds ‘n Sods Column or in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

This week Lily and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by taking a camping trip on the upper Coeur D’Alene River. Since this was still pre-Memorial Day, we avoided both mosquitoes and the seasonal tourist crowd. We had a small campground all to ourselves.

I got some more firewood cut and hauled up to the ranch house. I also hauled some limbs and treetops to our slash piles. I usually burn those in October, each year.

Now, Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather was gorgeous, until the smoke from the fires in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada came down into our region this week.  It is seriously bad up there with over 90 fires burning and many of them uncontrolled.  Please pray for our Western Canadian readers.

Early Thursday morning, we were awakened by a huge lightning storm.  The lightning flashed every few seconds and was both sheet lightning and bolts that were mostly red and pink.  There were numerous thunderclaps that jolted us up from our bed.  I have not seen such a strong storm in quite a few years.  It poured rain very heavily.  I later looked at the main garden and I saw that it survived it.

Hey Ya’all, this week I learned something so cool while watching a video on Iranian Nomads’ way of life. I am learning a lot of practical skills by watching their various channels of living life mostly off-grid. Actually. this whole village has so many channels that it appears that YouTube is a major revenue stream for this village. 😉

See: The Chilteh Channel: Washing linen Cloth and the Chickens lay on the Eggs.

Go to minute-mark 17:30 to see how the nomads force a hen to brood eggs for hatching. They put the eggs in a small box, put the hen in on top of this large egg clutch, and put a lid over the box.  The eggs and the imposed darkness and tight quarters force the hen to do what is natural — to brood on the eggs.  So I am doing this as a test, with two hens. They settled right in, and did not eat the eggs.  I put small bowls at each hen’s head — one with food and the other with water and feed. I’m checking their feed and water at least twice a day. I noticed that they poop behind the eggs, so I check several times a day, scoop that up, remove the bit of soiled hay where the poop was, and let the hen get back to brooding.

How much easier this is to do in the summer when they naturally want to brood, than to incubate eggs with our machine?  This is a way to get chicks without electricity and without having a set-broody hen! I am so excited to see if this method will work for me.  I have them in the garage in a protected spot. I am picking hens that I want to keep long-term and can identify easily in the future. In twenty or so days I’ll let you know if we have had success or not.

We put the horses in the South Meadow on Friday.  While I was finishing planting blueberries in the orchard, I heard the horses give their warning whoosh sound. The south meadow is south of the orchard and I could see them grazing while I worked.  I looked to see where they were looking. They were looking across the river in the direction of our neighbor’s property.  I looked over and saw a cow moose at their salt lick.  Since it was a gorgeous calm day and our open meadows are seriously flooded, anywhere from three inches deep to about seven feet in our small pond.  The average depth is about twelve inches to eighteen inches deep and the water was super clear. I decided to go for a paddle.  Miss H. my pup and forever sidekick who is always super eager for any adventure with me immediately jumped into my canoe, before I even had it far enough out in the water to float.  I had to stand up, gondola style, and push the canoe forward with my paddle to get into floatable water.  I didn’t want to get my feet wet and muddy.

We paddled through the opening of the tube gate into the open meadows, paddled over our small pond and saw a few trout darting down the channel into the pond. Then we turned and paddled to the river in order to go around the fence that goes into the river to go into our southeast meadow. The water flowing in the river is flowing very fast and is about twenty feet deep this time of the year.  I quickly maneuvered the canoe around the fence and went back over the flooded bank into the meadow.  From the meadow, I had a clear view of one of our 6,000-plus-foot high peaks with still a fair amount of snow on it’s summit.  It was gorgeous against the clear blue skies and the green meadows and trees below it’s summit.

I looked back towards our neighbors’ place and saw that the moose had moved down to the river and was watching us. She was on the opposite side. I paddled across our meadow to the southwest at an angle somewhat toward her but moving away at the same time from her, so as not to spook her, so I was still able to watch her the whole time.  Then we stopped and studied her for a while.  I was always about seventy yards away from her.  The deep river was between us. She is a beauty!  She looked pregnant!!  So cool!  We do not see moose very often. So she was a real treat.

After we paddled back home, Jim who had went to investigate my blueberry plantings, saw me and came out of the orchard, and towards me, speaking quite loudly. H. barked at Jim. She always barks at him when he is approaching us.  I don’t know if she just doesn’t see so clearly, or what.  Jim usually has to speak to her for her to recognize him. The talking and barking spooked the moose and she began walking up through their yard.  When Jim reached me, I pointed towards where the moose was and he caught a glimpse of her as she went up by our neighbor’s driveway and into the forest.

In addition to planting the five blueberry bushes, I planted in the Main garden: tomato seedlings, pepper seedlings, all of the cauliflower, cabbage, celery, zucchini, more potatoes, borage, dill, and feverfew.  I have a lot more seedlings to plant in the coming two weeks.  I still have to plant the big extension gardens…

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.