To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, 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 the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
We’ve had great weather for the past week. It is great seeing the transition from Mud Season. Our pastures are greening up. It is now joy to get out in the woods here at the ranch with my chainsaw, cutting up deadfall trees. I prefer larch and red fir, but when clearing deadfall, I of course can’t be choosy. So inevitably there are several other types of fir and some western red cedar mixed in. The cedar trunks make awesome fence posts, while their smaller diameter tops make great kindling, when I split them small.
My other tasks at the ranch this week included:
- Decanting some stored gasoline into smaller containers for our quads and rototiller.
- Mixing a fresh 2.5 gallon batch of 2-cycle gasoline for our chainsaw.
- Putting out some D-Con in the straw shed and under the house. (Both are places that the local wood rats can get to, but our barn cats can’t.)
- Organizing and coiling our assortment of AC power extension cords. (I use the contractor method.)
- Pulling the first of the garden hoses out of storage, to get ready for irrigating.
- Constructing a reinforced wire mesh lid for the chick enclosure. (To prevent the adult chickens from destroying the lid.) The new lid uses a stiff hog panel as backing for small mesh poultry wire.
This week I also took advantage of a jump in Bitcoin (to over $9,100 USD) to buy some more guns, stripped AR lowers, and gun parts. Many of the parts were sold to me by BOLD Arms–a small company in Arizona that gladly accepts direct crypto currency payments. In the past five months, I’ve liquidated 90% of my Bitcoin holdings. Half of that went to my kids and to church donations. For the rest of the liquidation, I waited for “up” days and then bought tangibles directly, rather than selling BTC through exchange services. FWIW, I’ll still hold on to “a bit of Bitcoin”, but I’ll sleep better knowing that I’m more firmly invested in tangibles. I should also mention that my kids subsequently chose to turn about half of the Bitcoin that I gifted them into silver. They made no mention of a desire to blow it on clothes or gadgets. That never even entered their minds. I marvel how practical homeschooled kids can be!
Avalanche Lily Reports:
I am so enjoying the warm sunny weather that has graced our region since last Wednesday. It has been glorious! I just love to get out and do my favorite kind of work: cleaning the yard/property and preparing our various garden beds/areas for the upcoming growing seasons.
In the main house garden, this week, I re-plowed the whole thing and planted Walla Walla, Red, and Yellow onions, carrots and beets.
I spent the rest of the week clearing out our orchard of rogue cottonwood saplings, along the fence-line, weedwhacking overgrown dead weeds from last fall’s growth and new grass that is already 5 inches high, and pruned some broken branches off of my apples trees, It was a rough winter on our forest and orchard this past year. There is much damage, almost everywhere we look. I also raked and will continue raking many of the areas along the orchard fence and the trees to clean it up.
We have a newly developed Annex garden that I’m seriously preparing for this year. It will be the garden for the large area crops such as wheat, corn, baking beans, squash/pumpkins, sunflowers and for the first time, this year, there, potatoes. This week I spread some mineral fertilizer in those beds. It contains: calcium, sulfur and gypsum to boost the nutritional content. I will also spread a thin layer of Magnesium salt, (I use Epsom salt) next week to boost the soil’s Magnesium content. Also we had large manure piles dropped there last fall that I took a pitchfork to and spread them out relatively evenly. Then I rototilled. This coming week, after the forecasted rain lets up, I will re-rototill the Annex garden and begin planting potatoes. I’ll see about planting other crops, depending on the potential longterm frost outlook. I’m a little bit worried about more frosts. We’ve had frosts every night this week.
Our latest batch of chicks have done quite well. They are gaining weight and thriving. Thus far, we’ve not lost any chicks save the two extras that they always throw into the shipment. They died on the way to our Post Office. We moved them out from the living room to the chicken coop this week. They are remaining in their tank for at least another two weeks before we’ll integrate them into our flock.
We had one chick that appeared to be sick and constipated, it’s vent was protruding and angry red in color and it was screaming, a lot. We made it drink Olive oil and helped to clear it’s vent, with a warm washcloth and gently squeezing the vent, manually. It kept screaming so we though there might be something else wrong with it. Jim was busy and I didn’t want to kill it. It’s not my job to take animal’s lives, not while I have my husband around! (Jim slaughters our poultry and does the basic gutting and skins them. Then I do the rest of the butchering in the kitchen away from the Scene of the Massacre.) But since he was indisposed, I put the chick out behind a shed in the nice and warm sunlight for a few hours, leaving it to it’s fate, letting nature take it’s course. I checked on it a couple of times throughout the day. Nothing ate it, so we retrieved it about six hours later. It was quiet and appeared happy. So we put it back in with his mates and it immediately ate and drank and we haven’t seen or heard any problems since from it. Thank God this had a happy ending for all of us.
I went through our camping gear this week to see what we have and what we need to gather together to be ready for any camping trips this summer.
I practiced some more fly casting this week to perfect my aim and ability, etc.
The kids are studying for some homeschool final exams.
Please continue to post comments about your own preps.They have been fascinating!
Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
Last week at the Latimer Homestead, we continued planting and caring for our animals with a visit with the vet. We got a good report from the vet that we are doing well and blood work came back negative for anything of concern. Shots were given, and the drama is over. I am recovering from my laceration. Sarah is cleaning and bandaging daily, and we expect suture removal next week to go smooth. I am at that stage of itching and very much look forward to having these stitches out and bandages off, though I will be cautious for awhile as it continues to heal. The rest of the family will continue planting.
Planting will likely go on for the next month as temperatures continue to rise and more plants can go into the ground. We also have a bit more pruning and clean up to do in a few areas on the property between our planting activities this week, and of course we will be busy managing water and weeding the rest of the growing season.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.