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,
Our region had nearly 140% of normal snow pack, last winter. So now, with the warm spring weather, the Un-named River—that flows through the back end of our ranch–is at flood stage. It is now fully out of its banks and inundating our two back pastures. We now feel, ahem, “over-blessed” with water. The good news is that this regular flooding gives our property a high water table and hence sub-irrigated pastures. None of our structures have ever been threatened by the annual flooding up until this point. It is more of an inconvenience. The Inland Sea” certainly looks dramatic. It also fun to do some kayaking on it. The flooding has our cattle and horses more heavily grazing the other pastures, on higher ground. I’ll be happy when we can move them back onto the pastures nearest the river.
Our #2 Son was back at the ranch this week, organizing his gear to get ready for some more overseas travel. I won’t be surprised if he eventually goes Full Expat.
I did some organizing in JASBORR. Part of this was preliminary packing for a gun show trip at the end of this month. I only rarely operate tables at gun shows, so unlike a lot of other gun show folks, this means that I don’t keep plastic bins packed and ready to go at all times. I always agonize in deciding what to keep and what to sell. I almost always bring copies of my own books. Since I buy those by the case at the “author price” from my publishers, it make sense to sell those regardless of the ups and downs in the gun market. There is a fine line between being well-prepared and full-blown redundancy. I feel comfortable selling the downright redundant items. Since the Trump Era gun market is fairly weak, I’m not in a huge hurry to sell too much. As a “buy low, sell high” adherent, I have to be choosy and pick out gear that I bought in bulk, at bargain prices. Perhaps after the mid-term elections next fall, when The Buying Frenzy returns, I can pull out a wider selection of guns, ammo, magazine, and field gear to sell.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week we have had a lot of rain showers which has kept me inside watching world events unfolding. In between showers, I did plant all of my broccoli and cabbage seedlings in the main outside garden. Hopefully, we’ll be self-sufficient in broccoli, cabbage, spinach this coming year. We are self-sufficient with potatoes, onions and celery, beef, and some years we have also been with chicken, eggs, wax beans, and green beans. I hope to increase this list a lot in this coming year. As with many of you, I have been on a gardening learning curve for the past eight years and have slowly built up our soils and expanded our gardens.
I blanched and froze some spinach from the greenhouse. I also planted all of my butternut squash seedlings into huge pots in the greenhouse. I have to grow butternut in the greenhouse because I’ve never had success in the regular garden. Our summer nights are too cold for them. I reorganized one of our freezers and cut and froze some Rhubarb. Older daughter made a rhubarb-strawberry-apple crisp. It was very yummy.
This coming week, my goal is to weed whack the orchard, plant the potatoes in the Annex garden and plant the rest of the garden patches: corn, other squashes, beans, tomatoes, etc. The weather should be improving by Sunday.
Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
I love this time of year. Each year, we plant the seeds in the ground and then we anxiously await the first signs of life, hoping that the miracle of life will extend yet another year from the seeds that we so judiciously gathered last season. As the first signs of life begin to show with the young tender plants peeking up through the rich soil, you might think that that anxiety would lessen, but it doesn’t. Not till we know every plant that has germinated and taken it’s proper place in the garden. Lessons learned from each year are applied once again and the garden responds to having it’s needs tended to.
This year is no exception. New this time, is the plastic mulch. Combined with the drip irrigation, it seems to be working out well. The young plants have no extra effort finding the light through the slits we cut when they were planted, yet the weeds that normally attempt to choke out the vegetables are completely absent and the pill bugs that would normally congregate under the plastic have been held at bay by the natural deterrents we used when the plastic was laid down. There will still be weeding to be done as we did not cover the entire ground with the plastic, but only the planting rows. We will still have to weed between the rows, but that is easily accomplished at this stage with a hoe.
Also gone this year is the raised row that we normally planted the seeds in. These were a holdover from the days of flood watering the garden. When we switched to drip irrigation, for some reason, we just never got rid of them. They were a pain too. As the sun heated up the drip lines, they would expand and fall off the top of the row. Even when staked down, they ended up moving away from where they needed to be. As the plants got older, it didn’t really matter as their roots would follow to where the water was, but many a young plant was lost due to lack of accurate drips putting the water where it needed to be.
This year, without the raised rows, the water line stayed put and it would appear that the only plants we lost were some onions that were delivered in pretty sad shape by Gurney’s. They made good on the order though and the replacements arrived this week.
Also on the horizon is a return to working on the shop. The frantic pace of early gardening is starting to slow down so the focus can be moved back to the shop and the finishing touches on Mrs Latimer’s kitchen. She’ll be excited to have full use of her kitchen again.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.