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 were quite busy at the ranch this week. While Lily was busy in the gardens, I did some more firewood cutting, here at the ranch. Most of what I cut was deadfallen Western Larch–the tree that most folks around here call Tamarack. The majority of those trees were small enough that each of the larger rounds will only have to be split in half–one stroke of the splitting maul, if done properly–to fit in our wood heating stove. And the rounds cut out of the upper portions of those trees can be burned as-is, as full rounds. That makes for easy hauling and easy stacking. No muss and no fuss.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week we had a fairly dramatic thunderstorm roll though. There was a lot of lightening and some incredibly loud earth shaking thunder. It was quite exciting to watch and experience!
This week, I weed whacked the orchard. I re-rototilled and then planted the Annex garden with: red, purple, Kennebec and red and white french fingerling potatoes, Alaskan corn, Hubbard, acorn, buttercup, pumpkin squashes.
In the main garden, I re-rototilled and planted tomatoes that had been started from seed in the greenhouse. This year I opted for a full covering of water-permeable black underlayment cloth, in place of mulch or plastic. With a small hole cut for each plant, hopefully that will control the weeds and add soil warmth for a longer growth season. In addition to the black underlayment, I am also enclosing all tomatoes under plastic hoops, this summer. I’m really hoping for a decent tomato harvest this fall with theses warmth-increasing measures. Our summer nights are typically in the high 40’s to low 50’s which are not the most optimal temperatures for ripening fruit, even though I purchase the shorter cooler season tomato varieties: such as Siberian and Black Krim. I also plan to put sweet potatoes under hoops this year. I also planted two rows of mystery Cruciferous seeds that I had in unmarked plastic baggies. We’ll find out soon enough what they are.
We went to Costco for a stock up trip and bought mixed nuts, dry roasted peanuts, pistachios (my all time favorite tree nut), almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, other dried fruit such as mango, figs and dates. I bought mixed fresh peppers, strawberries, raspberries and asparagus to freeze. My asparagus beds are finally looking as though I have found success with them and could begin harvesting next spring. I expect to have a very good crop of strawberries this year. I had a great setback last year when the cows broke into the garden in the spring and ate many strawberry leaves, setting back our strawberry harvest. Fences have been very reinforced for this year and all looks good. We also bought 100 pounds of Jasmine rice and some spices. We have many pounds of stored generic rice, but this is a specialty rice that I buy which we enjoy even more than the stored rice. So while it is still available we buy what we like to eat.
This coming week, we plan to get the rest of the garden planted.
May you all have a safe and productive week.
Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
The Latimer Homestead is continuing our garden planting. This week we put in more vegetable seeds. We are pleasantly surprised with the results of the plastic mulch. Seeds are germinating much faster, weeds are better managed or eliminated altogether in most areas, water is directed where it belongs, and transplants seem more successful immediately. Among the vegetables planted this week, we put in our tomato transplants that we grew in large pots after crushing tomatoes last year. Usually, we suffer significant losses as we transplant very young plants, but that hasn’t been the case this year. Our red tomato plastic mulch around the tomatoes seems to be encouraging growth and stability, even in our tender, young transplants. In the coming week, we still have melons and peppers to plant.
Also, this week, we were able to clean the garage out so we can drape plastic and make a temporary paint booth. Hopefully, that means that Mrs Latimer gets her cabinet doors back in the kitchen this coming week and that project is finally wrapped up.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.