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:
This week we had some guests visiting at the Rawles Ranch, so we didn’t get too much prepping work done. That is one of the perils of living in a scenic part of the American Redoubt: Receiving a lot of house guests every summer! But we do love entertaining guests and blessing them.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week, in addition to hosting our guests, (we took them canoeing on the river that flows through the Rawles Ranch, and hiking), I spent a lot of time pulling and weed whacking weeds in the Annex garden and in the orchard. I also harvested from our garden and froze: black raspberries, some red raspberries, brocolli, and the first of our zucchini squash from our main garden. The fall bed in the greenhouse has germinated many of its seeds that I planted a week and a half ago. It is looking very good. I’m sorry that I haven’t been giving too many details on are gardening, lately. We’ve just been very busy enjoying the summer and working on projects and hosting friends. I’ve received a few personal e-mails that I intend to answer very soon, concerning gardening. Maybe I’ll even write an article concerning those questions.
Many Blessings to All, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
The summer rains have started at the Latimer household and every evening the sky clouds up with rain falling most of the evening. While much of the western United States is still classified as being in a drought, the rain is refreshing. Sadly, that also means that the weeds are getting nourished as well. This week has been relegated to weeding and harvesting the garden. The weeding begins as soon as it is light enough to see and continues until it is just too hot to stay outside in the sun.
I’ve got my eye on a couple of pumpkins that are nearly ready to harvest. This will be the first time we’ve manage to have pumpkins in nearly 4 years. Our area has a blight of squash bugs and they can devastate any type of gourd plant overnight. They apparently get inside the stems and by the time you see the damage, it’s too late to save the plant. In the past, we managed them with chemicals, but since going organic, we have really struggled. It’s a daily chore to go out and inspect the plants for any bugs that have flown in and destroy them along with any eggs they have laid. You sure get to know your plants well when you are inspecting every leaf for bug eggs.
The zucchini are normally devastated by these bugs as well, but they are also doing well this year. Along with the daily harvest of corn, green beans, radishes, lettuce and cucumbers, the table is overflowing with fresh produce. The tomatoes are nearing perfection and the smell of tomato paste will soon be a daily occurrence. The potato plants are also starting to die back indicating that it is almost time to harvest them as well.
Overall, we have been very impressed with the performance of the plastic mulch we used this year. Weeding has been much easier and parts of the garden survived the flood that would not have been able to do so without that plastic holding the earth in place. I think we will use it again next year.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.