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17 Comments

  1. Our new pole barn is finally done. Well at least to the point that I can finish the rest of the work. Moved a ton of preps into the new barn with the son who also helped me put together 4 shelving units. Haven’t put anything on the shelves since most of the containers are covered in concrete dust from construction project. Will also be taking the time to re-container some of the items. Also will be cutting new plywood shelves to replace the particle board ones that need replaced. We also have sides and roof roughed in for the BOL addition. Based on what we moved this week and what we have left to move, he barn will provide lots of extra space for future preps, as planned. Most preps purchased this week are for the new pole barn including lots of hooks and storage hangers. Got the Furnace at the BOL serviced this week too. Will be picking up more form insulation board at Lowes this morning too for the interior room in the pole barn. If need be that room may be able to house a few friends who are welcome if they need to bug out.

  2. I’ve started retilling and reseeding the garden for the fall and winter crops, having previously purchased 50′ of low hoop house materials we can usually enjoy fresh cabbage and some lettuce through the winter. Our layer method potatoes are almost ready to harvest and the tomatoes have pretty much run their course, the wilt virus has savaged them pretty good by now.

    I need to get started on over-hauling my chicken tractors for the rotations around the garden in the winter months.

    We laid out the gravel base for the pre-assembled greenhouse, should have it delivered by next week, then I can have a place for all these potting materials out of the weather!

  3. Re: peaches,is there any way to determine if peaches are free stone(easy to pit) or cling (hard to pit) from outside(produce clerk/managers don’t even know their product anymore). Even bought one and pitted and ate it before buying more,seemed to be freestone but not ripe, let ripen and found to be almost impossible to pit(cling) without damage(uncanable). Anyone who can help either with a way to tell the difference or a method to pit cling type would be appreciated.

    1. Better to go to the source if you can (farmers’ markets or orchard). Freestones are generally not good for preserving slices, since they often need to be somewhat soft for optimum sweetness, thereby rendering the canned peach mushy. The canning companies contract with cling peach growers, whose peaches are firm when ripe. At home, there’s a device whereby you can pit and slice a peach (after removing skin), kind of like an apple or avocado slicer. Also, there’s a serrated spoon specifically made to reach inside a cling peach and cut around the pit. I found that quite hard: holding a slippery peach, and nearly drove a hole inside my palm. Good luck! I used white unsweetened grape juice this year instead of syrup.

  4. This week my son began clearing encroaching trees and shrubbery on the two acres surrounding the house. He cut everything within 25’ of the agra fencing except for trees over 25’ tall. I’m going to hire those out to professionals in Sept. Plus I need to have the 100 year old oaks near the house trimmed back. We are not in a fire zone but strong winds can bring down the huge branches so they need a trim.

    Summer garden just about gone now so planted a few fall veges for humans and animal consumption. Still canning tomatoes and peppers but have lots of items to freeze dry,

    My dwarf lionhead doe delivered 4 kits but as she is a first time mom she accidentally killed one of her babies when she was moving her nest box around. I decided to drill some holes in the box and tie it down so she couldn’t move it. Hopefully that will help.

    My ages old computer finally died on me and I was forced to get a new computer. While I have everything backed up I am having a hard time getting the new computer operating system to recognize the old system which my backups were saved on. It is being very selective on what it transfers. May have to pay and expert to transfer data; gerrrrrrrr.

  5. My harvest doesn’t seem so joyful. With the very odd spring heat and then very cold and rainy for weeks, my starts had to be augmented from other gardeners. So I got a late start, which is not great in such a short season location. Things looked great for awhile but I could really have used another month of heat. It has only been in the 70’s lately and with quite cold nights in the mid 40’s all growth has virtually stopped.

    All my pumpkins and hard squash will not make it unless we get back up into the 80s for a few weeks. Oh well, live and learn. I do use short season seed meant for the climate and latitude but just got off to a rocky start. So take heed, the weather doesn’t always do what you expect, so the more redundancy you have the better. My potato plants look great, green beans awesome, and I have a couple of fine looking spaghetti squash still on the vine, so it’s not a total loss. But all my hard winter squashes and beautiful Montana Jack pumpkins are just not going to make it. Nor tomatoes, the plants are five feet tall and loaded with hard green tomatoes.

    Last year it was hot into the end of September, if I recall….I picked and canned my Roma tomatoes on October 2. Feeling like a failed prepper, 🙁 all that work for nothing. Good thing I can still go to the supermarket. Next year, hoop houses going up for sure; obviously I need season extenders.

    I feel really sorry for people who think they are going to move to the redoubt when the balloon goes up and take out their three pounds of heirloom seed and feed themselves.

    1. Didi, when we lived at 5000ft in WY we always framed up big plastic sheets over our garden this time of year. Try it now, while there is daytime sun to be had.

        1. Many years would find us rushing out to cover our garden as the temp was falling below 32 and light snow coming down, with quilts and blankets to cover things. Because usually it warmed up after a light frost or two in September. A simple framework structure is pretty easy to put up with some lumber and fairly thick plastic sheeting.

          Best wishes and God Bless.

      1. Didi,
        You can pull those tomato plants before frost and hang them upside down in a sheltered, warmer place- many will slowly ripen. I have also had success wrapping each tomato in newsprint and waiting for them to ripen-sometimes it takes until Christmas. Some will rot and you will have to watch/sort them. Jackie Clay(Ask Jackie) does some cool things with green tomatoes as well. Her blog is another wonderful resource. I love her how to books!

        1. Fried green tomato and green tomato salsa are just the beginning. Had homegrown tomatoes up til december(picked green just before freeze,stored cool and dark then counter ripened). Warning never refrigerate tomatoes,they go soft,grainy.

    2. Don’t be so hard on yourself!! Besides the fact that most people just post what they do well, not all of us are hard-core SHTF preppers. Hubby and I are only just back to gardening this year after a break. And I never get everything harvested like I want. I shop every week at the local farmer’s market, and just keep a few weeks food and water around. I have a long wish list my hubby isn’t’ interest in, too. I’m canning more this year than recent ones: about 10 half and whole pints of cherry tomatoes (pickled); several quarts and more to come of marinara; 13 pints of salsa; a few bags of frozen zucchini; and just a few quarts of green beans because I am uncomfortable with using the pressure canner and have to wait for hubby who travels several days a week – many more will go to waste. So try to relax and enjoy taking care of yourself and just use common sense for the rest. 🙂

  6. This has been our first real summer living on our retreat, and so is our first harvest summer. I’ve been prepping for 10 years and what I’ve learned this summer about gardening and harvesting can primarily be summed up in one statement: “I know nothing.” I won’t expound in the mistakes here, bc I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of seasoned veterans, but just know that I learned that reading and studying simply does not replace trial and error. Mostly error. I am extremely humbled. That said, the Father did see fit to overlook my ignorance and bless us with some yield in spite out of ourselves, so we’ve been dutifully canning tomatoes, salsa, and pickles this week. Next year will be better. We all have to start somewhere right?

  7. School starts this week, so we have made the long drive back east. Looking at the cabin, we are happy at how it held up through a very wet and hot summer while we were enjoying the rocky mountains. We are clearing the jungle of weeds that have grown up, mowing the field, and successfully hooked up to the spring. Yeah for water.

    Ready for round two.

  8. The squash I planted to shade our west-facing kitchen from the late summer sun has performed quite well. Big leaves gather sun that would otherwise make the kitchen a sauna, and I get food from it. Looks like several 3-5 pound buttercup squash. Delicious. A good story for a winter repast.

    Carry on.

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