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:
Late summer is always a busy time for us here at the Rawles Ranch. We are getting our second load of hay this week. Stacking it is tiring, but it leaves us with a sense of accomplishment. Just one more load after this, for a total of 18 tons.
I also had a trailer tail lights re-wiring project this week, and did a bit of AR gunsmithing.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
Some friends came over for a day-long visit and helped us harvest potatoes. Thanks, you two! It was a great big help to me and greatly appreciated. Altogether, we harvested about 200 pounds of French Fingerling, red, and white potatoes. But there are still a lot more to get. It is a good harvest but might be smaller than last year’s. I think it is because on average our nights were colder this summer than in most previous summers. The average night time temp was between 48 and 52 degrees.
I harvested about two pounds of garlic seeds/scapes from my garlic plants and also pulled them up. I’m going to plant the seeds and see how we do with growing the garlic from their seeds. I also weed whacked the garden paths, yet again. The week has mostly been dedicated to homeschooling. We’re being very diligent with our time.
There is so much to do here with the garden. But with school and visiting friends last weekend and visiting relatives this weekend it’s getting tough to get things done out there. In a few weeks our life should quiet down. Our tomatoes are slowly ripening and if the frosts hold off, we should have a nice harvest of them. These are the tomatoes that are out in the garden under the plastic hoops.
May you all have a very blessed and productive week. – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
Things are getting hectic around the Latimer homestead this week as we begin preparations for the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the time of year that we look forward to all year long, but the weeks leading up to it can get crazy. Spending time fellowshiping with our favorite friends is well worth the effort though.
We are still struggling with the bacteria in the irrigation hoses though. About once a week, I’m having to pull the hoses apart at every filter and wash the filter out. If I don’t also let the water line run free during that time, the filter plugs up almost instantly. I’m not sure why it is suddenly a problem this year and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s related to the rubber hoses that we use.
The irrigation system is split into several parts. There is an underground feed line that runs around the property. This is 1″ poly hose buried beneath the frost line and it has several frost-free spigots that emerge around the property. From there, I have a short section of contenental black rubber garden hose that runs to a manifold that has the standard orbit irrigation valves. From each valve, there is another length of black rubber garden hose that gets the water to each section of the garden. These sections start out with black poly hose as a header and either transition to poly drip tape or just individual drippers plugged into the poly line.
There is an easily cleanable filter right before every irrigation manifold and then an inline filter at the hose/polyline junctions. These junctions are the ones that plug up. The hose sections that feed them are typically from 10 feet to 50 feet and they all seem to suffer from the same problem. I’m wondering if the rubber hose is the problem? But this is the first year we’ve had this problem and the system has been in place for several years. The only change we made is in the headers. The last few years, the header was made out of PVC, but this year I made them out of copper pipe so they would last longer.
Of course, the whole point of the system is that at the end of the growing season, I simply remove the headers and roll up the hose. Any ideas would certainly be appreciated. The sludge that plugs the filters is greyish in color and doesn’t appear in the pre-manifold filters.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.