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 are now bringing in the last of our outdoor fall harvest, here at the Rawles Ranch. The outdoor gardens are nearly done, but the greenhouse ifs producing in abundance. It is still producing lots of greens and tomatoes.
The sporadic late summer rains have prompted me to one of my annual chores: Draining, rolling up, and storing nearly all of our garden hoses and pasture irrigating hoses. The only one that will be left in operation part time is the one inside our main greenhouse. Meanwhile, the short hoses for our stock tanks and our poultry house can be left in place. But after mid-October year we have to start draining them after each use, to keep them from freezing.
Our cows are now nosing longingly through the fence at the hay in the barn. But we won’t start breaking out bales for them as long as there still grass still standing in two of their pastures. That would just be throwing money away.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week was cool and rainy for the first part of the week and then the sun came out and we had some gorgeous days interspersed with showers. This week was mostly all about school for me with a couple of afternoons and evenings of working out in the gardens. I pruned the last bed of the spent black raspberry canes. These were my late-ripeners. Now I need to prune the red raspberries. Last week, I harvested the last handful of red raspberries. If the frosts hold off there is a set of canes that could perhaps give me a small harvest of late summer raspberries. We’ll see if they make it. My fall gold raspberries are coming on quite strong and are so sweet. I’m really enjoying them and am glad I planted them. I harvested another two gallons of broccoli and zucchini and froze them.
The young‘uns and I traveled in August to visit relatives, Jim held down the ranch and did many of my chores in addition to his own work. What a wonderful husband, God has given me. However some of the beans were not harvested in a timely manner, so I’ve let the beans grow to full maturity. This week I pulled all of the bean plants and stacked them in a warm dry place to dry them out. Once they are dried, I will winnow them and collect the seeds for next year’s gardens and for soup beans for this coming winter. I harvested the last of my white potatoes. I still have to finish harvesting the rest of my red and purple potatoes, dried corn on the stalk, squashes, and cranberry beans. That will be this coming week. Also I need to harvest and dry mint and celery. I like to both freeze and dry celery. My tomatoes out under the hoops are slowly ripening. There are not enough of them ripe at one time, yet, to can. We keep eating them!
There is something that I’ve been thinking about: Each year, I have so many volunteers of potatoes, tomatoes, kale and lettuces, that I’m thinking about planting these this fall deep into the soil and letting them over winter already planted in the garden and see how they fare, come next spring? The volunteer potatoes are always the first to appear in the garden in the spring which makes them ready to be dug a few weeks before the regular planted potatoes. The volunteer kale, likewise, is always coming up earlier than the others. So I’m going to give this a try. It will save me some time come spring. I also read that with two year old carrots that have gone to seed, one can take the ripe flower heads and rub the flowers to scatter the seeds and they, too, can over winter in the soil and will sprout come spring. I’ll also give that a try, too. I need to plant garlic skapes and cloves and walking onions, too, this fall.
Yesterday, Friday afternoon, the kids were finishing up essays and didn’t need my help. So by myself, I spent almost three hours cleaning out the chicken coop and scrubbing the tops of their grain bucket lids and food and water containers, etc. It was a big job this time, but my birdies are all clean and happy, now! Yay, I felt bad for them, their home had been a tad bit neglected this past month. Now with them all cleaned out, I finally feel like I may have our life back under control again since returning from our trip–and having quite a number of guests since returning. Now, I’m getting the homeschooling organized and under control, and trying to get the garden produce all harvested and preserved . Whew, this past month has been quite the ride! I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the summer garden harvested, so that I can then plant the overwintering veggies and then settle in to a quiet winter of just homeschooling, helping Jim, keeping house and all critters and people well fed. I hope? 🙂
May you all have a very blessed and productive week. – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
This week a portion of the Latimer clan will be departing and setting up camp with some of their bug-out gear in a practice scenario that will continue over the next few weeks. Before heading out, there is much to be done to get the animals and garden situated and those left behind filled in with care instructions.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.