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:
There have been some more rain showers here at the ranch. We can definitely feel the seasonal change. Weather permitting, in two weeks we plan to begin burning slash piles that we accumulated over the summer.
The leaves are starting to turn color. Winter weather is fast approaching!
I had to reinforce the tubular fence panels that face the front of our hay barn, using T-posts. You see, our resident Equine and Bovine Delinquents were pushing the panels inward, in an attempt to get to the freshly-stacked hay bales. The fence is now “bull strong”, so they’ll have no more opportunities for such mischief.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week at the Rawles Ranch, we had two light frosts two nights in a row, which killed off some of my squash plants, the sweet potatoes, and nipped some tomato branches that had escaped from the plastic hoops. The main tomato plants that had remained under the plastic were spared the freezing. Hooray! The sweet potatoes were not happy growing here in our region and hardly grew all this summer. Our summer nights are just too cold for their liking. I may try to grow them again next summer. We’ll see. The second morning the frost was a bit harder. I ran outside and hosed down the Fall Gold Raspberries, red raspberries, celery and carrots, before the sun could hit them and cause more damage. The hosing down worked. I didn’t lose them. The broccoli, cabbage, turnips just took the frosts in stride. It wasn’t a problem for them. It appears, at least for the next week, that we’ll have above freezing temps.
Also interesting to note, a few days earlier than the frosts, I had thrown plastic lightly over the top of my zucchini patch to encourage them to keep producing, I didn’t get enough Zuchs, either this summer, for what I like, imagine that. (The nights were on average cooler than in the past few years. I have about seven gallons frozen, but I would like about seven gallons more.) The plastic saved them from the two nights of frost. I’m very happy about that. But we’ll see if day time temps in the sixties and nights in the mid to high thirties and forties will allow for more fruit setting. I’m thinking about turning the guest bedroom back into a greenhouse in a couple of weeks and seeing about growing zucchini in there this winter.
Jim, the young‘uns and I, together finished digging our purple and red potatoes. I have to say that the potato harvest was not as good as previous years. I had planted them in the Annex garden and I’m a bit disappointed. I harvested the squashes in the main garden.
For the past six weeks the harvested onions had been drying out in a warm dry place. On Friday, I finally had the time to go to them and to sort and clean them up by rubbing off the extra skins, pulling off the stems and sacking them up in a burlap bag and into storage. We had a very large onion harvest this year.
We hope you all have a very blessed week and much success with all of your prepping activities. – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles
The Latimers are out camping this week trialing the improvements made to the bugout trailer since last year. We’ve had some power issues with our solar system that were just worked out. First up were the 8DL 255AH batteries that decided to give up the ghost. They were the oldest batteries I had and had served us well, I’m just disappointed that they decided to die when time was of the essence. Oh well. An emergency trip to O’Reilly’s auto parts store had us up and running in short order with an acceptable replacement, though with much less reserve capacity.
The next issue was a refrigerator in the trailer that refused to defrost properly. It turns out that I didn’t tighten the positive side bolt down when I replaced the batteries and was losing nearly 100 watts of power at that junction. I discovered this when tracing the problem with a voltmeter as I could see the voltage drop in the system. However, it wasn’t the voltmeter that discovered it. I grabbed the wire to wiggle it and nearly burned my finger off. (Just a little exaggeration there, but it did hurt). So far, everything is running smoothly now.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.