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:
Another week raced by at the Rawles Ranch. This is always a busy time of year for us. Not only is it deer and elk season, but we are usually wrapping up the preservation of our fall garden harvest. We’ve had a lot of rain in the past week. Thankfully, I had completed all of my fall slash burning before the heavy rains arrived. If the current Jet Stream path  continues and all this rain transitions to snow, then we will be in for a very snowy winter!
Avalanche Lily Reports:
This week in the American Redoubt, the weather was all about rain. The weather has definitely shifted into fall rains and high mountain snows which will soon to descend to our valley, perhaps during this upcoming week.
For me, most of the week’s activities were inside: organizing, cooking, and schooling.
I spent the early part of the week going through our homeschooling books, culling out our double copies. That was either the fault of Amazon (very slow delivery) or me not remembering well what we’ve already got when at book sales. There were also texts we no longer need or will not use. I’ve already placed them into our new Classified Ads . While searching for un-needed books, our bookshelves were reorganized. We have boatloads of books! I found about thirty books that I still want to read. I wish there was more time in the day.
The chickens that were down in the Annex garden for two weeks suffered a predatory loss of two from their population by what we suspect was a raccoon, so they were brought back up to the hen house. We need to butcher many of the remaining birds.
On Thursday, I harvested more broccoli, carrots, and cabbage in the main garden. Now that we’ve had about eight days of rain, our night time temperatures are back above freezing, for now, thus the broccoli has begun to produce tiny flowerets again. Broccoli’s hardiness is amazing!
I worked in the greenhouse, pulling the spent summer crookneck squash and bean stalks, reworking the soil in those beds, and planting spinach and winter lettuce seeds. I also double covered the beds with hoops and plastic. What I mean by this, is that inside the greenhouse, I have set up hoops over the beds to put on plastic to retain more heat around the beds. Usually, the plastic has been doubled over the hoops. So essentially, these beds have double and triple protection from cold. I still have green peppers producing in there. I’ll probably be taking them out next week.
I brought a large planter pot of still-growing mint into the house. I put it in the garage to over winter. I had about five feed bags of kale seed pod branches drying in the greenhouse that became damp from the high humidity caused by the rain, so I brought those into the house to dry. Once they have dried out I will thresh them in the bags for their seeds.
Some of my broccoli and red cabbage plants produced seed heads this summer, so I harvested those, too, and brought them into the house to dry. Again, once they dry out, I will also thresh them and collect the seeds for next summer.
Each time I prepare non-hybrid squash, tomatoes or any veggie with seeds for a meal (from our garden), I collect the seeds and dry them out for next year’s garden.
As I’m wrapping up the main gardening for the year, I am assessing what did and did not do well and planning what I want to plant next year and where, and how and where we are going to continue to expand. I will discuss this in greater detail in a later column.
We all need to seriously think about growing our own food in the very near future! The Grand Solar Minimum is ramping up. This year alone there has been a 20 to 60 percent loss in grains from bad weather around the world . Many countries are not exporting their grains this year: China, and Russia. The global grain reserves are at an all time low. Food prices will be sky rocketing. In fact they already are with further package shrinkage–less product for the same prices. Don’t be deceived.
For more about the Grand Solar Minimum, take a look at the Ice Age Farmer  videos. We definitely need to employ more crop extending and protective structures and weed control methods.
For those readers who live north of 30 Degrees latitude, I recommend buying grow lights to grow inside, hoops, plastic, black underlayment for weed control and heat retention. And of course greenhouses if you don’t already have them. Get thinking, planning, and preparing for what is coming.
May you all have a very blessed and productive week,
The Latimer Homestead hopes to find time to do some fall cleaning outdoors and indoors this week. The chicken coop is due for cleaning. The seemingly never-ending weeding and flowering tree pruning is needed. Also, it is time for some closets and storage areas to be cleaned and reorganized. Though the closet and storage area cleaning and sorting is likely to require multiple weeks, we hope to get a good start on it this week. Sarah also wants to go through and organize all of her seeds collected from this year and get them stored away until spring/summer, since the pumpkin, squash, melon, dill, and basil seeds have been captured and dried this past week. She only has a few more plants from which to gather seeds; the okra is almost dried on the stalk and ready.
Most exciting, with the vast carrot and celery harvest as well as the yummy apple juice we have already, the family will be making a large amount of tasty blended juice. We enjoy this family project, especially the consumption of it! Guess we’ll need it to get all of our extra work done around here!
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.