To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, 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!
In addition to working on my latest book manuscript and blogging, much of this week was dedicated firewood cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking. Most of this was cutting dead-fallen western larch. (Also commonly called Tamarack.) The small diameter logs (under 6″) don’t even require splitting. Those rounds can be burned in our main woodstove “as-is.” There was rain in the forecast starting Friday afternoon, so the whole family scrambled to get most of the small rounds stacked in our primary wood shed. The rest of the rounds were either stacked under eaves (for later splitting), or were tarped. My goal is to have our firewood basically set for winter by the end of August. Then, as is my routine in the fall, I will gradually split the large Tamarack and Red Fir rounds. And finally our kids and I will also split some short red cedar rounds, for kindling. There is still one large dead-standing White Fir that I need to deal with, but that could be delayed until next year.
Meanwhile, Lily has been very busy in the garden, as she will describe.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
I went to the store and bought veggies that don’t grow well here, or that our gardens did not produce abundantly this year: Broccoli, sweet peppers, celery. I froze half and dehydrated the other half. I will continue buying and dehydrating, I just have a feeling that I must do this now.
This food is probably not for this coming winter’s use, but for the next years following. I believe that we’re really close to the great tribulation, which means that if God chooses to hide us, we will experience two to four years of tribulation, then we’ll see the temple built and after that two more years of Great Tribulation. After much scripture study, we believe that at the 6th Trump the Rapture will occur, because true believers are not destined for God’s Wrath, in the sixth year. (So this puts us in the “Pre-Wrath” camp.) And in the seventh year is the year that God pours His wrath out on unrepentant mankind. Please do not get angry with this interpretation because the interpretation is quite fluid, still as it unfolds and God reveals more to us. Basically, we believe that we will see the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, the revealing of the antichrist, the martyrdom of true believers in Christ, and the Mark of the Beast. In the latter, people will not be able to buy or sell without first taking the Mark.
We refuse to take the Mark and worship the Beast. Therefore we will have to store what we need for food, medical, housekeeping sundries, fuel, defense, and for bartering. These will be perilous times. We are preparing our hearts to be martyred or to survive, if He so chooses. Thus we will see Him return at the 6th Trump to resurrect the dead in Him first. Then He will take those of us who are alive and remain at His coming. Then He takes us to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and then He pours out His Wrath on unrepentant mankind. Namely: all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast and have worshipped His image. When His Wrath is complete, He will say “It is Finished” And Christ’s 1,000 year reign will begin.
We are soooo close to those days!
For water supplies, we have The Unnamed River that flows through our land, and an electrically-pumped shallow well, and some hand-pump shallow wells and a Berkey to filter and additional other methods to filter and purify water. We haven’t worried too much about not having available water. It will just take some effort to haul it from the river if need be. However, I woke up one morning, this week, at 3 o’clock AM, with a voice/the words running through my mind, insistently, four or five times, telling me, “You need to can water”. Therefore, the first thing I did when I woke up again, at 6 AM and remembered the words, was to jump up out of bed and run to the kitchen and grab my computer to look up how to can water and get onto the job. At this point, I’ve done one batch of seven jars. I will continue canning water until, I feel a release from doing the job.
We do not know what is coming, but we may need that water for contingencies, in the future. Canned water is sterile water. It can be used for drinking, but it is also great for washing out wounds or flushing objects that need sterile water, to keep from spreading illnesses. I think this was interesting, because canning water was not on my mind at all. About two years ago, I saw on the internet that someone had canned water, but it was not on my radar at all since then. I of course believe this is from the Lord. I must obey. Also, more so lately, I have been seriously asking the Lord to guide our steps every day and to help me/us to hear His voice more clearly than ever before. He has honored my request by impressing on me to do certain jobs out of the regular timing that I would normally do them. One for instance, within the last two weeks, I felt very impressed to make dinner in the morning, instead at the usual, afternoon time. At lunch time we had some very unexpected hungry guests stop by, whom I was able to feed immediately without delay or panic. Thank You, Lord. There have been similar instances, too. He will answer our requests. We only need to ask and be ready to do what He does request of us.
Very basically, to can water, one boils water, heats up jars, prepares the Water Bath Canner with water, gets that boiling, ladles the water into the jars, caps them, and then processes them in the boiling Water Bath Canner for ten minutes.
Our Black Raspberries are almost past, so as I am gleaning and eating, as I pick the last of them, with both some sadness and “Yum!” I am also pruning out this year’s fruiting canes. The canes will be burnt on the burning pile this fall. I ordered and received this week, 12 more Black raspberry canes. I will plant them in some bare spots of my Black raspberry beds next week.
The Red and Golden raspberries are still producing very strongly, and will continue producing through the fall until the first hard frost. We’re still getting a gallon’s worth every other day. I’m so amazed and very pleased at the abundance this year! I am freezing and dehydrating them, alternately. Later, I will make freezer jams and fruit leathers with some of them. Mostly, we like putting them in smoothies. We don’t like the high sugar content of jams, so I do not make too many jams. I have made jams with honey, but honey detracts from the fruit’s natural flavor. White sugar is not good for us at all. So our family stays away from it, for the most part.
We have harvested our first two cabbages in the past two weeks. Very soon, as soon as we finish our small supply of organic store-bought potatoes, we’ll begin robbing potatoes from my potato plants, until the big potato harvest.
My tomatoes are flowering like crazy and only have a few fruit on them. It is looking like our very hot temperatures (in the low 90s) are soon going to break for the season. By the end of the week the temperature is predicted to drop down to high 60s to 70s during the days and the 50s at night. I hope that my tomatoes and squashes will be okay with the change, and will still produce. I really want my own tomatoes again this year.
The corn is tasseling and growing small ears. I hope it can handle the temperature change, too.
I harvested French beans and froze a gallon’s worth of them. The mystery bean I planted in the last garden section, did turn out to be yellow wax beans. Yeah! I will be letting them mature after a few harvests for seeds for next year.
I dehydrated a pint’s worth of parsley from my greenhouse.
I harvested another large amount of zucchini that needs to be froze or dehydrated. Later in the week, I went back to town to run some errands, and stopped into the local grocery store, and bought some more broccoli, and some carrots to freeze, dehydrate, and can this coming week.
I received the three Pecan trees and the Cherry tree in pots that I had ordered from Stark’s, two weeks ago. They were dried out, dropping their leaves and I thought, dead. I called the company and they told me to baby them for the next few weeks and then plant them. I am doing as they said, and lo, and behold, they are sending out new buds, and the cherry is already leafing out. Yeah! I understand that they will have enough time to form yet more new buds before going winter dormant. Therefore, they will be fine and should have normal growth in the spring. In about two more weeks, I will plant them down in the orchard. For now, they’re near the house, so I can keep an eye on them and water them frequently.
“A.”, our new heifer, is adjusting very well to the herd and is learning the ropes of our ranch. She still isn’t too sure of me, but watches, very closely, how the other cows interact with me when I approach and visit with them. I like to, and they enjoy, being rubbed behind the ears, along the poll, and under the chin. We will soon be good friends, Miss A.
May you all have a very blessed and safe week.
– Avalanche Lily, Rawles
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.