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!
I now have just two weeks left before my nonfiction book manuscript is due to Carlton Publishing, of London. So I’ll make this entry brief.
Our nearest neighbor (only 1/4 mile away) reported seeing a large adult male black bear near his house, so we’ve been on high alert, for the safety of our livestock. In our region bears can be real pests. Folks like us who living outside of city limits have to leave their trash cans indoors. And the county trash collection dumpsters have to be kept inside of special fences. Often, these fences are electrified. (See the photo above this column. That one–seen on a recent road trip that took us up the length of Idaho–had a particularly tall fence.)
I’m nearly finished with my annual firewood cutting project. I really feel blessed that we can cut all of the wood that we need, just on our small ranch. I’ve never had to go get a U.S. Forest Service domestic wood cutting permit. (But if need be, they are readily available, at minimal cost.) Just our wind-fallen and dead-standing timber is usually enough for us each year. I’ve also gradually thinned out a few trees that would never be marketable, or that were detracting from the eventual marketability of the other timber. Those culled trees were all either oddly-forked trees, ones with snapped-off tops, the weaker-looking halves of Siamese Twin trees, wood ant-infested trees (with big Pileated Woodpecker-notched holes) or a few trees that were apparently snow-damaged as saplings and that have subsequently grown up at odd angles or otherwise disfigured. Now, after more than 12 years of thinning, we have a very healthy-looking stand, with more than 10 tree species.
Lily has lots to report as, she is nearing the peak of harvesting, in her garden. Over to her…
Avalanche Lily Reports:
It has been a very busy week preserving food. My parents have arrived to visit with us for the next month. We’re very happy to have them here to share our life with us and to see what our daily life is like.
Here is what we did this week…
Mostly this week was all about food preservation. Early in the week, I harvested and froze more Wax and French beans, four gallons of red and gold raspberries, zucchini — the usual suspects, ya know. I froze the two gallons worth of broccoli, which I had bought at the end of last week. I canned another 12 quarts of water, and 9 quarts of store-bought organic carrots.
I dehydrated two more quarts worth of zucchini and another quart worth of store bought green peppers.
Our Transparent Apple tree, which has been growing in our orchard for three years, it’s probably about eight years old, in all, produced enough apples for me to can 7 quarts of apple sauce. Yum! This was very exciting for me to have enough of our own apples, now, to do this. Lord willing, next year, there will be even more apples. I have six other very young apple trees. Only one other is producing apples this year. They will be ready to pick in late September.
I finished pruning out the black raspberries and weeded one of my potato patches where the weeds were about to drop their seeds. Whew, I will say that area was a close call. If I hadn’t have pulled those weeds when I did, I would have had thousands of seeds going into the patch which would make gardening very difficult next year. My other potato patch needs me to get into it, too, and weed. Lord willing, I’ll do that next week.
I harvested the garlic and half of my onions. Both of which are now drying in the greenhouse.
I mowed the garden paths and helped the girls stack about four cords of wood on three evenings this week.
I’m fairly certain that “A” went into heat this week. “S” our bull followed her around with far more interest and intent than his usual, on Thursday and Friday. Although I didn’t see the “deed” I saw other telling type of behaviors among the herd. Exciting! If all their plumbing worked, we’ll have a calf from her in May or early June, 2020. We are also expecting calves in January. Thankfully we have a good barn to shelter them in.
Our horses are on a bit of a vacation and are outstanding in their field. 😉
We have a serious prayer request: A close relative had a recent checkup and was found to have a potentially serious heart issue show up. It needs further investigation under anesthesia which will take place within the next two weeks. Please pray with us that it will come to naught, that she will be healed, that she will not have to go on meds. Also: that the doctors will do only their job with sure hands, and that no weapon formed against her will prosper. In Jesus’ name! Amen and amen.
May you all have a very blessed and safe week.
– Avalanche Lily, Rawles
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.