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. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
I’ve had a very quiet week. I did get into town once (in mask and gloves), to pick up mail, ship out orders, and buy some welded wire fence panels as well as some 6-foot heavy duty T-posts. I’ve also done bit of firewood work. As a precaution, I’ve been staying in our guest cabin. This is because I had been traveling for three weeks in a state with a high infection rate. Lily has been dropping off hot meals on the cabin porch. This is using up paper plates and paper bowls at an alarming rate. (In normal times we only rarely use them.) All of our brief conversations have been outdoors at a 10- to 15-foot distance. We’d talk longer, but we get chilled. There have been light snowfalls twice since I’ve returned to the ranch. The afternoon high temperatures have been in the high 30s and low 40s. My time in the gulag ends in eight days. This quarantine within a quarantine is frustrating. I’m getting a lot of writing and editing done, but this seems like the longest 14 days of my life!
Avalanche Lily Reports:
Poor Jim! I’m sad about his quarantine-within-a-quarantine, too. I, too, am frustrated with our lack of conversation time. But, if Jim turns up sick, we don’t want to get it, too. Last week, I went out into the public, too, with all the proper precautions, so I too could still be carrying it and not have symptoms, yet. I have a few more days, before I know that I am in the clear, so… we need to be patient. Psalm 91.
I will say that we do goof around a bit. I walk up to the cabin and shout to Jim and knock on the door and then bounce backwards off the porch into the driveway. He opens the door, I smile and put my index fingers up to my face making the cross symbol, and say, “Stay back, Jim”, (I back up further), and say, “You might have the Covid cooties” and bounce further back and do a little dance. That little bit of play from me puts a smile on his face.
This week saw us do some new activities that I hadn’t done before. This past week was Miss Eloise’s birthday. She requested an orange sponge cake. So she and I, made it for her birthday cake for the very first time with orange glaze frosting. The family reported that it was a wonderfully yummy cake. (I didn’t eat any, because, I don’t eat eggs.) Miss Eloise saved a piece for Jim, who tried it when he arrived home from CA a few days later. Also for the first time, I dehydrated the orange peels, (after scrubbing them/the whole orange before squeezing the juice) with warm soapy water and rinsing well. I then powdered them in the Vitamix blender.
Also for the first time ever, I baked a whole chicken in our cast iron dutch oven inside our wood stove. First of all, I cleared out all of the ash from previous fires. Then in the far side of the stove, I started a fire with very dried kindling and wood, leaving about a square foot of open floor on the door side of the stove. I opened up the air vent. When the wood was burning well, I put the cast iron pot with the chicken and lid onto the floor of the stove and closed the door. About twenty minutes later, I checked on the cooking status of the chicken. It was cooking fast. So I rotated the pot around to the other side, so that the other side of the pot would receive the heat from the fire. I didn’t think to close the air vent. Therefore, the chicken cooked through well, but the skin was a wee bit blackened. The chicken tasted great, but wasn’t as tender as it could have been if it had cooked more slowly at a lower heat. In the future, I will let the fire burn down to hot coals, and will keep the vent closed, and will cook the chicken slower.
In the main garden, I cleaned the asparagus and rhubarb beds. Per a comment from a reader, for the first time ever, I tied up some of my leaning raspberry canes with twine. I only vaguely remember ever hearing about doing this or seeing it done? It kinda rings a bell way back in the recess of my mind, but I hadn’t ever done it until this week. 🙂
I added composted manure to five of my large planter pots and mixed it up with the soil that was in them in preparation of planting veggies in them.
The girls and I spent more time cleaning up manure around the ranch.
Holy cows and horses! This year, we have such a huge abundance of manure unlike I have ever seen before. Seriously! I really think God caused our animals to go into over drive manure production this past year specifically for this dire season of lack of food approaching…
A gardening story of Providence provision
At the end of February, I planted in my Indoor bathroom greenhouse, of what I later discovered was my last packet, of celery seed. Fast forward three weeks, the celery seed has appeared to fail to germinate, except for maybe two or three plants. I didn’t realize that I needed to order more celery seeds three weeks ago when I placed three orders for seeds. After discovering my oversight, for the past six or so days, I was feeling very remorseful with this omission, feeling as though we might be facing this long-term TEOTWAWKI event without enough celery, once it runs out.
To be clear, currently, I do have two quart jars filled with dried celery stalks and leaves, but we do use a lot of it.
And I had bought three celery bunches the last time I went to the store, from which I have cut off the stalks and put their butts into jars of water to grow more celery on the windowsill…
As I was ruminating on this lack of planning and inwardly panicking and chastising myself for this oversight for a few days, one day this week, I was walking down the pantry hall, this hall is filled with stuff, so I forget what I have if I’m not looking for it, in particular. My eyes dropped to a paper bag with some dried plants inside. I picked up the bag and reached my hand in and pulled out the dried flowers and was greeted with the odor of celery. Instantly, I remembered and became excited… Two years ago, I had planted several rows of celery. Come that fall, I had harvested most of it except, about four bunches on the edge of a row. I had let them over winter. Last spring I saw that they were coming back to life, so rototilled around them and let them grow all summer. I only harvested a few stalks from them. They produced flower fronds, but it was only one of the plants that did so. I saw honey bees all over the flowers, but because it was only one plant, I’m not sure if the seeds were pollinated and will be fertile… Come fall, I decided to cut the flower fronds and put them in the paper bag and there they sat forgotten all winter until this week. So, I rubbed the seeds off the flowers and put them into a jar, and planted some of them into the seedling trays where the other celery seeds failed to germinate. Now we will wait and see if they were viable. If they are viable, then we will have lots of celery this coming summer and, I will allow some of them to over winter next winter to produce flowers and seeds next summer.
Oh, I just remembered, that last summer when I was buying spices and herbs in bulk, that I bought a pound of celery seed as seasoning for making relishes. I’m not sure if they are viable, at this time. I am currently trying to germinate them between two damp paper towels. I will let you know as soon as I see if they germinate or not.
After watching more videos from Adapt 2030, Ice Age Farmer, Yanasa Ama Ranch, and Peak Prosperity, the Hagmann Report, and others. I have to admit, I have a bit of anxiety and panic going on inside my heart, though I know that God has specifically promised me that “my children will never be begging for bread” — Psalm 37. I have been claiming and proclaiming that verse out loud to the Lord a lot lately. But in light of all of these warnings, the rising global panic has served as a great motivator to get me going during a day in continuing my garden preps.
This week, the nights are still below freezing but the days are in the 40’s and partly sunny, so, I put all of my cruciferous seedlings outside in the greenhouse, (They handled the two very cold nights out in the greenhouse under a second layer of plastic, well. So I am not worried about them surviving until I can put them in the garden.) This freed up floor space in the Indoor bathroom greenhouse to start seedlings of all of the squashes that I wish to grow and cucumbers.
I planted 8 trays of 18, 4 -nch pots. These seedlings, I hope will give me a jump on an earlier harvest of the squashes and cukes. I also intend to plant these same squash seeds directly in the ground come warmer weather for another later harvest.
Dear readers, we need to pray for all of our medical personnel from around the country. We are hearing reports of a lack of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses, and lack of testing of Doctors and nurses. That is beginning to be remedied, though, probably too late. It’s almost as though the PTB are not taking this virus seriously enough and want to sicken our front-line of defense… We’ve seen articles being published where nurses are being told not to wear masks to protect themselves, so as not to alarm patients, (What???) and other non-logical behaviors. Please, please pray for your local nurses and doctors. They really need them. If you have friends and relatives who are doctor’s or nurses and you have extra PPE gear to spare, consider donating it to them to help them stay safe.
Despite all that is going on, do what you can to keep yourself healthy, isolate as much as possible, Pray and read God’s Word and Trust the Lord God to keep you safe. 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.