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 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,
This week we rushed to finish harvesting our main outdoor garden. In all, we harvested more than 700 pounds of potatoes, of four varieties.
We also dehorned our most recently-born calf–a heifer. She was 10 days old on the day she was dehorned. We use Dr. Naylor’s Dehorning Paste and a wrap of duct tape that goes all the way around under the calf’s jaw to prevent it coming loose. That tape is left in place for 5 to 6 hours. (A method that we learned from fellow blogger Patrice Lewis. She is the Editrix of the excellent Rural Revolution blog.)
This time of year we do our annual chimney cleaning. It is SOP for us to change our smoke/CO detector batteries at the same time. We tend to run our woodstove fairly hot, so we’ve found that it only needs to be cleaned once a year. But if you burn your stove “tight, low, and smouldery” at night, then cleaning it twice a year is more apropos.
To be ready for winter, we also drained, coiled, bundled (with cable ties), and stored all of our garden hoses. The only exceptions are the short ones we use for filling our stock tanks, and the one that we use inside our greenhouse.
Just ahead of a late summer storm front, we had a neighbor come over with his tractor to scrape manure from our corrals. About 40 front-end buckets of well-rotten manure (with a bit of straw) were spread in our garden and in our fenced orchard plot. Roto-tilling this was completed just a few hours ahead of the rain. Then, just as forecast, it poured.
After a few more weeks of sporadic rains it should be safe to burn our slash piles.
One unusual thing that we did was have our septic tank pumped. We do so only about once every five or six years. Yes, it costs money. But this is cheap insurance. If you let the level of “solids” in your septic tank creep up to the level of the leach field pipe outlet, then it will clog the pipes, necessitating a very costly excavation and replacement. The wise old saying is: “You can pay a little now, or you pay a lot more, later.”
May you all have a blessed week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles
The Latimer Homestead has been busily harvesting and putting away as well as continuing our seed collecting. Our tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro has been at a peak and so it is a great time for salsa making. Mrs. Latimer prepared more than a gallon of it this week plus canned and freeze-dried several more gallons of tomato sauce. We also processed a variety of beans, okra, basil, onions, cucumbers, and more. We also shifted some of the dried sunflowers from our poultry garden to long-term storage. Oh, how the chickens love these! These treats are almost as popular as their meal worms.
Bug Out Trailer
We also worked on our bug out trailer, checking on our water filtration system, improving our solar panel support bracket system, and more. Hopefully the harvest will continue a few more weeks, though the weather is getting drastically cooler quickly. We are pleased to see that the young and adult chickens seem to be accepting each other and are likely to get along well when we merge them in a few weeks, since a few have intermingled without incident lately. They will want to huddle together on these upcoming cold nights!
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As always, please share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments.