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 will share their planned prep activities for the coming week, ranging from healthcare and purchases to property improvements and food storage. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week in the comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
This week, Lord willing, we’re continuing with cutting down trees for next winter’s firewood and will be burning yet more slash.
The Rawles Ranch is located in the northern half of the American Redoubt. Here, the snow melted from our ranch only a month ago. Since then, the weather has continued to be very cloudy, rainy, and cold. The high mountains surrounding our valley are still receiving occasional snowfalls, and they may even get some more snow this coming week. Our nighttime temperatures at the ranch this coming week will be flirting with temperatures near freezing. Therefore, we’ve been delayed in putting in our garden this year.
However, this coming week we plan on re-tilling the garden. (We like to till it a few times before planting.) We will begin to plant red, white, and fingerling potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, et cetera.
A few more blueberry bushes and a Bing Cherry need to be added to our orchard this week.
Avalanche Lily (Mrs. Rawles) has spinach growing in her greenhouse that is ready for harvesting and freezing. We’ve also already harvested chives. She also plans on harvesting a bunch of dandelion roots to dry in our dehydrator for Dandelion Root Tea. (We use no herbicides or pesticides.)
Chickens and Beef
We’ve had several successes during the past two years with incubating some of our chickens’ eggs. This first batch, this spring, didn’t succeed, probably because we didn’t watch their temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels as closely this time as we had in previous times. We just had too many other projects happening. Lily says she feels rather sad about it, but we’ll try again in June when life has “slowed” down a bit after the “spring rush”.
A few of our cattle have an appointment with our local butcher this coming week. We’ll post a follow-up about that.
Also, we’ve been wrapping up our homeschool program for the year. Those who homeschool know how much time this can take. However, we are preparing our children for their futures. Have a blessed week!
The Latimer Homestead is still picking up nails and debris from our roofing work of last week. It’s a bit treacherous for man, woman, and beast around the home and the outbuilding that was re-roofed also. First up, we will finish the cooler that didn’t get done last week.
Gardening for Livestock
The cool temperatures, snow, hail, and rain we had last week are expected to give way to hot temperatures this week. Two weeks ago we had warm temperatures also, so we are expecting that the ground is warm enough that we will be able to plant our chicken and oil garden this week. We are experimenting with expanding our garden area with a cover crop for our chickens to work over the next few years, allowing them to prepare and fertilize the weak soil and utilize the cover crop for food that we hope will attract the grasshoppers away from our other organic vegetable garden. We’ve chosen to grow a bush cowpea.
The chickens can eat the plants and pods/peas when they are green. We will store any mature pea pods for winter feed. The dried peas will have to be soaked before being used for feed for chickens, as dried peas and beans have acid and also will swell in a chickens gut after eating.We believe this project will save us money on chicken feed while improving their nutrition during winter months, help us prepare a larger garden area, and possibly reduce the grasshopper population in our vegetable garden, since this garden is close to our vegetable garden.
Sunflowers in the Garden
The “oil” part of this garden refers to the black oil sunflowers we plan to grow. Sarah has dedicated an area for growing them and plans to use them to help border two sides of the cowpeas garden to help corral the chickens in. We look forward to learning how to grow our own source for vegetable oil and providing a good source of nutrition for our flock of chickens in the winter. We will use the sunflowers for both oil and chicken feed. (Another batch of chicks due to arrive in July.) We need to do some clearing and weeding on the garden borders.
The chamomile is in full bloom in the perennial herb and tea garden. So, we need to pick from this large patch and freeze dry. However, we are in the middle of relocating the freeze dryer, so that project needs to be completed first. We had the freeze dryer in the kitchen/dining area. However, we will move it to where our food is stored because of the noise. There is room to do some preparation and canning there. It may not be quite as convenient to vacuum seal there, but we will enjoy a quieter home environment. I will install the electricity for the freezer dryer. Eventually, a work table would be nice, but that will have to come later, as there are other matters more pressing at the moment. Chamomile and eggs will be freeze dried this week.
Sarah also hopes to get her sewing area operational again. Recent company motivated her to transform her sewing room into the guest room. We enjoyed the visit but are ready to get back to the routine. There are some projects waiting for her.
We invite our readers to post in the comments below what your planned activities are this week. Prepping is not a haphazard activity. It requires careful consideration of what your goals are, what your resources are (man, money and tools) and the knowledge to apply them both appropriately. Let us encourage each other by letting others know what your doing, but be mindful of OPSEC. Don’t post personally identifying information in those comments.
Don’t forget about the List of Lists  to help you organize!