Homesteading in the Deep South
Homesteading in the Deep South is an area that presents it’s on special challenges. Dealing with things such as constant rain and heat, that can be disastrous to your garden, is a constant threat, as well as trying to generate electrical power when the sun is behind clouds for days at a time. We average about 55 inches of rain a year here in the Deep South. This also results in thousands of bugs that would like nothing more than to devour the food garden that you have so caring planted and depend on. This can also pose challenges for obtaining clean drinking water because runoff can quickly pollute rivers and streams and make them undrinkable for a period of time. Men and women have been living in the Deep South for thousands of years, so these challenges are nothing new. They have been dealt with in the past very successfully by using what is naturally available and a little imagination. In this article, we are going to look at that challenge and how they have been dealt with in the past and how we may need to deal with them after SHTF has hit.
Let’s start with water. Here in the Deep South, water is a mixed blessing. It seems we always have too much of it or too little of it, but in either case, we can overcome it with a little hard work. In the case of too much, where we get several inches in a week, we need to remember that any chemicals and animal waste that may be present in the area will be washed into the rivers and streams. This can be a major problem if you are depending on them as your only source of water. A good fix for this is to install rain water retention barrels at your homestead. While you would still have to boil or treat the water, it would not have all of the chemicals and pollutants in that the nearby streams would have. I would recommend installing as many as you can to be sure you have a good supply on hand for when it is needed. I would also recommend that you keep the tops of the barrels covered when possible to keep the mosquitos from laying their eggs there and exasperating you bug problem. By covering the end of the down spouts with cheese cloth you could help prevent bugs and other debris from getting into your water as well. Just remember to keep them clean so they don’t clog up. Adding a little bleach from time to time is also highly recommended. You may want to set up a few barrels just for water to use for your garden during dry months. Water is key to your survival, so you should store and use it wisely.
Next, let’s take a look at power and the challenges faced by trying to create it here in the Deep South. While in West Texas and New Mexico Solar panels may be popular, in the rest of the Deep South they have been found to be somewhat unreliable and expensive. This is due to long periods with no sunshine to power them. However along with the rain is usually wind that can easily be harnessed to fill in as an alternate source of power generation. Here in the south, we normally have a good breeze most of the time. Not a whole lot mind you, but enough to power a small wind turbine. These can be built rather easily using an alternator and fan blade form an old car. Most of today’s cars and trucks have alternators with built in 12 volt regulators. This eliminates the need for and additional regulator when charging batteries. Simply attach the fan blade to the front of the alternator connect your wires and mount it on a swivel on a pole sot that it is always facing into the wind. Here is a link to a site with on more information about it. Another way to generate energy is to build a small Hydroelectric Generator and place it in a nearby stream or River. Just remember to allow for high water when it floods. You wouldn’t want it to get washed away or ruined when that happens. Look here for more information on how to do this. If you are too far away from the stream to run wires, then simply create a charging box that could be used to charge batteries and swap them out every couple of days as you deplete them.
Now let’s take a look at the never-ending challenge of dealing with bugs on a homestead. These things are not only annoying, but they can also devour your entire garden leaving you with nothing to eat but wild edibles. There are however natural solutions to the problem. Hot Red Pepper is your friend! Red pepper is one of my favorite ways to deal with garden pest regardless of what it is. By mixing dried and ground red pepper with warm water then allowing it to cool before spraying your vegetable plants, you can get rid of most kinds of garden bugs. I have used this for many years and have found it to be very effective. Rabbits don’t appear to like it either. You can also plant Marigolds, and Mint throughout your garden to help eliminate many other types of bugs as well. Look here for more information on this. Just remember that you want to be sure that what you use will not harm your plants. To do this, try to stay with all natural plant products when spraying your garden, and avoid using oils.
You can also find more information on edible wild plants and surviving in the Deep South at my site www.americanpreppersonline.com . I hope you have enjoyed this article and maybe even learned a thing or two. Until next time, keep on prepping!