Prepsteading: Not For Someone Who Is Easily Deterred
Kevin Felts 04.27.18
One of the movements in prepping is prepsteading, which is a combination of prepping and homesteading. The idea is for a prepper to adopt the homesteading back to basics movement, then incorporates that ideology with pepping. In essence, while focusing on farming and animal husbandry, the prepper would continue to stockpile food and firearms.
Not all prepsteaders have to live in a rural area. Someone can prepstead in their backyard with a garden, a few laying hens and some fruit trees.
I am here to tell you, stockpiling is easier than prepsteading. If someone has a vision of moving to the country, buying land, then “easily” turning that land into a working homestead, forget about it. there is no “easy” about living in the country and trying to return to the basics.
This article is for those who want to move to the country and have a vision how how easy things are going to be.
I honestly do not understand how farmers in the middle ages fed cities of people. It is difficult enough trying to farm an acre using hand tools, much less farming hundreds of acres. Then there is the fertilizer, rain, and irrigation issues. On top of all of that, there are he crop failures, droughts, and pests.
For example, my spring garden for 2018 has been a failure. Several years ago a bonfire was held where the garden is planted. The pile of ash was so high a tractor was used to level it out. Here we are years later and pieces of charcoal are found all over that small piece of land.
To plants, potash serves the same purpose as potassium. In limited amounts potassium helps plants grow pods, such as beans, peas, and okra. In excessive amounts, potash prevents plants from absorbing nitrogen. Nitrogen is what helps plants grow big and tall.
Everything planted in March and early April of 2018 has been a bust as nothing is growing. To resolve the issue, the entire garden will be moved over away from the affected soil, tilled, and replanted.
Unless someone is willing to deal with setbacks such as this, homesteading and prepsteading may not be for them.
Chickens and Livestock
Chickens are a key part of my prepsteading plan. They lay eggs which is an almost perfect food, and if need be, we can eat the chicken.
Last night I left the door of the chicken house open, something got into the house and killed seven of my new three month old chicks. Thankfully, at least one of my new rooster chicks is still alive.
Unless someone is willing to close the chicken house up every night, refill the water drum, keep the feeders filled up, keep the chicken yard fence cleared, and numerous other things, this lifestyle may not be for them.
There is no way to describe taking care of new chicks for months, then something kill seven of them in one night. It is very disheartening.
My brother has several head of cattle he raises on leased land. Sometimes a cow will come up missing never to be seen again. In 2017 he lost a cow while it was giving birth. Thankfully the calf is doing well a year later.
Clearing land is probably of the biggest obstacles in homesteading and prepsteading. Even with a tractor and brush hog some small trees are too large to run over. This means someone has to get into the brush with a chainsaw, cut the tree, then pull the tree from the thicket of vines. All of this can be very dangerous as the person has nowhere to run if the tree falls wrong.
However, if someone has the money to spend, there are various brush clearing machines which can make short work of small trees and thickets. To rent one may cost several hundred dollars, but it can save weeks, if not months of manual labor.
Something I am looking at here on the farm is clearing close to a quarter mile of decades old overgrown fence line. Some of the Sweet Gum trees along the fence line are 4 to 6 inches thick, which are way to large for a tractor and brush hog. So do I rent a machine, or spend months clearing the fence rows?
Final Thoughts on Prepsteading
Between stockpiling food stored in mylar bags and freeze dried food, and prepsteading, stockpiling is much easier. Just order the stuff, stockpile it in a store room, and don’t worry about it.
Livestock, crops, fruit trees, educating oneself about farming and gardening takes a massive amount of time and dedication. Then there is the disappointment which comes with every failure.
If someone has this idea of moving to the country and things are going to be easy, they better be ready to dedicate years of their life to a project. Without that long term dedication, chances are things are not going to fall into place.