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We just recently moved to the Kershaw area(in Lancaster County) in South Carolina and are trying to find people that raise their own food (gardening, meat animals, milk animals, etc.). Anyone here live in Lancaster County or the county of Kershaw which is nearby?
 

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Heya, LadyJane ... my wife (Tessynae) and I are due to close on 28 acres just in Kershaw county near the Lancaster line.

While we're not *currently* growing/raising/harvesting off our property, we will be starting the process of building out soon.

Dutchofsc is also in SC, buuuuut I don't know if he's been on lately.
 

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Hi there, I'm in Sumter county, which is not that far from Kershaw, about 1/2 hour away. I've got laying hens, 3 Nigerian Dwarf wethers & a small garden, so far.
 

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Hi there. I just recently had our 3.5 acres cleared of the pine forest and I'm getting ready to set up my 'homestead'. I am in Laurens and would love to get to know some other people nearby who are interested in the same lifestyle. I am intending on having chickens, a couple of goats, rabbits and possibly a pig or 2. My son and I are just finishing up our 10'x30' greenhouse and we're starting on a raised-bed garden tomorrow morning. There are so many things to do, I'm pretty-much starting from scratch. I have completely bare, scraped ground where I intend to graze my goats this spring. (Anyone have advice on what kind of grass mix to plant to graze goats on in this area?) Anybody with an established homestead that would like to mentor a quick learner? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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I'm Just across the river from Laurens county.

Fescue is the grass of choice for grazing. Probably you have common Bermuda which is spread by seed and is a pest for gardens row crops, and hay crops. If you have any and want to get rid of it, you will have to spend a summer spraying it then spot spraying with Roundup. It, however, will make excellent SUMMER grazing for livestock. It produces pretty good hay. but the yields are far below fescue or Coastal Bermuda. Common bermuda will crowd out Coastal. Coastal is the premier hay crop in upstate SC.

For those in other SC counties, Fescue does not do well East of Columbia. It does not like sandy soil. Coastal does like sandy soil. In Eastern SC, people wanting to graze cows used to have coastal pastures and would no till rye for winter grazing.

Back to Laurens county. You should have a soil test done. Go to the county agent's office in Laurens and get a soil test box. They will give you instructions. I can tell you that your soil is acidic and needs lime. All the upstate soil is acidic. The only SC soil that is basic is in the sea islands, where thousands of years of oyster shells decomposed and added lime to the soil. Tomatoes like basic soils and there is no tomato as good as a John's Island tomato. You may as well get lime spread now. A ton per acre is good. If the trucker wants at least a 7 ton load, that's no problem, just have him spread it thicker. 2 tons per acre is ok. Get some bagged lime from a local store or the local TSC
and spread it on your garden by hand. The granulated type is easier to spread but the fine ground type lasts longer, I'm told, and is effective sooner.

You mentioned goats. I have never raised goats and don't know the stocking rate. Cows require a minimum of 2 acres of good grass in this area, 3 is better, plus hay in winter. Forget about a horse on 3 acres. I don't have a horse, but from observation and conversations with people who do, they need 5 acres, plus hay in winter, plusground feed. For your goats, i would first build faciities. People with goats usually have woven wire fencing with barbed wire on top. I have seen electric fences used for goats. An electric fence MIGHT keep coyotes out. I would put them up at night in a strong building. Locals with goats often keep a donkey in with the goats or guard dogs.

You didn't mention chickens, but I would build a good fence out of 5 foot dog wire for them. This won't keep raccoons out but a low electric fence wire should. Any way, you need a good house to keep them in at night. Other pests of chickens locally are possums and somebody's pet dog.

Deer in gardens: I use an electric fence, 2 strands about 5 inches off the ground with 5 inches between the strand to keep ***** out, and one strand chest high to keep deer out. Has worked so far, but i have heard of deer jumping over a fence that high. Before the fence, I have lost corn crops to deer and *****. Deer also will graze on most other garden crops.

I haven' had trouble with squirrels getting into the garden yet, but daughter many miles away had squirrels eat her corn. Just in case, my suggestion is to shoot every squirrel you see, which won't make much dent in the population but may give you some relief locally. I am unable to have pecans because of squirrels. However, a few cats seems to keep them away.

Have fun.

COWS
 

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Hi COWS;
thanks for the information - VERY useful. I'll get hold of some lime right away. Yes, we have plans for a 8'x20' goat house attached to the back of our permanent shed with a milking shed built into one end. We've designed a 6'x10' chicken house with a 10'x30'x6' high run covered with bird netting. We've already seen coyotes in the area. No squirrels, I guess 'cause we have dogs and cats. Used to see deer prints but haven't had any on our property for several years now - again, I guess it's the dogs. Never have seen a raccoon or possum but we have BIG hawks around - thus the bird netting over the chicken run.
 

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Sounds like you have it covered. I would be interested in the chicken house design because my daughter want to build another one. On lime, I forgot to mention that one sign that land needs lime is a healthy growth of broom straw, which likes basic, infertile soil.

COWS
 

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If you've seen coyotes, netting WON'T keep them out. I had a 14 x 35 covered run built with 2 x 4 welded wire fencing & covered that with 1/2" hardware cloth around bottom 3' to keep predators out & put hot wire around bottom 6" up from bottom & around top to keep coyotes out, as we have them BAD. Here are pic's of the run I had built.

I also have 3 Nigerian Dwarf Goats, they don't bother the fence, I guess 'cause they're little guys, but I DO have hot wire all the way around to keep the coyotes out of pen. I have a 10 mile charger, .5 joule. It won't kill ya, but, ya don't want to hang on it either. It'll let you know it's there.
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Thank you all for sharing, especially information that pertains to our region. I will get a soil test done, my land is in Fairfield county, and we have red clay. Hoping to start some planting this year.


Sent from my iPad using Homesteading Today
 

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Hello Everyone!

I am new to homesteading today .. and I am very excited that I stumbled onto this forum. We are presently located in NH, however, we just purchased 3 acres of land in Georgetown South Carolina. We will be clearing the land in January then beginning our journey to building our homestead and relocating there.
I picked zone 8 (Georgetown, South Carolina) because it is not only beautiful but warm (for the most part) but still has dormant season so we can grow all the amazing fruit tree's and berry bushes needing dormant as well as most tropical tree's that can withstand some cold nights. We plan to eventually have chickens, goats, pigs, a very large garden and bee keeping. We plan to build a root cellar and a smoker with the goal of always working towards being self sufficient. A daunting task ahead of us I know, but you gotta start somewhere.

I was looking for other homesteaders in the area that I can learn from and perhaps fellowship with. Stumbling here, on this forum has already been a learning experience.

Here in NH chickens run free .. we hardly ever here of chickens becoming lunch to any predators and I live in the country where chickens are everywhere. We planned on fencing in our chickens but I think I may have to rethink the simple fencing I planned on and putting up something that will protect them from both predators on the ground as well as predators in the air :)

Thank you all for sharing ..

I look forward to our move there and hopefully being able to connect with other homesteaders in the Georgetown area.

Have a Blessed Christmas everyone :)

Paula
 

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We just recently moved to the Kershaw area(in Lancaster County) in South Carolina and are trying to find people that raise their own food (gardening, meat animals, milk animals, etc.). Anyone here live in Lancaster County or the county of Kershaw which is nearby?
Well I am in the South Carolina but closer to Myrtle beach. I raise rabbits, a few hogs, few goats---have been known to raise 1000's of chickens in a year. Usually about 1 ac garden.

Valgal, I was in your Town every Saturday for about 2 years at the Chicken auction on Honda Way. Sold probably close 10,000 chicks and a lot of chickens there. Hello!
 
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