Alaskan's Life

Alaskan

Lovin' The Homestead
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1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like?

I am in Alaska... Kenai Peninsula... so warm in the winter, cool in the "summer".

We tend towards lots of snow.

2. Who or what inspired you to become more self sufficient?

Lack of money. :lol:

And my dad's parents. We would sit down to eat, and his mom would be so pleased. She would have this beaming smile and say that except for the flour and butter, everything on that table had come from her garden or from my grandfather's "garden". (The cattle)

3. In what ways are you self sufficient now and in what ways would you like to learn more?

We just tend to be frugal in general.

We eat wild foods/weeds in the spring, have livestock, and try to do most of our own building and repairs.

But yes. Always trying to do more for ourselves and buy less.

4. Are you interested in stocking up for future needs?

We have a huge pantry... and lots of freezer space.. but no, we don't do the 6 month supply of beans kind of thing. We go through 50 pounds of flour in 3 weeks time... so stockpiling would be insane.

5. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these?

Kid 3 forges and welds.. makes knives and such..

6. Can you legally keep livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?

We had horses for years... then switched to milk goats for years.. then I THOUGHT kids (human children) were starting to leave home... so I sold the milk goats... then covid showed up and ALL the children came back home!!!

We lost our muscovy flock a year or so back... still have chickens.

We currently have 2 feeder pigs, kunekunes of all stupidly.

7. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?

I love to garden, but the last several years I have used the vegetable garden for cockerel grow outs and have just had a flower garden with some edibles..

This year, with the ravenous hoard back home...I want to have a big vegetable garden again.

8. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?

Kids fish. I fished as a kid, don't any longer. No explosives ever. But fishing pole, and dip netting, and such.

9. How much space/land do you have or rent? City? Country?

enough to work, less than I would like, outside of a small town, so rural.

10. What is your self sufficient specialty? Or what one would you like to learn?

:lol:

No idea. I am old and have done a bunch. I spent summers with my dad's parents on a cattle ranch in Texas. I learned lots from them.

11. Do you do wood work? Framing, finish, cabinet?

I build crappy looking yet functional buildings. I never measure or use plans... I lay out the piece parts I have scrounged... eyeball it all... decide how it will fit together... then fit it together. :idunno

It works.

12. Are you interested in herbal medicine?

not really.

13. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?

Exactly where I am... but with Texas weather...I HATE cold..

Or... Texas (hill country area) 100 years ago... (too many people there now, gives me the willies).

14. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?

wood stove is the only heat for the living area of the house. We have a fuel oil space heater for the bedroom side.

We can cook on the wood stove if we want.. it has a flat top... but it isn't a cook stove.

15. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? Raw milk? Farm fresh eggs?

We had raw milk for years.. no longer have the goats.

Still have the chickens..

I cook, but I am not excited about it.. Spouse likes to cook... and now with covid restrictions (spouse now has to work 100% from home) I have been banned from the kitchen.

So now I just eat.

16. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?

We forage in the growing season. The kids hunt. We eat whatever livestock.


17. What skills do you have that help you be more self sufficient?.

Being short on cash.. Best inspiration to be more self sufficient.

18. Do you have solar panels? Plans to use solar energy?

Yep... We have a bunch... they do squat in the winter..

19. Have you ever lived completely off grid? Would you like to?

20 years back I wanted to live in the bush, full homestead off the grid. Spouse vetoed, insisted on living on the road system.

Now... I am happy for steady heat, internet and reliable flick the switch lights.

20. Do you make things yourself to save money?.

Usually we just do without, or check thrift stores, or scrounge at the dump.


21. Has trying to be more self-sufficient changed your attitude or habits about money/spending?

Nope.. lack of money has made us more self-sufficient.

Other stuff:

Been married since the dawn of time. Have 5 boys, all Homeschooled.

Kids are 22 down to 12. Second kid, doing full virtual college is now living with in-laws about a mile away... in-laws need live-in help... or at least daily help. So, technically, I guess we did get rid of one kid.

Eldest is having trouble getting enough work hours.
 
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Alaskan

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Pigs, from a couple weeks back:
20210205_142123.jpg


The view from yesterday:


20210316_165307.jpg
 

Alaskan

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Few more photos from this winter...

View
20210306_165533.jpg


Kids working on a snow machine. The sticks poking out of the snow are... the tops of... the orchard gate... I think, garden is south of the orchard... under four or 5 feet of snow, all on left side of photo.

20210303_184336.jpg


My big coop
20210303_184309.jpg
 

Alaskan

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Picture from today... no, maybe yesterday.

The church I go to... I wanted to show how high the berms along the path have gotten. And, that path is NOT directly on the ground. Over the winter the snow on the path builds up. Maybe 6 inches ... up to a foot of snow pack on the walkway...

20210319_184558.jpg
 

CrealCritter

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Picture from today... no, maybe yesterday.

The church I go to... I wanted to show how high the berms along the path have gotten. And, that path is NOT directly on the ground. Over the winter the snow on the path builds up. Maybe 6 inches ... up to a foot of snow pack on the walkway...

View attachment 15623
Nice little church, what denomination?
 

Alaskan

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Eastern Orthodox.

Lots up here in Alaska, most with really old churches (well, old for Alaska, so over 100 years).

Our church isn't that old... maybe 30 years old.
 

wyoDreamer

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I love the look of that church, so pretty.

I remember how deep the snow drifts would get out in Wyoming. A friend showed me pictures of him snowshoeing up the road to the pass to measure how deep the snow was. It was 15 feet deep. At the parking lot, he found the very top of the vent pipe for the outhouse ticking out of the snow 3". This was at the end of March, when they were trying to figure out when they could start snow removal to open the road back up. Their goal is to have the road open by Memorial day.
 

Alaskan

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We, not always, but often, have lots of snow.

One winter an electricity guy came up... had to find the electrical box to work on it. No idea why.

He asked me where the electrical box was (not the one on the house, that big box that sits on the ground that is the junction? box for a group of houses when the lines run underground).

I took him out and pointed to an area with deep snow... told him it was somewhere in that general area... and I was really sorry... but I couldn't remember the exact spot.

There was so much snow... even though those boxes have a tall wire with a flag on the end... that was also completely buried.

No idea how long that poor guy was shoveling snow before he found it.
 
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