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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:37 pm 
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We are in negotiations on a parcel on Kodiak, keep your fingers crossed for us! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:26 pm 
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We closed on the land last week. Now I got to go see what it is exactly that I bought next Spring.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:02 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:16 pm 
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Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
We closed on the land last week. Now I got to go see what it is exactly that I bought next Spring.

Congrats, glad you found a decent parcel.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:29 pm 
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Thanks guys!

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:11 pm 
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Congrats. I'm going to do my best to get out to AK this year to check it out. Just for a week or so. I REALLY want to get a place within driving range (3 hours) of Anchirage. The weather looks like it's not too bad...unlike the interior where you'd wish for death before Thanksgiving. Wife is a bit...shall we say, uhhh not on board? Ok, I'll be honest. She said "you'll be moving by your damn self!".

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:43 pm 
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My wife is special, not all wives would be on board.

But ocean front was a stipulation of hers.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:58 pm 
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Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
My wife is special, not all wives would be on board.

But ocean front was a stipulation of hers.

Can't argue that. Mine is just afraid of the cold...no matter how many times I show her the temp there is only about 5 to 10 degrees colder than where we are now...and a hell of a lot nicer in summer! Oh well.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:52 pm 
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delarey wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
My wife is special, not all wives would be on board.

But ocean front was a stipulation of hers.

Can't argue that. Mine is just afraid of the cold...no matter how many times I show her the temp there is only about 5 to 10 degrees colder than where we are now...and a hell of a lot nicer in summer! Oh well.

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Within three hours of Anchorage:
The southern Mat-Su Valley doesn't get too much snow and the air temperature isn't that cold in the winter. They also get a decent amount of sun in the summer. It is frequently windy though, which means that it can feel a lot colder in the winter. This area includes Palmer/Wasilla so many stores would be a relatively short drive away.

The northern Mat-Su Valley doesn't get as much wind, but gets a lot more snow. Not as many sunny days in the summer. There are small grocery stores, mechanics, hardware stores, etc. so you can get a lot of the stuff you might need locally, but there aren't any really big department stores or specialty stores.

Willow and Houston are kind of in-between the southern and northern parts of the Mat-Su Valley. It gets pretty cold out in this area. An advantage is that you have easy access to the wilderness while being a short drive from Wasilla.

I think Glenallen is a little more than three hours away from Anchorage, but I don't think you want to head in that direction because it is really cold.

The Kenai Peninsula is pretty warm during the winter. I've never lived in that part of the state. It rains a lot in some parts of it and land prices are relatively high IIRC.

Also, if you have auto-start, a heated garage and neighbor kids you pay to shovel then you never have to be cold.


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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:15 am 
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Location is everything.

When we were looking, I found a 10 (ish) acre lot piece on Kenai. It was right smack dab in the middle of Ninilchik, which is a little town on Route 1. Access was a challenge though. It was water front but had no road frontage. The road frontage was not an issue for us in theory (the place we bought on Kodiak is accessible by air and boat only in good weather), but living in a town (even a tiny AK native village) and having no road access, that was an issue for us. Price was under 10k.

That being said, the prices per acre in Kenai Peninsula Borough for road frontage property I saw were in the neighborhood of 10k for ocean front, 5k for interior. And 1k or less for no road frontage regardless of waterfront.

Mat-Su prices were the same, though I never saw any ocean frontage for sale in that Borough. But there wouldn't be much, just a little strip on the Cook Inlet which may not even be in private ownership.

People like roads, I guess.

Mat-Su and Kenai seem to be little higher, I would imagine this is because they are the 'weekend playgrounds' of Anchorage. Would you agree with that Quazi?

SE Alaska is really high. 25k an acre for ocean front (near enough to all of it to be called) all of it is ocean front and no roads at all. Makes you wonder how them 'Alaskan Bush People' bought 20 acres near Hoonah, but I'm sure Discovery Channel didn't help them buy it at all. :awesome:

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:57 am 
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Another thing you've got to remember, and this came as a shock to me as I'm sure it would most people from the Lower 48, most of the state is a freaking swamp!

Be very, very careful about buying land. Do lots and lots of homework. Here is a fun thread if you haven't read it yet...

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=118699

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:55 am 
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Thanks for providing the updates since the thread opened. Pictures as soon as possible!

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:49 pm 
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Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
Another thing you've got to remember, and this came as a shock to me as I'm sure it would most people from the Lower 48, most of the state is a freaking swamp!

Between the tundra, muskegs and river bottoms you are correct. Some people might not consider any of those to be actual swamps, but they're all spongy and wet.

During the winter the muskeg swamps actually make for easy travel. During the summer they're difficult and dangerous.

My brother tried to make some wicking beds out on the swamp in front of his place. He put down landscape fabric, made a short frame out of logs and filled it with dirt. He said it seemed to work good, but grizzly bears kept eating all of his vegetables. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Sounds like time for some bear steaks!
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm wondering how pigs would do in the swampy areas. They seem to do really well in that sort of terrain down here in GA!
We raise a lot of pigs on our small acreage and it can be a profitable endeavor if you develop your market right, but I've found it saves me more money if we just raise them for our own consumption and bartering.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:33 pm 
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teotwaki wrote:
Thanks for providing the updates since the thread opened. Pictures as soon as possible!


Of course!

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:49 pm 
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delarey wrote:
Sounds like time for some bear steaks!

I've heard that grizzly tastes terrible, but I've never tasted it myself. Black bear is pretty good as long as they haven't been eating fish or garbage.

delarey wrote:
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm wondering how pigs would do in the swampy areas. They seem to do really well in that sort of terrain down here in GA!
We raise a lot of pigs on our small acreage and it can be a profitable endeavor if you develop your market right, but I've found it saves me more money if we just raise them for our own consumption and bartering.

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I think it probably depends on what area you're talking about. I've heard pigs don't like cold, and some of these swampy areas are cold all year round. Others might not be too bad.

We used to raise pigs a long time ago. Just a few weener pigs that we would butcher in the fall. This was on high ground, not right next to a swamp. I was pretty young so I don't remember it too well.

There are a few tricky things with animals in Alaska.
Depending on where you are, the ground might be frozen and/or covered in snow for the majority of the year. This can make animals expensive to raise.
Certain animals need a lot of shelter to make it through the winter.
Getting specific breeds can be difficult, as there are fewer breeders and transportation can be expensive.
Getting animals, feed and infrastructure out to your place can be really difficult and expensive if you live off the road system.

I'd like to try raising pigs again some day. If I could get 2-3 weener pigs in the spring and butcher them in the fall then the feed and infrastructure costs wouldn't be as high. When I checked last year between the price of weener pigs and the price of feed I would about break even in terms of just going out and buying a butchered whole hog. Just buying one would be a lot less work, but there are additional benefits to raising my own as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:10 pm 
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I can see where grizzly would taste weird.
Pigs are easy. We set up a nice shelter with hay AND a heat lamp every winter, for nights that drop into the teens. Pigs will have no part if it...if it's not raining, they sleep out in the woods Ina giant pile! Even with near a foot of snow, they still prefer being outside. Breeds matter. Commercial pigs won't make the cut, I'm sure, but the heritage breeds tend to tolerate cold better and live better off forage. It may be an option there. My biggest concern would be predation, but that problem can be fixed with electric and lead.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:23 pm 
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delarey wrote:
Breeds matter. Commercial pigs won't make the cut, I'm sure, but the heritage breeds tend to tolerate cold better and live better off forage. It may be an option there.

That's a good point. For a long time the only pigs available were whatever the very few people raining them had, but there seems to be quite a few people going through the trouble of bringing heritage breeds up to Alaska so I think people's options are definitely improving.


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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:40 pm 
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We are bringing Kiko goats up there with us, very hearty, good mothers, kid easy, usually twin. I actually got permission from my AK Nat. Corp. neighbor, Koniag, to graze my little herd on their land in the summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:21 pm 
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Congrats on the property on Kodiak! My buddies dad goes up there every 5 years or so to try and get one of those monster bears on the island. Some beautiful area there, wouldn't mind having a home there myself. Does the property have a house or are you going to have to build one? Anything of note on your acreage? If I remember correctly Kodiak isn't really heavily forested, maybe I am incorrect (as I often am) does you're property have many trees for heat?

Keep us posted with some pics asap! When you fly through Seattle hit me up if I'm at the airport I'll come say hi! haha!

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:50 pm 
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quazi wrote:
delarey wrote:
Breeds matter. Commercial pigs won't make the cut, I'm sure, but the heritage breeds tend to tolerate cold better and live better off forage. It may be an option there.

That's a good point. For a long time the only pigs available were whatever the very few people raining them had, but there seems to be quite a few people going through the trouble of bringing heritage breeds up to Alaska so I think people's options are definitely improving.

That's good to hear. That's the one roaring success I've had on our small farm. I think, next to chickens, pigs are probably the easiest animals to raise. I'd gladly take a stab at being the only support of quality pork within 100 miles! Hahaha

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:51 pm 
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Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
We are bringing Kiko goats up there with us, very hearty, good mothers, kid easy, usually twin. I actually got permission from my AK Nat. Corp. neighbor, Koniag, to graze my little herd on their land in the summer.

Wow...stepping into it with a game plan. Congrats!

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 Post subject: Re: Homesteading Alaska
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:07 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
Congrats on the property on Kodiak! My buddies dad goes up there every 5 years or so to try and get one of those monster bears on the island. Some beautiful area there, wouldn't mind having a home there myself. Does the property have a house or are you going to have to build one? Anything of note on your acreage? If I remember correctly Kodiak isn't really heavily forested, maybe I am incorrect (as I often am) does you're property have many trees for heat?

Keep us posted with some pics asap! When you fly through Seattle hit me up if I'm at the airport I'll come say hi! haha!


North - Eastern Kodiak (up near Kodiak) has Spruce and Alder forests, so I've been told by the AK Div. of Forestry

South - West Kodiak has sparse Alder ranging from brush thickets to mature copses, again my info comes from the the state forester for the area.

Of note: we bought just under 9 acres, the whole northern side of the property is beach, and sea cliffs. 900 feet of ocean frontage. There is a headland on top of the cliffs 200 feet up. Mature Alders on property, again info from state.

House: we will be building one, it is yet to be seen if this will be done with local timber or imported lumber.

Firewood: most people on Kodiak use driftwood, I have on good authority from the locals that we bought one of the best places to collect driftwood in the summer. I also have permission to harvest dead fall from Koniag lands. We will also be planting some Northern Red Oak, we chose this tree for its growth rate, BTU rating, weather / soil suitability and hardness rating / straight trunk. The last two qualities were important if I ever wanted / needed to use it for lumber. I'm sure I will someday.

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