Given a home in Central,AK planning on moving there (Fairbanks: coops, construction)
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Thanks I have gone out of my way to try and introduce ourselves to the residents there. My kids have became pen pals with the kids their age and they email back and forth. We have exchanged photos with people and numerous emails as well with other families. I even sent our new community a Christmas card that was posted for everyone to read by the Postmaster there. We want to be part of their community not try and change their community to fit us.
Don't waste your time or money trying to use vegetable seeds from the lower 48 in Central, Alaska.
I lived in Fairbanks for ~8 years. I've travelled the Steese highway to Central and from there to circle.
I wouldn't mind living in Central, but you can expect your winters to reach -65 or colder. The summers can be pretty warm and the days are long. You'll get a 2 week spring and a 2 or 3 week fall. Snow usually hits in September.
There isn't anywhere to shop in Central except for the General Store/diner/etc. It's nice, but not very large. There is a hot springs with a lodge that's been developed out there, but I don't want to spoil that bit of fun for you
You can buy vegetable seed at a Fred Meyer or plant nursery in Fairbanks. Expect to make a few trips to Fairbanks during the summer. It's about a 2 or 3 hour drive to fairbanks down a highway that is mostly dirt and gravel, especially past Chatanika and Poker Flats.
If you can overwinter them, chickens and a REALLY tight chicken coop may be a good idea. That and/or goats could work, but you'll need a large enough area and food to keep them. People in the Alaskan interior tend to get creative when figuring out ways to make things work. All you'll really need is a couple of good rolls of duct tape and a few blue tarps
Seriously though, the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Program has a lot of relevant, and free, info regarding gardening and livestock husbandry in the interior. You might want to look into it with them.
Thanks for the tips about gardening and the extension I will surely check into that once we are there. I was thinking about chickens and I have reading and there is a breed that lots of Canadians use due to small combs and being a heavier breed of chicken. So we may just try a few to see what happens.
Don't know if you know or not but the hot springs lodge is closed down and for sale currently I was told by someone living in Central. As far as weather goes I have been told by a couple of people that I normally speak to that the coldest it has been was a couple of days at like -47 but other than that it have been hanging aroun-10 to above 0 that was the report last time I talked to someone at the first of Jan.
I think shopping will be the biggest change for us. I am used to just running out to Walmart if I forget some groceries and now I will have to plan. In fact we started last fall drinking powdered milk,trying different types because I figure that will be something we will use there often. I have also been trying since Oct. to make out a list and only shop every 2 weeks to try and train myself. I am big into coupons and that is going to be so hard to do there.
I also found out that Netflix has a center in Fairbanks so we can still rent our DVDs so that made me happy.
59 days and counting,YAY
Yes, shopping will be very difficult for you, during the winter months, since it's not always possible to travel to Fairbanks. Sometimes the Steese Highway is closed because snow drifts and such. It's quite a drive uphill over Eagle Mauntain, but not a big deal if you have a good set of studded tires or chains. About movies, you can buy the 2 DVD's for $10.00 over at Wall-Mart.
I have lived in south-central alaska for the past 13 years. I enjoy many aspects of the state, although most who move here from the lower 48 don't have a clear picture of how things here are, all of the amenities like cable,internet, ect are available here but not so many choices on who provides them, therefore costs of utilities and such can be quite high. Expect power outages, having a generator is smart. Cost of property here is not bad, cost of living is high though. Winter heating costs can get pretty outragous- it would be best to have a wood stove for back-up heat. Summers are gorgeous but winters are long, i suggest plenty of interest in snowsports
Thanks, we pretty much have all that covered internet will be Starband,DishNet for cable, NO POWER so we will have an inverter and battery bank but generator and we may look into solar for the summer but we don't know yet. We have a woodstove already and a back up oil stove as well. Our house and land were free so we don't have to worry about the cost of property. And the stores in Fairbanks that I have checked out are only a few cents to maybe a dollar more on items. Granted stuff in the bush will be SUPER high and we know that.
This may be a good time to learn food preservation skills, i.e. canning, food dehydration, etc. Seems like you will have a great garden in the summer. Having a great garden with varieties of vegetables will be a huge supplement if they are well preserved for use in the dead of winter. Soup was our favorite during winter months. Vegetables made a huge difference.
Planning a 30 day menu was helpful to us. Although we did not religiously follow it. It helped us buy what we needed. When you go to the store, you should already know what you have in mind until your next trip.
Do not pile up too many cold weather clothes, just enough for the trip. This will not only save you space but money as well. Stores in Fairbanks have all the best and proper clothing for the interior's weather. There is also a Catholic charity organization in Fairbanks where you can buy military cold weather clothing (used) which are very cheap. I spent a night in a snow cave while it was -57 below. I had total faith in those gears afterward. I live to tell all about it. One has to learn the surviving skills, of course.
I use to take my kids out and go sledding at -30 below. We had a blast and we always looked forward for that every year.
All depends on how you look at it. Will you keep it a lemon and whine about it or make yourself lemonade and look forward for another challenge?
I bought a book on canning meat and other ways to preserve it but I know know anything about canning veggies. I do have 2 dehydrators though. We figured pretty much our winter clothes here wouldn't be much there so we are only bringing the really good clothes and a couple of work outfits that it don't matter if we mess up. We will get the good stuff after we get there.
We love soups as well. Our favorite is Taco soup. I like soup and beans because you can put them on the woodstove to cook
Here's a good link to vegetable canning. I do a lot of canning in the fall, high acid foods like tomatos can be canned in a water bath (I can never can enough tomato sauce). Dried beans are a great source of protien and fiber that are very versatile. I've been following your story and all your preperations. I hope everything works out well and you have a great life up there!
Thanks so much for that link. It is a really easy to understand site. I am going to have to read up on some of that and print some of it out for later use. Do you have a good site for dehydrating foods?
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