Busy Times On The Mountain!

Discussion in 'Other Homesteading' started by Alaskajohn, May 16, 2020.

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  1. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Master Survivalist
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    While the rest of the world is preoccupied with the pandemic, it’s time to get busy on the mountain! The snow is gone and the roads up to the old homestead are safe for heavy equipment since the Alaskan breakup is over. In about 2 weeks it will be safe to start planting! The projects have to be tackled fast and furious in the approximate 5 month window when there is no snow.

    With what’s going on in the world, the wife gave me orders to ramp up the veggie gardens. The past two weeks I’ve been hauling in the materials and soil to build her raised beds and a green house so she can grow her stuff. I just completed this project about a week ahead of her planting schedule. I still have about 2 weeks before I can get my spuds in the ground. We are going for high production this year with the spuds, so we are planting Yukon Gold almost exclusively this year. High yield, stores all winter in to spring, and taste great. We still have a few dozen left over from last year and they are perfect.

    This past winter was colder than normal and the snow came early. I was worried about my wood supply going into winter, and sure enough I almost ran out. I’ve already have split and stacked 3 chords of excellent standing dead wood. I can see a good half dozen large spruce on a ridgeline above my property. Harvesting them should get me to my 7 chords. It will take 2-3 days of dedicated work to build a trail to get to them, but once complete, it will open up easy access to get them, and I will maintain the trail for future years use to access resources. There will be plenty of blueberries and chaga to harvest there over the years.

    Last year I hired a contractor to do significant improvements to our foundation including putting in a 10 foot deep concrete wall under three sides of our cabin. This will allow us to more than double our cellar under our home. I had intended to build out the cellar last year, but life diverted my attention and winter came early. I’m already starting to haul in the material to complete this, and the project will be done by mid summer, well in advance of needing the cellar for storing our harvests. This past winter we had about a solid month where temps stayed at or below -15 causing some of our pipes to freeze. The wife and I crawled under the cabin one morning when the wind was blowing hard and was about -20 to pull off the old insulation and put heat tape and wrap around the pipes. I going to build an insulated box around the pipes and with the heat tapes, we shouldn’t have this problem again.

    Log cabins need to be scraped and resealed every 10-15 years, and ours is overdue. This will be tackled this summer. I am hiring a contractor to replace two huge double pained windows that will be too heavy for the wife and me to do.

    Each year I budget $1,000 to hire my only neighbor to bring his D4 dozier and a backhoe to do road improvements and other work around the homestead. This year we need to replace a 22 foot culvert along my half mile long road to my cabin, among other projects.

    The wife has been on me for years to build a retaining wall along a hillside so she can grow things in the terrace above the wall. I’ve finally will have enough large rocks collected to get this done. This is a project I am not looking forward to.

    With increased agricultural requirements, I need to add to our rainwater collect system. I’ll need to head to town soon to get the gutters and rainwater containers for this. We supply almost all of our water for agricultural from rainwater, so this has to get done.

    Last year we splurged and put in a new deck and a hot tub so the wife and I can enjoy our evenings. I will be adding an extension to the deck to build a section to put in a grill and some flower beds.

    I still haven’t figured out how I want to tackle sustainable energy, so I may wait until next year before I splurge on a new large generator and hook it up to my large propane tank. Funds aren’t unlimited, so I want to make sure whatever I do would be compatible with my generator plans.

    Between all these projects I’ll need to carve out time to work the gardens, work on improving our firebreaks, do subsistence hunts and subsistence set netting trips, repair equipment, gather berries, chaga, medicinal plants, etc.

    Fortunately we have almost endless sunlight during this 5 month period, so productive 18 hour workdays add to the ability to get things done!
     
    Rebecca, poltiregist, randyt and 2 others like this.
  2. Sourdough

    Sourdough "eleutheromaniac"
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    WOW.........great post.........thanks.

    Reading that was fun.
     
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  3. Sourdough

    Sourdough "eleutheromaniac"
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    Very refreshing to read an account of life of those "Actually" living their dream, creating their wilderness site configured around the priority of prepping for their survival, in an as yet unclear but disturbing future for mankind.

    Charles Darwin would be pleased.

    Likely the future will be better for those actually creating safe space. Strange that so many on different internet forums, only talk about it, take careful notes, yet never getting around to actually creating it.

    Charles Darwin would be pleased.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    Rebecca, Alaskajohn and TMT Tactical like this.
  4. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon Alaska John,

    I'm impressed !

    Much work !

    When growing up, vaguely heard about charga from old Uncle. For medicine or tea ? I remember little.

    I promise never to complain with my workload after reading above.
     
  5. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    Alaska John,

    Sounds like another busy summer coming. Must be the season. I finished tilling up the new garden space last week. (doubled the garden size.) and built a wind break fence around half of it (keeps the corn standing). Have snow peas, radishes, mustard, cucumbers and gourds all up. Have my plants up and ready for transplanting into the garden soon as frost is gone. Sprayed new garden with beneficial nematodes tonight. Contractors scheduled for foundation work and a new gas fireplace in the works. Time to start fishing and I'm trying to find a spot to elk hunt this fall. Prefer elk to venison. A lot to do between now and October for myself and I don't figure you have that long. When do you get your first frost? Oh yea, Planted 4 new fruit trees this past week. I need to go fishing.

    Dale
     
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  6. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Master Survivalist
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    Dale, first frost is typically early September. We probably haven’t had our last frost this spring.

    Pragmtist, we drink chaga as a tea. My wife thinks it’s full of medicinal qualities.

    Sourdough, the wife and I still find time for a hike or two. The excuse was to go check to see how some of our overwatch positions faired through the winter, but it was a nice hike up the mountain nonetheless!

    Good thing I got most of my lumber early. Went to the nearest Lowes on Sunday in the Matsu and just about all of their treated lumber was sold out. I was talking to one of the store clerks who said lumber was the new toilet paper. I am a few boards short for one of my projects but I’ll improvise.
     
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  7. arctic bill

    arctic bill Master Survivalist
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    Alaska john , did pretty much the same up north at my place , lakes are open, still snow under spruce etc. I built boxes for raise garden. picked up debris from winter. I do not know about my apple trees still to early. For me his is the best time of the year, NO BUGS. when June is here you can not go out with out heavy protection. White clothes , bug hat and screen, bug spray. and smoke fire going all the time .
     
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  8. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Master Survivalist
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    The ice on Long Lake finally broke this past week. I’m thinking Knob Lake will do the same any day now. With all the snow we had this winter, those early mosquitoes are everywhere. What type of apple trees do you have and how do you keep the moose off of them?
     
    TMT Tactical likes this.
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