Newbie from Alaska

marta271
marta271 Posts: 15 ✭✭✭
edited October 2023 in North America

Hi, just joined the Grow Network. Anybody here happens to be from Interior Alaska?

Comments

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @marta271. I'm not from Alaska but I wanted to say welcome to the group!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @vickeym is from Alaska!

    Welcome @marta271!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,622 admin

    Welcome to TGN's forum @marta271. I'm a bit south of you in Central BC.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome @marta271

    My nephew lived in Alaska for years but he was in Fairbanks. Its a stunningly beautiful state. And challenging.

    Do you garden or have animals?

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Marta271, Glad to see another Alaskan. You will love it here. I am out in Talkeetna. What area are you in?

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seems strange to know you are south of us. After many, many years of my Canadian relatives being "up north." lol

  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    @marta271 I`m not from Alaska, but I just wanted to welcome you!

  • marta271
    marta271 Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    Thank you everybody for a warm welcome!

    We live in Fairbanks (but originally we are from Poland) and to answer some of the questions we do some gardening but not on our property (mainly because it is north facing). We share a greenhouse with a retired gentleman on his south facing property who watches our crops most of the time. Also, this is mostly my husband and my sons who have been going there and doing required work so I don't have much practical experience. I decided though I need to up my gardening knowledge and skills this summer. We have a miniature garden near our house mostly for greens and herbs that its me who usually does the work at.

    Other than that, I also have 11 chickens mainly for eggs. Adding 4 more this summer.

    Is there a group here homesteading specifically in the northern regions?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @marta271 It depends what you mean by "northern". @torey & I are from Canada (she, BC...zone ? & me, MB...zone 3), and there have been a few others here from Canada off & on, but aren't regular contributors. I can't recall if any other have been from Alaska besides @vickeym.

    I think we're as north as it gets here to date.

    We live on an acreage, with some milk cows, a horse, heritage birds (I'm a breeder), and a few other things. We've experimented with quite a few things and hope to do more. A person should never quit learning & developing new skills.

    We will be doing 2 expanded gardens this year. We're farm folks, really, with my husband having worked for farmers for years & me having grown up on one. Our kids are country kids through & through.

    As tough as country life can be at times, we wouldn't have it any other way. City life is certainly not for us.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @marta271 Toery is zone 3b as am I. Have not found anyone one else here from Alaska. Though I would love to see more on here.

    If you are interested in gardening info outside of this group please message me and I can give you all sorts of info and contact. I moved to Alaska from Florida and quickly learned anything I knew about gardening did not apply here. You will have much warmer summers that I do and much colder winters.

    But farming in your area is very doable, even more than in mine.

  • marta271
    marta271 Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    Your homestead sounds great! This is my dream. If I have more savings one day, I would like to buy bigger land or even little farm somewhere in warmer area and try to live off of that. I love rural areas, too. When I was a kid in Poland we still had communism, not so much in the stores, so we all grew a lot of our own food and comparing to alaska, Poland is much much warmer with all these fruits trees I miss the most! Fruit or nut trees and bushes were everywhere. We snacked very healthy food all the time. We immigrated to New Jersey first and then moved to alaska for economical reasons (job) and we stayed cause we love being away form crowded places. When I miss crowds and people and history, i just go back for a short trip to Europe 😉.

    Yes, by northern I meant at least Canada. It can be more challenging to homestead in the north with the long winters and shorter summers so I thought maybe there are groups divided into areas. It is completely different experience in California when you have a sun and warm weather all year round and it seems like some academy videos I watched so far are done more from warmer climates perspective.

    But we also have local groups here that do this al the time so I can definitely fill that gap locally.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,622 admin

    @marta271 I am in zone 3b/4a but I try to push the zones and have a few plants that are beyond what normally grows here. We have a good sized garden and a few fruit trees and shrubs. We are on an acreage, in quite a rural area. I don't have animals anymore but have had chickens, pigs and goats when my daughters were young. Except for a cat. But there are large ranches close by and several market gardens.

    I grew up on a farm and have lived in rural areas for most of my life. I had horses at one point. I haven't been riding in years. (not sure I could get a leg over anymore)

    Good luck with improving your gardening skills. Lots of people here willing to offer advice, even if their climate is a bit less extreme than yours.

    @vickeym You're not in the lower 48 anymore. :)

  • marta271
    marta271 Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    I love talkeetna! You do definitely have warmer winters. Do you still have snow? It is very deep and stubborn this year here in Fairbanks. I don’t see it going away soon.

    How to figure out which zone I am?

    I have been living in Fairbanks for quite a long time now so we have pretty good idea what will grow and what won’t, but I still have to learn a bit more gardening theory and techniques. Not necessarily we have a good knowledge what we are doing Lol.

    I would love more info outside this network. You can message me with the info.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @marta271 We really have very little that is ours, but the farmer who owns the farmland that almost surrounds our place let's us use some of his (mainly unusable to him) land. Without that, we figured that we could only have one cow and have to always buy hay for it. We'd have no gardens either.

    I believe that I am actually 3b as well. There are small microclimates here & there, and we are certainly a bit more unique where our yard sits. The weather certainly can be different than that even just a couple miles away.

    Zone maps give a suggestion about what might be able to be planted. Many push boundaries.

    This map puts you at 1a to 3b depending on your actual location. I was very surprised to see how high zoned some spots are in the state. Wow! I guess the ocean makes quite a difference!

    My parents live in Zone 2b here. I know that my mom chooses quite short growing season seeds. I follow her lead to some extent, but know that I have a week more than her & a week less than an aunt of mine who lives about 1 1/2 hours away in a different direction. Just 45 minutes to the southwest, they are in a whole zone up from us and can plant longer season cultivars too. Lucky them!

    I did a search for the average last frost date for my area (so, spring), and the first average frost date (late summer). This gives me an idea of growing days here. It's well worth knowing because you will see that number in seed catalogs.

    I know that we don't have as much snow as you, but some friends just a short drive away caught a mean part of the last storm that came through. I'm sure as we drove along their road, that the pushed drifts were 10' high on both sides of the road. It was absolutely amazing, as if we were on a mountain road! The snowplow even got stuck & they had to get a Cat in. At home, the snow had all blown away in the high winds & went somewhere else. :(

    Tomorrow rain & snow come again with a blizzard coming again this weekend. It sounds like we will get something more that will stay put this time around, but I'm not holding my breath. I got too excited last time. Maybe if I don't get excited, we will see more snow stay. 🤔Our place is still really dry in spite of all the snow we got in the winter. Any moisture is good news.

  • marta271
    marta271 Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    Thank you so much for the info!! I am already learning here.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    Welcome, Marta. Alaska sounds very challenging. I don't like the cold even though I grew up in Rochester, NY, which can be brutal. Now I am in Alabama, zone 7b. I do like being able to grow fruit and nut trees, but lilacs and tulips don't do so well here.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    I'm closing this thread, but leaving a link to a similar thread.


This discussion has been closed.