As expected, May was a whirlwind of activity here on the homestead, from some new animals joining us to a new front porch and all sorts of things in between!
Our new front porch went up smoothly over the course of a couple days. The entire thing was milled on our saw mill, and there is something about that which makes it slightly more satisfying to sit on. Sitting on an elevated deck makes us feel less like we are living in a construction zone and also gives us a better angle of the beautiful trees that surround. I’m loving this new feature on the cabin!
Pete was also able to get the dozen fence posts planted into the holes alongside the driveway. The fence will be an extension of the existing chain link fence for the garden. This is a great improvement, but the driveway still needs a lot more work! As soon as a machine is available, we plan to scrape off the rutted top layer and get down to a smooth base. We’ll then put some landscape fabric down and have some rock delivered to spread out on top. We will also add a drainage channel along one side to prevent the annual spring driveway lake. Hopefully our design works flawlessly and we will then know how to deal with muddy impassible Alaskan driveways; next year we’ll see!
We are building off of the two garden beds we initially built in 2019, adding more organic matter on top and then building low tunnels for protection from the hot and cold. Then, we’ll also add some more plants to the space between the existing beds. This year, we will pay attention to all the things we plant. Taking note of when we planted, how well they grow, how long they take, and we will also compare a couple different varieties of the same vegetables. All of this will be utilized next year as we grow our garden bigger. It is very tempting for us just to go all-in and plant as much as we can and see how big we can go; after all, seeds are cheap! However, part of our low-stress approach is avoiding situations in which we are “over our heads”. We think it will be a much more beneficial experience if we simply start with a small sampling of most of the vegetables we would like to end up growing. With this small sampling, we can easily control all the water and everything else, so that when we get it dialed in we will know exactly how to build all of the additions as we expand. Rather than building the whole thing from the start and then wishing we’d done it different as we get more experienced. Of course, though, I couldn’t resist trying something new in the garden this year: edamame!
One evening over Memorial Day weekend, we were awakened by an earthquake. It was a 6.1; the biggest these newbies have ever experienced. The epicenter was in the Talkeetna Mountains which is a nearby mountain range that we enjoy day trips to. The glass dishes rattled, the house bumped from side to side, and the dogs rustled around, but there was no damage and everyone was safe—not even the chickens stirred. I don’t mind the small earthquakes. It just means the mountains are growing (yay!) and the Earth’s crust is shifting, letting go of some of it’s energy little by little so the bigger shifts are few and far between. All of the sharp, unique, young mountains are one of my favorite things about Alaska.
These warm days early in the season make me believe that this summer might be a hot one again. Rain or shine, we aren’t slowing down! Except, of course, when it rains I now slow down to enjoy my new deck. It’s hard to beat enjoying a delicious dinner on the deck with my family.
Hello, I am Melissa, owner of Wild North Design. Recently, my husband and I decided to pick up and move to Alaska. This dream has been a couple years in the making and we are enjoying the journey so far. We love to learn and make all kinds of things. From wood craft, to painting, to vehicles, landscaping, building, exploring...we love it all! We are finding out that Alaska is a great fit for our restless minds and bodies! Excited for what the future holds for our expanding family!
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