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Best places to start a homestead in alaska  RSS feed

 
Dylan Kirsch
Posts: 2
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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I'd love to hear from you felow alaskans about where you live and where you feel to be the best places to homestead in this state. I currently live in funny river which is about 15 miles outside of soldotna on the kenai peninsula. Some of the things I consider to be important on choosing a location are:

Low population yet having access to a modest sized town ie. Soldotna

Climate such as good Summers adequate rainfall and sunshine, and not too harsh of winters like those of the interior. The longer the growing season the better.

Cheap land

I'd also love to hear what you see as important in choosing a place to start a homestead or why you chose to live where your at.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 156
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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I live where I live sort of by accident and because of work and work contacts.  yet it would be my among my first choices if I could choose.  That said it would be hard to go out and get a situation such as I have.  Land between Homer and Soldotna is likely the best bet to meet your mentioned criteria.  There are also a rare few affordable lots in southeast if you look at the real estate websites.  What I consider most important in selecting a site:  affordability, road access,  access to your source of income, uplands (as opposed to wetlands which bring legal restrictions for use), available sunlight (if the lot to your south has tall trees you are stuck with deep shade much of the year!), aspect-- south facing slopes are vastly superior in this climate.  even east or west facing will be much warmer than north facing.   I can walk up a north facing hill here on many days of the year and be in the shade with frost on the frozen ground and nothing green, then go over the top of the hill and be in the sun, feeling 10 degrees warmer (i never actually measured)  soil warm to the touch, without frost, and green leaves.  that said, the north facing slopes do tend to catch up in terms of plant growth sometime in May, but they are far less pleasant to live on for most of the year.
Also important is current vegetation cover-- are you willing to cut down a lot of huge old trees to get the light you need for your passive solar design, solar panels, greenhouse, and gardens?  If properly planned you can meet all your water needs from roof catchment so water is not such a big issue.  You can easily meet all your heating needs for at least 7 months of the year, and a significant amount for the balance with passive solar design.  Grid electricity is nice here but with the right site (full winter sun) you can get by with solar year round. One more factor almost as important as aspect is exposure to prevailing winds.  I have stood shivering from cold in full sun in the summertime on the south face of a building located in a kind of landscape wind tunnel that funnels a day breeze increasing its velocity.  Also important is access to friends, family, and business contacts.   Don't discount burned or logged sites, they are preferable in some ways as you have a blank slate and no guilt about cutting down big spruce trees..
a couple of websites i have found useful are
www.homerrealestate.com
and
http://mapserver.borough.kenai.ak.us/kpbmapviewer/

the second one is the kenai peninsula borough parcel viewer with lots of good info about all the lots in the borough in map form


and plant lots of nut pines (where they won't eventually shade your house and gardens) right away- pinus koraiensis, pinus cembra, pinus sibirica, pinus albicaulis, pinus pumila, and likely others.... lawyers nursery is a good source for some of these.
good luck
 
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