Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just Us

Just some favorite pictures from a large family; still gotta upload son Nr 2. Next month we travel to Missouri for the farm search and we hope everyone will be able to visit in the future. We have a house of peace and safety and everyone is welcome at any time...just next time we will have animals and a barn and a tractor ..and..and..and!!!!!

Granddaughter Emily Faith

Grandson Caleb

Nr 1 Son - Junior; veteran disaster response Hurricane Katrina and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Nr 3 son Matt graduation from Police Academy

Nr 4 Son Al; veteran Operation Iraqi student

Nr 1 Daughter Jenn; CNA and all around Alaskan girl

And at some point in your life you start worrying about elder care for your parents.....
and some of us have more to worry about than others!!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Found a Homestead

Well, we found a homestead we are interested in.It was built in 1945; 3BR, 1 full bath, 2 half baths, full basement with a poured concrete foundation. 2 Car garage, central air, wood burning furnace and hot water heater, 11.37 acres, fully fenced and cross fenced, large barn, greenhouse, pasture, woods, pond and a 3br 2 ba newer trailer for Judy all for 99K.

We have requested additional info and gone onto Google streetview to check it out. Its a little closer to the rural road than we would like but it has just about everything we are looking for and the price is great.

Here are some pictures:

As you can see its a stone house. Barn is behind the house to the left and the trailer is directly behind the house along a road that traverses the property to the back 40.

The entire area is country country country. Its a rural unincorporated town of a couple hundred. It has a gas station, 2 cafes, and a grocery/feed store. Its also within commute distance to Fort Leonard Wood (about 35 - 40 minutes).

Historical 2 story barn that looks to be in pretty good shape. We requested additional pictures.

Looks to be a newer trailer. Would build a covered screened in front porch and deck, a back porch, storage building, dog run etc.

The fancy greenhouse, we would also build a simple hoop house.

The small building is the wood furnace/hot water heater. Very efficient, burns even scrap wood (i.e., pallets) and works when the power is out. Will be handy in the event Zombies take over the power grid eh?

We like the kitchen but the modern stove, refer and egad..microwave have to go. The water is on a well and I would consider a hand pump...Holly isnt sure how a handpump works with a dishwasher..heh, heh

You can see the barn and top of the greenhouse out the windows.

Paneling of course has to go...the orange shag carpeting....yuck

Another Bedroom

And finally the living room.

All carpeting would have to go....I am somewhat scared by the lack of photos of the bathrooms (its an important place in our life!) and I am curious about the basement (we want it to be useful and not just a hiding place for zombies and monsters).

Hopefully we will get additional info before I head to the far east...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

22 July Garden Update

Garden update. Its raining like all get out but the garden is doing nice for the most part. Up front the Jacob's ladders are blooming, the peonies are just about done, the hostas have beautiful flowers, the spirea is in full bloom and the forget-me-nots and day-lillies are looking good. In the back the bush peas are about 3 feet tall, sweet peas are coming on, nasturtiums are getting ready to flower (and thus be eaten), lettuce is being harvested, cilantro, chives, rosemary, and dill are all being used for cooking and the kale is finally progressing. The salvia is blooming but looks kind of sad this year and the iris' are about played out. In the greenhouse, the tomato plants have some small tomatoes but they look king of leggy. I think we should have pinched the suckers when they were growing but we shall see. Catnip is up and usable for the cats and finally, we now have two squash on two different plants. We already got a large crop of rhubarb and fiddlehead ferns but our blue berries look pathetic this year for some reason. I am looking forward to serious plantings at the homestead. Some pictures to compare with the 2 July post (click on the photos for larger high res):

The Peonies and Jacob's Ladders were awesome this year!

Forget-me-nots and Daylillies in the front yard

Some Nasturtiums and Sweet Peas we planted this year are doing well

Our sole yellow squash.

Kale, lettuce, cilantro, taters


Nasturtiums on the deck getting ready to flower.

I forgot about the potatos, we planted a variety and they are doing well but some of our plantings have already overgrown their spot. Need to put aside more space next time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Meyers farm in Bethel

While poking about Bethel I ran into a farm ..a real working farm of about 1.5 to 2 acres and stopped to check it out. I Hallooed and knocked on doors but no one was there for the 30 minutes or so I was there looking around. It was a very clean set up and had a machine shop, two green houses, a chicken coop with at least a dozen chickens and 2 roosters, a couple of small barns etc. They had a compost operation but I didnt smell any fish so I am not sure what exactly they were using for fertilizer (I dont know if it was organic as there was absolutely no signs anywhere). Surrounding the property at various intervals were square steele black tanks that looked to be used for irrigation and there were 2 wind mills that had tubes going into 55 gallon drums (???). The soil was fine nutrient rich river silt that looked to have had much organic matter added...really rich loamy looking stuff. It was all very compact but very well organized and spotless. Really impressive operation.
You can see the farm is compact.
Not sure what the windmill was pumping into the barrels, water is absolutely everywhere in Bethel.

The vegetables inside the greenhouse and in the rows looked to be in outstanding shape and really healthy.

About 12 hens and 2 roosters.....fryers maybe?

View towards the barn and 2 greenhouses.
If they can grow stuff this good looking in Bethel we should be able to do something productive in Missouri!!

Western Alaska Trip

Spent the last week in Bethel and flying to western Alaska villages to inspect government property. The weather was beautiful, the people as usual were great, and it was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, while there they had several deaths from drowning and one woman just disappeared at fish camp. There is little employment in the villages and high rates of substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault and it was amazing to see the differences between villages. Some were clean and you could tell the village elders had tight reign on the affairs of the village, others...not so much. Personally, I love to visit but would not want to live there full time. You cannot imagine flying for hours over the tundra or in this case the Yukon/Kuskokwim river delta and seeing almost nothing...a few birds but not much else.

This village is built on permafrost and over a river drainage, roads are wooden planked for ATVs for the most part.

I think this is the air field office
Joshua and Alene

Yes I see the rabbit ears

Whole lotta nuttin

Raise your hand if you want to fly on this rig

Friday, July 3, 2009


2 July 2009 - 11 Months from freedom and the move. Our decision to sell everything, retire early, and move from Alaska to Missouri increasingly comes into focus. Holly and I have been homesteading for a few years now without really knowing it..we have been increasingly interested in gardening, self reliance, and hunting/gathering as a way of life. Coupled with this is a desire for a return to old fashioned values and an enjoyment of old things. We like old stoves, toasters, cars, trucks, tractors, furniture....? The collapse of the economy and the general feeling of unease in the country seems to make our decision clear.

We are approaching 50, all 5 kids are grown, Holly has 11 years of State employment and I have 33 years of service in the Marine Corps and Army, 24 years of which is active duty. Our plan is to retire to the Ozarks, live on a rural property where we will have gardens, some animals, and a decent shop/barn. I need peace..I cant explain it beyond that.

So far we have sold our fishing boat...


And some household goods. Right now we are concentrating on getting the house ready to sell and gardening...