Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little Farm on The Tundra

It's nearly official! Little Farm on The Tundra is about to be reality, folks.
J, Beans, Little Nugget, and I met in the real estate agents office today and closed on our Arctic Homestead.
I say it's "nearly official" because the paperwork still has to go to the title company to be recorded. Apparently, when you live in such a remote location, these things do not happen as instantly as they do in big cities. While this normally only takes an additional two business day, Monday happens to be "Alaska Day" (whatever that is?), and the recording office will be closed. Our homestead ownership will be official on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the former owner will have packed his bags (and boxes) and give us the keys Sunday, and we will waste no time getting moved in.

So, the details...
It's a SMALL homestead. The appraisal officially marked it as 864 sq ft. (Told ya. It's small!) It's a new (2007) construction log home that reminds me a lot of Lincoln Log structures I built as a child on my mom's living room rugs.
For those of you familiar with the TV version of "Little House on The Prairie", it looks much like the Ingalls' home on the inside. The door opens into the kitchen and dining space, with a cozy wood stove tucked in the corner.
J has promised to switched out the barrel stove for my dream wood stove, a fancy little number from the Vermont Wood Stove Company that has a separate baking oven in the bottom and a cook top on top, surrounded in warmth maintaining and radiating soapstone. The cost of that little stove (and the shipping) will likely count for my next five years worth of Christmas presents, but I won't mind when the smell of wood stove baked bread wafts through the house, or when I don't have to pay the power company to set a pot roast on for dinner.
The tour continues with a single bathroom (with full sized washer and dryer tucked in), and a downstairs bedroom that we plan on converting into our family room/den. A small built in desk sits strategically under the loft stairs. The stairs climb to a loft that we plan on converting to the grown-up bedroom, and the adjoining master bedroom will become the toddler haven and sleeping quarters. That's it for the inside. (Pictures will come, eventually, so y'all can see the homestead.)
The fun part is outdoors. A separate well house will double as some storage space, and two attached carports (one on either side of the house) are set to house vehicles and a freezer. The house is nestled on a cozy 2.5 acres which is begging for a roost of chickens, a garden, a greenhouse, a handful of meat rabbits, and maybe even a milk goat and yarn sheep (eventually). J would also say that the place is begging for an oversize two stall garage, but I'm getting my chicken coop first. (Fair enough, since the coop will cost about 25 times less to build!) The girls will have their own little area cleared for the playground of their wildest dreams (not hard when all they really want is a swing and a slide), and there is already a good half acre cleared that just needs tilling and planting for next year's harvest.
The acreage is covered in wild high and lowbush cranberries, and plenty of other wild plants to identify and explore. We've seen moose prints, lynx prints, and the previous owner claims to have discovered bear scat on occasion. I'll believe the lynx and the moose. I'd better not ever see a bear. On one of my many drive-by stalkings of my new house, I crossed paths with a handful of ruffed grouse, and there are more bunny tracks than you can count. We might not be able to completely live off our little parcel of land, but we wouldn't have many excuses for starving to death either.
The wooded lot is speckled with birch, spruce, cottonwood, and aspens, and these trees do a good job of hiding the house from plain view. The ones we clear will do a fine job of proving heat in our upcoming winters (after they dry out, of course), and the ones that remain will keep our homestead sheltered from the Delta winds.

I'm excited to know that this winter, instead of dreaming, I will actually be sitting in a rocker by my wood fire stove, knitting and crocheting to heart's content, and spending the darkest days of winter poring over seed catalogs that I will actually order from, instead of living vicariously through my lucky friends who are already hobby farming.

That's the news for today, my friends! We are off to have a very busy week ending and week beginning... packing up the old house, seriously downsizing, and moving into our Little Farm on the Tundra. The next news y'all hear from Moose Nuggets, we'll officially be homesteaders.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!