Our first step is clearing and then hopefully we'll grow some soil. This ain't going to be easy -- in a community that gets about 21 frost-free days a year -- but we're going to give it a try because growing food is important.
In early Spring 2013 we hired a local logging company to clear our Spruce forest. The Spruce on our land has no lumber value but we can sell it as firewood. After four days of logging, we ended up with ten cleared acres, which will be our field, a loop driveway and two potential building sites. We ended up with about 150 cords of firewood which was sorted into three decks: green, standing dry and mixed.
What's a corduroy road? It's how large sections of the Alaska Highway were build back in the 40s. Check out the Wikipedia page for it. When we were building our corduroy road, an old section of the Alaska Highway washed out and the crew that went out to fix it told us that some of the logs under the highway came out of the ground bone dry and could practically be bucked up for firewood.
With the driveway and building pad now in place, our efforts are focused on building a house and continuing to ready the land for agriculture.
In early April 2014, while the ground was still frozen, we pushed up the debris from logging. Our next step is transitioning this old Spruce forest to pasture is pulling stumps, but we'll likely wait another year to do that, once the ground is a little drier, so that we don't lose too much of our precious soil.
This year we hope for a bumper crop of Fireweed, rose hips, Spruce tips and if we're lucky, a few black currents, to fill our pantry for the winter.