Q. Does the Alaskan government really pay you to live there at first? Also, I’d like to know what kind of crops do you raise there? Thanks! -Otis
A. Otis, I’d like you to look in my archives for a listing posted May 17, 2006 which will fully answer your question about what we call the Permanent Fund Dividend. You will also find many references to the weather in the archives also, either under ‘Weather’ or ‘Temperatures’ Please look there, so I won’t be accused of repeating myself incessently! I can’t help but do a ‘bit’ of that, but like to keep it to a minimum.
Now, about crops, lots of things grow really well here because of the long, light days of summer. Root crops especially do well. We raise great potatoes for instance. There are large potato fields near me, and an industrious person who doesn’t mind getting ‘down and dirty’ can go thtu the fields, gleaning what the potato picking machines have missed. It is expected and even encouraged. Back in ‘ought seven’ when I had ‘legs’, I would take the kids and go gleaning and often picked up enough potatoes to last us all winter. Fun!
Members of the cabbage family do well, also. Cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli,, cauliflower, carrots, all do great. I guess you would say the only things that don’t do well are things that need really hot sun and soil; things like green beans,, melons, okra, etc. You can grow tomatoes here if you have a greenhouse. Well, there are a few varieties of far north tomatoes which can be grown outdoors, but don’t believe they are big producers. I do have a friend who has raised canteloups in her greenhouse!
Corn can be grown, but not on any big scale, and then ONLY if you plant it under black plastic, cutting little slits for the corn plants to come thru. This keeps the soil warm enough that there are a couple varieities, bred for the northland, which do ‘okay’.
Hay is a good crop here and there are several hayfields nearby. Up by Delta Junction, there are some big barley fields also.
Weather can be different from year to year. You just can’t make a ‘blanket statement’ about it. For instance, this year, at Delta Junction, near Fairbanks, they had the coldest weather in 115 years on June 1st, when our daughter in law Susan lost her greenhouse full of tomatoes to a hard frost. It even snowed a bit in Fairbanks that day. Totally crazy weather, but makes for a good topic of conversation.
Hope this answers your questions. If not, write me again please. -BJ