Chicken farming in Alaska goes amuck, but fishing a success

When I decided to raise chickens and turkeys in Alaska, I forgot to take a small variable into the equation. These little critters will commit suicide if given half the chance. Turkeys are especially prone to end their young, tender lives. They can drown in a quarter inch of water, get their heads stuck in some strange place, and many other devious things that only turkeys can think of.

Depressed at my apparent lack of farming talent, I asked a local farmer at church for some advice. “The only thing dumber than a turkey” he said, was “someone who raises them”. Oh boy…well I guess I’ll feel better soon, because at this rate I won’t be raising many, if any.

Saturday my brother in law Paul, myself, and two of our children went on a fishing charter. We had a blast and all caught our limit of halibit, 2 each. First we trolled for kings, and Paul and Makayla caught two real nice ones, a 24 inch and a 29 inch. I landed one that looked more like a trout size, causing great amounts of scoffing and it was quickly tossed overboard back into the water. I was warned that it gets very cold out on the open water, in the early morning (we left the boat dock around 4 am). To my great delight, I found a huge pair of insulated coveralls at a local second store for $15. These are the same kind the oil guys wear on the oil fields, or at least it appears that way. They were a little to warm when I hauled in a 40 pound halibut, but that was a good problem to have.

Last week I hauled over 1,000 gallons of water. Not by buckets, thankfully. With Paul and Jo here, we had a total of 14 people on the property. It seemed like we were running a laundrymat at times, with frequent shouts of “more water! we need more water!” But, it was great to have them here, and I hope they return soon. Paul texted me soon after they left, and said he had come down already with a serious case of P.A.D. While here, they stayed in our motorhome.

Recently I also upgraded our battery bank to 48 volt. I had 8 6 volt batteries, which is not idea for a 12 volt system. Using them in a 48 volt configuration is much more efficient, as it pulls equal power from each battery. I was a little unsure of what to do for a charger, because all the ones I priced were in the thousand or two dollar range. Then I discovered forklifts run at 48 volt, so I found a forklift battery charger for $250, cut off the fancy forklift plug and wired it up, and that is working very well. I also added 3 more solar panels, so hopefully I won’t need to charge the batteries very often.

Last weekend I had an unfortuante incident in which I blew up our new chest freezer, making me feel very stupid. I had this cool metal “Alaska Land Barons, LLC” plaque, which I decided to mount on the front of the chest freezer. I ran the first screw in, no problem. Second screw was met with a “pop” and freon spraying everywhere! A call to the repair shop left me feeling even worse. Note to self: Never run self tapping screws into appliances.

While Paul was here was also added a porch to the cabin. This went well, and I was very glad for his help, as I get nervous when more than four feet off the ground.

The King Salmon run until June 15, and the Halibut fishing is good all summer. And of course the other salmon will be running throughout the summer as well. We got friends coming next week, and also in August. If you get a hankering to visit Alaska, just let us know! Maybe you can stay in our motorhome.

Happy fishing,

Matt

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