Friday, February 22, 2013

Winter Composting

The best things about composting in the winter are the lack of stink and absence of wasps!  I deliberately keep our back-door compost bucket small so the contents don't get a chance to go slimy, but that means I have to empty it frequently.  My compost piles are inconveniently situated up by the old veggie garden site. Now we don't have any dogs to break the trail, it's up to me to wade through the snow to the piles.  Even though there's not much bacterial action going on I think it's worth adding material to the heap instead of putting the scraps in the garbage. I don't worry too much about the "browns to greens" ratio in the winter as it's hard to come by any brown matter.  The piles start to melt out quickly in the spring especially if I shovel off as much snow as possible.  The active one soon gets going again and I can turn it and add different materials to get the balance right, the heap I finished last fall will be ready for the spring garden while the other will be getting hot.

It may look vile to you, but in my mind it's a magic potion of goodness and I feel like I'm getting something for nothing.  Think of it as baking a cake for your veggies; you gather ingredients, stir them all together and let it cook.  My spuds definitely appreciate the extra nourishment and effort!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Still snowing...

We're enjoying some gorgeous snow these days, the best it's been all winter.
I can always find a reason to get out in it.
For fun we have ski trails right out the front door and the back driveway turns into a great sledding hill.  Tom has restored a 1970's era Alpine snowmachine that we use to pack the trail, and now we have a "groomer log" that makes a surprisingly good surface.  The sledding hill takes a bit of effort to pack but I get great exercise breaking trail up hill and my little neighbor often helps with the ride down.
Sometimes plowing the main driveway can be fun especially right now as we have chains on the truck and don't get stuck.  There's always places I can't get to with the plow so I end up shoveling at the end which is not my favorite job but at least it gets me out the door.
My enthusiasm for the snow probably has something to do with not having a "regular job" to go to.  I'm sure I would have a different opinion if I had to drive in the blizzard everyday.  Most days we don't have to start the car, we have everything we need right here.  At some point we'll have to get gas for the plow truck or go into Talkeetna to collect the mail, but I'm lucky enough to be able to pick my days based on convenience and weather patterns.  We have a root cellar and freezer full of food, books to read and internet at our fingertips.  I strive to live a simple life in the winter.
There's probably only 4 or 5 weeks of winter left - I always feel that this time of year should be put on hold for one more month, the winters are just not long enough!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Welcome to our corner of the forest

A brief introduction may be necessary if you haven’t figured out who or what we are by now:
Our log home was originally built in the 1940’s as a remote hunting and fishing lodge by the Kirsch family. In those days the only access was by the Alaska Railroad.
Before the renovation
Tom & Hobbs (me) spent at least ten years restoring the lodge to (beyond) its former glory, re-using as much of the original materials as possible.

Fireweed Station offers a true Alaskan lodge experience, combining authentic history, fine food, and modern quality.   In fact, at our place, “B&B” stands for much more than just “Bed & Breakfast”.  How about “Breathe & Balance”, “Bath & Bubbles”, “Bagels & Bacon”, “Beasts & Birds”, “Beer & Banter”, "Bocce & Back-Rub"…

Our place has the feel of your favorite Aunt’s place in the country; woodstove, claw-foot tubs, smells of fresh air, bread and coffee.  Always a friendly welcome.  It feels comfortable perched on a stool in the kitchen, jawboning with Tom, sharing a bottle of wine.  For me it’s a fine balance between having all the amenities to make our guests comfy (indoor plumbing, wireless internet) and living with what we have, appreciating what’s right here on our doorstep.  Like the Kirsch family we are mostly content to share our home with guests and friends, often blurring the line between the two.  We hope our visitors will absorb some of the history, catch a glimpse of earlier days’ Frontier living and find a little peace at the end of the dirt road.

Wild Alaskan Fireweed 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We've moved from tumblr

I finally decided we're probably a little too wordy to fit tumblr's "micro blog" format so here we are in a new space!

There is still some great content in the archives at tumblr so check it out if you're curious:

So bookmark this page to see what we get up to behind the scenes at our lovely historic Inn at the end of the road in rural Alaska.

Of course you can always go to our main website, especially if you'd like to be our next guest!