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Help me grow in Alaska
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Author:  Newbie [ Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Help me grow in Alaska

I put this under the "Living Off The Grid" topic then thought it wasn't the right spot. If anyone can give me ANY INFORMATION AT ALL I would be very grateful. I am planning on moving back to Alaska next spring and have a few questions mainly about growing tobacco but also about growing other vegetables. I was stationed at Ft Wainwright in Fairbanks from 2000 -2005. I didn't really grow that much when I was there except tomatoes and cucumbers. I'm planning on buying 30-40 acres and going to live off the grid as much as possible. If you can help, even if it's only a little it would be appreciated. Look forward to hearing from you.
Don

Author:  JAK [ Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help me grow in Alaska

I don't know much about cold weather let alone growing things in it, but I did see a documentary on Alaskan farmers growing ENORMOUS produce in green houses by warming the ground with hot water pipes and taking advantage of the extremely long days.

Hope that helps a bit?

My guess is, insulated raised beds in green houses would work nicely. Lots of infrastructure would need to be built first.
I bet, once you're up there other farmers in the area will know ALL the tricks.

Author:  Lynyx [ Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help me grow in Alaska

Hi,
I've heard if you can grow tomatoes you can grow tobacco. Fairbanks must be about 65 degrees North and in the permafrost...or not? There are some far-north Europeans in this group who are about at your latitude but I don't think that they are in the permafrost. I haven't noticed any Siberians on this site but there was at least one grower from Finland. I am at 50 degrees North and I planted some plants in November and they are real close to getting harvested. They needed sticks and strings to hold them up through christmas but they made it on natural light (plus the normal lighting in the room). I don't think it would work at 65 degrees but you definitely have to try it with at least 1 plant, don't you? The type Geudertheimer did the best under low light among the types I tried.
Good luck on your venture and please keep us posted.

Author:  Jitterbugdude [ Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help me grow in Alaska

Looks like you have about 3 months of frost free days. Plant your seeds at least 8 weeks ahead of time. You want them to be big and robust. Plant them after your last frost date. Keep a bale of two of hay handy. If you get an unexpected frost you can cover each plant with a little hay to prevent frost damage. It'll take about 60 days for your plants to bloom. You start harvesting about 3 weeks later. I would plan on stalk harvesting at about 3 to 4 weeks after bloom. This would put you right about at your fall frost date so have a place to allow them to cure. In the basement or somewhere where they will not freeze.

What type of tobacco are you planning to grow?

Edit: just saw in your intro you are growing for pipe or cigar. Try growing some Turkish. They bloom rather quickly. 40-50 days. Samsun-Maden is an excellent choice as well as Bucak, Tekekoy. You could also try Little Dutch which is an heirloom tobacco predating 1870. It was used to make "American" style cigars in the 1870's but it also makes an excellent pipe blend when mixed with some Flue Cured (Virginia) tobacco.

Author:  rustycase [ Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help me grow in Alaska

Wow!

The JBD dropped in to visit us!!!

He's a smart fellow... always top notch advice!!

Best
rc

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