Calypso Farm and Ecology Center
Calypso Farm and Ecology Center
P.O. Box 106
Ester, AK 99725
Founded in 1999, Calypso Farm and Ecology Center is an educational, working farm located in Ester, Alaska, ten miles outside of Fairbanks. At the farm, we currently have approximately 3 acres in intensive production and an additional 27 acres of surrounding boreal forest (some of which is in rotational grazing land).
Calypso also farms an additional ~2.5 acres at school garden sites spread around the Fairbanks community. This acreage is distributed among 5 school garden sites within the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District - Hunter Elementary, Chinook Charter School, Woodriver Elementary, Pearl Creek Elementary and Randy Smith Middle School. For more information see the Schoolyard Garden Initiative on our website.
Calypso’s mission is to promote local agriculture and environmental awareness through hands-on education in natural and farming ecosystems.
Through all of its programming, Calypso works to provide food and education access for low-income members of our community
Susan Willsrud and Tom Zimmer are the co-founders and current Directors. Calypso is a non-profit educational farm founded in 1999.
Calypso grows a full array of vegetables, herbs and cut flowers. We also have a small, young apple orchard. Laying hens, meat chickens, dairy goats and Shetland sheep are also part of the farm eco-system. We also have a 1 acre field that will be dedicated to vegetable, flower and herb seed production. We do not yet have any seeds available for sale – but hope to in future years.
Calypso grows using methods that exceed that of the National Organic Standards, however, we choose not to be USDA certified because we exclusively direct market our products. Fostering an ecologically diverse farm system is the foundation of our approach. We focus on limiting off-farm inputs and base our soil building on composting, crop rotation and cover cropping.
Where to Buy our Products
Our products are sold primarily through a CSA (with both farm and school garden options). We also operate neighborhood farm stands in association with each school garden and have a farm stand at the Ester Farmer’s Market (Thursday evenings) and at the Downtown Market in Fairbanks, every Monday from 4-8pm from early June through September. We also sell to a small selection of local restaurants.
CSA - Shares available NOW - we offer both full and half sizes.
Educational or Work Opportunities
Calypso provides hands-on educational programs for children and adults, reaching thousands of individuals annually. Programs include: farm field trips, farm and garden workshops, Community Shared Agriculture (CSA), a Farmer Training Program and an extensive school garden network. Calypso’s educational programs are valuable models for other communities statewide and nationally. Details regarding all of our educational programs can be found on our website.
Employment opportunities are occasionally available for staff positions at Calypso. We post staff positions on our website when they become available.
Calypso Farm is located 5 miles from Ester on the Old Nenana Highway. Look for the sign on the right. There is a parking area near the bottom of the driveway.