Calypso's COVID-19 Response
In light of health mandates surrounding COVID safety being dropped and much of Alaska reopening, we feel that it's even more important to maintain the utmost level of safety to protect one another. The following response remains in effect through the 2020 season.
FARM UPDATES FOR THE 2020 SEASON:
Based on the very real possibility of a recurring, more deadly wave of the COVID-19 infection in our community, Calypso is dedicated to minimizing transmission while still providing food for the community. In order to care for the most vulnerable in our community, we will take steps that go beyond what is mandated by the state.
We will focus on food production this season with educational resources available online and via mail order. In order to keep the community safe, we are doing the following:
- We have a minimal crew of farmers who will be living on the farm and practicing strict social distancing from the community.
- All vegetables and flowers will be available via CSA or weekly pre-paid orders only.
- Vegetable and flower drop-offs/pick-ups will be organized to ensure strict social distancing and maximize safety.
- No visitors will be allowed on the farm this summer.
- Calypso's Summer Camps are canceled for the season.
- Calypso's Farmer Training Programs are canceled for the season.
AN UPDATE ON FARMERS MARKETS:
If the situation drastically changes and both the local medical community and government agree that social distancing can be eased, we will consider resuming some market activities with safety precautions in place. However, as of right now, we will not be opening any of our markets or farm stands this summer - including Ester Market and the weekly farm stands normally setup at Beaver Sports and Pearl Creek, Hunter, & Woodriver Elementary Schools - with the exception of the Southside Community Farmers Market. The Southside Market will be open only as a pick-up location for pre-orders and will not be open as a typical farmers market.
There will be more information to come on how to pre-order food weekly from Calypso and other Southside Market vendors, however we are making every effort to make the process easy and accessible to all. We will still be accepting Food Stamps, offering discounts to those struggling financially, as well as standardizing pricing to be compatible with WIC and Senior Coupons (in $5 increments).
MEMORIAL DAY PLANT SALE:
This year, our annual Memorial Day Plant Sale will be 100% pre-order ONLY, with plant pick-ups scheduled across several days at the end of May. Pick ups will be organized in a way that minimizes social contact and maximizes safety, and we will also be accommodating individual pick-ups for anyone who is high-risk or for anyone who would prefer a solo pick-up. Click here to pre-order your plant starts!
OUR COMMUNITY FOOD RELIEF EFFORTS:
Although our youth gardening programs have been postponed this season, we will still be growing food at the Pearl Creek, Hunter, and Woodriver Elementary school gardens. By working in partnership with local community organizations to identify families in need of a free food option, 100% of the food grown at the gardens will be distributed to those in need.
We will also be partnering with other local farmers to offer weekly vegetable pre-orders on a "Pay What You Can" system - offering up at 50% discount to support those in financial crisis due to COVID-19 and to bridge the gap for members of our community who may not qualify for state food benefits.
We know that times are difficult for everyone right now, so if your circumstances allow for you to support our efforts, we would be SO grateful to have your support! By supporting this initiative, you'll be directly helping people get the food they need and supporting the local farm economy.
Please click here to make a donation to our community food relief efforts!
UPDATES TO EDUCATION PROGRAMS:
Hands-on education has always been a huge part of Calypso. While we have cancelled field trips, summer camps, in-person workshops, and our Farmer Training Programs this summer, we are continually working to offer creative options for at-home learning. We are offering a selection of our gardening workshops online via Zoom and have created a serious of at-home activity kits for youth!