Our Year: 2020

Calypso Farm & Ecology Center

Annual Fall Fundraiser

Our Year: 2020

Annual Fall Fundraiser

Calypso Farm & Ecology Center
2020 was a year of changes, challenges, and many firsts for us, all of which we got through thanks to a HUGE team effort from our entire community including our Calypso staff, family, friends, and the many individuals, businesses and organizations who support us!

The year started off with our very exciting, community-funded, solar panel installation in February! Things quickly took a turn once the magnitude of the pandemic became apparent in March. We shifted gears from our usual summer program planning and began brainstorming ways to adapt our hands-on education programs to creative at-home learning opportunities, as well as new avenues to make fresh, local food accessible to those who need it most.


With our Farmer Training Programs, field trips, summer camps, and community events all postponed for the foreseeable future, we put our limited on-farm internet to the ultimate test throughout the spring. We jumped on the Zoom train and held online gardening workshops and virtual knit-nights, streamed Facebook Live animal visits and demos, moved our annual Memorial Day Plant Sale to an online pre-order format, and held our very first virtual Sheep and Wool Day!

We also launched a new series of at-home activity kits and, more recently, an Alaskan-based hands-on curriculum and activity guide for students and families diving into distance learning this school year! As a way to support the members of our community who were being hit hardest by COVID-19, including those struggling with job loss, healthcare costs, etc, we launched a “Pay What You Can” system on all of our online and mail-order education programs.

Thanks to the unbelievable response we received from our food relief fundraiser, funds from our amazing sponsors and grant funds, the majority of our summer was focused on providing food for the community. 100% of the food grown at the Hunter, Pearl Creek, and Woodriver school gardens was distributed to those in need, while produce grown on the Farm was distributed to both our CSA shareholders, Southside Market customers, and to our emergency food relief partners. With those most vulnerable in our community in mind, we redesigned the Southside Community Farmers Market into a pre-order pick-up only system, and extended our Pay What You Can discounts to all Market customers, offering up to 50% off to anyone in need of fresh food.

Our Year In Numbers


80

For 10 weeks of the season, 80 bags of food were delivered each week to individuals in need at the Pioneer Home, Golden Towers and Southall Manor, as well as to Hunter School families.

130

Near the end of the flower season, 130 bouquets (donated by our amazing community!) were harvested, arranged and delivered to Denali Center, Hospice of the Tanana Valley, and the Pioneer Home.

700

700 customers chose fresh food at the Southside Market Pre-Order from June through September, supporting 11 local farmers and producers!

900

Over 900 youth and adults participated in our distance education programs this year including online workshops, at-home Farm Discovery Kits, and our new People & Place Curriculum!

2,000

Over 2,000 lbs of potatoes grown at the Hunter, Woodriver and Pearl Creek school gardens were donated to families in need!

32,000

With our focus this summer on community food relief, over $32,000 worth of produce was donated to families through Hunter Elementary and other schools, ThrivAlaska, Golden Towers and Pay What You Can discounts through the Southside Market.

If you'd like to support the work that we do, please consider making a donation towards our education programs and food relief efforts!


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