Calypso Farm and Ecology Center

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About Calypso

Calypso Farm and Ecology Center is a non-profit, educational farm based in Ester, Alaska. We provide hands-on education to Fairbanks school children and community members through our education programs. Our diversified farm operates as a CSA to feed a number of local families through the growing season.

Our mission is to encourage local food production and environmental awareness through hands-on education in natural and farming ecosystems.

School Garden Initiative (SGI)

The School Garden Initiative is recruiting for summer positions.

The School Garden Manager is the lead farmer for the school gardens. She/He is responsible for garden preparation, planting, maintenance and harvest of the school gardens. The School Garden Manager will have the assistance of a garden caretaker and will be responsible for supervising caretakers and communicating garden maintenance needs to the students working at Hunter Elementary School.

The LEAF Camp Director (Learning Ecology and Alaskan Farming) is responsible for the schedule, activities, and curriculum for all the LEAF Camps. The Director will act as a lead counselor for camps as well. Camps are in June and July.

The EATinG Program Leader will work with a group of youth aged 11-17 who are participating in the EATinG Program (Engaging Alaskan Teens in Gardening) at Hunter Elementary School. The Leader will work alongside Student Gardeners, fostering youth leadership and positive group dynamics while preparing beds, planning, harvesting and running a weekly farm stand. This person will also assist as needed and as time allows with basic garden maintenance.

The Garden Caretaker will work with the Garden Manager to assure the planting, maintenance, and harvest of the gardens is done according to plan.

The LEAF Camp Counselors will help lead the LEAF Camps throughout the summer. There will be two crews and end dates differ depending on the camp schedule.

For more information on these positions or the SGI contact Danny at

The School Garden Initiative responds to the need for hands-on educational opportunities in schools, a gardening and nutrition connection for children and locally grown food for the community. The goal of the initiative is to support a network of school gardens functioning as experiential learning environments for teachers and students during the school year. During the summer months some of the gardens are used as part of the LEAF program providing more education opportunities in the gardens!

Calypso plays a lead role in the initiative by caring for the gardens during the summer, consulting on garden design and development, supporting teachers in using the gardens and maintaining a network of communication between schools.

SGI Schools:

  • Chinook Montessori Charter School
  • Hunter Elementary School
  • Pearl Creek Elementary Schools
  • Randy Smith Middle School (shared with Anne Wien Elementary starting in 2014!)
  • Woodriver Elementary School

If you are a local business or organization and are interested in sponsoring one of the school gardens, click here for sponsorship info.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about the Schoolyard Garden Initiative, contact Danny Sparrell at 907-451-0691 or

Living Classroom Manual

This manual, based in Alaska state standards, seeks to inspire teachers and students to learn experientially in the school garden and natural world through the process of active participation and direct observation. In essence, The Living Classroom Manual seeks to provide teachers with the information and resources to take children outside and to be academically productive at the same time.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the Living Classroom Manual, please contact Calypso. The Manual costs $30 plus $5 shipping if necessary, but is free for Fairbanks North Star Borough Teachers.

Calypso Farm and Ecology Center • P.O. Box 106, Ester, Alaska, 99725 • 907-451-0691 •