Aspiring farmer or avid home gardener? Gain the skills you need through farming classes at Calypso!

 All workshops are held at Calypso Farm, unless listed otherwise. Classes are offered a member and non-member rate. Get a discount on all workshops by making a membership donation of any amount for the year when you register.  Browse the courses below, and call 907-451-0691 with any questions. 



Planning a Home-Scale Food Production Garden: Saturday, March 24th, 1 – 4pm at the Ester Fire Department

Learn to design a personalized garden plan to grow food to make use of your space and meet your needs. Cost: $30 (members) $45 (non-members)

Beginning Organic Gardening: Saturday, April 14th 10:00 – 12:00pm

Grow your own food, free of pesticides, herbicides and chemicals! This is an overview of ecological gardening methods such as soil care, weed and pest management, tools, and bed design. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

All About Seeds & Starts: Saturday, April 14th 12:30 – 2:30pm

Learn techniques for growing healthy, organic transplants at home. Topics include choosing seed varieties, potting soil and containers, setting up proper lighting and effective watering. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Basic Drip Irrigation: Saturday, April 21st  10:00- 12:00pm

Drip irrigation saves water, time and money and improves root growth. This hands-on workshop will give you all the information you need to install your own system. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Root Cellar Basics: Saturday, April 21st 12:30 – 2:00pm

You can store your vegetables through the winter!  One of the oldest methods of vegetable storage, root cellars are a valuable tool for any home gardener! Join us to learn the basics of root cellar design, construction, and maintenance. Cost: $15 (members) $20 (non-members)

Tree Pruning and Apple Growing in Alaska: Monday, May 8th  4-6pm

This class will cover the basics of growing apples in Alaska and pruning, using fruit trees and other perennials as examples. Stay for lunch and take Apple Tree Grafting in the afternoon! Cost: $15 (members) $20 (non-members)

Apple Tree Grafting: Monday, May 8th 6-8pm

Learn all about fruit tree grafting, and practice grafting on apple trees. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Soil Basics: Wednesday, May 10th 10:30-12:30pm

Your garden soil is the life blood of your garden! This class covers basic soil science in a fun, interactive and practical way. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Organic Fertilizers and Soil Testing: Wednesday, May 10th 1:30-3:30pm

There is a dizzying array of options for organic fertilizers, or “soil amendments”. This class will explore the range of organic fertilizer options, when and how to use them. Learn how to take a good soil sample for testing, and how to analyze the results. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Bread Oven Building (3 days): May 18th – 20th: Friday, 6 – 9pm, Saturday, 10 – 5pm, Sunday, 10 – 5pm

Learn how to build a wood-fired bread oven at Calypso! There will be a lunch break. Please bring a lunch, water, and whatever snacks you might need! Cost: $150 (members) $225 (non-members)

Greenhouse Construction & Operation: Friday, June 1st 10:30-12:30pm

Tour Calypso’s greenhouses, while learning about efficient greenhouse design, materials and operation. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Animal Husbandry – Sheep and Goats: Friday, June 8th 10:30 – 12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm

This class goes beyond the basics of keeping sheep and goats, giving hands-on experience in a number of practical skills, including: safely handling animals, judging body condition and the overall health of an animal, hoof trimming, on-farm vet skills such as giving simple injections and cleaning and caring for wounds. Cost: $40 (members) $60 (non-members)

Vermiculture: Friday, June 15th 10:30-12:30pm

Learn about red wiggler worms and how to set up a successful vermicompost system to decompose your food scraps. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Composting – Building a Compost Pile: Friday, June 29th 1:30-4:30pm

Compost is a very important key to garden success. Learn the basics of composting, how it works and how to build your own successful compost pile. Cost: $30 (members) $45 (non-members)

Bouquets: Exploring Floral Design & Varieties: Monday, July 30st 1:30-4:30pm

Tour Calypso’s field to learn about the wide variety of cut flower varieties and learn to design your own bouquet that you can take home with you! Cost: $30 (members) $45 (non-members)

Chicken Butchering: Monday, August 13th 1:30-4:30pm

Learn how to humanely and safely butcher chickens for home-scale consumption. Cost: $30 (members) $45 (non-members)

Seed Saving: TBA – late August

Learn about seed saving with Kurt Wold of Pingo Farm, the most experienced commercial seed grower in Alaska! From Arugula to Zucchini, learn about plant reproduction in your garden community, and how you can save the seed for coming seasons. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Potato Tasting & Testing: TBA – mid September

No two potatoes are the same, in flavor or use! Join Kurt Wold of Pingo Farm, in testing potato varieties for taste, properties and appropriate use. Cost: $20 (members) $30 (non-members)

Pig Slaughtering & Butchering: TBA – Saturday & Sunday early September

Learn to humanely slaughter, skin, butcher and pack your home grown pigs with Justin Cox, an experienced game and livestock processor. Cost: $80 (members) $120 (non-members)