David Mudd

For more information: Tom Zimmer and Susan Willsrud Calypso Farm and Ecology Center P.O. Box 106 Ester, Alaska 99725 (907) 451-0691

[email protected] www.calypsofarm.org

Editor's note: New in 2005

soon be clear-cut, as it was at least twice in the past century. "Trees grow very slowly around here," Zimmer notes, "especially on the 10 acres we've got that tilt north. There's permafrost year-round up there, and the trees are only about 10 feet tall after the last cutting 35 or 40 years ago."

Slow-growth patterns mean soil stays bare a long time when the trees are removed, exposing it to wind and water erosion. Calypso's acres are protected from those processes by the forested acres the couple have left undisturbed, and by their improvements to the land they cultivate.

Rather than drilling an expensive and potentially unreliable well, the couple instead chose to collect rainwater runoff, establishing troughs and trenches leading to a storage pond. They also collect rainwater from rooftops on each building, in barrels. The barrels are fitted with spigots, and hoses retired from the local volunteer fire department link them to the storage pond. Zimmer and Willsrud make their property available for firefighter training exercises, which often include tanker trucks full of water. The tankers are usually empty when the exercises are complete, and the water flows into Calypso's collection system.

While they have altered the run-off pattern on their slope by diverting and capturing rainfall, they compensate by retaining only as much as the center needs. Zimmer is reassured by the improvement their composting efforts have made in the water-retention qualities of the soil in their terraced beds.

Community and Quality of Life Benefits: With a CSA and education center, Willsrud and Zimmer say community comes to them. "There's always somebody coming by to see if we've got produce for sale, to see what the ecology center's all about, or just to visit and

"The CSA is wonderful for everything it does," says Willsrud. "It gets people here and makes money, and lets people know it's

Agritourism

Calvo, 154 Doerr, 19 Duncan, 157 Nelson, 40 Slagle, 95 Smith, A., 187 Thompson, L., 190

Agroforestry

Calvo, 154 Shepherd, 43 Slagle, Q5

Alfalfa hay

Alvarez, 148 Doerr, 19 Fernholz, 25 Finken, 28 Groff, 65 Heath, 169 Johnson, 34 Nelson, 40 Quinn, 181 Smith, C., 138 Wackernagel, 52

Almonds

Hopeton Farms, 172 Sills, 184

Bananas

Calvo, 154 Ha, 163

Barley

Dorman, 62 Fernholz, 25 Finken, 28 Kupers, 168 Quinn, 181

Beef cattle

Bohman, 151 DeWilde, 16 Endicott, 22 Finken, 28 Frasier, 160 Green, 108 Groff, 65 Hanson, 166 Hayes, 68 Heath, 169

Johnson, 34 Larson, 37 Sechrist, 132 Smith, A., 187 Smith, C., 138 Thompson, D., 46 Way, 98

Bison/Buffalo Groff, 65 Shepherd, 43

Blueberries

Bartlett, 10 Bishop, 56 Harris, 111 Hitt, 114

Buckwheat

Kupers, 168 Quinn, 181

Citrus

Steward, 141

Canola

Finken, 28 Kupers, 168

Cassava

Calvo, 154

Cheese

Doerr, 1Q Major, 77

Chickens

Bartlett, 10 Crawford, 59 Gunthorp, 31 Hayes, 68 Heath, 169 Larson, 37 Paul, 92 Sechrist, 132 Shareef, 135 Smith, C., 138 Way, 98

Chili peppers

Alvarez, 148 Calvo, 154

Coffee

Calvo, 154

Community education Bartlett, 10 Calvo, 154 Carter, 102 Doerr, 19 Duncan, 157 Groff, 65

Hopeton Farms, 172 Nelson, 40 Samuel, 129 Smith, A., 187 Thompson, D., 46 Way, 98 Zimmer, 193

Community supported agriculture

Bartlett, 10 DeWilde, 16 Heath, 169 Henderson, 71 Paul, 92 Zimmer, 193

Composting

DeWilde, 16 Duncan, 157 Harris, 111 Heath, 169 Hopeton Farms, 172 Inaba, 175 Judice, 117 Mitchell, 86 Wackernagel, 52

Conservation tillage Carter, 102 Finken, 28 Groff, 65 Kupers, 168 Matthews, 80 Thompson, D., 46 Upton, 49

Cooperatives

Alvarez, 148 Crawford, 59

Endicott, 22 Finken, 28 Matthews, 80 Miles, 120 Pepper, 126 Samuel, 129

Corn

Bennett, 13 Carter, 102 Dorman, 62 Fernholz, 25 Groff, 65 Gunthorp, 31 Johnson, 34 Jones, 74 Nelson, 40 Shepherd, 43 Thompson, D., 46 Upton, 49 Wackernagel, 52

Cotton

Alvarez, 148 Carter, 102 Pepper, 126

Cover crops

Carter, 102 Crawford, 59 Duncan, 157 Groff, 65 Harris, 111 Henderson, 71 Hitt, 114

Hopeton Farms, 172 Inaba, 175 Matthews, 80 Muth, 89 Pepper, 126 Sills, 184 Steward, 141 Thompson, D., 46 Thompson, L., 190 Upton, 49

Cover crop seed Bennett, 13 Dorman, 62 Sills, 184

Dairy cows

Jones, 74 Mitchell, 86 Nelson, 40

Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment