Thursday, July 7, 2011

Calypso Farm

Calypso Farm is a a non-profit, educational farm near Ester, not far out of Fairbanks. It also operates as a CSA, feeding a number of families during the growing season.

  This is an experimental garden, using some seed supplied by Steve.

Where the moose roam free, fences are important - something we aren't used to here in New Zealand.

Until coming to Alaska I had not really understood the importance of light to growing plants. Here in New Zealand my focus has always been on rainfall, warmth, frosts, etc. but plant growth, as I 'learnt' at school, is all about chlorophyll and photosynthesis - i.e. sunlight. So for much of the year things don't grow in Fairbanks, not just because of the snow and ridiculously low temperatures (-40 is not uncommon), but because of the lack of light. However, when summer comes with its 24 hour light, things grow amazingly fast. Steve's potato plants tripled in size in the 2 weeks we were there. His courgette plants went from being just a couple of leaves to bearing almost-ready courgettes in that same two weeks.

Gates to the main garden area.
No building consents required here - what bliss!

Our goats have been so nasty to me lately, but babies always make me yearn for more.

Another chipmunk
The greenhouses are quarter-, rather than the half circles we have.
The flat wall is on the cold side, and is insulated with a silver coloured wall.
 The older of two yurts - I want a yurt too!

Walking up towards the house past chook, sheep and goat houses and runs.

They also had a couple of bee hives, but unfortunately the people who look after the bees were away for a few days so I was unable to talk to them about beekeeping.

Watching Steve's garden grow, and visiting Calypso Farm inspired Mac and I to come home and get out in the garden as soon as we got back. Things may not grow as fast here, but we can garden all year round. My new rhubarb bed is prepared, and Mac has rotary hoed up a nice big new potato bed ready for planting in a couple of months.

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