I recently attended a wonderful luncheon hosted by Calypso Farm and Ecology Center. We enjoyed a tasty meal prepared by and from the farm and Tom Zimmer guided our group on a Farm Tour. Our enthusiasm grew as we wandered and looked at the beautiful crops, colorful flowers, seed saving projects, compost piles, and innovative ways recycled materials can be used.
Funny how a compost pile can make you want to go home and do better in your own garden! And hearing that this compost provides the major component in their soil amendments, I vowed to go home and see what I could do with my pile.
After lunch several people shared information about the programs at Calypso, and I was especially interested in the Farmer Training Program. One thing I have been hearing over and over in conferences, meetings and conversations in the past two years is the need for new farmers.
Currently, the average age of the American farmer is 60, and according to recent USDA data, the number of new farmers is low. Land for farming is expensive, it is hard for young people to get started, and available funding is too soon used up, are a few of the statements I heard from young people. Calypso’s Farmer Training Program is designed to provide high- quality training and mentoring for aspiring young farmers and farm based educators.
What does this have to do with Fun For Food? One of the visions of Co-Op Market’s Member-owners is to provide local farmers and producers with suppost to increase demand for their products, and at some point in our growth, give back to our community to help build a sustainable food source for interior Alaska and beyond!
Co-op Market Grocery & Deli strives to make small steps each year toward our larger goal of growing the local food economy. This year we are excited to make that step by offering 15% of funds raised at the 5th annual Fun for Food Celebration to the Farmer Training Program at Calypso Farm & Ecology Center. Make that small step with us at our celebration on Saturday, November 17 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge.
For more information about Fun For Food 2012 go to http://tinyurl.com/FunForFoodTickets.