About the farm.
Cosmic Apple Gardens is a 50 acre farm in Victor, ID. We are at the base of the Teton Mountain range in Teton County. We are able to walk (a long walk!) from the farm all the way to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park without crossing a road. Our irrigation water is gravity fed from snow melt out of the Tetons. Our water source is incredibly pure and we know it makes all the difference in the flavor of our produce!
Teton Valley has a band of rich loamy soil called “Driggs Silt Loam”, which we are lucky enough to caretake. It runs along the East side of the valley and has been deposited by wind. Most of our valley is rocky with a thin layer of soil, the exception being this wind deposited soil in pockets of the valley. Our farm is also in a special micro-climate of the valley. As the surrounding mountains cool down at night, the warm air generated during the day blows across the farm keeping us a few degrees warmer than other parts of the valley.
Our farm grows food for people in Teton County, ID and WY. About 2/3 of our customers are in Jackson, WY which is about 30 miles east of us. All of our products are Certified Organic and most are Certified Biodynamic through Demeter Certification Services. We sell our veggies, herbs, flowers at two markets in Jackson and one in Driggs, ID. Our beef, pork and eggs can be purchased through the CSA program or at the farm. Our CSA program serves 200 families.
The farm was started in 1996 by Jed Restuccia. Jed began selling basil to local restaurants in Jackson and quickly realized there was a demand for more high quality fresh produce in the valley. In 2000 a handful of loyal market customers persuaded him to start a CSA. He began with 8 members and farmed at the Painted Apple Ranch. By 2001 he had out grown the land he was leasing. A committed member gathered her friends and pitched the idea of purchasing land so there would be a local organic farm to feed them. A generous local community member supported Jed’s vision and purchased 30 acres so Cosmic Apple Gardens would have land with deep soil and great water rights. A Conservation Easement was placed on the property through Teton Valley Regional Land Trust.
In 2002 as the farm continued to grow and be a success, Dale Sharkey was hired to grow flowers for the CSA and to help with markets. The CSA was expanded to 50 people. With 2 full time farmers we were able to continue growing our CSA. We also expanded our livestock from chickens and cows to include honey bees and pigs. In 2003 we hired a Workshare Manager to help with all of our volunteers.
We now currently employ a truck driver, a Workshare Manager, a Wash Station Manager and 4 market prep employees.
Jed still runs the farm, while Dale manages the office, feeds employees and raises three children. We also have twenty five Workshare volunteers a year who trade 5 hours of work a week for a share of the harvest. We are grateful to have such dedicated volunteers return year after year who share our vision.
Farming close to Jackson brings a constant change of young, energetic adventure seekers who understand the importance of small scale farming and want to give back the community they live in. We are blessed with a new “crop” of volunteers every year who teach also teach us!
The farm family is pictured at the top of this page. I love this photo because it really captured the moment. Our children were tired and wanted to go home. It was late in the day and the season. We were headed to our car when I saw the photographer pull in. I completely forgot her making an appointment with us. Jed was about to head off to get some much needed tractor work done. I talked (pleaded with) the kids to be part of the shoot. In this photo I had just told them if you looked close you could see the shutter opening and closing. Our oldest son, Dagan, was curious but doubtful. Our middle child, Axel, was giving the camera his ninja staredown looking for the truth. Roxanne our daughter looked to her brothers to see what mom was talking about. I think Jed and I were just happy to stand still for a moment with our family.
Jed and I (Dale) feel incredibly grateful to do the work we do. We love it and on hard days we still can't think of anything we'd rather be doing. It is an honor to be trusted with the work of growing food for others. We know every step of the process matters and we do everything we can to grow the best food possible for the People of the Tetons!