Knapp Ranch purchases Osage Gardens
After nearly 30 years of operation, Tom and Sarah Rumery say they could not be more grateful to have sold Osage Gardens to Bud Knapp and Knapp Ranch, located in the greater upper West Lake Creek valley of Edwards.
“The integrity that Bud brings to this relationship is so incredible and comforting,” said Sarah Rumery in a news release. “The future of Osage Gardens, its brand and products, are now in his hands. It comforts us to know that Osage Gardens lives on with someone who truly cares about the future of our brand while making our planet a better place.”
The sale of Osage Gardens to Knapp Ranch is characterized best as a new partnership and alignment of core values. Since its inception in 1992, Osage Gardens has used organic practices and has been certified organic since 1999 by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Knapp Ranch is a thriving working farm using sustainable practices, and with the purchase of the Rumery family farm, there will be no significant operational shifts of the 20-acre Osage Gardens located in New Castle, but rather greater distribution of its culinary herbs and vegetables.
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Yes, it’s those year-round herbs and edible flowers that Osage Gardens is most noted for and, arguably, basil is the most popular culinary herb and edible flowers the most complex crop to produce at scale. Basil is challenging to grow at altitude, but the farm harvested 1,000 pounds in one recent week alone.
“We believe in growing sustainably, and working with our environment and local ecosystem to maintain and encourage natural diversity,” said Jared McDermott, who has served as general manager of Osage Gardens for the past 10 years and will stay on to oversee operations with his dedicated passion for and expertise of the 20 acres of organically-certified land and just over three acres of organic herb and vegetable production under greenhouse cover.
History of Osage Gardens
The Rumery’s started Osage by selling tomatoes to local grocery stores and restaurants. They were growing a few basil plants on the side but quickly realized that there was a high demand for fresh-cut basil. This led the farm to specialize in fresh culinary herbs. After 10 years, the farm expanded onto a new piece of land located on the Colorado River between New Castle and Silt. Osage Gardens now grows more than 22 different varieties of culinary herbs.
The original goal to build the local food economy in the Roaring Fork Valley and Colorado River corridor by providing the community with an accessible, diverse, abundant and sustainable food system grew to include product distribution to Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and other privately-owned natural foods markets across the state.
Tom Cartwright, who serves as chief operating officer of Knapp Ranch, says he is very excited to develop these specialty market relationships alongside McDermott.
“Operations and research focus on adaptable and regenerative sustainable farming, high altitude ecosystems, water conservation and long-term climate change,” Cartwright said in a news release. “The preservation of the land, natural agricultural production and environmental education help define Knapp Ranch. As Osage Gardens becomes part of the Knapp Ranch family, we look forward to incorporating the standards of excellence and quality that parallel ours and to continue the Osage business model of growing the finest herbs. In turn, we are able to invest the necessary resources to meet market strategies to take our relationships to the next level.”
In 2017, Knapp Ranch formed the Knapp Ranch Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the ranch. The profits from Knapp Ranch, and now Osage, will flow into the foundation as it provides grants to organizations and nonprofits that parallel the sustainable education and agricultural academic focus.
Knapp Harvest coming to Eagle
And coming very soon to Eagle, Knapp Ranch will open Knapp Harvest, another opportunity for Osage herbs, as well as produce, microgreens and honey from Knapp Ranch, to be made more readily available to the broader community of those craving locally-sourced food.
For more information, visit knappranch.com.