JAMES REED - THE REV
James spent the first 25 years of his adult life traveling the world and then settling down in Hailey Idaho to raise his family. He built log homes and then founded "Animalia", making artisan rocking animal furniture.
In 2006, with their children grown and off to the four corners of the world, James and Leslee left the mountains of Idaho to live in the Hagerman Valley which is located along the Snake River east of Boise. At the same time James became involved with several forward thinking people and helped start Idaho’s Bounty; a local food distribution co-op. From this experience he became passionate about local food and farmers. His job at Idaho’s Bounty was to find the farmers and move the food.
In 2007 James and Leslee found and purchased a very special 5 acre piece of land in the Hagerman Valley and called it Onsen Farm. An Onsen is a place of beauty, hot water and healing in Japan. With the 125 degree geothermal artesian water and the 58 degree gravity spring water (just say “no” to pumps) they realized it was the perfect place for growing food year round with the help of greenhouses. James decided to join the force of organic, sustainable farmers and with the first greenhouse built in 2007, James slowly began learning and absorbing how to farm in greenhouses. Ten years later James and the crew have added four more greenhouses and is still learning as much as he can about soil and how to grow healthy plants for their CSA Members, and selected grocery stores and restaurants located in Boise and Sun Valley.
Education has always been central to James’ thinking. The educational component of Onsen Farm is thriving and growing, expanding opportunities for the creation of more gardeners and farmers. James is a student of “The School of Lost Borders”, a teacher training school for wilderness rites of passage. He leads a 9 day Vision Quest into the deserts of Southern Idaho every spring.
LESLEE REED - HEAD COOK AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Leslee’s background is in art & design. Along with her artistic endeavors, Leslee is a pilot and a real estate agent. In 2006 Leslee and her husband, James Reed, moved from their mountain home in Hailey Idaho to the Hagerman Valley with the desire to create a more “sustainable” existence for themselves. After searching for many years they found their “Place” at Onsen Farm. Leslee is the “Artistic Director” of the farm and when she is not painting in her studio she is looking for ways to create more beauty in her surroundings.
Leslee's passion is cooking, especially cooking with local ingredients. When she is entertaining guests at her dinner table Leslee loves to count how many local foods there are in the meal, and what farms they all came from. She appreciates being able to walk down to the greenhouses in the middle of winter and harvest kale, chard, spinach and salad greens that are growing there. One of her specialties is the Banana Tartes Tatin cooking with the banana's that are grown in our first Greenhouse #1.
Allen has always had a passion for growing and cooking food. He has fond memories of watching and helping his parents prepare meals and garden. Allen now carries that passion forward on his quest to learn how to grow the most amazing tasting and nutrient dense food he can.
Allen has spent time in Boise helping create backyard and community gardens. He spent a year at Whispering Winds Bamboo Cooperative on Maui where he studied and practiced reforestation, Biodynamic and Korean Natural Farming, nursery management and bamboo propagation. Allen received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Midland University in Nebraska.
Allen first visited Onsen Farm in the Summer of 2015 and immediately fell in love with it. It was not long after his first visit that he and his Fiance, Sarah, moved on to the property to become interns. He will be managing the greenhouses starting in the fall of 2016. Allen has been enjoying all of the beautiful treasures that the farm and the area have to offer. He also appreciates the hot spring baths, canoeing the Snake River and the friendly community.
Sarah first fell in love with growing food during her childhood while
learning and playing alongside her father in their backyard garden.
She has carried that love into her adulthood by volunteering on
various farms and helping others to create community and family
gardens around the Treasure Valley. She has worked with several
Non-profits in the Boise area involved in organic gardening, working
with seniors, children, and the homeless.
Sarah likes to further her joy of gardening by combining it with her
passion for cooking. Feeling inspired to teach, she started a food
blog in 2012. Its greatest success being that it is how she met her
fiancé, Allen. Together in 2013, they left Idaho to live on a farm in
Maui and complete a one year long Biodynamic Farming apprenticeship.
Sarah spent the beginning of the year learning Biodynamic and Korean
Natural Farming techniques, reforestation of native Hawaiian plants,
bamboo propagation, and nursery management. She spent the second half of the year tending the kitchen garden and then transitioned into
becoming the farm chef preparing breakfast and lunch for the farm crew
and guests. Sarah loved working with the exotic local ingredients and
using the kitchen as a creative space.
Since coming to Onsen Farm in 2015 Sarah has rekindled her love for
Idaho and its beauty. She loves being surrounded by the wildlife,
geothermal and natural spring water, and a wonderful community.