Welcome to Skylandia Farm!
Skylandia Organic Farm is nestled in the St. John Valley in Aroostook County, Maine. Situated literally right on the Canadian border, the 500 acres of woods, meadows, wetlands, and farm fields slope down toward the river. Skylandia is the home of the Cooks, who moved to the area in 1992, in faith that fresh vegetables, wild space, and creativity can vibrantly coexist.
Skylandia Organic Farm currently serves as open and wild space, becoming home to an ecosystem of bears, moose, deer, eagles, grouse, pines, birches, tamaracks, beavers, osprey, and much more. The farmland is managed sustainably in grain production and soil building. The 100-year-old farmhouse is home to Leah Cook, and host guests and visitors interested in sustainability and farming.
Who Are We?
The Cook family is a creative and entrepreneurial bunch – memorable! Jim Cook (1947-2008) stood tall as a giant, bearded, and often expounding the virtues of local food and farming as he traveled the length and breadth of the state creating the network of grocers, consumers, growers, and people who together make up Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative, a locally owned and operated distribution company deliver Maine-made produce and product throughout the state.
Today, Marada and Leah Cook continue to run Crown of Maine, along with the other worker-owners. In addition, the sisters also manage Northern Girl, a processing company down the road from Skylandia Farm, and Fiddler’s Green, a mill and flours distributor. Kate Simonds, cofounder of the farm and mother of the five kids, recently moved back to Maine with her second husband, Chris Baumann, where she is closer to her grandkids. The rest of the family is spread out across the United States. Rivera Sun writes novels in the high desert outside Taos, NM. Skylar Cook lives and works in Boulder, CO, and his twin brother, Land Cook, works in real estate in Seattle, WA.
History of the Farm:
Skylandia Organic Farm was established in 1993 by the Cook family, who bought the land from Valier and Florence Dumais, life-long residents of Grand Isle, and the woodlands from their nephew. The farmhouse was built by Valier’s father, Hector Dumais, and was once a sizeable dairy farming operation. The Cooks farmed 40 acres in crop rotation, with cash crops of potatoes, carrots, and beets for southern markets, and raspberries, strawberries, and fresh produce for their farmstand and local markets.
About the Name Skylandia:
The name of the farm comes from “The Tales of Skylandia”, a series of children’s stories written by Jim’s father, Charles Cook, for his grandchildren. Skylandia was a mythic and magical kingdom where new cousins arrived through looking-glass lakes, and popover-pan stealing wyverns were defeated by a moose and leopard dancing the Mango-Tango.