Jolly Radish Farm grows crops, community

Boland County Farmers Markets

“I feel very blessed to farm here.”

Matt Kuebbing, owner and sole full-time farmer of The Jolly Radish, approaches the incredibly difficult work of farming with the optimism and relentless generosity that his farm’s name implies. The Jolly Radish in Longmont is on 17 acres shared with two other farms: Artemis Flower Farm and Speedwell Farm & Gardens. These three farms are the Treehouse Farm Collective, a model that allows members to share the resources, experience and financial responsibilities of farming in Boulder County.

Matt Kuebbing walks between the greenhouses shared among Treehouse Farm Collective members, carrying a handful of fresh ginger.  (Boulder County Farmers Markets ??

Kuebbing studied agriculture in school, but after a brief stint doing research for the United States Department of Agriculture, he decided he would rather spend his time growing food on a farm than studying it in a laboratory.

After farming in Maryland and Virginia, he moved to Colorado and began working at Aspen Moon Farm. Over six seasons, Kuebbing gained vast knowledge and connections in the farming community. He managed the Niwot Aspen Moon Farm property with Brett Matson, who became a close friend and now owns Switch Gears Farm in Longmont. With a huge amount of knowledge and strong friendships in the community, Kuebbing was able to start his own farm in 2021.

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Co-operation

Kuebbing clearly attributes much of the success of his operation to the community around him. He knows who he can ask to borrow a clipper or a comb when he needs one and is quick to return the favor when he can. He shares rent with his fellow farmers at the Treehouse Collective, which overcomes one of the most difficult obstacles for farmers in the Boulder area: finding and providing land.

According to Kuebbing, “It’s like a gift economy. We want to help each other.”

And he does everything he can to help nurture his community. It employs a “pay what you can” model at markets, allowing customers to choose how much they pay for its products. He donates whatever he can’t sell, and even though he’s investing in running a business, Kuebbing always prioritizes getting good food to good people.

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Eye and dream

Kuebbing is excited about the potential of growing grains in the future. He is motivated to do so by the reason, perhaps, the most changeable of all times: He likes bread a lot.

As well as wanting to grow and bake bread, Kuebbing is also interested in carbon farming. When you grow wheat or corn, there is a lot of plant residue that is not processed or eaten. Those roots, stems and other organic matter remain in the soil and are carbon stores rather than emissions.

As with everything, Kuebbing’s goals and dreams for his land and career depend on strengthening our ecosystem, improving human health and the environment that his actions affect.

He hopes he can expand the Treehouse Farm Collective to include plots of land for new farmers, a sort of incubator model. Kuebbing is passionate about growing the number of producers in Boulder County.

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Talking to him is motivating and inspiring, but his optimism and idealistic business model is based on his desire to prove that farming can be a profitable job. He wants to put good food and farming on people’s tables, but he is also committed to improving the agricultural community around him to ensure that this can be a livelihood for others.

Thanks

Kuebbing feels grateful for farming here. We are grateful to have supported him and the other great farmers here. This holiday season is a great time to reflect on our gratitude to our farmers who work tirelessly to be gentle stewards of our land and put food on our tables.

Show your appreciation for our farmers by coming out to our last in-person market of the year: the Winter Market! Join us on December 3rd and 4th from 9 am to 3 pm at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont for a weekend of market fun.

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