Jolly Radish Farm grows crops, community

Boulder County Farmers Markets

“I feel super-blessed to farm here.”

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

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

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

Collaboration

It is clear that Kuebbing attributes much of the success of his operation to the community around him. He knows who he can ask to borrow a mower or a combine when he needs one and is quick to return the favor whenever he can. He splits rent with his fellow farmers at the Treehouse Collective, overcoming one of the most difficult barriers for Boulder-area farmers: finding and affording land.

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

And he does what he can to help feed his community. He employs a “pay what you can” model at markets, which allows customers to choose what they pay for his produce. He donates whatever he can’t sell, and while he is invested in running a business, Kuebbing always prioritizes getting good food to good people.

Hopes and dreams

Kuebbing is excited about the potential of growing grains in the future. He is motivated to do so by what is perhaps the most relatable reason of all time: He really likes bread.

In addition to a desire to grow and bake bread, Kuebbing is also interested in getting more into carbon farming. When you grow wheat or corn, there is a lot of plant residue that isn’t processed or eaten. Those roots, stems and other organic materials remain in the soil and become carbon stores rather than emissions.

As with everything, Kuebbing’s goals and dreams for his land and career hinge on strengthening our ecosystem, improving the health of the humans and environment that his actions impact.

He hopes that the Treehouse Farm Collective can expand to include plots of land for new farmers, an incubator model of sorts. Kuebbing is passionate about increasing the number of producers in Boulder County.

Talking to him is uplifting and inspiring, but his optimism and seemingly idealistic business model are founded on his desire to prove that farming can be a profitable job. Farming and getting good food onto people’s tables are his passions, but he is also dedicated to improving the agricultural community around him to ensure this can be a livelihood for others.

Gratitude

Kuebbing feels grateful to farm here. We feel grateful to be fed by him and the other wonderful farmers here. This holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our appreciation for our farmers who work tirelessly to be gracious 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: Winter Market! Join us on Dec. 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont for a weekend of market merriment.

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