Cody Jurbala describes Speedwell Farm and Gardens as “farming backyard spaces using biologically sound practices and provide organic food to our neighborhoods.”
He owns and operates the organization with his fiance Melissa Ogilvie. Speedwell converts unused backyards in the South Boulder area into small-scale urban farms. The food is then harvested and sold at a farmstand and to local restaurants.
Jurbala told KGNU’s Sarah Dalgleish that he hopes that urban agriculture will be the future of Boulder. He explains that one benefit of backyard agriculture is the size, saying
“Because we operate on a small land basis, we can pay a lot of attention to our crops. Every piece of lettuce, every radish, every piece of kale—I make sure it’s the highest quality it can be when it comes out of our soil.”
Jurbala and Ogilvie take care of all the operations on the farms, bartering with homeowners for the use of their land. People whose yards are farmed receive $25 worth of produce each week, and Speedwell covers the difference in their water bill.
Small-scale urban agriculture is sustainable in another sense: it provides healthy, organically grown produce to people who otherwise couldn’t access it. Jurbala says he sees this type of farming as crucial to food security in the future.
“Small-scale urban agriculture is the foundation of food security in the future. I see this being food access in an age in which we would like to move away from using fossil fuels and we have rising concerns about climate change. That’s the first step we’re trying to take as young people interested in this—is to create food security and food access without depending on someone else to do it for us. We really have to take the power back and create what we want to see.”
To find out more about urban agriculture and how to turn your own backyard into a Speedwell garden, visit speedwellfarmandgardens.com.