Speedwell Farm & Gardens on small-scale ‘beyond organic’ urban farming in Boulder

Growing from from backyard plots to bigger spaces in 2020 with Diaz Farm partnership

By Tatyana Sharpton Feb 21 2020

In the midst of Boulder’s plethora of farms along the Front Range and beyond, Speedwell Farm & Gardens thrives as a small local farm focused on organic practices without the pricey USDA certification.

Cody Jurbala officially launched Speedwell with fiance Melissa Ogilvie in 2017 when the couple decided to take their passion for homegrown food to the next level. Their first plot took root in the backyard of their Table Mesa home where they now also have a farm stand, and have since expanded with a plot along Lashley Lane in South Boulder and, most recently, begun farming a quarter-acre of north Boulder’s Diaz Family Farm, site of the lovely Tierra y Fuego taco truck.

Cody Jurbala holding lecture starts. Image: speedwellfarmandgardens.com

Cody’s fascination with small-scale urban farming first started with Canadian farmer Curtis Stone’s online farming course called “Profitable Urban Farming.” Stone’s blueprints laid the foundation for how Cody and Melissa have transformed their backyard and weeds into food production that now sells at Seeds Cafe in the downtown Boulder Library, Rosetta Hall’s Folsom Foods, Abejas, Safta, and their 985 Ithaca Drive neighborhood farm stand.

While Speedwell doesn’t have the size or capital to pay for the pricey USDA organic certification, it follows organic farming practices, and thereby calling their method “beyond organic.” (Many small-scale farmers choose to do this as organic certification has required increasing amounts of paperwork and costs). These practices include everything from making their own fertilizer from compost and plant materials to creating other valuable inputs and feedings for plants out of what would otherwise become waste using a method of fermentation.

Melissa Ogilvie and Cody Jurbala, the creators and driving force behind Speedwell Farm & Gardens. Source: Speedwell Farm & Gardens.

“The term “beyond organic” also refers to a regenerative approach,” Cody says. “Regenerative farming aims to increase and secure the biological and ecological systems in our soils through a natural and organic approach to market gardening. This approach not only leaves are soils living and vibrant, but also translates to overall quality and nutritional value of our crops.

In 2018, Cody and Melissa spent six months in Wales and the south of England on a work-away sabbatical to learn more about farming on a larger scale and how to tie farm life into family life.

They look forward to bringing what they learned into this next chapter as they embark on their Diaz Farm adventure, focusing on primarily Mexican flavors like Growing cilantro, onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and radishes and target Mexican and Central American restaurants along the front range.

Header Image: Their home plot at Ithaca Drive. Image: speedwellfarmandgardens.com