Soil that Serves is a partnership opportunity for registered nonprofits, community gardens, and farm-to-school programs to join the roots of the food and education movement and receive our lowest soil cost opportunity. We encourage groups to apply that are creating changes in their community through education, food security & prioritizing soil and nutrient health.
From Boulder to Longmont, the Growing Gardens’ team manages 400 community garden plots and organizes plant and seed donations at an impressive scale. In 2021 alone, they grew and donated over 20,000 lbs of organic produce to local residents.
It’s rare to find a thoughtfully coordinated network of community gardens spanning three cities, but if you’ve heard of, or been to, Growing Gardens, then you know just how effectively this can, in fact, be done!
Over the last 20 years, their programs have empowered people of all ages, income levels, and abilities by reconnecting them with their local food systems and teaching gardening, cooking, and nutrition education.
Each year they donate thousands of pounds of produce, as well as plant starts and seeds, to low-income community members to impart greater food security and hunger relief in our community.
As you might imagine, when the Growing Gardens team approached us last year about participating in our Soil that Serves program, it was an absolute no-brainer for everyone involved!
”“We chose to work with Paonia Soil because we think it's really important to have access to local horticultural products. The growing industry has very few smaller, local, companies, with a clear moral compass. We love that these folks care about producing a great product that feeds our plants and considers our planet. Also, our tomatoes and peppers have been just so DANG HAPPY with their roots down in The Bomb!”Lauren KelsoGrowing Gardens Site Director
Between two of their flagship programs, The Cultiva Project and The Food Project, our collaboration with Growing Gardens yields massive results throughout the community.
The Cultiva Project
The Cultiva Youth Project is a youth leadership program where youth ages 14-18 operate an urban organic farm, growing produce for the local community while developing leadership and job skills. In Boulder, the youth seed, tend, and harvest produce for Growing Gardens’ CSA program, which provides a weekly share of vegetables for 70 community members. In Longmont, this produce is donated to community partners tackling food insecurity through participation in The Food Project.
Job & Life Skills
The Food Project
The Food Project promotes food security and reduces health disparities throughout Boulder County by increasing access to fresh food, seeds, plant starts, and gardening education & resources for low-income community members.
20,000 lbs. of fresh, organically grown produce donated
22,000 plant starts & 3,000 seed packets donated to low-income gardeners
15,000 people received donations from The Food Project
Learn more about Growing Gardens’ upcoming educational opportunities, youth programs, and events (including goat yoga!) here. And if you’re looking for a truly tasteful way to wind down your summer, check out Growing Gardens’ Annual Farm Gala! It’s scheduled for August 27th and will feature an extra special silent auction item from Paonia Soil Co!