Starting with one elementary school community in 2006, our founders Bryce Brown and Deborah Foy began exploring how to improve school food and enrich educational experiences through onsite gardens in Boulder, CO. Soon a movement was born engaging teachers, students, parents and the local community in a common purpose. They called our organization Growe Foundation—with an “e” for education!
Today we are Garden to Table, a name we adopted in 2019 to ensure our community knows we are a nonprofit organization (as opposed to a foundation with funds to disseminate.) Our staff gradually grew from two people to eight. The number of schools we supported increased by the year (at one time we supported 21 total schools) until recently we began to deepen the work we do and adjusted our scope to 17 schools in the communities of Lafayette, Louisville, Broomfield, and Boulder.
Each year, we strive to improve our work to support school gardens.
In 2018 we began mulching and cover-cropping, in order to utilize and demonstrate best practices for water conservation and soil health. Our robust internship program, begun in 2019, offers college students meaningful experience in outdoor education, nonprofit development, and sustainable gardening. In order to better engage families across the county who speak primarily Spanish, in 2020 we hired a Bilingual Educator and began to translate more of our gardening support materials and garden signs. In the first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic our gardens produced over 8500 pounds of food for area food banks and food rescues!
In 2021 we celebrated 15 years in Boulder County with a garden festival for families and clarified our mission—to empower school communities with gardens and curriculum to engage all students in experiential outdoor education. We started after-school programs and garden camps to ensure kids get to enjoy school gardens outside of the school day and in summertime.
In 2022, we began to offer training for parents and professional development for teachers —both designed to strengthen each school’s base of support. We’ve always provided teachers with an individualized Pre-K through 5th grade standards-based curriculum to use in teaching, and with the help of a USDA grant, we are updating our curriculum to align with new Colorado academic standards and best practices for outdoor education. For our schools with the highest need, we’ve partnered with Americorps to provide Garden Educators.
Our vision is a future in which gardens are an integral part of every school, fostering connection to nature, student health and wellness, academic engagement and achievement, and environmental and community stewardship. Join us!