Big Green

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Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a healthier future for kids by connecting them to real food through a nationwide network of school Learning Gardens and food literacy programs.

Description

Big Green was founded in 2011 to teach kids about real food. As leaders in the real food movement through their farm-to-table restaurants, co-founders Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson sought to create a shift in American diets from processed, nutrient-deficient food to local, fresh food.
Recognizing the unique advantages of the school environment where children consume over 50% of their daily calories and where lifelong healthy habits are formed, they came up with this answer: replicable, scalable Learning Gardens. Learning Gardens are outdoor classrooms and productive, edible gardens that not only change the way children think about food, but also begin a culture shift within their communities.
We are on a mission to build a national school food culture that promotes youth wellness so that we can reduce preventable diet-related health disparities and build lifelong healthy habits.
Since our founding in 2011, we have grow to support over 600 school Learning Gardens in 7 major metro areas across the country - reaching over 350,000 students each and every school day.

Program Details

Once a Learning Garden is installed, we pair the school with a Garden Educator for training, questions, garden skills development, and modeling effective instruction and behavior management in the garden. Schools have access to resources and services under our two programmatic initiatives:
Big Green’s Edible Garden Initiative ensures that the school’s Learning Garden has fresh fruits and vegetables and that they enjoy harvests from at least two growing seasons each year. We employ a wide range of services and interventions to teach teachers to plant, grow, harvest, and consume their Learning Garden produce with their students.
Through our Edible Garden Initiative Big Green provides:
  • Gardening materials, tools, and instruction, including seeds and seedlings, a personalized annual growing plan, and a comprehensive Learning Garden manual.
  • Trainings, workshops, and demonstrations to ensure that teachers have the skills to maintain a thriving garden and are confident in their abilities to work with students in the Learning Garden.
  • Direct support to each school, participating in Garden Team meetings, helping with maintenance, and being readily available to discuss their questions and big ideas.
Our Garden-Based Education Initiative further integrates the Learning Garden into the school day, leveraging its unique suitability as a tool for hands-on, experiential learning and multi-subject instruction. We support teachers in using the Learning Garden to bolster their existing curricular priorities and goals, as well as using it to deliver our proprietary curriculum. Big Green’s Garden-Based Education Initiative provides schools with access to:
  • Garden Bites, our nutrition and health curriculum for Learning Garden students, co-authored with our partner Common Threads, inviting elementary and middle school students to dig into real food through 15 standards-aligned, hands-on nutrition and health lessons with corresponding gardening and cooking education lessons.
  • Real Food Lab, providing high school students with a unique opportunity to build real-world skills and explore entrepreneurial concepts through the lens of real food. This curriculum, co-authored with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, gives students the chance to use the Learning Garden as a bridge to connect concepts taught in the classroom with the business skills needed to launch socially responsible real food school businesses.
  • Our website, and academic consultation support through our Garden Educators, containing a library of resources for teaching a wide variety of subject matter in the Learning Garden, including lessons, activities, and guidance on national and state standards alignment.
Primary Issue
Food
Address
1980 8th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
United States
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