In this week’s installment of the Burgess Group Community Connection Series, Carly Silberman (mom, baker, outdoor enthusiast, event coordinator, and farm chef) tells us about her work with Boulder’s sustainable agriculture program, Growing Gardens.

Over the last 20 years, Growing Gardens has brought sustainable agriculture education and food donations to over 136,000 Boulder County residents. Growing Gardens’ programs empower people of all ages, income levels, and abilities by reconnecting them with their local food systems and teaching gardening, cooking, and nutrition education.

​​​​​​​Thousands of pounds of produce, as well as plant starts and seeds, are donated to low income community members to impart greater food security and hunger relief in our community.

​​​​​​​Carly tells us about Growing Gardens’ 2021 educational programming which includes virtual gardening classes, Picnic on The Farm and other community events, and summer camps for kids.


Hi, my name is Carly Silberman and I work at Growing Gardens. We are a local nonprofit here in Boulder, and we have been around for 21 years. I’ve been with the organization for just about two years as their farm chef and event coordinator. And so a little bit about me, my love is actually, within the food world, is in baking. And so this time of year, I especially love to bake. I am also a mom and I love to bake at home with my children. We recently got a puppy in our family, so we are very busy doing all things puppy, which is lots of walks. It’s getting us outside a ton. Though I’m an outdoor enthusiast, which I think is why many of us are here. I love to run, I love to cycle, and I love to ski in the winter.

We provide sustainable agriculture to everyone in our community. We have so many different programs that help us achieve this. Connecting people through food, land, and community is one of our missions. And we provide over a 20,000 pounds of food to low-income families throughout the year, and we also provide 37,000 plant donations. And this past year, we did 4,400 seed packet donations and that’s to low income gardeners in the community so that everyone can learn to start their own gardens at home, grow their own food sustainably. And if they can’t do that, then we have our donation programs to help. Here on the farm, we do a lot of other programs as well. We have education opportunities so that we can help teach the community how to grow, and we do that both onsite and in the newer times, remotely as well.

So we have a great series of gardening classes coming up for 2021. And these will be online courses with our actual site manager, Lauren Kelso, who will basically teach gardening design and landscaping and planting vegetables, and also a fruit pruning tree class. So there’s some great opportunity. I am the farm chef, so I get the honor of working with the produce that we grow, and I do this within the community. We do community cooking classes. And one of the programs that I’m really excited to launch for the coming new year is a series of farm picnics. And these will be offered once a month and you register ahead of time for your picnic. It’s a two person or four person picnic, and you’ll come out to the farm, pick it up, and you’re welcome to find a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy it, or it’s a ready to go take home meal that you can enjoy at your own home or in your backyard.

​​​​​​​We do a plant sale in the spring time, so there’ll be an opportunity to come out and purchase your start plants for your own gardens. And then we have a array of programs in the summer, which includes summer camps, which is a wonderful opportunity for children to get their hands dirty and dig and explore and grow together out here on the farm. I do hope to see your faces out here on the farm at some point, just to come explore. It is a public place, so you’re welcome to come by at your leisure and walk the grounds and enjoy the beauty that is within our own city limits of Boulder. Visit the community class page on our website to register for virtual online classes and visit the events section to register for farm picnics and other great community events.

Are you a local business or community leader who would like to be featured in our Community Connection series? Send us an email and we’ll see if it’s a good fit!

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