Of all the groceries we send into neighbors’ pantries and refrigerators and of all the ingredients we donate to local meal programs, 75% are either fresh fruits and vegetables or foods that are high in protein (meat, milk, yogurt, beans, etc.). That’s because we put just as much time, energy, and care into sourcing our food as we do in distributing it.

When searching for food donations and purchasing options, in addition to prioritizing nutritious items, we seek out Colorado-grown products whenever we can. In fact, one of our longest-standing initiatives is Garden Share — it encompasses growing and harvesting programs that help us provide freshly-grown, local food to our partners and participants.

Our Garden Share roots extend back to 1982 when we formed our gleaning program, the first of its kind in Colorado. Over the past four decades, we’ve also tended garden plots across Boulder and Broomfield Counties, built backyard gardens at hundreds of residences, and we’ve welcomed donations from amateur home gardeners and veteran farmers alike!

This year, we’re digging in at our newest Garden Share site: The McKenzie Farm in Boulder.

Realtors Catherine and Andy Burgess at Burgess Group | Compass partnered with Boundless Landscapes last year to bring this farm back into use. The gorgeous 80-acre property is home to 50 acres of organic farmland and traversed by Four Mile Canyon Creek, towering cottonwoods, and wild plum trees. This year, Boundless Landscapes handed the farming reins to us (as well as use of their tools) and we are thrilled to be working with Burgess Group | Compass and the McKenzie family.

With mentorship from Earth’s Table, we are starting plants in the greenhouse and cultivating what used to be the family garden plot, using the farm to grow food for hunger relief rather than sitting fallow while for sale. Stay tuned for ways that you can join us as we grow tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, cucumbers, salad greens, peppers, tomatillos, beans, squash, and more — the produce our participants request most.

As we celebrate 40 years of working to end local hunger, our partnership with Burgess Group | Compass and the McKenzie family represents one more way that we are community-led and community-fed.

Watch this video to learn more about the project:

Meet Katie Ketchum, Our Offsite Farm Coordinator!

Katie Ketchum is our new Offsite Farm Coordinator and will manage our growing activities at McKenzie Farm, along with our other Garden Share sites.

Prior to joining Community Food Share, Katie worked on organic farms in Denver and New York, and she wrote for the “Eat & Drink” section of 5280 Magazine.

When she’s not farming, Katie can be found skiing in the Rockies, riding her bike, playing Bananagrams, or hosting a potluck.

A Big Thank-You to Our Co-Sponsor!

Burgess Group | Compass

Photos of the McKenzie Farm are courtesy of Burgess Group | Compass.