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The Shed aims to increase production, consumption and awareness of local food through their Plant the Seed Innovation Grant program. The purpose of the grant program is to provide seed money for small projects that increase sustainable production, consumption and awareness of local foods in Boulder County. Housed on The Shed Boulder County’s website, the Plant the Seed Innovation Grant application will be open to Boulder County entities for projects up to $5,000. The Shed plans to award 2-3 grants.

We started this grant program to increase the impact and capacity of local initiatives on our foodshed. Our grant is designed to support passionate, committed people with a social change vision. We want to support small projects, where a little money will go a long way.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for the Plant the Seed  grants must be based in Boulder County, and the proposals must reach and/or serve members of the Boulder County community. Applicants may be small nonprofits, individuals or community groups. Ideal projects should be scalable and identify permanent leadership during the grant term.


Funding Categories

  1. Local Food Access: Decreasing barriers to  local, nutritious food to food-challenged people in Boulder County.

  2. Local Food Innovation: Creating or utilizing a tool or programming in an innovative way to foster the sustainable production, consumption, access or awareness of local food.

  3. Agricultural Practices: Utilizing regenerative agriculture practices that progressively lead to a healthier agroecosystem.

Application Timeline


Launch:                                          April 2, 2018

Applications Open:                     May 1, 2018

Applications Due                         June 29,  2018 at 5:00pm

Award Announcement:               August 1, 2018

Mid-term Report Due:                 February 15 2019

Final Report Due:                         August 15 2019


NOTE:  Dates may be subject to change for applicants working with the growing season. Those applicants will work directly with the Shed to identify any necessary schedule changes.


Application Instruction and Procedures

Applicants are advised to review this information packet prior to submitting a proposal. Please contact Messa at with any questions. Final proposals are due 5:00 pm on June 29th, 2018.Applications will only be accepted through the web form.


Proposal Evaluation Criteria:

Project Idea - The proposed project should be concise and comprehensive with a realistic timeline, with well-defined and technically feasible goals. The project must: fit within one of the identified categories; not duplicate existing services; and innovatively respond to an identified need.

Impact - The project must directly impact the Boulder County community and foodshed. 

Outcomes - Objectives of the project should be specific and measurable. Project monitoring and evaluation strategies can be qualitative, quantitative, flexible and/or innovative, but must be clearly stated and relevant to the project goals.

Organizational Capacity - The applicant should have an appropriately sized team equipped to implement the project and evaluate the outcomes.

Financial Viability - The project budget should be realistic and cost-effective.

Additional Factors - Assessment of proposals may also include considerations of such issues such as geographic distribution of services, environmental impact, demographic diversity, degree of collaborative effort, community support, power, and privilege. The project proposal must support equal treatment, inclusion and respect for all people regardless of age, race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, disability status or religion.


As a recipient of the Plant the Seed grant program, you will be asked to submit both Mid-term and Final Reports of your work. A report template will be provided at least one month before the report is due.