Big Green Grows Strong Leaders

Returning to Boulder in 2019 gave me the opportunity to reconnect with Big Green’s mission and team. Founded by Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson of The Kitchen Restaurant Group in 2011, the organization aims to get underserved kids in urban schools and communities excited about growing fresh food and eating healthy—we refer to it as #RealFood. Big Green provides resources for Learning Gardens and educational programs that reach 300,000 kids every day in Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Pittsburg, and Indianapolis. 

I first met Kimbal when he was an entrepreneur at The Kitchen and also leading a startup called Medium.  When he was seriously injured in a skiing accident, Kimbal realized that his true passion was food. Although he already had opened The Kitchen restaurant, he made a conscious decision to embrace a larger mission around real food. As he was recovering from the accident, he visioned Big Green. His hypothesis was to connect children in underserved communities with healthy foods. Big Green’s program now operates in public schools where children learn about the power of fresh food through gardening and Big Green’s healthy food curriculum. 

I’m delighted to support Big Green by serving on its board, and I have the good fortune to work closely with Tighe Brown, the CEO of Big Green. Tighe is recognized as an emerging leader in the youth wellness movement. After finding her passion for food and agriculture at the University of California Berkeley, she moved to Boulder to investigate the role of the for-profit sustainable food systems, specifically in the natural products industry where she supported early-growth, start-up companies. 

In 2011, Tighe joined Kimbal Musk as a founding member of Big Green. As President, Tighe leads the organization with the vision that every school-age child in America has the opportunity to learn about and have access to Real Food. She has worked with Big Green to create, build, and implement a scalable and successful outdoor educational program for schools with Learning Gardens over the past seven years. Tighe grew into her role from intern to President. Under her leadership, Big Green has continued to grow, delivering their passion. During COVID, the organization found unique ways to stay connected to their communities of students all over the U.S. and developed a number of new products. With the right mix of smarts, passion, and creativity, Tighe has made the organization stronger than ever. 

Learn more about Big Green