Did ya’ll know Garlic grows in the winter ?

Tuesday October 7th, 2014, SOS taught a mini out door lesson about garlic and how to grow it in the winter.

The kids was enthusiastic about it.

The link below shows step by step how to get garlic in the winter.

http://www.almanac.com/plant/garlic

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Getting ready for Frost

Last thursday our Interns was working the Children from McDonough Expeditionary Learning School is helping us harvest some bean seeds as well as helping us harvest radishes, and then we made a salad for their class.

The  children from this school has a eager energy when it comes from working in the garden. photo 2 (6) photo 5

NO TALENT SHOW

Summer of Solution Hartford is a branch of Grand Aspirations, a non profit youth leadership program. Last week we had a gathering in Minnesota. Where we met family members all across the world. From Chicago to Texas. Although we are not blood exactly, the bond build has become unstoppable.We shared so much with others, and inspired each other to go into the world and be fierce individuals for our communities. We ended the gathering with a “No- Talent Show” to welcome folks with talent of any sort. It is nothing but a space to be yourself in front your friends. We had many folks participate. On the stage was phenomenal singers, to beautiful poets, to extraordinary dancers, to eccentric comedians, even some mind blowing instrument players. It was just a times a happiness and laughter. Everyone and they no- talents will be truly remembered. Until next time my Grand Aspiration family.

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Learning at the Trash Museum

My team works at the Connecticut Trash Museum. This spring we built an exhibit displaying three strategies for growing food in small spaces using recycled materials. The idea is to inspire visitors who don’t have access to land at home to try out these affordable ideas to grow their own food.

IMG_4618I arrived one Friday morning to check in on our indoor garden exhibit and there were instructors and children taking a tour of the museum. Once they approached our exhibit the instructor began to comment on the plant and irrigation system. The student, on the other hand, commented on our use of recycled materials and our methods of upcycling. I was impressed by the younger students’ knowledge of recycling and I’m very proud to participate in Summer of Solutions in working to educate children about sustainability.

Garden Journey

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My name is Brina I’m an intern with Summer Solution We  have a garden at a high school called Connecticut River Academy. Where we weed , water and grow fruits and vegetables also making a cleaner safer environment for the high school. Recently we had crops and decided to take them to a homeless shelter. My favorite part about working at Connecticut River Academy site is the soothing view of the connecticut river. its soothing to me because i can work in a relax manner in the garden with a beautiful outlook. I remember first starting i thought the site was so amazing. Everything was well taken care of i was so excited to join and be apart of creating something for the high school.

Fantasticfest at the Zion Street Community Garden!

Summer of Solutions is a youth lead urban farming nonprofit based out of Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood. Summer of Solutions creates internship opportunities for young people to build community and school gardens. By maintaining a total of seven gardens, Summer of Solutions teaches young people, as well as members of the community, how to grow and prepare their own food.

On Friday, July 25th from 5-7pm Summer of Solutions will be holding its first “Fantasticfest” which will be a celebration of food, family, and fun. The event, held at Summer of Solutions’ community garden on Zion Street, will also feature a live puppet show, scavenger hunt, and a visit from the Frog Hollow Fire Department. The organization will also be fundraising by selling hot dogs, snacks and handcrafted goods. The event will highlight fantastic seasonal produce, grown by Summer of Solutions interns, volunteers, and participants.

 

Download the Poster Here!10472693_540054132786706_154027856706551072_n

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Garden tales

Our day started with standing  in the middle of 84 degrees and a frustrating pile of compost. Aidan and Sonsharae was working in our beautiful community garden on Zion St. Where the day’s task was to move the compost pile down a foot. We were hot and frustrated with the weather, and no shade was in the garden. Until a magical moment happen. Out of now where Aidan created a fine break spot. Although it was only under the tree, it seemed as if they were in a different place. The shade was perfect and so was the wind. Everything seemed more peaceful.

 

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Exhibit In a Day: 3 Ways to Grow Food in A Window

I’m on the team working at the Burns Latino Studies Academy and the Connecticut Trash Museum. Recently, we planned to build an indoor garden exhibit at the museum using recycled materials.

This is the wall where we installed the exhibit. It has three big windows. Step 1: Remove the window blinds

This is the wall where we installed the exhibit. It has three big windows. Step 1: Remove the window blinds

The exhibit is an inside garden used as an example of things you can create in your own garden, house, or apartment. The purpose of the exhibit is to show that you don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food and it can be as simple as hanging curtains on a window. We installed the garden in one big workday on June 27th as to interrupt the museum visitors as little as possible. We planted a variety of things that need just the right amount of space to grow in a box, gutter, or plastic bottle. We planted swiss chard, lettuce, parsley, rosemary, mint, strawberries, and succulents, cilantro, basil, and a few flowers.

This is Tenaya painting the gutter garden. The gutters were recycled from a construction project. We cut  them to 4 feet, drilled drainage holes and wire holes in the bottom, and cemented gutter caps to the edges.

This is Tenaya painting the gutter garden. The gutters were recycled from a construction project. We cut them to 4 feet, drilled drainage holes and wire holes in the bottom, and cemented gutter caps to the edges.

Step 3: We filled each gutter with soil and transplanted our seedlings. Next, we installed hooks over the window frame and hung the gutters. At home, you can just hang them, but because the museum has thousands of children visit each year, we also drilled the gutters into the window frame on each side, so they couldn't be tipped over.

We filled each gutter with soil and transplanted our seedlings. Next, we installed hooks over the window frame and hung the gutters. At home, you can just hang them, but because the museum has thousands of children visit each year, we also drilled the gutters into the window frame on each side, so they couldn’t be tipped over.

 

 

 

This is Brendan and Tenaya mixing compost and manure to make a soil mix for the gutters.

This is Brendan and Tenaya mixing compost and manure to make a soil mix for the gutters.

The first window holds a gutter garden. We built this by taking used gutters and drilling holes at the bottom. Next we strung the gutters with wire that was strong enough to hang from a window and hold the gutters once they were filled with plants and soil. After threading the wire through the gutter, we looped it at the top so the garden would have something to hang from. After assembling the garden we filled it with a mixture of manure and soil (you can use whatever you find suitable for what you want to grow) then transplanted all of our seedlings. With the help of all of our team members and volunteers we hung the gutter garden on fish hooks that we screwed to the top of the window.

Last year, Mike Roach carved a sign for the Zion Street Garden, renaming it in honor of our neighbor, Wesley Colbert. We built this box out of the scrap wood he used to practice the carving.

Last year, Mike Roach carved a sign for the Zion Street Garden, renaming it in honor of our neighbor, Wesley Colbert. We built this box out of the scrap wood he used to practice the carving.

In our second window we made a window box using recycled wood that we painted and lined with landscape fabric and plastic bags. This window will act as our activity station for children visiting the museum. Here we’ll teach them how to make recycled origami planters and more about what they can do to create a garden at home. We’ve also installed a shelf on the window to display samples and visitor creations.

First, Becky and Brendan cut holes in the bottoms and sides of recycled bottles.

First, Becky and Brendan cut holes in the bottoms and sides of recycled bottles. 

Next, we wove each bottle through recycled twine to make sure they were evenly suspended.

Next, we wove each bottle through recycled twine to make sure they were evenly suspended.

We installed a hook in the window frame for each column of bottles.

We installed a hook in the window frame for each column of bottles.

The last window in the exhibit holds our bottle garden. We used recycled beverage bottles and removed the label, giving the roots of the plants an opportunity to show. We removed the top off the bottle, giving ourselves enough room to insert soil and plant inside of the bottles. Next, we poked holes onto the side of the bottom so we could have a way to hang our bottles in the window. We then threaded string vertically through the holes we poked each bottle so they’d hang about 4 inches away from each other, allowing what we planted to have room to grow. We filled the bottles with soil, transplanted our seedlings, and then hung each set of bottles on a fish hook from our window. Once the bottles were hung it created a beautiful stained glass effect that can be a great accent in any apartment or garden.

Here is our exhibit at the end of the day!

Here is our exhibit at the end of the day!

We are so grateful to our extra volunteers who came out to help us pull it off in one day! Thanks Brendan, Diane, and Joey!

We are so grateful to our extra volunteers who came out to help us pull it off in one day! Thanks Brendan, Diane, and Joey

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CT March Against Monsanto

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Last week we participated in the March Against Monsanto put on by Activate CT! March Against Monsanto is a world-wide day of action against the biotech company Monsanto. They were the makers of Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, and rBGH, and now they are the leading producer of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The safety of GMOs is still up in the air, with Monsanto and the FDA saying they are safe, but independent scientists and concerned activists don’t think their studies have been through enough. When the history of Monsanto is taken into consideration, it makes sense that people would be worried about the safety of their products. For more information, check out the pamphlet below. We were in Hartford near the Old State House on May 23 handing out these pamphlets to people on the street and holding signs about Monsanto and GMOs to raise awareness. We handed out 300 pamphlets to people on the street and had some great conversations. We also included information about all the farmers’ markets and community gardens in Hartford to help residents find access to fresh, local, GMO-free produce.

 

Discovering Edible Weeds

My team works at Burns Latino Studies Academy in Hartford. On Wednesdays, we teach 5 classes ranging from kindergarten to seventh grade. Our seventh grade class is learning about genetics and planted pea plants, constructed trellises, and recorded data to keep track of their progress.

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We had some extra time this week so we used it to weed the garden. I was weeding with a group of girls and I pointed out wild carrots and they thought it was really cool that you could eat something in nature. We talked about the genetics of wild carrots versus the conventional ones you can buy in the grocery store and how the traits that provide the big root we’re used to were selected for over time. Wild carrots are used more for their greens than their roots. Since they were so interested in the wild carrots, I then told them about dandelion greens. I picked one and ate it while I was explaining how they are edible and they freaked out. So I handed them one and told them to try it. They ripped it in half, each took a piece, counted down, put it in their mouth and…they liked it! They kept weeding and at the end of the class they ran over to me with some plants in their hands and excitedly asked me if it was wild carrots.

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They had dug up the whole root, but a lot of the leaves were missing, so I couldn’t really tell, so I did what any curious scientist does, and smelled it. It was definitely carrots and I told the girls to give it a good sniff. They were so excited that they could pick out wild carrots now, and they asked if they could take their carrot home, which of course I allowed.

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