Watering the YOUMedia Center Window Garden

Summer of Solutions now has the window garden at the YOUMedia center up and running. Now that we have plants growing in the bottle gardens, we need people to consistently water the plants. Our goal now is to have the teens who use the space become more involved in the upkeep and the maintenance of the garden. To facilitate that Summer of Solutions is creating a watering schedule for the garden, on the days that we’re not there. Teens who sign up will also be able to receive community service hours. This should be very helpful to high school students in particular; who need the hours to graduate. Teens that use the space that are interested can email Sonsharae @SonsharaeOwensCTRA@gmail.com to sign up

My Window

     My name is Tashae and I live in Hartford in the Blue Hills Avenue neighborhood. My sister Tenaya is a program coordinator at Summer of Solutions and introduced me to the program. I have no experience working with nature or gardening, but when she told me we were going to be working with children I was excited. The children that we work with are so funny and you learn a lot from them. They are really great at working together as a team and helping each other out, something that many of us can work on.image000000_2
     My team works at the Zion Street site on Fridays and there is always work to do there to keep you busy! I had no idea where to start so I just got my hands dirty and went from there (later I purchased gloves to lessen the mess). Soon things that I put in the ground started to sprout to my surprise. I could not believe it! I’m a very city girl and I grew kale! I decided to start my own garden at home despite the fact that I live in a small apartment with no outdoor space.
    With seeds and compost in hand I started my windowsill garden by planting kale, mint, and nasturtium. Turns out the plants love my neighborhood and they all grew rapidly! Now before I leave home for my internship I water and prune my plants. I have not one but two windowsills that are bursting with life. They are a vibrant addition to my apartment and a tasty one as well!

CTRA Habitat Center!!!

One of our sites is at The Connecticut River Academy. We spend a lot of time in the habitat center inside of CTRA. The habitat center has an assortment of different animals like Lizard, Birds, Quails, Fish and Guinea Pigs. We started planting outside we have planted strawberries, carrots, potatoes, kale and lettuce. We are thinking of building a shed or a little hut outside so we wont have to keep going back and fourth to the cage located in the garage of the school.

The YouMedia’s Window Garden!!!

We have been planning to build a window garden in the Hartford Public Library’s You Media Center for two months now. We have been collecting material such as bottles and rope to succeed at this project. Our next step is to build a stable window garden made out of glass bottles. We have learn how to cut the glass bottles with a glass cutter, a burning candle and ice. We try to communicate with the teens so they can learn how to plant fruits and vegetables. I think once we start planting the teens will be more interested in our garden because they will actually see what we are doing instead of us trying to explain it to them.

Next week we will be starting the four week series, where we participate in food justice activities with the teens at the library. The highlights of the series will be completing the bottle garden, then planting the seeds in the garden. After we complete the garden the next challenge will be hanging it up and securing it. During the four week series our goal is to help education the teens in the YouMedia Center about sustainable living; with crops that they can grow their selves. We will eventually help the YouMedia Center sell their crops for fundraising purpose.

Window garden

Now that we’re into the second week of the program, we’ve really gotten started with the garden at CTRA. We couldn’t really get much done the first week since it was cold and rainy. We turned the soil in the garden beds and got dirt to lay the beds. At the library we now have a program and materials to start the window garden, so I am looking forward to that in the coming weeks.

7 Month Gardening

My First week working for Summer of Solutions was challenging and fun.

Who Knows All the Dirt?

"Gardner Know all the dirt!"

“Gardeners know all the dirt!”


Last night, we reached our fundraising goal for the Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden, and we have now surpassed our goal by $165! 
We are so, so grateful to everyone who has contributed to our Go Fund Me online campaign, and to everyone who has mailed check donations. In just a few hours, our intern teams will all meet for the first time, and prepare for a wonderful growing season together. 
If you had not gotten a chance to contribute to our fundraiser, but still want to donate, you can do so here: http://www.gofundme.com/7tuoj0. The fundraiser will remain open for two days, and any additional funds we raise will support another intern at the garden.
Or, mail a check to:
c/o Jennifer Roach
Summer of Solutions Hartford
23 Putnam Heights, Apt 3E
Hartford, CT
THANK YOU so much for your continued commitment to our school and community gardens. 
With gratitude,
Jennifer, Sonsharae, and Tenaya


We are $85 short of our fundraising goal to support the Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden this year! Our internship starts tomorrow, and we think we can surpass our fundraising goal before then!

If you can, please make a donation today to help us reach and pass our goal! Any additional funds we raise today will support additional interns at the garden!


Sopport local interns.

Summer of Solutions Hartford just launched a fundraiser on gofundme to raise money to support two interns to work in our community garden on Zion Street for the 2015 growing season!

You can contribute here: http://www.gofundme.com/7tuoj0

Remember, any amount helps us reach our goal! Please share this link!


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