Importance of Community Gardens

“I think it’s beneficial to have a community garden in low income communities. A lot of people can volunteer and learn how to grow food and plant, they will learn and then can do it in their community. Also because it can help people in their community that. Does not have access to foods or anything to eat in general.”


Launching the 2019 Internship and our Spring Fundraiser!

It’s been a busy few weeks for our Summer of  Solutions Hartford team! On April 1st, we welcomed new interns to our team at Session 1 orientation. Then, we got started working in the Zion Street Community Garden.

On April 19th, we launched our spring fundraiser using the plinstagram screenshot.jpgatform IOBY. IOBY stands for In Our Back Yard. This platform is all about supporting the kinds of environmental projects that we WANT to see in our neighborhoods. We this the Zion Street Garden is a perfect fit. You can support our work and help us make it happen here: 

You can also help us out by sharing the link on social media!

The Importance of Open Dialogue

One of my favorite parts of working in the garden is the passion and honest conversation that we, as interns, are able to have with each other. Whether we are talking about personal problems or recent politics, I think that it is healthy for us to feel that we have a safe space to express ourselves. These open conversations add to the foundation of Summer of Solutions. Through open dialogue, we are actively building community.



Voices of the Garden #1

I believe community gardens are a great idea on so many levels. I believe that they are because the youth can learn so many things about not only growing your own food but different things that effect our unhealthy eating habits in our community. Such as poverty, reasons we do not have markets that supply the healthy and fresh food nearby. Also it brings the kids together to have open discussion on any opinion that they have.

-Linda Jones, intern since 2016


Here’s a Corn Fact!

corn sos

Did you know that corn (maize) grows on every continent except Antarctica?

Beautifying or Neighborhood

I love working in the garden because it gives me the chance to work with the community and plant lots of flowers. I enjoy planting flowers because it gives me the chance to beautify the community and also bring in lots of pollinators so our plants grow and produce tons of crops. I feel like making the garden more beautiful lets people feel more comfortable and happy when they work with us in the garden. I feel the same way when we make beautiful signs to welcome people in with. Our garden is so great and making it more wonderful is worth all the work.
-Chloe Hendron

Summer of ’17

This spring, we launched our 2018 Urban Farming Internship program welcoming some new and familiar faces to theWesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden in Hartford’s vibrant Frog Hollow neighborhood. Our first workshop session was held at Sea Tea Improv Studios for our Voices of Hartford workshop series which runs every Friday from April – June. As we anticipate a busy and bountiful summer lets recap on last year’s program’s highlights and accomplishments!

Our 2017 Urban Farming Internship proved that our program gets better and better. From the months of April to October we gave the garden a makeover and saw many new and familiar faces. Now that our garden is in full bloom and our 2018 interns are hard at work, we’d like to take a moment to give you a brief summary of what we were up to last  year.


Our 2017 program included some new workshops for our interns and community members in partnership with Center for Latino Progress, Billings Forge Community Works, and COMPASS Peacebuilders, Grow Hartford Youth Program at the Hartford Food System. YouMedia, and Sea Tea Improv Studios.

At the Center for Latino Progress we saw the inner workings of the organization’s programming. After learning about the center’s ESL and job training program our interns got a tour of Hartford’s one and only bike cooperative, Bici Co. The shop’s manager, Joseph Dickerson, gave a brief history of Hartford’s transportation infrastructure then showed us how to fix a tire.

At another one of our weekly Friday workshops, we did improv with the folks at Sea Tea Improv Theater. Our interns learned new ways on how to work together patiently and humorously! Though this was our first lesson, we are no strangers to improvising due to our tight budget!


In late summer, Summer of Solutions went on an oceanography trip with Project O in Groton, CT thanks to the Farmington River Watershed Association. In partnership with The Grow Hartford Youth Program, we learned about our marine ecosystem and coastal habitat.

Program Coordinators Sonsharae and Tenaya went to Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working group with funding from New England GrassRoots Fund and made lasting connections with organizations doing similar work in the region. At the conference, some of their learning highlights were about race and equity in food systems organizing, social enterprises started by youth and PoC, and how to create a positive narrative around communities that face food insecurity.

After graduating from our 2017 Urban Farming Internship program our interns were equipped with the skills and knowledge to address things like racial oppression, food apartheid, public speaking, bike repair, improving school lunches, and peer mediation. We could not have done it without thoughtful and meaningful collaboration with other organizations in the city that focus on the empowerment and wellness of younger individuals.

Last but not least Summer of Solutions successfully launched a campaign with Seed Money and raised $600 within a matter of hours! This made us eligible for a $400 Challenge Grant! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Stay tuned for our upcoming events and workshops on our Facebook page . We look forward to seeing what this year’s program will bring!

Join Our Team this Spring!


While we may still be dealing with surprise snowstorms outside, here at Summer of Solutions Hartford we are preparing for spring! That means we are opening up opportunities to join our team through the Urban Farming Internship. As an intern in the program, you will dedicate 10 hours per week to building and maintaining urban gardens in Hartford and participating in a leadership development workshop series with the rest of the team. The internship pays $12/hour. You can apply here.

We are looking for a team of committed and enthusiastic interns, ages 16-30 to join the program in 2018. We need people with all different skill sets, including people with experience in agriculture, landscaping, leadership, anti-oppression, teaching, working with children, or in the arts, media, and cooking!

13118968_1078453055560409_8226649585224473515_nThis year we are hosting three 10-week internships. Session 1 runs from April 6-June 14. Session 2 is June 15-August 23. Session 3 is August 24- November 2. You have the option to apply to any one, two, or all three internship sessions. You may be accepted to one, two, or all three of the sessions you apply to.

Do you like the outdoors? Are you interested in growing your own food? Do you want to be a part of a diverse team? Are you excited about learning something new? Give it a shot! You don’t need to have gardening or leadership experience to apply, you’ll learn that here! The application is your chance to tell us why you’re a good fit.