Tag Archives: summer of solutions

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

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s New 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!

Before I start, I’d like to thank everyone who supported our 2011 program. You can read about what we did last year in our Recap page.  Without the help of many, many people, we wouldn’t have had a successful summer.

We are very happy to announce that Kevin Rodriguez has joined the Program Leader team for the 2012 season.  We’re really excited that Kevin has started to work with us, and are looking forward to spring planning and to summer working.

Second, if you haven’t already seen it, we recently began a Twitter page for Summer of Solutions Hartford.  Despite not knowing what we were doing when we began, we’ve had a lot of fun using twitter as a way to spread information about our program and activities.  It has been especially helpful in linking to other organizations.

Another big change, for us at least, is that we are opening up our own local bank account.  After a long training on accounting and keeping track of finances, we are prepared to start managing our own funds.  There are several benefits to this: in addition to keeping the money in a local institution, we will be more knowledgeable about our financial support , and will also save the cost of the accounting fee.  We’ll be starting our bank account in the next month.

We are in the thick of planning for the 2012 summer program.  We have already received a grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund , and have submitted more grants to other foundations.  We have several application deadlines still coming up.  We are also in the process of reaching out to city and nationwide individuals, organizations and groups to share applications to the 2012 summer program.  Applications opened in February and will go through until April, if not longer.  Our goal is to have a 10 person team this summer.

As for programming, we are hoping to continue and expand on our activities from last summer.  We will have a full growing season at the Zion St Garden, and are looking into organizing the construction of a second community garden in Frog Hollow.  We are also in conversations with Billings Forge and other community organizations in Hartford to create new partnerships that could involve a children’s camp, other community garden sites, and new community programs.

Looking forward to the 2012 growing season and summer program, we are very excited for what the new year will bring.  We hope that you continue to follow our activities and projects, and welcome any and all forms of help and support.  If you’re interested in volunteering or working with the 2012 program, or in supporting the program financially, you can find all of the necessary information here.  Please also feel free to share information about our project with anyone you know who might be interested.

in thanks,

Summer of Solutions Hartford 2012

Tagged , , , ,
Advertisements