Summer of Solutions
A $15,000 donation from the Simply Organic Giving Fund helps support the Summer of Solutions Hartford Urban Gardening program for kids. Summer of Solutions is a youth-run nonprofit, founded in 2010, that teaches gardening to school-age children by developing and maintaining community, school and public educational gardens in urban areas. Simply Organic’s donation helps fund an intern program for the young people who work with the kids in gardens and participate in workshops to develop their own skills in urban farming, environmental justice, and leadership development.
Summer of Solutions started in 2011 as a summer program to teach young people in the city about urban agriculture. They built a community garden and hosted potlucks and art events in the garden. During the potlucks, they were asked if they would be interested in building another garden at a school few blocks away.
They continued to expand and in 2014 launched their Urban Farming Internship program. Last year, 17 young people, ages 14-30, participated in the program, attending one, two, or all three 10-week sessions, the interns worked with a Program Coordinator on Summer of Solutions' school and community gardens.
One new project was a partnership with an elementary school, where Summer of Solutions built a raised bed garden with a team of parents, teachers and families and then worked with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes to design layouts for the beds and plant the first crops.
Simply Organic gives back to a variety of causes that support and promote organic growing — including Summer of Solutions' efforts to train a new generation of urban farmers in responsible, organic farming practices to create a more just and sustainable food system.