It is hard to write just one blog post about my experience with Summer of Solutions. Condensing 2 months of SoS into one post is pretty difficult but here I go:
My summer has been filled with learning, gardening, potlucking, discussing social justice, and meeting amazing people.
The best way to describe my SoS journey is with the gardens I have been tending all summer. First we had seedlings, a hope for what the summer would be but (at least on my part) very few ideas about how to turn seedlings into edible food and no plots to put them in. But quickly we found people to help us with our projects and community members willing to let us build gardens in their backyards. It takes faith to let college students dig up your grass and replace it with dirt, seeds, and the promise of a future garden. It also takes faith to listen to students explain how we want to change the Twin Cities and the world with improved energy efficiency and green jobs. But people have listened and gotten excited and the gardens have grown.
But with any new garden there was a lot to learn to make it successful. As a group we had identify what plants were weeds and what we had planted and wanted to protect. Then we had to get on our hands and knees and weed. After all the watering, weeding, and researching how to take care of our gardens it has been so exciting to watch the plants grow. And so many people have gotten their hands and knees dirty taking care of the gardens. The same is true for all of the Twin Cities projects, so many people have given their time, expertise, and optimism to helping our projects and work come to fruition.
We’ve already started harvesting the plants that were seedlings only a few months ago. Some of the food will go to a youth shelter where one of the gardens is, other vegetables will be donated to food shelves in the cities and the rest will go to the people who have given their land or time to help these gardens grow. We have already harvested chives and basil and soon there will be carrots, green beans, and tomatoes. With any luck by the fall there will be beets, parsley, peppers, spinach, more tomatoes, more carrots, and maybe even a watermelon or two. Summer of Solutions has already produced so much and there is so much more to come.
So all summer I have been watching gardens grow, figuratively and literally. And I could not have spent my time any better this summer.