By: Kara King
Location: Little Rock
The Little Rock Summer of Solutions team is officially half way through our 8 week program and our projects are really beginning to take off! We began the week by tending to the 12th and Oak garden. When I stepped into the garden this week after being away for over a week, I was blown away by the appearance of our garden! Despite some failed attempts in some of our beds and having to uproot some of the seasonal plants, the rest of the garden is flourishing. Our sunflowers are the height of most average adults and our tomatoes are constantly producing fruit! We continue to expand our garden by clearing new beds and planting new seeds.
Another program which was a great success this week was our community dinner Thursday night! This week we served a Mexican feast complete with cilantro lime rice, seasoned beans, and multiple varieties of salsa. We had an absolutely amazing turn out this week with over 60 guests enjoying our food, touring our garden, and learning more about Summer of Solutions. Many people enjoyed picking food fresh from our garden and eating it. It was so exciting to see children running through our garden with a sense of awe and I am hopeful that members of the community will seek to become actively involved in their local garden. It was an exciting night and I feel as though we were really planting the seeds of sustainability that night in our community.
We addressed the sustainability of our program this week and I believe that the best way to sustain our efforts would be to empower members of the community to continue our programs. After Thursday night I believe that we will be able to inspire the community to take control and become solutionaries too.
Our program was also featured in the local paper this week! It is difficult to illuminate the full mission and goals of our program in a short article, but we have received much support and praise which has helped to recharge our team as we head into the final weeks of our summer. We are preparing to start weatherization efforts this week along with our first Cooking Matters class. I hope to see even more success with the beginning of these programs and the continuation of our other programs.
At the end of our fourth week, I am so proud of our team and our community. As we head into our last few weeks I think our team and the community are beginning to experience the importance of the work we are doing this summer and everyone is excited about where our program is headed.