About soshartford

Grand Aspirations is founded on a powerful and innovative method – being solutionary. The Summer of Solutions expresses the values, follows the principles, and utilizes the strategies of this solutionary method. During the Urban Farming Internship program, young people in Hartford work together to draw on the assets each of them already have and work together to advance personal competence in this method, build a community around it, and enact it in the broader world.

Urban Farming Internship

Summer of Solutions Hartford

Summer of Solution Hartford is hosting a 7-month internship in urban agriculture. We are looking for up to 12 interns to work with us in community and school gardens in Hartford. You can apply here! bit.ly/LuqlDr


We are looking for 12 young people (ages 14-30) to intern with our program this year. The internship commitment is 10 hours/week from April 1st-October 31st. Interns will work in one of our community or school gardens for 8 hours/week. Their time will be spent building and maintaining growing spaces, organizing community events, teaching gardening to children, and harvesting with our neighbors.
For 2 hours/week the whole group will come together to participate in a workshop series on leadership development and environmental justice.
Each intern will receive a $2,500 stipend for successful participation in the program. Some travel assistance is also available based on need.
The application closes on March 1st, and applicants will…

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Power Shift 2013 Pittsburgh

Summer of Solutions Hartford

This was my first time at power shift. It was a abstract experience for someone such as my self. A high schooler from Hartford Connecticut. It was one of those memories that you can never forget. I took back so much to help better yet humble my self as I continued on to live my life. It was so comforting to be in a room with positive young people whom made me feel free to be myself.  Whom also felt similar toward the corrupt world as I do.  They inspired me to make an action and not just sit and feel useless. I learned that I have to protect my mother nature and I will do so to the best of my ability. 

-Sonsharae Owens  

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Visiting Kayford Mountain

Summer of Solutions Hartford

(These images are in a “gallery” format, so if you click on them, you can see them full size)

During the annual Grand Aspirations August Gathering in West Virginia, we went on a tour of Kayford Mountain with the Keepers of the Mountain Foundation. Started by Larry Gibson to protect the mountains and stop mountaintop removal, the foundation and Larry’s family look after a 50 acre piece of land that is surrounded by 7,500 acres of mountaintop removal sites. Larry was offered millions for his property, but refused to give it up. This gift, and his lifelong dedication to stopping MTR has provided the public a rare access point to see the destruction caused by mountaintop removal mining.


(Panorama by Joe Gorman)

 If you are unfamiliar with the process of mountaintop removal mining (or MTR), it is a particularly destructive and hazardous type of strip mining, where the tops of…

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Our Community Garden on The Rise

Summer of Solutions Hartford


As we approach the ending of our seventh week of Hartford Summer of Solutions, the participants have a lot to brag about. A lot of hard work, dedication and efforts have shown in their commitment to show their community the importance of gardening.  They made a huge turn around in the appearance of the Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden and attracted a lot of attention.  They also did an excellent job with passing on the knowledge they gained from their work, various trainings, and activities to their family, friends and people in their community.


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Finding Milo

Summer of Solutions Hartford

Tiny white paws followed participant Sophie as she winded between beds at Annie Fisher Montessori School. Tending to a variety of plants, Sophie was focused, leaving Milo unnoticed until he released a small meow. Sophie temporarily relinquished her watering duties to comfort Milo and brought him into Annie Fisher.


In a meeting with the principal, I was in the midst of discussing gardening projects for the students at Annie Fisher when a staff member came in with Milo peeking out her elbow.

 “One of your participants found this little guy in the garden.”

Milo played and squirmed in the garden as we fed him milk and watered the plants. We watched as he enjoyed the fresh air, mushy mud, and cool breeze, which our students would soon be enjoying as well. The garden preparation stage of our work was coming to a close and summer school was about to begin. Soon students would be running through…

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72 Hours to Go in our $4,000 Crowd-Funding Campaign!

Summer of Solutions Hartford

Our crowd-funding campaign, hosted on ioby.org, ends this SATURDAY JUNE 15th at MIDNIGHT!

We are trying to raise $4,000 to support five youth participants with need-based stipends.

With your support, each participant will dedicate 25 hours per week to cultivating community and school gardens in Hartford that will engage over 300 people in urban agriculture. For 15 hours per week, they will participate in workshops lead by local experts to learn how to cook, bake, grow their own food in an urban space, preserve harvests, and live sustainably in the city. Our team will organize community events such as potlucks, elementary school cooking classes, and free farm stands to establish the gardens as open and vibrant community spaces. Any contribution you can make, big or small, will help support four participants to commit to the program full time this summer!



      We have raised over $24,000 this…

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Announcing Hartford’s Spring Fundraising Campaign on IOBY!

Summer of Solutions Hartford

Today we launched a 30 day campaign to raise $4,000 on ioby.org to support young people who want to dedicate their summers to working with Summer of Solutions Hartford!

Summer of Solutions Hartford’s IOBY Campaign 

We have so many wonderful applicants this year, and we’re excited to invite them to join our program and spend their summers immersed in food justice; learning about urban agriculture, home sustainability, leadership development, and healthy cooking.

Every participant will work for at least 20 hours/ week in one of our urban community or school gardens, caring for the plots and helping neighbors and students grow healthy, fresh food in the city, in addition to 20 hours/week of volunteering, workshops, and community events!

Can you help us raise $4,000 for need-based stipends by donating to our ioby.org campaign today? You can donate here!

Any amount you can contribute will be appreciated. You can also…

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You’re Invited: To the Spring Opening of the Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden!

Summer of Solutions Hartford

On April 19th, Summer of Solutions is opening the Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden with a community workday from 2-6pm!


You should come if:

– You want your own 4’x6′ plot at the garden this season

– You want to bring your community, school, or religious group to volunteer for the afternoon

– You love being outside in the dirt and want to help your neighbors plant!

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Summer of Solutions Hartford

For some of us, the first time we met was on the car ride to the airport. We were on our way to the Chicago January Gathering – a meeting of program leaders from Summer of Solutions programs all across the region, to envision and plan the third summer of SoS Hartford.

Since I got involved in SoS Hartford in 2010, I’ve been going to the January Gathering in Chicago every year. For five days, we meet in a church to train each other in the skills we need to build green economy projects back home. For me, it’s also a time to catch up with friends who are doing great work all over the country.

This year, four new program leaders came to the gathering; Sarana, Sherese, Alex, and Caroline.

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