Our First Two Years and Growing Strong

By: Gabrielle Hinahara
Location: Middleton, WI

Around this time two years ago, my sister Natalie and I hatched the idea for Growing Food and Sustainability. It’s amazing to see how far our program has come since then, when it was just words and a vague vision in our minds.

Our first year taught us so much: we kept a garden alive in a record drought, learned that 9 weeks of continuous summer camp is too much, discovered how to form a close-knit team in three months, and found out that working 55+ hours per week all summer ends up burning you out before the fall harvest. We met amazing kids, ate delicious produce, got a darker tan than ever before, and tried so many new things. It was exhausting, exciting, hard, inspiring, and we knew we wanted to give it a go for a second season.

8Campers Last Year Continue reading

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Food and Discovery

By: Allison Guertler

Location: Middleton, WI

Coming from a student that just graduated from college, the world is a scary place. I took three years of Food Science before I decided it was not for me and graduated with Community and Environmental Sociology. No longer did I want to work in a food lab and create food for companies, but instead I wanted to get my hands dirty and work with those that make it happen. Growing Foods and Sustainably has given me this chance and they offered me what one of our little campers likes to call it: Farming School.

Campers at "Farming School"

Campers at “Farming School”

With only two weeks left of our summer, I have learned a great deal and have a better picture of what I want to do after this. Continue reading

In the Middle of it All

By: Katie Clements
Location: Middleton, WI

Growing Food and Sustainability has now reached it’s halfway point this summer, and I could not be prouder. The interns have grown closer and found work rhythms together, the kids are already giddy about coming back for the next session of garden camp (and as are we to receive them), and we are beginning to plan our upcoming community events including a benefit dinner and harvest festival. There have been major construction team accomplishments, and the garden is looking beautiful. While it seems strange to see the chard get harvested and watch the radish bed lay dormant, it is after all the middle of July. It seems about time for these things to happen, and we can simply look on our accomplishments, savoring our hard work and our harvest.

DSCF1318This coming week feels ripe for reflection. Continue reading

Perspectives on our Garden Progress

Location: Hartford, CT

Originally posted on July 12th, 2013 on Summer of Solutions Hartford

Perspectives on our progress in the garden from two participants: 

Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden:

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Working on Zion St was a big task. We had many challenges that we got through and made a tremendous change in the Zion St garden appearance as in weeding , cutting, planting and growing. We’ve made it all happen in just three weeks and we are still working to make it better . Continue reading

Gaining momentum through community engagement

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LR Summer of Solutions hosted a booth on 12th Street to sign up residents for free home energy assessments.

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. Continue reading

A Garden Takes Root in Minneapolis

By: Aly Young
Location: Twin Cities, MN

The storms that felled trees in Minneapolis and St. Paul have come and gone, and the Gandhi Mahal/HECUA garden project is in full swing! Solutionaries have been hard at work weeding, watering, planting perennials, and scraping and painting the fence.

This summer, we’re growing eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil, beans, strawberries, cilantro, okra, tarragon, and more! Here’s a taste of what’s growing:

DSC01777 Continue reading

Summer Garden Camp Begins!

By: Grant Armour
Location: Middleton, WI

Happy July All! We at Growing Food and Sustainability hope you all have fun, safe and relaxing plans for the upcoming holiday weekend. Last week we had our first garden campers! We had 8 campers arrive for fun mornings on Tuesday and Wednesday with activities for our older campers (ages 10-14), from making spring rolls for snack with veggies harvested fresh from the garden and collecting compost by bike to learning about how toxins can get into our plants from the soil. Our younger group (5-10 years old) met Friday morning and learned about how and why we compost, planted squash and made safe space friendship bracelets which mark our ties to each other and remind both campers and farmers (our name for counselors) of the fact that our behavior has both intended and unintentional impacts on those that we share our lives with.

biketrailerOur Older Campers Picking Up Compost from Middleton Outreach Ministry Continue reading