SOL (Seeds of Leadership) Garden

SOL (Seeds of Leadership) Garden is our longest running program, and an amazing, life-changing experience for youth and staff alike! If you are a North Quabbin teen ages 15-18 seeking a safe, creative and positive group, interested in growing and cooking great food, learning building and renewable energy skills, and enjoying the beauty of nature in a stress free setting,

Enjoy a new, youth made video that shows a day in the life of our SOL Garden program!

Apply Now for our NEW:  ‘How to Live’ Internship for rising high school seniors or those just graduating in 2017.  Tuesday July 11 through Friday July 14 (includes one overnight, Thursday). We realize life up until now may not have prepared this ‘ready to spread their wings’ age group with some basic DIY skills like growing and cooking great food, using building tools, and self-care and communication skills. This internship provides experiences that will help you feel excited and more confident to live your own life fully and is designed for those who are serious about the experience of learning, working, creating, and contributing in a supportive community while gaining skills for a good life.The group will be limited to 12 total young people from the North Quabbin and other nearby towns. Applying is not contingent on your grades, but on bringing an open mind, enthusiasm, and commitment to this special internship opportunity. Application DEADLINE extended until June 15!

sol group 2013

Since the programs inception in 1998, 400 SOL Garden participants, most low-income and underemployed, have gained valuable life, college and career skills as they have: Cultivated a quarter acre garden and donated thousands of pounds of vegetables to families and senior citizens in our low-income community; Constructed their own 40′ solar greenhouse and designed and built the “SOL Shack” meeting space; Helped planted and tend gardens throughout the community at a shelter for homeless families, elementary schools, a hospital and health center, a library and for local families; Created and sold hundreds of ceramic SOL Bowls ; Given over 30 presentations at conferences and events; participated in Earth and Spirit youth retreats and outdoor adventure, workshops in nutrition, cooking, and healing arts, celebration art, and helped thousands learn, celebrate, and play at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival.sol girls building 2sol sowingfirst gen and sol groupsol lunch

Inspire your own program and teaching! We are happy to share our curriculum,  ‘Food for the SOL: Youth, Food, Justice and Community Building”

Enjoy the SOL Garden Blues we wrote with musician Katie Sachs, then performed at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival.

SOL Garden - Planting

I got a lot more confident in my ability to say and do things…to get a job done, roll up my sleeves and do it…SOL Garden is unbelievable and tremendously important. It pretty much carved out the life I have right now…There were people at SOL Garden who actually cared about what I had to say. Shawn

You come here and it’s like whatever is stressing you out vanishes because you know you have all these people here to support you and grow food with. There’s not drama, there’s no stress it’s just like the most relaxed atmosphere…the best place to be. Vanessa

Because of SOL Garden, I now think about my health, and what I eat. I think about how I live my life and the effects and impressions I make on others. I think about the world and how I have a choice to be an active citizen. I think about what small things I can do to make a difference and I think about big ideas that could change the world.Kacie

Coming here is the best decision I ever made. Jen 

SOL Group - Cooking

SOL Garden is free to local youth, and made possible through grants from the MA Cultural Council Youth Reach Program, The AT and T Aspire Program, The Green Leaf Foundation, and individual contributions.