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Finding Purpose

The first time I visited Gaining Ground I was in third grade with a school group. I was really impressed by the selflessness of the farmers: growing so much organic food, to then donate to charity. I had been looking for ways to positively influence those in need, and I decided that this was a great way to do so because I would be able to help others, while working and having fun.



Farm to Shelter: Nutrition for the Homeless

Fresh, locally grown cucumbers, kale, spinach, apples, berries, and more… That’s breakfast for many homeless and low-income men and women living in the Lowell area! How? These delicious vegetables are turned into free healthy breakfast smoothies thanks to a new partnership with Gaining Ground and other produce providers. 



Join Us for Our Community Harvest Celebration

Mark your calendar and gather together at Gaining Ground for a community harvest celebration on Sunday, September 18!

  • Listen to Twisted Pine, a new roots band with an unbridled, contagious spirit.
  • Purchase locally sourced sandwiches, salads and dessert from pop-up restaurant Company Picnic or bring your own lunch.
  • Participate in cider making, art projects, treasure hunt and games.

RSVP Today



Blowing in the Wind: The Artistry and Engineering of the Barn’s New Weathervane

After you go to all the trouble of building a barn by hand—from cutting every last joint to raising it by hand, resulting in a structure that will last for generations—you really can’t crown it with some made-in-China, mail-order weathervane. That would be like Alice Waters plating up Twinkies for dessert at Chez Panisse. It just wouldn’t be right.



Read for Seeds Bridges the Gap

For over twenty years, students from many local schools have helped fight hunger by participating in our Read for Seeds program. This unique program links fundraising, education, and community action. Led by Pam Goar, long-time board member, Read for Seeds pays for almost 70% of the seeds needed to grow 60 different vegetables annually.



Longest Day

I am writing this after the sun has gone down on the longest day of the year. Looking back on the day, it seems like a lot can be done with fifteen hours of light fueling you.  

All of us farmers started the morning with our regular Tuesday walk around, observing how the fields have changed over the weekend (a lot, mainly weeds). 



Rolling Out Produce to our Partners

Although it was just the seed of an idea in March, June’s rollout of produce to our partner organizations is now transitioning into a steady weekly rhythm of harvesting, washing, boxing, weighing and loading. Our partners include:

  • Tuesdays: Head Start, House of Hope, Loaves & Fishes, Pine Street Inn, Sudbury Food Pantry
  • Thursdays: Bedford Food Pantry, Open Table Concord, Rosie’s Place, Westford Community Housing
  • Saturdays: Food for Families, Lowell Transitional Living Center, Open Table Maynard


Welcome New Board Talent

This year Gaining Ground welcomed two talented, hard-working individuals to our Board: Theresa Cohen and Elisabeth Elden.



Join Our Ride for Food Team

Did you know that Project Bread’s 2014 Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts found that the food insecurity rate has increased by 71% over the past ten years?

This year, Gaining Ground will be participating in the Three Squares New England Ride for Food, a bike ride that raises funds to eliminate hunger in New England. 



Our Barn Is Officially Open!

On a blustery Sunday in May, Gaining Ground donors and friends gathered to celebrate our completed barn.

This new structure will advance all aspects of our mission and will be the center of life at the farm. Our barn will protect our equipment and supplies — the essentials for growing more food. It will provide produce storage areas, enabling us to harvest vegetables at their peak and to keep them fresher longer so we can distribute more food. It will provide shelter for our ever-growing number of volunteers, allowing them to gather and work in all kinds of weather.



Full of Possibility

Spring at Gaining Ground reminds me of the beginning of Richard Wilbur’s poem “Seed Leaves:”

Here something stubborn comes
Dislodging the earth crumbs
And making crusty rubble
It comes up bending double
And looks like a green staple.
It could be seedling maple,
Or artichoke, or bean
That remains to be seen.



Farmers' Footprints

I wander around the farm as dusk settles in on this silent spring night, and I pause knowing this is the calm before the storm. This spring marks the beginning of my fourth season of growing at Gaining Ground. Which means I have walked all around and over this piece of land. Back and forth from the orchards to the greenhouse, up and down every row and through each field. I am blessed by the opportunity to walk the fields determined, yet again, to plough, sow and reap its soil, seed, and bounty. 



Our 2016 Seasoned Farm Crew and Office Staff

We are a five-person farm crew again this season, with Doug and Kayleigh co-managing the farm, Coleman Wadsworth and Alexis Mantis as our two seasonal apprentices, and Paula Jordan as Head Start mobile market manager.