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Articles in Category: November 2017 eNews

Balance to the Food Justice Scales

I recently attended a lecture at an unnamed old university in Cambridge. (Thoreau dismissed a degree from that school, writing, “Let every sheep keep its skin.”) The professor’s topic was social justice and food activism. One of the messages was that nonprofit hunger relief missions, like ours at Gaining Ground, are misguided and ultimately ineffective. The corollary message was that real change to our agricultural production system and our economic and food inequality will only come from deep policy and structural changes.



In the Present Season

As the growing season starts to wind down, I start to get excited about the winter months and the planning process for next year’s growing season. I can’t help myself. As a farmer, it is so ingrained to always be thinking two days, two weeks, even two months ahead at any moment. But on days like today, I try to focus on the present and the perfect light on a fall day here in Concord.



Market Days

“Those are carrots. Reindeers eat carrots.” —A 4 year-old talking to her friend at the Head Start market

“The market is an opportunity to see all the colors, all the vegetables. Kids feel important when they shop.” —Teacher at Head Start in Lowell

“We’ve tried new vegetables, and I’m learning how to cook.” and “This market helps a lot, so as a family we ate more nutritious meals. Please come back!” —Parents from Head Start



Survival

A shark has to keep moving in order to survive. Without the constant stream of water, they suffocate and die. Likewise, millennials share a common inability to be at rest. We are a group of five Acton-Boxborough high school seniors who choose to farm, instead of occupying our minds with daytime television and outdated sitcoms. We call ourselves SHARK.



From Volunteer to Videographer

Cooper has volunteered with his family at Gaining Ground since he was five years old. Now thirteen, he continues to enjoy doing something that positively impacts the community, while having fun and getting to know the farm and farmers.

Partnering Together for Hunger Relief

For the past two years, the Pottery Club at Middlesex School in Concord has participated in the Empty Bowls program and raised more than $2,000 for Gaining Ground. Empty Bowls is a national program that has been helping to raise money and awareness in the fight to end hunger since 1990.



The Learning Curve

Hard to express in a few words, my experience at Gaining Ground has meant growth, empowerment, challenge, and fulfillment. It’s also been sweaty. I came into this season with very little farming knowledge. For many years now, I have studied plants—how to identify them, draw them, understand their biology. I have spent many countless hours watching and taking pleasure in plants, yet I didn’t really know anything about growing them effectively and felt clueless coming onto the field.



Riding to Raise Funds

On September 24, under sunny skies, 11 cyclists rode for Gaining Ground in the Three Squares New England 6th annual Ride for Food. They raised more than $13,000 to help further Gaining Ground’s mission to grow organic produce and donate it to hunger relief efforts. Five volunteers donated their time by checking in riders, marshaling, and posting on social media.



Thank You!

The Board and Staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those supporters who have given generously and shared their time and talents with Gaining Ground this season.