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Frequently Asked Questions

When is Gaining Ground open?

From April through October, we work with volunteers to accomplish a variety of farm tasks. We welcome individual and group volunteers Tuesday through Saturday, between 9am and 3pm. Upon special request, a group (6–12 people) may be scheduled on Sundays.

During February and March, sugaring volunteers and visitors can generally help on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. The exact schedule depends upon the weather.

Our office is normally open Monday through Friday during business hours.

How do I volunteer at Gaining Ground?

If you would like to volunteer on the farm between April and October, we suggest you review our Volunteer Guidelines and then sign up for specific sessions using our online form. Our staff will follow up with your request and confirm a date and time, generally within three business days during the growing season and within a week February through March.

During February and March, you may also volunteer to help collect buckets of sap from sugar maple trees in the Concord community. Space is limited and the schedule is variable. You also use the online form that is available in early February. 

Occasionally we need help on indoor office projects such as mailings, data entry, research, technology and social media support, event organization, etc. Please contact Program Manager Fan Watkinson to discuss the possibilities.

What's the work in the field like?

Every day is different, but working at the farm is fun, physical work that our volunteers find rewarding and interesting. No gardening experience is needed. Further information is provided in our Volunteer Preparation, Releases and Directions document.

How long do volunteers work?

Volunteers in the field are invited to help for two to three hours either in the morning or afternoon. Many volunteers choose to come several times during the growing season to see the results of their work.

How old do you need to be to volunteer?

Minimum age for unaccompanied volunteers is 15 (occasionally 14, if in high school). Children 5 and older are welcome if accompanied by parents or other adults to supervise them.

What should we wear?

We recommend wearing temperature-appropriate clothes that can get dirty and a hat and sunblock for skin protection. If the forecast calls for rain, please bring rain jackets and shoes or boots for the mud! Further information is provided in our Volunteer Preparation, Releases and Directions document.

What if it rains? Is our visit cancelled?

No. The only time we are not working in the fields is during thunder and lightning.

What does Gaining Ground provide?

We provide water and tools as well as tables, benches, a bathroom, and hand-washing sink. We also have a bag of assorted gloves that never seem to fit or match!

Should we bring food?

You may bring snack food and beverages. However, we expect you to carry out all trash that you bring in.