Increasing Production by Reducing Tillage: Soil Health Field Day

On July 14, NOFA/Mass held a Soil Health Field Day in collaboration with Gaining Ground in Concord Mass. It was the first of six on-farm workshops to be held over the next three years as part of a project entitled “Organic No-Till on Northeast Farms […]

Field Day: NOFA Visits Gaining Ground

On Sunday, July 14, Doug Wolcik will give an interactive field tour exploring the systems he has instituted to drastically increase production—without increasing field space—on Gaining Ground’s three-acre farm. He will be joined by Daniel Mays of Frith Farm, an innovative, no-till commercial farm in Maine. The farmers will offer comments, observations, and demonstrations of […]

Delivering the Goods

Growing fresh produce is only half the battle, of course. To fulfill Gaining Ground’s mission, we need to get tens of thousands of pounds of fresh veg into the right hands—those that can distribute it in food pantries or serve it in meal programs. For a long enough period of time that no one can remember exactly how long, John Gates has been a critical link […]

Support October’s Ride for Food

For the fourth year, Gaining Ground is participating in the Ride for Food sponsored by Three Squares New England on Sunday, October 6th. During its seven year history, this event has raised over $1.6 million benefiting eighteen hunger relief food partners including us. Last year’s Gaining Ground team had 31 individuals raising over $35,000, all of […]

The Community Circuit

This year, a variety of organizations have reached out to the Gaining Ground farmers to learn more about their farming systems and to include them in various activities. They have participated in publications, podcasts, farm tours and even community cooking contests!  In March, Gaining Ground was included in the UMass Extension Vegetable Notes with a photograph […]

Farmers Lunch

I remember being informed about farm lunches on my first day at Gaining Ground last year. Farmers, I was told, would take turns cooking lunch for the team each week. I’m certain I was informed of this during the interview, but had since forgotten and now found myself quite nervous about it all. I had […]

Twenty-Two Year Volunteer and Going Strong!

Martha Hamilton is one of Gaining Ground’s longest-serving volunteers. She began helping out in 1997 when we were just a small garden plot in Jamie Bemis’s Concord backyard. These days Martha can often be found at the wash station, cleaning and packing produce for distribution to our 13 recipient partners. In the photo, Martha is in […]

Upcoming Events

July is a busy month for Gaining Ground with both a field day and afternoon farm tour to learn more about no-till farming practices. September brings our Community Harvest Celebration followed by our Ride for Food in early October. We welcome all to join us. For more details about each […]

The Practice of Growing

I love growing inside hoop houses! Compared to the unpredictable environment outdoors, growing inside gives us a season we can count on. Presently we have two hoop houses, where we can control temperature, humidity, and moisture. Among other things, this means we have unfrozen soil to dig our hands into for our first plantings of […]

The Power of Purpose

As a new season begins at Gaining Ground, we are in the wonderful position of staffing our office and fields with talented and knowledgeable professionals who are returning for another year. In the eight years that I have been involved, I don’t think we have ever had so many people returning. We are set up […]

A Salute to Paula

After a dozen years working with Gaining Ground farm staff and volunteers, Paula Jordan has decided to redirect her time and talents this season. Her welcoming smile and encouraging guidance will be missed on a daily basis. Paula joined Gaining Ground in 2007, when the farm had less land, fewer volunteers, and only the pavilion […]

Gaining Ground’s 2019 Staff

We are delighted to have so many familiar faces on the crew again in 2019: Doug Wolcik, Hannah Lawson, Jared Kimler, Kim Schmidt, and Grace Shields are all returning. Kate Hudec, a former volunteer, is a welcome new addition. In the office, Amy Capofreddi, Fan Watkinson, and Allison Goodwin continue to juggle the behind-the-scenes logistics […]

Topping the Scales

Between April and December 2018, we donated a record 99,000 pounds of organic produce to our twelve hunger-relief partner organizations. By gradually improving our soil, infrastructure, and farming practices with investments in irrigation, fencing, personnel, and shelters, we have raised production almost 300 percent—up from 34,000 pounds in 2013. This is a wonderful by-product of […]

Community Partner: Foundation for Metrowest

Each year, Gaining Ground relies on numerous long-standing partnerships to ensure our success. Foundation for Metrowest, based in Natick, Mass., has been a partner for almost ten years. It provides much-needed philanthropic support, as well as professional development programing. When I was hired as Gaining Ground’s first executive director, I applied to participate in Leading […]

Calling All Volunteers!

Our work is powered by thousands of volunteers, starting during the cool, rainy days of April and ending with the chilly, frosty days of November. Of all ages and abilities, as individuals and groups, from many towns and schools, companies, and organizations, volunteers provide the helping hands to grow nourishing vegetables, fruits, and flowers for […]

Thank You!

The board and staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those supporters who have shared their time and talents in the past year. Special thanks go to: Holly Miller, for architectural guidance and drawings for pavilion renovations David Outerbridge, for year-round maintenance of the buildings and land Joe Rigali, for coordinating the […]

Maple Sugaring Open House

Sadly, we are canceling our Maple Sugaring Open House on Saturday, March 2nd and will not be rescheduling this year. If you mentioned our event to others, please pass along this update. Because of this week’s weather, we do not have sap to boil. Also, Saturday’s forecast is for rain/mixed snow, less than favorable conditions […]

Despite Challenges, Bees Are Still Alive!

In 2018, Gaining Ground hosted two new bee colonies purchased from beekeepers located in Western Massachusetts. The colonies arrived in late May and mid June and we named them Autumn and Warm.  The colonies faced multiple threats this year. In July they encountered a bacterial disease that took control of their brood and affected their population […]

Leadership in the Field

Gaining Ground’s no-till practice is garnering attention: the organization is one of nine organic farms selected to participate in a three-year USDA Conservation Innovation Grant. The $170,000 grant was awarded to Northeast Organic Farmers Associations (NOFA) of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. “The goal of the project is […]

A Healthy Farm Culture

Board member Linda Booth Sweeney received a poignant piece by Wendell Berry from Schumacher Center for New Economics, with its mission to envision a just and sustainable global economy; apply the concepts locally; then share the results for broad replication. This writing seems relevant to the work at Gaining Ground while we address hunger relief. A culture […]
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