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 […]

Welcome to New Board Member

We are fortunate to have Karen Bechtel Perkins join our Board of Directors. Karen is former Executive Director of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest where she was responsible for the operation, growth, and development of the organization. Prior to joining the Chest, Karen was the business director at Lovelane, a therapeutic horseback riding program. Before working […]

The Progress and Power of Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground drew me to Concord. For 20 years, I brought my students from Nashoba Brooks School to volunteer in the garden and consequently viewed the program through a seventh-grade lens. Some responded to the sheer physicality of the work, some marveled (or screamed) at worms in the soil, some became passionately enraged about childhood […]

I Watch the Work of 5,000 Hands

I watch the work of five thousand hands. Here’s a thanks to the volunteers at Gaining Ground, the veterans and new ones, the seen and unseen. All their work translates to pounds of greens, melons, roots, red fruits and joy. Here come a dozen children full of wonder, singing, pulling carrots and shrieking at spiders. […]

Report on September Direct Markets

We had another amazing market at the Phoenix Avenue site. Since moving indoors from the playground space, we have served so many more families. We had over 50 individuals and families visit with lots of enthusiasm. Teachers, bus drivers, staff, parents, and children participated. I had recipes for leeks and kale from Just Food, and folks were […]

Widening the Circle with Ride for Food

On a beautiful fall morning, more than 350 bikers from all over eastern Massachusetts arrived at Nobles and Greenough School to fight hunger by participating in the Three Squares New England Ride for Food. Started in 2012, this 10- to 50-mile cycling event has raised more than $1.6 million for the benefit of its 18 […]

What We’re Reading

A panelist at Gaining Ground’s Hunger Relief from the Ground Up event in March, Danielle Nierenberg recently edited Nourished Planet: Sustainability in the Global Food System by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation. The issues that Gaining Ground confronts locally are addressed globally. “Access to food is one of the first and most […]

For the Love of Bees

I have always wanted to work with animals, but growing up in a crowded city like Bogotá, Colombia, there was a large gap between what I learned in school and the knowledge of the world of animals that I was seeking. In 2010, I became captivated by honeybees, with their mystical world and important connection to our food systems. This early interest […]

Forward into Fall

By participating in the Concord Food, Farm and Garden Fair on the second weekend in September, Gaining Ground jump started its fall community activities. On Saturday, September 8, the farm hosted a tent at the Ag Day Farmer’s Market, alongside Concord’s other farms. Board member Jen Flint created a hands-on activity that attracted the attention […]

The Long View

A speech-language pathologist in a school setting, Meghan has been volunteering during the summers for 14 years. I have been volunteering at Gaining Ground since July 2004, a couple of months after I moved here to start graduate school at Emerson College. Many things have changed over the years, including the amount of land farmed, […]
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