Sunday Morning Meditations

I love visiting the farm during off hours. Stepping onto the land, I feel peace. I see the farm in an alternate light. I have this moment of clarity, this realization that this is where I get to spend every day. I observe the work that took place during the week and all that was accomplished. I notice how things have changed, even in just one day. I notice how the first peas have grown, how the flowers have bloomed, the bright red that is taking over the strawberry patch, the size of the cucumbers, and of course some of the work that will take place in the coming weeks.

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Sue’s View as Board President

I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky to become involved with Gaining Ground. It was really serendipitous that I biked by one day seven years ago and decided to start volunteering. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop, easily convincing my husband, Mark, to join me every other weekend. Getting to know Gaining Ground from the perspective of the physical work that goes into making it successful is enlightening for someone who works in an office all day.

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Gaining Ground’s Star Farm Staff

Our 2018 farm staff includes the familiar faces of Doug Wolcik, Hannah Lawson, and Paula Jordan from last year, along with the new additions of Jared Kimler and Kim Schmidt. Our market intern in Lowell is Wellinton Lantigua. We are so fortunate to have this team growing food, growing community in such an exceptional way this year.  Read More

Welcome to New Board Members

Gaining Ground welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors: Nina Frusztajer and John Canally. Here they share their interests and thoughts on becoming more closely involved with the organization.
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Farm Team: A Youthful Summer Force

Calling all high school-aged youth with a passion for being outside and digging in for a good cause. Join Gaining Ground’s Farm Team to work with others your age any Tuesday or Thursday morning from 9:00 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. The goal is to assist the farmers in tackling essential projects for the day, while also having a fun way to work with peers during the summer. Lexi and Ava of Concord-Carlisle High School are co-leaders for this year’s Farm Team.

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Long-time Partner, Bedford Food Pantry

The Bedford Community Table/Pantry was started in 1991 by the Grey family, who had participated in the Walk for Hunger for ten years prior to organizing the pantry. Now the organization is open every Thursday and, during the school year, offers a free community dinner.

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A Generous Award from Cummings Foundation

Gaining Ground recently received a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation to expand and strengthen its programs of hunger relief and community volunteerism. Specifically, the grant will support the work of our innovative farmers who, in the past four years, have doubled the amount of produce delivered to those who face food insecurity. The grant will also support partnerships with our recipient organizations.

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My Volunteer Experience

I’m a 21-year-old college student, and I’ve been volunteering at Gaining Ground since last spring. I heard about this beautiful farm from a family friend who used to be on the board. The first time I made the 40-minute drive from Boston to Concord, I brought along my three roommates and we planted butternut squash (my favorite fall vegetable!). The drive out was refreshing, and we were thrilled to have a morning free of city commotion. Then we entered a space of potent soil, pink worms, and friendly faces.

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Seeking Flower Power and Pedal Power

Do you enjoy working with flowers?

This season, we have planted more beautiful flowers than ever. Cheerful, colorful touches around the farm, these flowers create beautiful bouquets for our recipients. Just as importantly, they bring in beneficial insects that help protect our plants from pests. They line the drive and paths leading to the volunteer pavilion. They are nestled beneath fruit trees and shrubs in perennial hedgerows amongst the produce beds. They fill a new cutting garden beside the greenhouse. Read More

Support September’s Ride for Food

For the 3rd year, Gaining Ground is participating in the Ride for Food sponsored by Three Squares New England on Sunday, September 23rd.  Last year’s event broke all previous records with 350 riders raising more than $500,000.  Gaining Ground is riding to raise funds to increase our farm’s production and feed more people.  We are […]

Hunger Relief from the Ground Up: Secret is in the Soil

At the end of March, Gaining Ground hosted an interdisciplinary panel focused on the issue of hunger relief. In a community like ours, hunger might not be obvious, but here are the numbers:

  • 41 million Americans are hungry, and yet 40% of food in the US is thrown away during the growing, distribution, and dining process.
  • Children struggle with hunger with 1 in 8 children in Eastern MA being food insecure and 1 in 6, nationally.
  • 800,000 Massachusetts residents do not know where their next meal will come from, an increase of 71% in the last decade.

Our panel included:

  • Danielle Nierenberg, activist, author, and journalist. She co-founded Food Tank, a non-profit organization that researches food systems, hunger, and poverty.
  • Dr. Kathryn Brodowski, preventive medicine physician who specializes in food insecurity and nutrition. She oversees both program and research at The Greater Boston Food Bank.
  • Doug Wolcik, farm manager at Gaining Ground.  Doug has focused on soil health and introduced no-till agricultural practices to Gaining Ground, a switch that has vastly increased the amount of food donated to hunger relief efforts.

We had a full crowd join us for an evening of discussion about food security, human health and one of the most surprising levers for positive change: the soil beneath our feet.

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Race to the Start

The holidays have come and gone and, after a very successful 2017, where we saw production increase to over 80,000 pounds, we now reflect and set a course for our next season. Winter is the season for planning. How do we achieve these results again or, better yet, how do we continue to grow more […]

Board Departures

As 2017 came to a close, both Francine Royce and Joe Rigali—the vice president and president of the board—approved their final meeting minutes, all-in-favored their last motion, and retired from the board of directors. While these two have been the faces of Gaining Ground to countless volunteers over the years, they have also been the […]

A Few Words From the New Board President

We are all excited to welcome Sue Mildrum, senior director of engineering at Constant Contact, as Gaining Ground’s newest board president. Sue’s energy, commitment, and laughter will no doubt lead us to do great things. As a way to introduce Sue to the Gaining Ground community, Executive Director Amy Capofreddi asked Sue a few questions. […]

Leaps and Bounds

It is magical to watch the ebb and flow of farm activities throughout the season and the improvements in production annually. Last year was a big year from beginning to end. In 2017 we donated the most produce in five years and, for the first time, we distributed every month, January through December. Thankfully, our continually […]

A Match Made in Concord

Say the words “food pantry,” and most people think of canned vegetables and boxes of pasta. But more and more, a large portion of the food that pantries give out is fresh and local. So when Open Table’s community dinner and food pantry looked to expand their fresh food offerings, naturally they looked to Gaining […]

Hunger Relief from the Ground Up

Gaining Ground presents: Hunger Relief: From the Ground Up Thursday, March 29, 2018 • 7 p.m. The Fenn School—Ward Hall • 516 Monument Street • Concord, MA 01742 Please join us for an evening of discussion about food security, human health and one of the most surprising levers for positive change: the soil beneath our […]

From One Humble Seed

For anyone curious about the true impact of our Read for Seeds program, consider this: Last year, the farm crew planted about two grams of tomato seeds. Those yielded about 850 tomato plants. With sunshine and water in the right combination, plus the necessary TLC from our farm crew and volunteers, those plants produced about […]

Thank You, Supporters!

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 in 2017. Special thanks go to: • Ruth Munden, for her dedicated support in our office • National Charity League, for their support throughout the year • Our recipient partner […]

Food for Thought

Why do I volunteer at Gaining Ground? Interesting question. I started there because I was looking for a way to be useful in this world. I stayed because I get more than I give. So what do I get? I get enough hard, physical work to avoid feeling like I should go for a run […]
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