Growing Our Impact, Healing the Land 

Happy Spring! It’s the most wonderful time to celebrate all the tremendous work that’s been happening at Gaining Ground over the many years! Our mission to grow nutritious food in support of hunger relief is both admirable and humbling. As the new Director of Agriculture, I am honored to join these efforts with our passionate directors, farmers, board members, and essential office staff, who come together as one Gaining Ground team, supported by a thriving community, to carry out this pursuit. 

In 2024, our work will grow in exciting new ways as we advance our milestone expansion project at Minute Man National Historical Park, nearly doubling our production capacity! We have proposed to transform and enhance these once conventionally managed fields using the no-till, organic farming practices we also employ at Virginia Road. Expansion will allow us to deepen our impact by growing and donating larger quantities of nutrient-dense crops, while offering even more volunteer and learning opportunities in farming and food justice. 

Last year was our first season in Minute Man, and we began by covering the land with a substantial mix of cover crops to build higher microbial life populations, increasing soil structure and fertility. 

This year, we’ve mapped out all six acres of cultivated land configuring over 20 plots, most of which are filled with congruent bed sizes (18 2.5’ x 80’ beds) to match our growing system on Virginia Road. This will streamline crop planning, labor management, and tool implementation across both parcels of land. We’ll bring land into cultivation at a methodical pace over the next five years until we are growing food in all 20 plots. In 2024, we have selected four of these plots to begin our annual crop production, with a combined projected harvest upwards of 10,000 pounds including the planned successions of paste tomatoes, dry storage beans, winter squash, and fresh herbs.  

Over time we’ll incrementally add many perennial crops, including 270 high bush blueberry plants, more than 2,000 raspberry plants, 4,000 bed feet of asparagus, 24 peach trees, multiple beds of perennial herbs, and a dozen hedgerows filled with native flowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects. 

Our incredibly generous donors have made it possible for us to embark on this exciting project. We’re able to purchase the necessary equipment and materials needed to execute our plan—everything from a new tractor, irrigation supplies, and deer fencing, to compost amendments, seeds, and more! 

I am beyond grateful to be tasked with spearheading this vast expansion project, and therefore Gaining Ground’s community offerings. More so, I’m overjoyed to work steadfastly toward these goals alongside such outstanding leadership from our talented team and with our incredible community. Our collective energizing strength will address and bring awareness to the need for equity in our food systems, and the vital role of sustainable farming practices for climate resilience. Together, we’re building a society that shares each of our individual gifts with purpose, love, and care for one another. I’m happy we get to learn and grow together—and we have much to do! See you on the farm.

Banner image: Members of the Gaining Ground farm crew break ground at Minute Man in Spring 2024. Inset image: The historical land that we’ll steward along the Battle Road. Photos by Mark Congdon.

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