Gaining Ground has been cultivating Concord land for over 25 years. We began operating in 1994 as a small garden on private land. In 1997, we began managing the reproduction kitchen garden at The Old Manse, a Trustees of Reservations property. In 1999, we established our main farm adjacent to the Thoreau birthplace house on Virginia Road. In 2009, we expanded operations to an adjacent field under license from Massport. In total, Gaining Ground manages approximately 20 acres of land, with about three acres actively cultivated each growing season. We grow over 150 varieties of produce, including asparagus beds established in 2011. A responsible steward to the land, Gaining Ground uses progressive sustainable farming practices and annually documents its management and land improvements for the Natural Resources Commission.
Over the years, Gaining Ground has made significant improvements to its farm operations. In 2005, we constructed a greenhouse. A year later, we brought electricity to the fields and installed electric fences to control nuisance wildlife. In 2009, we added a sugaring operation and erected a small building for boiling maple syrup. In 2012, we purchased a tractor to give us control over our field preparation and management schedule, and added a hoop house shortly thereafter. As part our long-term strategy to increase the fertility and yield of the land, we added irrigation and deer fencing in 2014 and, most recently, a post and beam barn for storage and shelter.
To celebrate our 25th season in 2019, we published a book on our history, Gaining Ground—The Story of a Community Growing Food and Giving It All Away, written by Patricia Brady. Interested in purchasing a copy? Please send us an email with your request.