Sowing Seeds of Accessibility

Over the years, I’ve heard numerous Gaining Ground visitors describe the joy, happiness, and wonder they experience during their trips to the farm. This special place can be a sanctuary, a source of inspiration, and a balm for our frenetic and screen-heavy lives. Sharing the farm with visitors—particularly volunteers—is a central part of our work.

Equity is a core value at Gaining Ground, and while our primary commitment is to fresh food access, we also recognize that inequitable access to green spaces and farmland has a serious effect on the people we serve. That’s why our Board of Directors and staff devote numerous discussions and planning sessions to increasing inclusion and accessibility, especially among folks who receive our produce, or who are involved with one of our food security partners. Our current strategic plan includes a focus on overcoming transportation barriers so people of all backgrounds, zip codes, and income levels may spend meaningful time on this Concord land that we steward sustainably for hunger relief.

In 2023 we had a record number of partner groups visit the farm. Thanks to generous grant support, we were even able to provide round-trip bus service in cases where transportation was an issue. A team from La Colaborativa in Chelsea spent an early summer afternoon with us. Many in the group were farmers from Central and South America, and enjoyed sharing their field techniques with our farmers. Youth from East Boston and Lowell worked and learned with us as they participated in growing the food that would ultimately reach their communities after harvest. Clients from Women’s Lunch Place in Boston toured the farm and enjoyed a picnic lunch with our farmers. 

We are committed to making Gaining Ground an inclusive and accessible place and look forward to welcoming even more people to the farm in 2024. This spring, we will pilot a new program to provide Uber codes for visitors, volunteers, and partners from urban areas who don’t have access to cars.  We can’t wait to welcome our new visitors! 

Banner photo: Our partners from East Boston Community Soup Kitchen visit the farm thanks to a transportation grant from the Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation.