Explore: Farm Update

Farm to Table, Farm to Community

For twenty five years, Gaining Ground has pursued its mission to grow and give away healthy produce for hunger relief with the help of volunteers and community. While the mission has been steadfast, the chapters along the way have evolved. During the past seven years, we have focused on increasing output on our 3.5 acres of cultivated land by […]

Bird’s Eye View

I began working at the farm in late June, just after a killdeer nested in the leeks and fledged two chicks. Great-crested flycatchers occupied the woods surrounding the far field. One of my favorite things about farming is being more in tune with changes in the seasons and the weather and how they affect the […]

Honey Bees Hard at Work

For the first time in years, Gaining Ground collected over 50 pounds of honey from our bee colonies this summer. Do you know how amazing that is?! The production of honey requires complex processes, and now bees face the additional challenges of highly toxic pesticides and extreme weather.

Increasing Production by Reducing Tillage: Soil Health Field Day

On July 14, NOFA/Mass held a Soil Health Field Day in collaboration with Gaining Ground in Concord Mass. It was the first of six on-farm workshops to be held over the next three years as part of a project entitled “Organic No-Till on Northeast Farms […]

Field Day: NOFA Visits Gaining Ground

On Sunday, July 14, Doug Wolcik will give an interactive field tour exploring the systems he has instituted to drastically increase production—without increasing field space—on Gaining Ground’s three-acre farm. He will be joined by Daniel Mays of Frith Farm, an innovative, no-till commercial farm in Maine. The farmers will offer comments, observations, and demonstrations of […]

The Community Circuit

This year, a variety of organizations have reached out to the Gaining Ground farmers to learn more about their farming systems and to include them in various activities. They have participated in publications, podcasts, farm tours and even community cooking contests!  In March, Gaining Ground was included in the UMass Extension Vegetable Notes with a photograph […]

Upcoming Events

July is a busy month for Gaining Ground with both a field day and afternoon farm tour to learn more about no-till farming practices. September brings our Community Harvest Celebration followed by our Ride for Food in early October. We welcome all to join us. For more details about each […]

The Practice of Growing

I love growing inside hoop houses! Compared to the unpredictable environment outdoors, growing inside gives us a season we can count on. Presently we have two hoop houses, where we can control temperature, humidity, and moisture. Among other things, this means we have unfrozen soil to dig our hands into for our first plantings of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rosie’s Place and Gaining Ground Team Up to Take on Hunger

As guests peruse items at the Rosie’s Place food pantry in downtown Boston, the odds are good that the fruits, vegetables and herbs they’re choosing from were grown in Concord. Gaining Ground, a nonprofit organic farm on Virginia Road, is in its third year of providing fresh produce to Boston’s longest-running women’s shelter. “It’s a […]

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 […]

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 […]

In the Present Season

As the growing season starts to wind down, I start to get excited about the winter months and the planning process for next year’s growing season. I can’t help myself. As a farmer, it is so ingrained to always be thinking two days, two weeks, even two months ahead at any moment. But on days […]

Insights from Recipient Visits

At the beginning of the summer, Gretchen Nelson, head of the board’s Recipient Committee, and I scheduled visits to the amazing organizations that distribute our produce. With growing season in full swing, seeing our vegetables filling tables, shelves, and bags was clearly going to be powerful. I had been told that our produce is often […]

Welcome Youth Board Members

This fall, we welcome two new youth board members: Matt and Hannah. Matt is a rising senior year at CCHS. In addition to working at Woods Hill Table in West Concord, he enjoys traveling, photography, and gardening in his backyard. Last summer, Matt took a one-week course at UMass Amherst to learn more about food insecurity, organic farming, […]

Summer Markets Update

Market season is upon us. Tomatoes are ripening up and our fall plants are going in the ground this week. Here are a few highlights from our markets where we directly distribute our produce. Head Start Markets in Lowell We are off to a great start at our two markets for Head Start families in […]

Welcome to New Board Members

This summer the Gaining Ground board welcomed two new talented members, Jen Flint and Polly Vanasse. Jen Flint is a freelance writer in Concord. She worked previously as a writer/editor at Wellesley College’s alumnae magazine, Harvard Business Publishing, and NPR. She left desk-job life for a few years in there to work on the crew at Lindentree Farm […]
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