Explore: Farm Update

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 […]

Gaining Ground Selected for USDA Conservation Innovation Grant

 Gaining Ground (GG) has been selected to participate in a three-year Conservation Innovation Grant funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Northeast Organic Farmers Associations (NOFA) of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey have been awarded the $170,000 grant, as one of 22 projects funded nationally in 2018. GG was invited to be one of […]

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 […]

Partners Receiving More Produce Sooner

Thanks to improved farming practices and expanded infrastructure, for the first time ever Gaining Ground has donated produce each month this year and started full-season distribution earlier in June than previous years. Through May 2017, Open Table (Concord/Maynard) and Mill City Grows (Lowell) received 2,500 pounds of hardy winter/early spring vegetables, three times more than […]

Welcome to Our Most Recent Farm Staff Members

This year, Farm Manager Doug Wolcik, Assistant Farm Manager Hannah Lawson, and Market Manager Paula Jordan are leading a strong, enthusiastic team. We welcome Sage Hess and Alex MacLellan as field crew members, Blair Kimble as a summer field hand and volunteer supporter, and Macayla Cote as market intern. Sage is excited and grateful to be at Gaining Ground this season, where she says she is “learning […]

Welcome to the No-till Farming Revolution

I definitely know that I love my job when I am more excited than ever for the growing season to begin, my fifth at Gaining Ground. And by “begin” I mean “continue,” as we have been harvesting and distributing fresh produce throughout the winter months. At the end of last season, we finally decided to […]

The Art of “Growing the Soil”

During the 2015 growing season, Gaining Ground participated in the Art and Agriculture Project, a collaboration between the Concord Agriculture Committee and the Umbrella’s Musketaquid Arts and Environment program. Eleven juried artists, working in a variety of media, were paired with 13 Concord farms to create works based on what they saw and experienced, witnessing […]

Rolling Out Produce to our Partners

Although it was just the seed of an idea in March, June’s rollout of produce to our partner organizations is now transitioning into a steady weekly rhythm of harvesting, washing, boxing, weighing and loading. Our partners include: Tuesdays: Head Start, House of Hope, Loaves & Fishes, Pine Street Inn, Sudbury Food Pantry Thursdays: Bedford Food […]

Welcome New Board Talent

This year Gaining Ground welcomed two talented, hard-working individuals to our Board: Theresa Cohen and Elisabeth Elden. Believing that everyone is entitled to clean, nutritious food, Theresa Cohen is delighted to join the Gaining Ground board. Trained as a civil engineer, she has worked for an environmental consulting business, built a recycling business with her […]

Our 2016 Seasoned Farm Crew and Office Staff

We are a five-person farm crew again this season, with Doug and Kayleigh co-managing the farm, Coleman Wadsworth and Alexis Mantis as our two seasonal apprentices, and Paula Jordan as Head Start mobile market manager. Coleman grew up nearby in Newton, Massachusetts. College led him to the University of Vermont, where he studied zoology and […]

Barn Raising and You

In the spring, we asked our community to help us raise funds to build a barn. New and long-time donors, foundations, and our Board have responded, and a barn is coming. A dedicated group of our Staff, Board, and consultants, led by Board member Jeff Young, has been working on design and siting all summer. […]

Rosie’s Place: Our Newest Recipient

Another record-breaking harvest gave our farmers a problem that was a pleasure to solve: we had to find another group to receive the bounty from our fields. Rosie’s Place in Boston proved to be ideal. It meets our criteria for distribution—it is located within 20 miles of our farm, has a “choice” pantry and refrigeration, […]
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