Explore: Farm Update

Making a Good Plan

A question I am frequently asked come November is, “What do you do in the winter as a farmer?”  One of the primary focuses during these cold, dark months is crop planning. Although the bulk of the crop planning work takes place in December and January, the process is unending and involves observing, reflecting, note-taking, […]

A Farm That Yields Much More Than Food

Gaining Ground’s 2022 growing season was a resounding success with 115,373 pounds of vegetables, fruit, herbs, maple syrup, honey, and cut flowers distributed to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Thanks to a team of hardworking, experienced farmers led by Anna Kelchlin, as well as the helping hands of more than 3,100 volunteers, production increased 17 […]

Hand in Hand: Reflections from the Volunteer Committee

Gaining Ground’s Volunteer Committee includes members of the organization’s Board of Directors, staff, and dedicated volunteer community. Participants include long-term volunteers, members of our Community Farm Team, teachers whose classes participate annually in our Read for Seeds program, and a representative from the National Charity League, a service organization with whom we partner. Last year […]

As Patient as the Land: A View from the Land Committee

One of the goals set out in Gaining Ground’s 2022-2027 strategic plan is to extend the farm’s reach in order to increase our impact on food insecurity. One way we’re doing this is by exploring and testing opportunities to expand our food production beyond our current land constraints. Ethical management of our farm means that […]

Listen to Gaining Ground on GBH’s Under the Radar with Callie Crossley

Executive Director Jennifer Johnson, along with Catherine D’Amato from the Greater Boston Food Bank and Kannan Thiruvengadam from Eastie Farm, recently spoke with Callie Crossley on GBH Radio’s Under the Radar. Click here to listen to this insightful conversation about rising food insecurity since the pandemic and the importance of improving access to foods that […]

The Season of Planning

I am excited to share with you my crop planning process, which brings me boundless joy during these colder months. Winter provides a time for a slower pace, and dreaming about the growth of the next season!        Crop planning is a complex process that involves both artistic and scientific approaches, especially because we work the […]

New Board Member Spotlight: Katie Bekel

At Gaining Ground, we are grateful for the diverse, insightful, and compassionate voices and perspectives that support and guide the farm. We are thrilled to welcome Katie Bekel to our board of directors and to take this opportunity to learn a bit more about the newest member of the Gaining Ground team. How did you […]

Holding in the Heat: A Closer Look at Our Winter Farming Practices

Winter is officially here and although the pace on the farm has eased, our harvests don’t take a holiday this time of year. We’ve continued to distribute crops like arugula, bok choy, carrots, mustard greens, and spinach this month, and will continue to do so throughout the season. Winter farming is critical to our efforts […]

What’s the Plan?

As Paul Simon sang to me yesterday, “Make a new plan, Stan.” Every five or so years, Gaining Ground is tasked with creating a new strategic plan. It’s an opportunity for the board of directors and the staff to steer the organization toward ambitious goals and new horizons. Our latest plan, formally adopted in November […]

A Big Picture Look at Beekeeping on the Farm

Five years ago I accepted the responsibility of taking care of the honey bee colonies at Gaining Ground. At that time, I was looking for opportunities to learn more about beekeeping in the northern hemisphere and about sustainable agriculture. I was hooked as soon as I learned about the farm’s hunger-relief mission, and felt lucky […]

Partner Spotlight: Eastie Farm

When we talk with our hunger-relief partner Eastie Farm about their work over the past year, the first thing they mention is the need.  The need for better access to affordable food in East Boston. The need for fresh, organic produce. The need for equitable opportunities for health and well-being. “There is one grocery store […]

Farmer Spotlight: Catching up with Erin Espinosa

This year marks Assistant Farm Manager Erin Espinosa’s second season with Gaining Ground. Erin brings with her an incredible depth of knowledge and experience, as well as the kind of enthusiasm and attention to detail that help keep the farm humming along at all times of year. What has it been like to work on […]

Taking a Closer Look: Crop Pest and Disease Surveillance with Manan Arora

There was an extra set of eyes looking over the crops at Gaining Ground this season. Moving meticulously down the pathways and through the beds, Manan Arora crouched with his clipboard in hand, peeking under eggplants, turning over cabbage leaves, and inspecting cucumber plants. This summer, Manan worked as a crop disease and pest scout […]

Team Spotlight: Geoff Nelson

If you’ve visited the farm this season, you’ve likely noticed that the structures look fastidiously cared for and the areas of lawn are immaculate. We have Groundskeeper Geoff Nelson to thank for this. Since starting on the farm in the spring, Geoff has worked diligently to keep the farm looking beautiful and functioning smoothly so […]

The 2022 High School Farm Team: Growing More Than Food in Our Fields

Every year, Gaining Ground welcomes a team of local high school students who volunteer in the fields during their summer vacation. They learn and work alongside our farmers under the scorching sun and the pummeling rain, preparing the soil, transplanting seedlings, hand-weeding vegetable beds, and harvesting nutrient-dense produce for hunger relief. Throughout the 2022 season, […]

Fall Educational Farm Tour: Growing for Hunger Relief as Winter Approaches

The details: What: A new fall educational farm tour Where: Gaining Ground, 341 Virginia Road in Concord When: Thursday, October 6, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. How: RSVP to rsvp@gainingground.org As the cold season approaches, the farm begins the process of winterizing our fields and following practices to extend the growing season in order […]

Persistence, Planning, and Teamwork Pay Off in a Season of Drought

Last August we wished desperately for dry, sunny days to soak up the standing rainwater in the fields, help our heat-loving summer crops grow, and alleviate the disease and pest pressure caused by days of unending rain. This year, our hopes shift instead to more rain (please, more rain!) as all of Massachusetts weathers an […]

Farmer Spotlight: Catching up with Ava Lublin

After two years on our high school Farm Team and another season with us as a farmer, Field Crew Member Ava Lublin returned to Gaining Ground again this season. And we’re so thankful she did. Ava, what did you get up to in the farming off-season from Sept. through May? I attended my first year […]

Farmer Spotlight: Catching up with Avery Indermaur

For the second year in a row, we’ve had the good fortune to welcome Field Crew Member Avery Indermaur back to the farm. We are grateful to have Avery’s thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and warmth on the crew again, and are thrilled to catch up with her this August. What did you get up to in the […]

August New Board Member Spotlights

We are thrilled to welcome several new members to our board of directors this year who bring with them a wealth of creativity, passion, and meaningful insight. This August, we’re going to take the opportunity to learn a bit more about two of these new members of the Gaining Ground team, Yvette Philip and Sigmund […]
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