Explore: Tales From the Farm

Adding Winter Microgreens to the Mix

This past February, even as fresh snow blanketed the farm, it was warm inside Gaining Ground’s greenhouse. It might have been the middle of winter, but the farmers were filling trays with potting mix and weighing out seeds before dusting them onto the soil.  Led by Co-Assistant Farm Manager Kari Bender, Gaining Ground undertook an […]

A Big Picture Look at Gaining Ground’s Farming Practices

Gaining Ground grows over 50 different types of vegetables, fruits, and flowers on three acres of land with just over a half of an acre under tunnel production. We do this using no-till, regenerative methods that we see as beyond organic—meaning they meet and surpass organic growing requirements.  Many of the farming practices we employ […]

Farming for Hunger Relief

Farmers keep the world nourished. However we get the fruits and vegetables that we eat, we know that they arrive to us thanks to people who work with the soil, sun, and rain to bring crops from seed to harvest.  Uniquely, Gaining Ground’s farmers know that the produce they grow goes exclusively to people who […]

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 […]

Volunteer Spotlight: The Guild for Human Services

“Last time we were at the farm, it was really cool,” said Shawn Massak. “We set up two of the accessible gardening beds, which was great because it really connects into what some of our population experiences.”  Shawn works as the employment services manager for The Guild for Human Services, helping to provide job training […]

Our Thanksgiving Distribution Brings Winter Food Insecurity into Focus

On Saturday, we held our annual pre-Thanksgiving distribution of fresh, organic produce in Concord. In coordination with Concord and Carlisle’s Councils on Aging and Community Services, we use this final Food for Families market to give away hefty amounts of nutritious greens and storage crops to more than 100 households experiencing food insecurity.  At this […]

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

An Appreciation Post for the Gear That Keeps Our Farmers Going The farm’s first hard frost this season didn’t hit until November. Despite the gentleness with which we transitioned from summer to fall, the cold weather is now officially upon us. The change in seasons means the farmers have now fully rotated the clothes they […]

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 […]

Culturally Considerate: Growing Crops that Our Clients Want

Smells of molé simmering on the stove. Red chiles decorating the walls. A bloated belly from cheesy dishes. These are a few of my favorite food memories.  Food connects us to our ancestors. Our spirits crave the foods our ancestors grew and ate. I am a white Mexican-American reconnecting with my ancestors through food and […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Laurie Gleason

There are many reasons why we love that Concord is a town flush with cyclists, but chief among them may be that a bicycle is what first brought volunteer Laurie Gleason to Gaining Ground’s fields. “I biked in many years ago. When we stopped there was one person working in the fields, and there was […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Allison Aley

At Gaining Ground, our hunger-relief work is made possible by a community of volunteers that embodies a dedication to sustainable, holistic farming practices and uprooting food insecurity rivaled only by that of our incredible farmers.  A standout member of this outstanding team is Allison Aley. We caught up with Allison to learn more about her […]

From the Lab to the Farm

MIT Brings a Drip Irrigation Prototype to Gaining Ground’s Fields “What’s that?” has been a particularly frequent question from our volunteers this year, and they’re not just talking about equipment, plants, insects, or other common farm-related mysteries.  This year, the source of curiosity has tended to be a massive black drum, orange metal box, and […]

Deepening Our Partnership with the Soil

The past two years have been a picture-perfect lesson in why our relationship with the land we cultivate is one of ongoing commitment and learning. A drought in 2020, followed by extraordinary heat and rain in 2021, took their toll on farms across New England—and Gaining Ground was no exception. We watched as our farm […]

Farmer Spotlight: Catching up with Chrissie Edgeworth

This year, we have the great fortune of retaining most of the farmers from our 2021 crew for a new season of growing at Gaining Ground. One such returning farmer is Assistant Grower Chrissie Edgeworth. We are thrilled to have Chrissie back with us in the fields, and wanted to take the opportunity to catch […]

Energized by Mulch!

In the life of a farmer, as much as deep winter is for reflection and quiet, it is also a time of intricate planning, preparations, and dreaming. Those long days of summer light are so far off, yet in just a short couple of months a rebirth will be upon us.   This season I am […]

Switching Lenses on Hunger Relief

When I was a volunteer at Gaining Ground, I thought like a volunteer. I watched the seedlings my students planted turn into gorgeous veggies, helped drive them to a local food pantry, and heard the exclamations of recipients about the quality of the produce. Yet this process only revealed to me the surface of hunger […]

Connecting the Past and Future of Food Through Seed Saving

In mid-November, Farmer Erin Espinosa visited the Children’s Meetinghouse preschool in Concord to teach the students there about seed saving—the practice of collecting seeds from open-pollinated food crops and using them to grow future harvests of those plants. Her visit was a reminder of the importance of learning about the life cycles of plants, food […]
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