Explore: Volunteers

The Progress and Power of Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground drew me to Concord. For 20 years, I brought my students from Nashoba Brooks School to volunteer in the garden and consequently viewed the program through a seventh-grade lens. Some responded to the sheer physicality of the work, some marveled (or screamed) at worms in the soil, some became passionately enraged about childhood […]

For the Love of Bees

I have always wanted to work with animals, but growing up in a crowded city like Bogotá, Colombia, there was a large gap between what I learned in school and the knowledge of the world of animals that I was seeking. In 2010, I became captivated by honeybees, with their mystical world and important connection to our food systems. This early interest […]

The Long View

A speech-language pathologist in a school setting, Meghan has been volunteering during the summers for 14 years. I have been volunteering at Gaining Ground since July 2004, a couple of months after I moved here to start graduate school at Emerson College. Many things have changed over the years, including the amount of land farmed, […]

My Volunteer Experience

I’m a 21-year-old college student, and I’ve been volunteering at Gaining Ground since last spring. I heard about this beautiful farm from a family friend who used to be on the board. The first time I made the 40-minute drive from Boston to Concord, I brought along my three roommates and we planted butternut squash (my favorite fall vegetable!). The drive out was refreshing, and we were thrilled to have a morning free of city commotion. Then we entered a space of potent soil, pink worms, and friendly faces.

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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 […]

Thank You, Supporters!

The board and staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those supporters who have given generously and shared their time and talents in 2017. Special thanks go to: • Ruth Munden, for her dedicated support in our office • National Charity League, for their support throughout the year • Our recipient partner […]

Food for Thought

Why do I volunteer at Gaining Ground? Interesting question. I started there because I was looking for a way to be useful in this world. I stayed because I get more than I give. So what do I get? I get enough hard, physical work to avoid feeling like I should go for a run […]

Survival

Gaining Ground offers us an outlet that exercises our minds, bodies, and souls. Meditation is largely inaccessible to our restless young minds. Over the years we’ve sought methods of clearing our heads like yoga and hiking, but nothing seems to do the trick like weeding for two hours. The satisfaction of clearing a patch of […]

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Farm Team is a program within Gaining Ground that brings together local high school-aged kids who have a genuine passion for being outside and getting their hands dirty. We hope to assist the farmers with the greatest amount of work possible. This means heading out to the farm every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am […]

Farming Isn’t All Fun and Games

Throughout my two visits to Gaining Ground, I have learned more about farming in the fields than I could have in two weeks in school. I have really learned farming isn’t all fun and games. There are tasks that will leave your sore for a week. After going through what these farmers do every day, […]

Volunteering as a Patagonia Intern

Thanks to the support of Patagonia Boston and a Patagonia Enviro Internship grant, I am  grateful to be volunteering with the farm staff at Gaining Ground for four weeks this summer. My field reports for the Patagonia office joyfully list all of the insects, animals, and birds I have met in the fields. Everywhere I […]

Learning about Life on the Farm

Everyone always talks about how high school is such a blur—a crazy, fun, busy blur. Upon graduating, we can confirm this. The days are slow, but the years are fast. The world is growing faster than we are, and it seems that we’re just being taken along for the ride. For the most part, this […]

Growing Food, Growing Community: Volunteer Impact in 2016

Did you volunteer at Gaining Ground last year? If so, you were one of more than 3,000 volunteers who contributed to 7,500-plus hours of planting, weeding, watering, and carefully tending the rainbow of produce on Gaining Ground’s farm. These efforts helped us reach more than 600 families in need with 180,000-plus servings of organic, fresh […]

Cooking Up Fresh, Organic Veggies at Waltham Boys and Girls Club

How fortunate we are that Liza Connolly, chef and co-founder of Kids Cooking Green, has volunteered to pick up and help prepare our produce weekly during this fall’s pilot partnership program with Waltham Boys and Girls Club (WBGC). With a mission to inspire youth to reach their full potential, WBGC offers a welcoming space weekdays […]

Thank You!

The Board and Staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those supporters who have given generously and shared their time and talents with Gaining Ground this season. Special thanks go to: Alan and Susan Silberberg, for volunteering to deliver to Rosie’s Place Applefield Farm and Autumn Hills Orchard, for donating delicious apples […]

Finding Purpose

The first time I visited Gaining Ground I was in third grade with a school group. I was really impressed by the selflessness of the farmers: growing so much organic food, to then donate to charity. I had been looking for ways to positively influence those in need, and I decided that this was a […]

Quickly Sign Up to Volunteer

For farms, winter means more time to plan, and this year’s focus has been to streamline our volunteer sign-up process. We want our volunteers to spend less time in their planning and more enjoyable time in the planting and harvesting. Our website now offers real-time calendars so volunteers see what dates and times are likely […]

Tales for All Seasons

Everyone has a food story. It just seems to take a little talking to learn it. Working with Gaining Ground volunteers over the years, I have heard many stories that I collected like slips of paper. It was just this year that I realized how these food stories come from all types of people. There […]

Scout Projects Benefit Our Volunteers and Recipients

With so many volunteers, Gaining Ground has needed an additional picnic table and benches. This spring, high school student Santiago Benoit of Concord’s Troop 132 took on the challenge as his Eagle Scout project. In August, he and a team of Scouts spent the day putting together the many components just in time for September’s […]

Working with NetScout to Improve our Greenhouse

“I wouldn’t really call them mice. Definitely rats. House-cat-sized. This is one of the many trapdoors where they enter.” Enough! Gaining Ground Farm Managers Kayleigh Boyle and Doug Wolcik vividly brought to life our rodent-ravaged greenhouse in a video to NetScout employees during the final selection stage of their Heart of Giving Community Program. Westford-based […]
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