Explore: Volunteers

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 […]

A Farm and a Classroom: Minuteman High School Students Learn on the Land

This June, it wasn’t unusual to spot a group of high school students decked out with hats, work gloves, rakes, and secateurs, scattered throughout the perennial beds at the farm. Once or twice a week, hard-working horticulture students from Minuteman High School pulled up weeds, trimmed overgrown fruit trees, hauled wheelbarrows to the compost pile, […]

Young Readers Help Seed a Year of Hunger Relief 

This spring, eager readers at Belmont Day School, Thoreau Elementary School, and Tenacre Country Day School helped to raise over $14,000 in support of our work to get fresh produce to folks experiencing food insecurity. Gaining Ground’s annual Read for Seeds read-a-thon provides funding for up to 70 percent of our total seed costs each […]

Volunteer Chris Lundblad Brings Heart and Know-How to the Fields and Behind the Scenes

Having lived in Concord for 19 years before moving to Lincoln in 2012, Chris Lundblad has known about Gaining Ground for years. But she didn’t become involved until 2020, when she started helping her friend, Polly Vanasse—now Gaining Ground board president—deliver produce to one of the farm’s partner organizations in Sudbury. By 2021, Chris was […]

The Abundance of Four Seasons

Each season at Gaining Ground brings challenges as well as successes; rewarding reminders of the impact and importance of our hunger-relief mission. Foremost among these in 2021 was the return of our volunteer program after a pandemic-driven hiatus. The joy of those first April volunteers was undeniable in their warm smiles, rolled-up sleeves, and dirt-caked […]

Gratitude for Shared Effort and Shared Growth

After more than 15 years of dedicated service, last year David Outerbridge stepped down from his volunteering in support of Gaining Ground.  David—who turned his retirement into a period of keen effort caring for the land and structures on the farm—was a regular and beloved presence among the farmers and volunteers. Last summer, as he […]

Thank You to Our 2021 Supporters!

The board and staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who gave generously and shared their time and talents with Gaining Ground last season. Special thanks go to: Belmont Day School, Thoreau Elementary School, Tenacre Country Day School, Bancroft Elementary School, R.J. Fisher Middle School, and all of the individual students […]

What Teamwork Can Grow

The end of November means the days are approaching their shortest and the coldest nights will soon be here. It also means that our volunteer season has come to an end for the year and the last of our seasonal farm team members have departed. At the farm, we grow used to the many devoted, […]

Swapping Homework for Farm Work and Helping to Feed a Community

Every year, the farm welcomes an amazing team of local high school students who devote themselves—during their precious summer vacation months—to volunteering with us in the fields.  They help our farmers—in the searing heat and the pounding rain—with soil preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, and so much more. These weekly efforts of the high school farm […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Barb Sommers

At Gaining Ground, we’re fortunate to have a community of volunteers who embody the spirit of generosity. One such volunteer—who has shown incredible dedication and warmth to our farm and farmers this season—is Barb Sommers. Barb joins us on the farm nearly every week—toiling in rain or shine—from nearby Acton. This is her first year […]

A Warm Welcome Back to Our Volunteers!

Gaining Ground was thrilled to announce the reopening of our volunteer program this growing season. After a year of isolation and overwhelming challenges, it feels important for all of us—our farmers and our volunteers—to have the opportunity to reconnect with the land and come together in support of hunger relief. Volunteers are essential to the […]

Countdown to Volunteers!

In a year marked by so much change, the past months have served as a powerful reminder for everyone at Gaining Ground of the essential role that connection and community plays in our lives. And we know that our volunteers share this understanding with us. As one volunteer who started joining us on the farm […]

Community at the Heart of Everything

Community is at the heart of everything that we do at Gaining Ground. We work together, in community, to grow nutritious and delicious produce for our community. Our community is strengthened by our shared commitment to sustainability, generosity, and equitable access to healthy food.   We are missing many in our community this growing season as […]

We Put It Down on Paper

In celebration of its 25th year, Gaining Ground has published a book chronicling the organization’s history and growth—from a visionary garden project in 1994 to a highly productive farm that now donates more than 120,000 pounds of food in a season. In Gaining Ground: The Story of a Community Growing Food and Giving It All Away, the farm’s history comes to life […]

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 […]

Building New Bridges

This year, thanks to a generous grant from Adobe Foundation, Gaining Ground has entered into a new partnership with Bridge Boston, a Roxbury charter school where 100 percent of the student population qualify for free lunch. We send weekly distributions of produce to the students, and the students help us as volunteers on the farm. […]

Leaders in the Field

It’s 8 AM and already 93 degrees outside, and your friends have invited you to go to the air-conditioned mall. But wait… it’s Farm Team day, and you are heading up the high school volunteers. Besides, who would want to be indoors on a scorcher like this when there are 2,000 pounds of butternut squash […]

The Value of Offline Time

I work in an office all day. I go from meeting to meeting, rushing down long hallways beneath fluorescent lights. At the end of the day I get home and sometimes wonder if I actually accomplished anything. Does this sound at all familiar? If so, I have the perfect antidote. Bring your team to Gaining Ground for […]

Twenty-Two Year Volunteer and Going Strong!

Martha Hamilton is one of Gaining Ground’s longest-serving volunteers. She began helping out in 1997 when we were just a small garden plot in Jamie Bemis’s Concord backyard. These days Martha can often be found at the wash station, cleaning and packing produce for distribution to our 13 recipient partners. In the photo, Martha is in […]
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