Explore: Volunteers

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 […]

A Salute to Paula

After a dozen years working with Gaining Ground farm staff and volunteers, Paula Jordan has decided to redirect her time and talents this season. Her welcoming smile and encouraging guidance will be missed on a daily basis. Paula joined Gaining Ground in 2007, when the farm had less land, fewer volunteers, and only the pavilion […]

Calling All Volunteers!

Our work is powered by thousands of volunteers, starting during the cool, rainy days of April and ending with the chilly, frosty days of November. Of all ages and abilities, as individuals and groups, from many towns and schools, companies, and organizations, volunteers provide the helping hands to grow nourishing vegetables, fruits, and flowers for […]

Thank You!

The board and staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those supporters who have shared their time and talents in the past year. Special thanks go to: Holly Miller, for architectural guidance and drawings for pavilion renovations David Outerbridge, for year-round maintenance of the buildings and land Joe Rigali, for coordinating the […]

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 […]
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