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 the orange apron while working hand in hand with another long time volunteer and board member, Polly Vanasse.

When asked what drew her to Gaining Ground initially, Martha says she wanted to be working outside, in contrast to her decidedly indoor career as a librarian. One particular memory from Martha’s many years of volunteering at Gaining Ground has stayed with her. She remembers being at the farm on the morning of September 11, 2001, volunteering alongside a group from the Walnut Street Center. She recalls how eerily quiet the sky was, absent of normal air traffic from nearby Hanscom Air Force Base. 

Martha has seen Gaining Ground transform quite a bit over the years, most notably its staff and the addition of infrastructure such as the barn, she says. She has an impressive knowledge of the many vegetables we grow, and is quick to share tidbits and tips with a bright smile. In addition to helping at Gaining Ground, Martha also volunteers at a local food pantry. We are so grateful for her loyalty, dedication, and hard work over the past twenty-two years!