Why I Love Gaining Ground

This is a farm to feed neighbors, a civic investment for long-term yields without the government’s hand in the matter. This is about respect for land and food, and the dignity of people who have neither.

Gaining Ground is a participatory philanthropy, like an employee stock-option program for community development. The yields are measured in the thousands of students and residents who learn the meaning of sustainable production, organic harvests, healthy soil, cost controls, and practical biology. Growing food for needy neighbors pays handsome returns to sponsors of healthy, interactive, productive communities. Teachers and parents have a local laboratory to allow youngsters and the disabled to explore the wonders of nature. Nutritional values of organic produce and recipes are shared. Imaginative strategies for rebuilding soil fertility and reducing the costs of invasives and pests are debated. The art and science of beekeeping and maple sugaring are practiced and taught. The relevance of weather, climate change, and the vagaries of the seasons are experienced first-hand, not just passively on the Weather Channel each night.

The rich education flows from farm to classroom and back. The rewards of giving fresh food to struggling families, hand to hand each week, are indelible.

Originally written for “The Hamiltonian.”