living life

Celebrating the Harvest with Gaining Ground

During Don’s orientation week, his class was divided into groups for a project that included community service and a presentation based on the organization they worked with.

Don’s group was assigned to Gaining Ground in Concord, and their presentation was about food insecurity- not having access to sufficient quantities of affordable or nutritious food.  According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 Americans lives with food insecurity which is an improvement, but still a staggering number of people.

Gaining Ground is an amazing non-profit organic farm that donates all it’s fresh food to meal programs and food pantries.  Most of the work comes from volunteers – like Don’s group – who weed, pick produce, and do other jobs to keep the farm running.

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to attend their Harvest Celebration and support this amazing organization.  There were tours of the farm, a bluegrass band, games for the kids, fresh apple cider, and produce for sale.  Elizabeth also got to plant her own kohlrabi plant to take home.  She was more excited to play in the dirt, but I’m always open to more plants.

I have always had a little thing for bluegrass, so I really enjoyed the band that played.  Elizabeth loved the music (any music) and was in front dancing and clapping to the music.  I loved watching her dance with total freedom – not worrying about what anyone though (although everyone thought she was adorable).

One of the local apple orchards donated apples that we were able to press ourselves and make fresh apple cider.  The process only has two steps, which is a lot less complex than I had thought.  E tried her hand with the crank, but in the end she had to concede her spot to an older boy with more muscle.

Getting to walk through the gardens was my favorite part – they grow so much food and do it very efficiently and it’s all organic which is so impressive.  On three acres of land, they were able to harvest 90,000 pounds of produce to be given away.  That is so incredible to me and makes me excited for programs like this.  I can’t stop thinking about the impact that this little farm is having on the residents of our area.  What a blessing to be able to receive nutrient-dense food for your family.

I know Elizabeth and the boys are still young, but we want them to grow up being thankful for what they have, having compassion and willingness to serve those less fortunate.  Gaining Grounds gives us access to the perfect combination of supporting great local programs, giving back, and getting outside to explore our surroundings.

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2 thoughts on “Celebrating the Harvest with Gaining Ground

  1. John did something like this over the summer with his summer program thing. I was a little surprised to hear about how a lot of the work is done by group volunteers, but it makes so much sense. It’s amazing how much these programs can help the community as well! So fun that y’all got to make a day out of it too!

    1. I was surprised too, but Don had a great experience. They have family volunteer days too, but the kids are too little right now. Hopefully someday!

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