As I’ve been looking over photos and evaluations from this past summer’s programs, I hear Mary Oliver whispering her poem “The Summer Day” in my ear. How she deftly juxtaposes the grasshoppers “enormous and complicated eyes” to her own attention and what she prioritizes in her “one wild and precious life.”
Sometimes what Gathering Ground does feels hard to explain. We are a farm, a school, a vineyard, an orchard. We are connecting people to the planet through learning about how food is grown. By teaching and supporting sustainable farming practices on the Island. By blending agricultural “working land” with protected “pristine” parklands, work with play.
At the same time, Gathering Ground’s programs are also like Oliver’s poem and its call to pay attention to the swan, the bear, the grasshopper, the grass…
It’s a lot. It’s dynamic. And, I believe, it is urgent. What practical things can we do to honor, protect, and enjoy what’s wild and precious? Including our own lives?
In 2023, we are concentrating our efforts into growing well and paying attention. We are focusing on building up the Grounds, making it more navigable for visitors,starting a community garden and pollinator gardens as well as expanding our orchards, including ourchestnut orchards.
We will be hosting Thursday Workshops at Gathering Ground where community members and visitors will be able to join Ground School interns for horticultural lessons and practices. It will be a chance to learn, share, and get your hands earthy among friends.
This summer we will host again the Farmers Market, The Farm and Field Bike Tour, The Garden Tour, and Dinner In The Vineyard. So stay tuned for details as more information becomes available.
We are also looking to host groups for tours and work parties. Is your church group looking for a service project? Are you and your cousins looking for a bit of adventure? Are your colleagues looking for a team-building retreat?Contact us!
2022 In Review
Ground School grew in 2022 with seven students from across the country. Over the ten weeks, we planted, learned, pruned, read, discussed, cooked and ate together. In other words, we did the stuff of life in community while learning about and working in agriculture.
Summer intern Pauline shared these as her biggest takeaway from the summer together: “The community that formed with the other interns and the excitement to do what we can to help fight climate change and improve farm and food systems. Community meals and seminars always got me thinking about new ideas.”
We appreciate everyone who helped our interns have a successful summer including Susan Ulm, Jeannie Kokes, Sweet Mountain Farm, Island Orchard Cider, Hoot Blossom Farm, Birchwood, and Hidden Acres.
Match In Progress. Help us meet our goal!
We are delighted to announce that an anonymous donor will match the end of year gifts of all first-time donors and all donors who sign up to become monthly donors. So if you’ve never given before or if you have been thinking about becoming a monthly donor, now is a great time.
Thank you to all our donors! We are grateful to everyone who has already given this year