By: Sofia Gnabasik, Forest Foundation Summer Fellow with CitySprouts
Week 2 of the CitySprouts middle school program brings the interns and their program staff out into the fields of Gaining Ground Farm in Concord, MA for a morning full of weeding and potato hunting. Gaining Ground, a nonprofit, organic farm which donates 100% of its produce to meal programs and food pantries in the greater Boston area, relies on the people power energy of groups of volunteers to grow their crops and welcomed the energy of the CitySprouts youth on the farm. After a brief introduction to Gaining Ground’s mission and history, the interns divided into four groups and joined a farmers in tasks including weeding various crops such as eggplant and celery root, and digging into the soil for treasure, aka potatoes.
Though accustomed to daily garden rounds back at the Cambridge gardens, being out in the fields introduced new plants, specialized weeding and harvesting techniques, and a variety of insects to the garden routine. The time on the farm passed quickly and an hour and a half of field work later, the interns returned back to wash the dirt from their hands and settle down for lunch in the pavilion beneath hundreds of garlic plants recently hung to dry. All and all a successful and highly memorable first field trip!