Letter from the Board President
It’s been an exciting year at Gathering Ground. The community spirit in the vineyard and orchard has been inspiring. We hosted Island students as well as volunteers and guests from around Wisconsin to help us plant, prune, and celebrate sustainable agriculture.
We are also thankful to the agricultural companies that believe in our mission and chose to partner with us through donation of organic sprays, tree tubes, bird netting, soil tests and consultations. Please take a look at the partner section of our annual report to learn more– they have helped us tremendously as we transitioned the vineyard to an organic management system.
Gathering Ground seeks to identify disease resistant, fruiting trees, shrubs, and vines that can be grown effectively here on Washington Island without a lot of inputs like pesticides and fungicides for home growers and would-be commercial growers here on the island. We hope that this research will enrich the island’s food culture and agriculture potential.
To do this work, we need partners. Please consider a donation to help us buy the varieties of fruit trees and shrubs that we wish to trial in our orchards as well as a tractor with at least 40 horsepower to operate machinery essential for maintaining our vineyards and orchards. An anonymous donor has pledged $8,000 as a triple matching grant for each donation we receive before December 31. That means every dollar you give will become three. Your tax-deductible donations can be sent to 1402 Mountain Road, Washington Island, WI, 54246.
We are also excited to announce that we will start a pilot composting program on the Island. Households will be able drop off compostables at Gathering Ground and with the help of the Island students, we will turn it into rich soil for growing storage crops for the school!
For our internship program, we are seeking people to host college-age interns for 2 to 6 weeks in June and July. If you would like to partner with us, please contact us.
Board President and Farm Manager