Winter is for planning and reflecting on the land at Gathering Ground

By Russell Rolffs. This article first appeared in the The Washington Island Observer. Winter evenings are best spent sitting near the stove and dreaming of what to plant in the spring. The same is true for us at Gathering Ground. Our vision is to develop the grounds into an extensive network of orchards and gardens … Continue reading Winter is for planning and reflecting on the land at Gathering Ground

Building a Pavilion

Gathering Ground is excited about building a pavilion that will serve as a site for our educational programs and as an outdoor classroom to augment the Island School’s experiential education. We are grateful to Washington Island Women's Club and the Detroit Harbor Ladies Aid,  both of which gave donations earmarked for the pavilion. The pavilion … Continue reading Building a Pavilion

Baa Baa Baa — Sheep at Gathering Ground!

In April, 2020, we will be welcoming six White Dorper hair sheep to Gathering Ground. We couldn’t be more excited. A big part of our motivation is to experiment with using the sheep to keep the weeds in the vineyard and orchards at bay, and to offer their gift of fertilizer to the ground to … Continue reading Baa Baa Baa — Sheep at Gathering Ground!

Raise Beds at the Island School

This spring, Gathering Ground will be working with Jessica Dennis at the Island School to get some early season vegetables sprouting up in the raised beds behind the school. The beds are masterful creations donated by One Small Garden a business operated by Juliann and Ted Gardener. Two of the beds have plastic covers on … Continue reading Raise Beds at the Island School

Vineyard: Update 2019

Our goal is to grow grapes using low environmental impact management. Success with organic management starts with variety selection, and so, in 2019 we began transitioning our vineyard to a new variety of grape by grafting a variety of grapes called Itasca onto our existing vines. Itasca is highly disease resistant and makes Chardonnay quality … Continue reading Vineyard: Update 2019

How about them Apples?

Apples are high on the list for backyard gardeners. Gathering Ground is working to identify delicious apples that grow relatively free of disease here on the Island, to assist home growers and help ensure their success. We are trialing a large variety of heritage apples that are known for being tasty and easier to manage … Continue reading How about them Apples?