Sheep at Gathering Ground

by Russell Rolffs, farm manager This year, Gathering Ground grazed six White Dorper sheep, rotating them through the vineyard June to August and then the young chestnut and fruit orchards the rest of the season. Combining livestock with crops is a sustainable practice because it creates a harmonious relationship between two agricultural pursuits wherein the … Continue reading Sheep at Gathering Ground

Community Composting: Why and How

Let's say you live here on the Island, or regularly visit, and don't have your own compost pile. You now have a way to compost your organic matter. "But why is this important? Why should I compost," you might ask. Composting is nature's elegant economy. Nature's economy doesn't produce trash, instead everything old and used … Continue reading Community Composting: Why and How

Community Compost

Beginning in July, our community compost program will be up and running. Our goal is to recycle the kitchen and yard waste from Island households and businesses, up to the holding capacity of our structure, diverting the waste from being dumped and carted off-island. All while producing black soil to enrich our gardens and orchards.

Mass Trapping of Rose Chafers on Washington Island, WI

The last few years have been very trying for many gardeners on Washington Island due to massive numbers of rose chafers. We have been researching methods of organic and biological control at Gathering Ground, methods that go beyond the standard conventional controls, such as the use of carbaryl based pesticides (read more about this group … Continue reading Mass Trapping of Rose Chafers on Washington Island, WI

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