Planting up a storm at Gathering Ground

This article was originally published in the Washington Island Observer By Jessica Dennis The beginning of May was a busy time for our fifth grade students! We took a field trip to Gathering Ground where Russell and Alessandra Rolffs taught the students how to plant apple trees. The students worked together in groups to dig holes, ‘dunk’ apple trees in a fungi solution,and plant appropriately without … Continue reading Planting up a storm at Gathering Ground

Celebrate Earth Day in May

Celebrate Earth Day     Washington Island, Wisconsin  — Celebrate Earth Day in May — May 4-6, Gathering Ground, a nonprofit based on Washington Island with a mission to educate youth and adults in sustainable agriculture, promote economic development, and strengthen the health of individuals, the community, and the environment, will celebrate Earth Day with … Continue reading Celebrate Earth Day in May

A Look at Farmers’ Bulletin (Part 2)

So I must admit that I’ve become enthralled by the Farmers’ Bulletins. I now know the best way to remove coffee stains from artificial silk, “now commonly called rayon by the trade” from Bulletin 1474, entitled “Stain removal from fabrics: home methods.” And if I’m honest, I’m as pleased to learn that rayon was once … Continue reading A Look at Farmers’ Bulletin (Part 2)

Fifth grade students starting a mini classroom garden

By Jessica Dennis This article first appeared in the Washington Island Observer   The fifth grade students have been learning extensively about plants lately! We have been learning about the different classifications, ways plants reproduce, and why photosynthesis and cellular respiration are so important. We started a “mini-garden” in our classroom of Cosmo flowers, cherry … Continue reading Fifth grade students starting a mini classroom garden

Elevating our thoughts and hopes

Since 1889, the the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been publishing farmers’ bulletins to disseminate the latest in agricultural science and research. I was recently reading through the first bulletin and was surprised by its poetic language. In making a case for why the USDA was setting up research stations across the country (still recovering … Continue reading Elevating our thoughts and hopes


“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”  Aldo Leopold Wisconsin’s own esteemed conservationist, Aldo Leopold, most succinctly states my feelings about Gathering Ground’s vision to “cultivate and inspire ecologically-minded agriculture and partnership with land and people.”  As … Continue reading Partnership

To Gathering Ground as it turns one year old…

  It’s been an honor to have been a part, even in a very humble way, of Gathering Ground’s first year and to watch it -- like one watches a child -- take its first steps, make its presence known, and, also like a child, be embraced by the community. Who would have guessed that … Continue reading To Gathering Ground as it turns one year old…