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

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

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

Gathering Ground looking at solutions to destructive beetles

This article first appeared in the Washington Island Observer. By Sheridan Ash, Gathering Ground intern. 2019 marks the second year that Gathering Ground is tending the vineyard on the Island. Because the organization’s mission is to educate youth and adults in sustainable agriculture and to strengthen the health of the environment and community, Gathering Ground … Continue reading Gathering Ground looking at solutions to destructive beetles

Planning Ahead for the Rose Chafer

First published in the Observer By Russell Rolffs, Gathering Ground executive director Recently I saw a sign at the entrance of a garden that read: “If nothing is eating your plants, your garden is not part of the ecosystem.” The message to gardeners, I think, is to be proud when your plants are preyed upon … Continue reading Planning Ahead for the Rose Chafer