On Solid Ground
Imagine a community farm, an educational and cultural center that meaningfully connects each of us to each other and to the land that supports us. Fruit and nuts hang from the forested canopy and vegetables rise from the earth; you browse as you stroll along the ridgetop, watching butterflies flit from flower to flower; kids catch fish and frogs from a small pond, while others gather chicken eggs, or purposefully stack stumps and logs to build the day’s new playscape. As you carry your harvest down the path to the farm-to-table cafeteria, you catch a hint of chestnuts roasting in a wood-fired oven. A group of college students works together at pressing apple cider for that night’s community dinner. The inviting fire has drawn a crowd, and you settle onto a stump while a strumming guitar accompanies the sounds of the forest. Stories of the day's exploits on the obstacle course begin to pass around the circle. This is how a day goes on Solid Ground – one we look forward to sharing with you and with all who visit Southeast Ohio.
At Solid Ground, we are growing connections: between people, communities, landscapes, and economies, as we seek to build an ecosystem based on cooperation, creativity, and relevant engagement with our world. Through the contexts of a working sustainable farm, a school, a day camp, and a community education center, Solid Ground offers people of all ages the chance to play, to develop meaningful relationships, and to experience the transformative joy of engaging with the natural world. Our projects are participant-driven, utilize local resources, and benefit our neighbors and the world around us.
Help us to inspire and empower ourselves – and the next generation – as we learn through experience that we are all in this together and that, through thoughtful collaboration, we will reach our potential as individuals, global citizens, and participants in the earth’s ecosystems. Please consider a donation today to help us grow on Solid Ground.
Growing on Solid Ground
Solid Ground Farm, LLC is the site for transformative, place-based educational programming that spans the generations. Our programs and the programs of our partnering organizations are growing, and our space must grow too. All donations to this campaign will go directly toward the construction of a new solar-powered education center, featuring additional classrooms, a farm-to-table cafeteria, and the needed facilities to expand our operations. This center will ensure the future growth of Solid Ground School, the new independent elementary school housed on the farm, which is pioneering progressive, nature-based learning for elementary-aged children. It will allow us and our partnering day camp, Rising Appalachia, to offer overnight programming to out-of-town youth, thereby increasing underserved populations’ access to environmental education and nature exploration, which has for the last decade inspired in children a love of the outdoors and confidence in their abilities to navigate our world. Finally, it will allow us to further our mission to grow community connections, by offering weeknight and weekend community events based on sustainable agriculture and nature exploration.
Below is a summer camp promo video from 2017
Behind Solid Ground
Built in 2007, by the passion and dedication of its founders and many contributors, Solid Ground Farm has grown incrementally each year to bring richer, more diverse experiential and educational programming to wider audiences. This programming has evolved into two separate but closely collaborating non-profits: Rising Appalachia (RAW Camp) and Solid Ground School. Facilities expansions have been and continue to be funded by Solid Ground Farm, LLC, as well as the founders’ personal contributions, family loans, and a continual reinvestment of all income and energy. Our latest collaborative project with Christin Butler, the launch of Solid Ground School, is the result of over $40,000 in personal investment this year, 18-months of unwavering labor by two full-time volunteers and many part-time volunteers, as well as the broad, meaningful support of our families and community. The result is truly profound, a dream come true for all of us involved: teachers, students and families, community educators, our supportive board, and the land itself.
Here's another fun video from when we were just getting started.
The programs at Solid Ground collectively engage over 250 youth, dozens of college students, and hundreds of community members and visitors year-round. With the creation of our new facility, we intend to build upon our momentum and ensure that we can continue to meet the growing demand for and interest in outdoor, sustainable education and community development, inspiring people to connect with our world, engage with their communities, and enjoy our shared experience as we all “grow deep.”
Your support builds upon 12 years of dedicated labor and the continuous personal and family investment of over $100,000 and is compounded by a generous loan for $90,000 from a dedicated patron, and a $20,000 investment from the founders. Construction is already underway, and your donation promises that our vision for an abundant present and a sustainable future can continue to grow. This is our world and the world of our grandchildren and all those yet to come; let's love it, engage it, and grow with it.
Thank you for your support.
Weston and Bridget Lombard
Co-founders, Solid Ground Farm