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News & Notes

In early February, Megan Larmer, Glynwood’s Senior Director of Regional Food Programs, and Kate Anstreicher, Glynwood’s Program Manager, braved Chicago’s notoriously brutal winter to attend CiderCon, an annual conference organized by the American Cider Association. Attracting everyone from apple growers to cider enthusiasts to beer aficionados looking to branch out, CiderCon is an inspiring, multifaceted event where attendees from around the world can admire state-of-the-art canning equipment, get in a spirited argument about single-varietal ciders versus blends, and swirl a glass of experimental perry while discussing the unparalleled majesty of an old pear tree. 

Glynwood now has two new electric vehicle charging stations in the office parking lot, which will allow us to charge four cars at a time. Installing these EV charging stations was a larger task than expected, including trenching hundreds of feet to run a new transformer, jackhammering through bedrock, and "discovering" things underground.

We’ve also built capacity for at least two additional stations, to be installed when demand grows. Concurrent with this project, we purchased a new electric car for Glynwood, and the difference in charge times from a standard outlet (several days) to these dedicated units (just hours) is striking. 

Founded in 2007, Glynwood’s apprentice program began when the organization launched the expansion of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative. Over the years, Glynwood has trained dozens of farmers, providing them with a solid foundation in regenerative agriculture as well as education in managerial skills. 

Meet Bill Ladd-Cawthorne, a 2013 Glynwood Farm Apprentice, and learn about his path to Glynwood and what he’s been up to since his time on the farm.

When Friday noon rolls around, the hum and hustle of a lively afternoon at Glynwood’s Farm Store begins to find its steady rhythm, like good background music in my ears. I flick on the lights, set a tall stack of logs aflame, then go out and pull the bins holding today’s harvest inside. Heavy as they are, flipping open a snap-lock bin sent by the Vegetable Team can feel like unwrapping a present. Inside the first one I open, 10 heads of red cabbage glisten in their snug pile: small and large, circular and oblong, they radiate a still-alive energy. Popping open another bin, I find a vibrant spectrum of microgreens puffed up in plastic bags like those harboring goldfish at a carnival. 

After this past year at Glynwood, I treasure our produce, though I know only morsels of what really goes into it. It’s clear that bringing good food to market requires time and care beyond the field, too, but I’ve long wondered what it takes to bring the harvest to organized, store-ready cleanliness. When farmers Jarret and Leah asked me to assist them at the Wash/Pack Shed during our apprenticeship’s absence, I got my chance to find out. 

Regional food policy work has emerged as a promising approach to developing equitable, sustainable, and vibrant food and agriculture systems. Yet, there is a need for much more resources and information to support the work of practitioners working at this scale. So it is exciting that a new project being led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS), Ohio State University, the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and Colorado State University is aimed at better understanding regional approaches to strengthening food systems.