News & Notes
The newly formed Grains and Staples Program at Glynwood seeks to build markets for emerging staples crops and promote production of regionally appropriate grains and staples, with a special emphasis on ensuring these production systems adopt climate adaptation strategies. This is an outward looking project drawing from the history of and resources from the Hudson Valley region and beyond to prepare for a future with many unknowns for food production and distribution. Right now, the Grains program and the farm team have established a small experimental grains garden for a closer look at several different kinds of grains that might be grown on the Glynwood Farm in the future.
For many farmers, the autumn equinox signals a wind-down of sorts. Fewer hours of daylight means more time is spent storing roots, prepping beds and barns for the winter, and looking at crop planning spreadsheets, and far less time is dedicated to the classic summer stressors of harvesting, rotating pastures, weeding, and managing pests. But for apple growers, the fall season is the busiest of the year. Especially during a bumper crop such as this year’s, apple growers and cider makers are working nonstop from August through October or even November. Whether getting fruit off the trees and into storage, pressing apples for cider (both fresh, sweet cider and its fermented, alcoholic counterpart), welcoming droves of apple pickers on the weekends, or monitoring the forecast for potential frosts, growers lean into the demanding months with the understanding that the literal fruits of their labor will be enjoyed well into the following year.
Last weekend, we invited back apprentice alums for Homecoming, an opportunity to visit the farm and celebrate the end of the season along with our staff and board members. Over 50 people gathered on this land that has been transformative for many new-entry farmers in the Hudson Valley. While many are still farming, both in the Hudson Valley and elsewhere, others are pursuing Ph.D. research and working in areas such as climate change advocacy and farm policy. Having so many past apprentices back on the farm was a potent reminder of the lives and careers that have been shaped by living and learning on this land.
There has never been a better time to celebrate NY cider during Cider Week! Directly tied to New York’s agricultural cash crop of apples, cider in New York has seen an unprecedented growth explosion of over 450% in the past ten years and now has a $1.7 billion total economic impact to the NY state economy. With over 120 producers making over 5 million gallons of cider every year, New York continues to lead the country in its number of cider producers.
It’s that time of year again! Yes, breeding season. Every fall, the livestock team gears up to breed our cattle and sheep. While we have a ram to naturally service our ewes, this season we have decided to use artificial insemination to breed our cows.
Artificial insemination (AI) is the process of breeding cattle using frozen semen. We decided to use AI as our primary breeding method this season because it gives us more flexibility and control over the herd’s genetic makeup. Through AI, we will be able to introduce increased genetic diversity into next season’s calf crop without having to keep multiple bulls on the farm.