News & Notes
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.
For me, the fall equinox on a working farm is laden with the ebbs and flows of reflection, melancholy, envisioning and joy. It is a suspended moment of balance to revel in what the farm is and might be. Here, at Glynwood, my mind and body are very much fixed on the land itself and how the people, livestock and wildlife are entwined.
The summer provided far from “normal” weather patterns, though weather extremes are becoming more typical due to the climate crisis. Tropical systems Henri and Ida did not cause much damage on most of Glynwood’s farm, but they did disrupt the schedule of fieldwork for Middle Field. This pasture, more so than others at Glynwood, stays saturated long after rain events. The dominant soil type, Paxton, is classified as well-drained, but water does tend to perch on the densic substrata of this soil. Middle Field also has pockets of fairly severe compaction which we will address with keylining or master-keying across the farm in future seasons. Given the wet soil conditions at the end of August continuing into the first two weeks of September, it was only last week that I felt comfortable, still with trepidation, about putting the tractor and disk harrow on the field to terminate the warm season annual planting. My concern was that I would risk doing more damage than good by adding to the compaction issues.
Though fall is here, the growing season is far from over! With the last tomatoes and the first of the winter storage crops coming in, this is the time of year when it’s easy to make every meal from fresh, local produce and it’s been great to see our community coming out to shop at the Glynwood Farm Store to pick up our produce, meat and other local goods to help them do exactly that. If you have not yet come to the Farm Store this season, please dostop by in the coming weeks as the last tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, winter squash, potatoes, onions, garlic and vibrant greens come in from the fields.
This summer, we were lucky enough to exchange farm visits and apprentice learning opportunities with DIG Acres, a farm operation managed by fast casual restaurant chain DIG Inn and located at the Chester Ag Center. DIG Acres has long been a farmer training partner of ours; several of Glynwood’s Farm Business Incubator participants have simultaneously participated in DIG’s Incubator program (which includes farmland and shared equipment), and farm manager Larry Tse has been a Mid Hudson CRAFT organizer for several years. However, this was the first year in which we have coordinated a complementary apprentice exchange. We were delighted with the results.