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News from Glynwood

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.

Each winter, Glynwood welcomes a new cohort of farm entrepreneurs to the Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator (HVFBI) program. Through this program, we have provided customized technical assistance to over twenty new and growth-stage farm entrepreneurs, including farmers like Jose Roberto Rodriguez of Three Sisters Farm (pictured above). 

We are pleased to announce the addition of four new farm businesses whom we will be engaging in their first year of HVFBI participation in 2023. 

Deep winter is the time for rest and reflection on many farms. Here at Glynwood, the rhythms of the farm slow down as our crops and livestock shelter inside, protected from the wet, cold and windy weather that is winter in the Hudson Highlands. Our farmers spend much of the winter inside as well, where they are busy cleaning and organizing workspaces, repairing and replacing equipment, and finishing up their record-keeping in preparation for looking back over the successes and lessons learned last year and looking forward to making plans for the new growing season ahead.

As December settles in, we sadly say goodbye to our farm apprentices as they fledge the nest and continue onward in their farming journey. Now we Glynwood full-time farmers get our chance to slow our pace, reflect, and spend time planning (and interviewing for the next batch of apprentices!) for next year. But day-to-day farming never completely ceases. 

As the days grow shorter and the farm’s rhythms begin to slow, our apprentices reach the end of their work with us. This year, we asked them to reflect on a favorite space at Glynwood and what it means to them. Their words invite us all to pause every now and then in our busy lives and give thanks for the power of land, people and community to make each year unique at Glynwood Farm.  Farewell, Suz, Hania, Miya, H.e, and Carly.  We will miss you!

Last month, we enthusiastically launched our Grains & Staples retail program at the Glynwood Farm Store. This project centers on a call to make nutritious, regionally-grown grains more accessible to our community through a new CSA add-on and a growing retail selection in our Farm Store.

Our inaugural season is meant to introduce and familiarize Glynwood CSA members and shoppers at the store to the inspiring range of products now available in the Northeast, and in particular in the Hudson Valley. CSA shareholders will come to recognize products ranging from traditional roasted cornmeal from the Ganondagan Iroquois White Corn Project to an All-Purpose (AP) wheat flour from Milestone Mill called “Tom”, which began development just over a decade ago through a Cornell University led research project that continues to this day called the Value Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems project and in the Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s ongoing small grains field trials. Several of the CSA’s products will also be available in the newly designated Grains & Staples section of our Farm Store, so customers who could not commit to a full season can still sample to their hearts’ content.

We are thrilled to announce that Glynwood has been awarded a three-year  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant to expand our Hudson Valley Apprenticeship program! The Hudson Valley Apprenticeship (HVA), an initiative launched in 2022, supports apprentices at mentor-partner farms. In this program, apprentices gain a solid foundation in the principles and practices of sustainable vegetable production through a combination of hands-on learning and in-field mentoring with select farm mentors across the region, as well as through classroom-based education facilitated by Glynwood. The USDA grant will  help us grow our onsite apprenticeship program and allow the HVA to reach even more new entry farmers. All program elements will be rooted in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) principles, recognizing Glynwood’s role in addressing racism and inequity in our country’s food system.

We are delighted to announce that Glynwood, along with an incredible team of national leaders in agriculture, soil science, environmental justice, and climate science, has been selected by the USDA to receive $20 million in funding from the Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities Program. This ambitious five-year project will help farmers adopt climate-smart practices as well as measure the effects of these practices on the environment, on the farmers who have adopted them, and on regional markets. 

The New York cider industry is on the cusp of becoming a world class beverage business. Cider experts will be in high demand as our place-based beverage achieves the worldwide popularity it deserves. But how do we build cider expertise and appreciation among members of the public? Well, orchards are our very own version of California vineyards and, like the wine connoisseurs of Napa Valley in the 1970s, New York cider enthusiasts are trailblazers. Working with our partners at the New York Cider Association and Angry Orchard, we set out to recruit the next generation of cider ambassadors by hosting a Cider Supper to introduce them—and, through them, their audiences—to the stunning quality and variety of New York cider. 

Next month we will have to say farewell to our cohort of 2022 apprentices. They are an amazing bunch – incredibly talented, competent, compassionate humans – and we are glad to have one more month with them. But, while we are still wrapping up this current farming season, we are at the same time preparing for the next: specifically, we are currently recruiting for 2023 apprentices! 

Christina Chan joined the Glynwood team in October 2022 as our Farmer Training Program Coordinator. Originally from Brooklyn, Christina has long considered food and eating a vital connection to her family. It wasn’t until obtaining her Masters in conservation science, though, that she became interested in agriculture as a way to not only build connections to people and place but also to protect the earth. 

One of the most accessible farmer training opportunities in the Hudson Valley is Mid Hudson CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), a free farm tour series organized by Glynwood and other regional partners every season. Hosted by regional farms on Thursday evenings, CRAFT tours involve farm walks, talks or demonstrations on a specific topic chosen by the farm host. These farm visits offer exposure to a number of diverse agricultural enterprises, as well as opportunities to develop practical skills and to network with other farmers and apprentices.

As we come towards the end of this year’s CRAFT season, we would like to celebrate the many farmers who have hosted tours and shared space and skills with hundreds of CRAFT participants, and to share some highlights from the season’s lineup.

It’s amazing what can happen when you get the right people in a room together–you can spark innovation, redirect resources to where they are needed most, or simply reinspire and fortify each other for the struggle ahead. A little bit of this magic happened when we gathered a group of Glynwood’s Food Sovereignty Fund (FSF) partners–farmers, Accountability Council members, and frontline food access workers–on a rainy early-October Wednesday to visit four food access organizations in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

We started the day at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in the South Bronx, where Rev. Matthew Engleby, Brian Lyons, and a team of long-time volunteers were preparing to distribute food to the hundreds of clients already waiting outside in the early morning drizzle. The distribution would include fresh produce sourced from FSF partner Star Route Farm. Brian remarked that the quality and freshness of Star Route’s produce has simplified their distribution logistics: with cooler space at a premium, the produce can be left out overnight and still be fresh and crisp when handed out the next day.

Over the past six months, our Livestock Team has been skillfully raising their biggest flock of heritage-breed turkeys yet! When you drive into Glynwood, you might notice these boisterous birds, proudly gobbling and foraging in the pasture.This year, we are raising a diverse mix of five heritage-breed species, including Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Chocolate, Black Spanish, Blue Slate and Midget White. 

With the recent addition of a Grains and Staples project to Glynwood’s Regional Food Programs, we are excited to support a new foundation for an emerging sector of the Northeast food system. Our Grains and Staples Program seeks to build markets for emerging crops and promote their production in systems of regenerative agriculture. At Glynwood, we see exciting potential for cultivating a dynamic local grains outlet at our very own Winter Farm Store, in close collaboration with the farmers and producers who are making this movement possible. To that end, we will be launching a pilot Grains & Staples CSA share add-on that will run alongside our annual Winter Vegetable CSA. 

The Hudson Valley Apprenticeship program provides education and support to ten apprentices across the Hudson Valley. Previous posts have introduced apprentices Sophia at Four Corners Community Farm, Melissa and Janine at Phillies Bridge Farm Project, Eric at Stonewood Farm, and Betty and Kanav at Ecological Citizen’s Project. 

In our final spotlight on participating HVA farm apprentices, we have the incredible team at Dig Acres in Chester, NY. 

Steffen Hyder joined the Glynwood team in late September as Associate Director of Buildings, Infrastructure and Grounds. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Steffen is a decades-long resident of the Hudson Valley. Having originally come to study art and history at Bard College, he fell in love with the region for its distinct terroir and ecological character. Steffen has worked as an archaeologist, shepherd, historic preservationist, stonemason and woodworker, and has a deep background in the building trades.  

We are thrilled to share that Zoraida Lopez-Diago is joining Glynwood as Vice President of Development, Communication, and Strategic Partnerships on November 1st. She will be part of the organization's core leadership and responsible for several development, communications, and strategic functions at Glynwood to support its mission and programs.  

The Hudson Valley Apprenticeship program provides education and support to ten apprentices across the Hudson Valley. Over the last few months, we’ve written about HVA apprentices Melissa and Janine at Phillies Bridge Farm Project, Eric at Stonewood Farm, and Betty and Kanav at Ecological Citizen’s Project. Today, we’d like to introduce Sophia Perkins. 

Are you interested in helping to harvest leftover produce from our fields for donation? If so, consider joining our Glean Team! Gleaning, as defined by the USDA, is the practice of “collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs, or any other sources in order to provide it to those in need.”

Last month, Glynwood’s Cider Project organized its second annual sensory tasting event to analyze the products of cider fermentation trials. Featuring fruit from trees donated and planted by the Cider Project in 2017, these trials are an ongoing effort to identify unique cider flavors, structures, and even terroir by fermenting juice from distinct orchards and apple varieties (separately, but under uniform conditions), then comparing and contrasting the ciders in a controlled tasting environment. 

Oh, what a difference a few months can make! Back in June, as a beautiful, lush spring shifted slowly into deep greens of early summer, I wrote about the challenges of too much water at Glynwood Farm. Just three months later, we are suffering from the effects of a flash drought and unprecedented heatwaves: our livestock farmers have been feeding hay for the last six weeks because our pastures have stopped growing; our lake and pond levels have dropped by six inches or more; and one of our wells has gone dry.

Farming during the climate crisis requires constant re-evaluation of our land management practices and production systems. At Glynwood, we have greenhouses where we grow food through the winter and start early crops in the spring. While some greenhouses are unheated, one is heated with propane to provide extra warmth to the crops. This summer, we installed a ‘climate battery greenhouse’ at Glynwood—a simple yet innovative system that creates a versatile indoor growing space that can be used year-round without relying on fossil fuel for added climate control.

This month, we want to introduce you to Melissa Schultheis and Janine Connell, who are apprenticing at Phillies Bridge Farm Project as part of the Hudson Valley Apprenticeship program.

The Hudson Valley Apprenticeship (HVA) is a decentralized apprenticeship designed to prepare farm apprentices across the region to successfully manage their own climate-resilient farm enterprises. (For a full description of HVA, read the blog post here.) In its pilot year, the HVA is supporting and resourcing apprentices at six Hudson Valley farms including  Phillies Bridge Farm Project as well as DIG Acres, Four Corners Farm, Stonewood Farm, Maple View Farm, and the Ecological Citizen’s Project at Longhaul Farm. 

Back in 2018, Laura Lengnick, Glynwood’s Director of Agriculture, was invited to lead a community-based design process to reimagine the 80-acre farm on the main campus of  Clemson University in South Carolina. Just last month, she was on site to see the first phase of the new design get underway: the installation of earthworks to improve drainage on one of three new climate-resilient farming systems planned for the site.

In early August, Glynwood hosted 30 livestock producers, extension agents and other industry stakeholders for an in-person livestock picnic. The gathering was an opportunity for the Hudson Valley Livestock Producers Group–founded by Glynwood in 2020–to break bread, reflect upon the season, share ideas, and discuss the preliminary findings of the USDA Regional Food Systems Partnership (RFSP) grant, which Glynwood and Cornell Cooperative Extension began working on in early 2022.   

Hello! We are a group of students from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) who worked in collaboration with Glynwood to produce curated recipes for the members of the CSA program this summer. Our aim has been to highlight the fresh produce in the weekly CSA share boxes, and create composed dishes for you to make at home. We have really enjoyed the challenge of trying to test out new and creative ways to integrate as much produce as possible into our recipes. For example, kale and spinach tasted great when incorporated into homemade tortillas, and marinating beets turned out to be a fantastic replacement for tuna in a poke bowl. 

Ryan Ciancanelli joined the Glynwood team as Staff Accountant in June 2022. He is responsible for the day-to-day accounting and financial reporting at Glynwood. Ryan has lived in Beacon, NY his whole life. He is from a large family that also lives in the area and is one of nine children. 

Perhaps the single most important factor in baking a satisfying loaf of bread is the quality of the flour used: not only the way in which the flour is ground, but also the nutrient and protein content of the wheat itself. 

This is somewhat problematic for bakers (and eaters) in our part of the country who are trying to make delicious breads using local flour. The American wheat industry is dominated by growers in Kansas and elsewhere in the Great Plains, meaning that the majority of research and development is centered on wheats that perform well under large scale commercial production and in climates very different from ours. While farmers in northern climates manage to grow these varieties, the yield and quality are comparatively low, forcing bakers to supplement with higher quality wheat from elsewhere. 

Creating a successful land access match, such as a farmland lease, between a farmer and a non-operating landowner is no simple thing. A farmer should know quite well what they need in order to succeed, while a non-operating landowner knows what they want to see, hear and smell on their farm. 

Reconciling these two points of view can be  difficult because there are so many moving parts in agriculture. It’s not always tidy. It’s not always quiet. It doesn’t always smell terrific. Without some guidance, many land access arrangements have had poor results. (See this recent New York Times piece.)

The Hudson Valley Apprenticeship program provides education and support to ten apprentices at six farms across the Hudson Valley. Last month, we introduced you to apprentices Betty Bastidas and Kanav Kathuria. This month, we’d like you to meet Eric Visconti.  

Eric is apprenticing at Stonewood Farm in Millbrook. Stonewood’s immaculate market garden, which grows over 100 varieties of high-quality vegetables and herbs, is run by former Glynwood apprentices Ellie Brown (2020) and Andie Mitchell (2021).  

The music of the rushing streams that knit together the rocky soils and rolling hills of Glynwood Farm is a daily reminder that I live and work in a landscape shaped by water. Essential to the health of land, people and community, water is a powerful force of nature that has grown more damaging with the increase in weather variability and extremes in a changing climate.

Last month, Glynwood staff members Megan Larmer and Kate Anstreicher traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to represent the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition at a three-day convening of the CSA Innovation Network (CSA-IN). The CSA-IN is a national group of technical assistance providers, coalitions and individual farmers committed to promoting and adapting the Community Supported Agriculture model. It was a long awaited event–postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic–and a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues and dig deeper into the future of CSA.

Meet Kanav Kathuria and Betty Bastidas, apprentices at the Ecological Citizen’s Project—and the newest additions to Glynwood’s Hudson Valley Apprenticeship. 

The Hudson Valley Apprenticeship (HVA) is a decentralized apprenticeship, drawing on Glynwood’s extensive agricultural network and decades-long expertise in farmer training to prepare farm apprentices across the region to successfully manage their own climate-resilient farm enterprises.

Glynwood’s apprentice program is in its fifteenth year. We have learned and adapted much in that time, developing a firm foundation from which to expand our training efforts. We are excited to be marking this 15-year anniversary by expanding the training program to help train and support apprentices not just at Glynwood, but at other farms in the region, as well. We have dubbed this expanded program the Hudson Valley Apprenticeship.  

During this time of escalating costs and uncertainty in the marketplace, there is a pivotal role for non-profits to play in training farmers and assisting regional farms that host interns and apprentices. Farm managers have a lot to offer as mentors to new farmers, but often lack the time and resources to provide comprehensive training that is attuned to the needs of individual trainees. By partnering with mentor farmers, Glynwood will augment the wealth of knowledge that mentors have to share in-field with classroom-based training, outside educators, and educational experiences at other Hudson Valley farms.  

On Memorial Day I mowed down the cool season annual mix that I planted last September. It is always bittersweet to knock down a lush stand of cover crop; the showy stand of triticale and crimson clover in this mix was no exception. I followed with two passes of a shallow disk harrow to mix  the plant residue into the soil to encourage decomposition of the cover crop residues and prepare the soil surface for another round of cover crop seeding. 

A week later, with a good seed bed established and soil temperature reaching an ideal 65 degrees, I seeded another diverse warm season annual pasture mix. I am particularly excited for the high proportion of deeply tap-rooted sunflower and sunn hemp in this mix, which also includes cowpea, buckwheat, millet, and turnip. This diverse mix of crops will contribute to the pasture restoration by keeping nutrients cycling in the soil and promoting surface water infiltration with the added benefits of attracting pollinators and producing high quality grazing for our livestock by late July or early August.

My first big step into the world of climate action came in 2011. In April of that year, I was invited to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) leadership team responsible for producing the very first national report exploring adaptation to climate change in U.S. agriculture. As a member of the lead author team and the lead scientist on adaptation, I worked with more than 60 researchers all across the U.S. to gather, review, discuss, and report on the state of scientific knowledge about the effects of climate change on U.S. agriculture. We also reported on what we knew about how best to maintain agricultural production in a changing climate.

Set at the head of our CSA-dedicated field, Glynwood’s humble Farm Store channels the energy of the surrounding farmland and welcomes all who come by to join in. 

When the wooden doors of the shed swing open, they unlock a cornerstone of what food means to us—this is how a storefront looks and feels when it is aimed at tipping the needle towards a more sustainable and equitable food system. 

Glynwood farm and property has a full and dedicated team of people managing the land and infrastructure. Last month we introduced the current apprentices; this blog provides additional context for the remainder of the land management team at Glynwood. 

The core group of land managers are divided into three teams—the “property,” “livestock,” and “vegetable” teams—that work together to care for a healthy landscape designed to support Glynwood’s mission. Each team focuses on the seasonal cycles of growth while also working to achieve a long-term vision of a beautiful and resilient landscape capable of sustaining the well-being of Glynwood’s staff and the communities that we serve.  

One of the unique aspects of the Hudson Valley is the sheer concentration of young farmers who come to the region to work on or found small-scale, sustainable farms. Glynwood is committed to training this next generation of farmers in a variety of capacities. Our apprenticeship program is an immersive experience designed to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge necessary to manage their own farm enterprises. The Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator assists farmers in their first five years of operation by providing customized technical assistance and offering winter workshops on topics such as farm law and crop planning. In an effort to provide learning opportunities for a larger contingent of regional farmers, Glynwood also participates in a season-long public farm tour series called Mid Hudson CRAFT. 

Spring has arrived at Glynwood. It is a season of new arrivals and a time of reawakening, of returning, of birthing and emergence. As migratory birds return, morning hours on the farm are rich with busy birdsong as swollen buds on cherry, maple and magnolia promise blossoms and tender lime-green leaves in the coming weeks. Walking through Glynwood’s landscape, one can catch a noseful of warm and earthy air wafting out of the greenhouse doors or off of a field of just-tilled soil, an earful of bleating lambs and ewes, and a faceful of spring wind.

In addition to welcoming a new flock of lambs, a new brood of hens, and a new greenhouse teeming with seedlings, spring is the time when we welcome our new cohort of apprentices.

Much like some migratory birds, this season’s apprentices come to Glynwood from places near and far. They bring with them a diversity of experiences and a shared interest in a more intimate knowledge of the process of growing, raising, and harvesting food in a way that promotes the health of land, people and community.

On Friday, April 1, the Food Sovereignty Fund celebrated a first—gathering over 50 farmers, food access partners, and Accountability Council members with the goal of strengthening connections between regional farms and hunger relief efforts. This bilingual English-Spanish event was made possible by the Hudson Valley Language Justice Collective, and began to build the community we need to truly create food sovereignty in our region. We all shared a meal (a small but important step back towards communal activities!) and dove into some meaty questions—what are we doing to build food sovereignty now? And what still stands in the way?  

New York City Home Bakers rejoice! Glynwood Grains & Staples and GrowNYC Wholesale are teaming up to bring the beloved Home Bakers Meetup to Strong Rope Brewery in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

During this event, bakers of all experience levels are welcome to bring their creations, swap samples with fellow local grain and flour enthusiasts, share stories and tips, and sample beers from this award-winning New York State Farm Brewery. There will be several bread professionals on hand to talk techniques, along with some special guests and vendors.

Glynwood, in collaboration with Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is evaluating challenges and opportunities for livestock production in the Hudson Valley and adjacent regions as part of a USDA Regional Food System Partnership (RFSP) grant. From December 2021 through March 2022, a working group of representatives from Glynwood, Cornell, and Hudson Valley livestock farmers diligently worked to complete this first phase of the project, compiling and disseminating a survey to livestock producers. 

Have you noticed a new face helping with your CSA pickup or at the Farm Store checkout this month? That’s Ryan Stasolla, Glynwood’s new Farm Marketing and CSA Coordinator! Ryan began working at Glynwood in March to manage our farm store operations, coordinate our CSA and nurture our partnerships with food access partners across the Hudson Valley. Ryan’s interest in this work is motivated by his thoughtful understanding of the potential for locally-sourced marketplaces to spark positive changes throughout a community. 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost six months since I stepped into my new role as the Director of Agriculture at Glynwood. Arriving just as the season began to turn from summer to fall, me and my partner, Weogo Reed, settled into our new home on the farm and got started exploring the land, people and communities of the Hudson Highlands and beyond.

April 2022 marks one year since Glynwood welcomed June Russell to the Regional Food Programs team and formalized its work within regional grains and staples. We are honored to have established relationships with so many collaborators and partners in this first year and excited to share these  details about some of the projects currently underway.

Maddie first joined Glynwood in 2013 as a Livestock Apprentice and returned as the Assistant Livestock Manager in February 2022. In her role, Maddie works closely with the Livestock Farm Manager to care for Glynwood's Animal Welfare Approved, multi-species operation. She also assists in teaching and guiding the daily work of the farm’s livestock apprentices and volunteers.

Glynwood’s Summer-Fall CSA is sold out, but rest assured: you still have a chance to sign up for a share in the Hudson Valley. Discover the bounty of vegetables, fruit, flowers, mushrooms, meat, and more that Hudson Valley farmers have to offer at the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition’s Virtual CSA Fair on Thursday, April 7 from 6-7:30 pm. Every attendee that signs up for a share through the Virtual CSA Fair will receive a unique Hudson Valley gift donated by local businesses!

Located within the Hudson-Wappinger watershed, Glynwood is water-rich. The farm benefits from a long-term average of 45 to 50 inches of rain per year compared to the national average of 38 inches per year. In addition to immediate rainfall and snowmelt, Glynwood’s water resources are drawn from two irrigation reservoirs—a 105-foot-deep agricultural well (that generally provides about 75 to 100 gallons per minute), and the 10.25 million gallon Jordan Pond reservoir (a shallow impounded pond filled by intermittent streams and surface runoff). The redundancy of water sources is more than we need at most times of the growing season, but during dry spells and drought periods, we often need to draw from multiple water sources to adequately water all of our vegetables and supply enough drinking water to the livestock across the farm’s pastures. Because of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and extreme weather events, we cannot rely on natural watering alone for all of our agriculture needs and irrigation infrastructure plays an important role.