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:
- Glynwood was formally onboarded as a project partner on the Value Added Grains Project II, a three-year USDA-Organic Research project (USDA-OREI-2020-51300-32379) anchored by Dr. Mark Sorrells of Cornell University with project partners from across the Northeast and upper Midwest. The long-term goals of this project are to add value to and increase production of specialty food grain crops by developing, testing, and distributing high quality grain varieties in collaboration with sustainable, organic farms. Later this spring, Glynwood will be facilitating baking and sensory evaluations of several varieties of wheat from university breeding programs at Cornell, the University of Vermont and the University of Wisconsin. Training for sensory evaluations of those baked goods will be hosted at Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage, home of the future Grain Innovation Center.
- We are also working with Dr. Heather Darby and her team at the University of Vermont to support research on cereal rye production and market development through a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant (SARE LNE22-437), Capturing Value with Cereal Rye: Growing High Quality Rye in the Northeast for Value-Added Markets. Rye is particularly suited to the Northeast due to its cold-hardy nature and ability to thrive in marginal conditions. There are multiple markets experiencing rising demand for high quality rye, from growers seeking quality seed to food and beverage producers making Nordic style breads and rye whiskey. The goal of this project is to bridge information gaps at both ends of the value chain: to work with farmers to overcome production challenges and to empower processors to create high-quality end products.
- Through a NY Farm Viability grant, Marketing New York State Grains and Legumes to the New York City Marketplace, we will be working with GrowNYC to strengthen wholesale opportunities and supply chains as regional producers scale up production.. The project will work with a dozen New York businesses, many of which aggregate crops from neighboring farms, to connect to the New York City Market.
- Glynwood is connecting with peer groups across the country who are working to develop grain and staple value-chains in their regions, including Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative, Rye Revival, and the Northeast Grainshed Alliance. We are providing formal advisory support to the Common Grain Alliance’s FMPP project, Bringing Grain Into the Mid-Atlantic Local Food System Through Consumer Awareness and Market Access.
Finally, In a time in which our global food supply chain is under extreme duress and our weather patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable, it is clear that we need to strengthen and invest in our local and regional food systems. It also feels urgent that we come together and literally break bread together, to take moments to celebrate and give thanks for the fruits of our labor, and to those who labor to feed us. We will be hosting a Bakers Meet-Up at Strong Rope Brewery in Brooklyn, NY, and a Convening for professional bakers, in collaboration with the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, in May 2022. Contact us to learn more. We hope to see you soon, whether at a spring event or at gatherings later in the growing season. Contact June Russell, Director of Regional Food Programs at Glynwood, to learn more about our Grains & Staples program.