Notes from the Field
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.
The property team — Russ, Chris, and Brian — are a stalwart trio. They tend to the land management needs that are not directly agricultural. Be it tree work, earthworks, roadwork, brush clearing, snowplowing, lawn mowing, water testing, they are prepared. They adapt deftly to the needs and conditions of the day to keep the landscaping beautiful, staff and visitors safe and to support the work of all others who are at Glynwood. They make it look easy with their skill and patience.
The livestock team — headed by Nicole and Maddie and accompanied by apprentices Hania and Miya — care for the cattle herd, the sheep flock, the growing number of chickens and turkeys, and seasonal groups of pigs. In order to keep all these livestock healthy and thriving, they take great care in the daily chores of feeding, mucking, bedding, sorting, observing…alongside the ongoing scrutiny of pasture health and fence upkeep. They are steadfast in their commitment to animal welfare. The livestock team has spent a big part of this early spring considering the poultry brooder spaces. They have dedicated a lot of time and energy to retrofitting parts of the Old Barn to ensure the birds’ safety from predators, the cold, and the avian flu. It is inspiring to see this space rejuvenated for such an important use.
The vegetable team — led by Jarret and Leah with apprentices Hannah, Carly, and Suzannah — grow vegetables year-round. They employ varied growing practices including low-till handwork, intensive management of the CSA field, and more machine-centered tillage and cultivation on the upper expansion field. On top of planting, weeding, pest control, harvesting, washing, and packing, there are constant ongoing projects to better the workflow and ergonomics of relentless annual vegetable work. They are in the midst of the big spring planting push; it is hard not to be in awe of their coordinated and tireless effort.
As the Agriculture Project Manager, I work to encourage clear communication and soften the seams between the vegetable, livestock and property teams; this takes concrete form in the management of compost, irrigation, construction, machines, and forestry, among other mediums.
There are several other staff who directly support our work. Laura, Glynwood’s Director of Agriculture, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as scientist, educator and farmer, to help guide and further our goals. Mark, Glynwood’s COO/CFO who oversees all Glynwood operations, helps us keep the big picture in mind with his support and creative thinking. Ashley, Glynwood’s Director of Social Events, has a keen eye for how to blend the needs of the historic buildings and grounds with those of the working farm. Sally and Gallo, Glynwood’s contracted gardeners, have a long history with the property and have recently been improving and rejuvenating horticultural plantings and landscape features.
As a team, all of these people bring unique insights, values and experiences to the question of how best to care for Glynwood’s land. From time to time, we step back from the day-to-day hustle and think together about the farm as a whole. It is in those times that the edges of these three distinct teams begin to blur so that we can consider together the needs of this land and the people who care for it now and into the future.