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News & Notes

At the end of June, Mid Hudson Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) participants met at Ever-Growing Family Farm in Ulster Park for a community work day. For most CRAFT participants, this was their first time laying eyes on a rice paddy anywhere—let alone in the Hudson Valley. They were struck by the beauty of the paddies speckling the landscape and impressed by the productive land use in what would otherwise be unsuitable for agricultural purposes.

We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that Laura Lengnick will be joining Glynwood as Director of Agriculture in September. Laura will work with the entire Glynwood team to ensure that Glynwood’s farm and farmer training efforts reflect best practices in climate-smart agriculture and strengthen Glynwood’s contribution to national efforts to re-regionalize the U.S. food system as a community resilience strategy.  

Today, we view the work of building the local grains system as ever more urgent as we recognize the impact that agriculture can have on climate change adaptation, the need to move towards plant-based diets, and to work with and support those growers who are committed to sustainable and regenerative farming practices. Staple crops are uniquely poised to diversify the crop rotations on regional farms and enrich our soils, all while adding nutrient-dense ingredients into our diets. The shockwaves of COVID have only further instilled that strengthening regional food systems is our pathway to resilience. We now know we can do it if we are committed to a reciprocal economy.

Before this grazing season got underway, we decided Middle Field needed an intervention. But how to transition it to the plant community we desire—a diverse mix of cool season perennial grasses, legumes, and forbs? With ample time and very intensive grazing under ideal animal stocking and mechanical management, we could likely get there without tillage. We could also jump start the succession with a series of intense disturbances: termination tillage and short-term successive plantings. 

This past spring, the New York Cider Association participated in a six-seminar social justice series with Dr. J Jackson-Beckham, a leader in equity and diversity in the craft beverage industry. The goal was to identify actionable goals that individual cider makers, apple growers, and the Association more broadly can take to increase diversity, equity and justice in their organizational makeup and audience alike.