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News & Notes

Last week, we lost one of our dearest and most important champions: Penny Perkins Wilson. Penny spent a good deal of her childhood at Glynwood when it was her family’s home, and remained an active and incredibly thoughtful Board member since the family transitioned the property to become home to Glynwood, the non-profit organization. 

Here is a cherished memory from my time spent with her.

There’s been a lot of talk about food security, and why not? Because one goal of the food system is, or should be, making sure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious, well-grown food. That of course isn’t the case.

Which is why the term “food sovereignty” deserves more attention. Food sovereignty is the right for people to determine what they grow and what they eat. It supports local farmers and local eating traditions. It supports soil stewardship rather than exploitation. It supports shortened supply chains. Perhaps above all, it supports local needs and local food systems rather than the global cash crop system.

In the spring of 2017, Glynwood orchestrated the donation and planting of 5,000 cider apple trees (25 varieties in total, including the three named above) to 15 orchards across the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes region, and Western New York. The goal of this initiative was to collect information year on year about how different apple varieties traditional to cider production grow and produce in our state. Participating orchards have collected information each spring on tree growth and mortality, and began collecting measurements on fruit production in the fall of 2019. In the fall of 2020, Glynwood launched a third form of data collection and analysis: fermentation trials. 

The long term legacy of Covid-19 for CSA farmers is uncertain. It is possible that the past year has permanently expanded awareness and demand for CSA shares, but it is also possible that once restaurants fully reopen and normalcy returns, farmers will again need to find other outlets for their products.  I do hope one silver lining of the pandemic is more consumers recognizing the freshness, quality, and authentic connection between farmer and eater that CSAs offer, and that CSA farms will continue to thrive and grow. 

“My whole life trajectory would have been very different if I hadn’t apprenticed at Glynwood. It sent me down the path I am on now.” Jesse Voremberg was a Glynwood apprentice in 2017 and since then has delved deeper into many facets of food and farming systems, from whole-animal butchery to farmland access and academia.