Cultivating a whole diet for the whole region.
Grains and staple foods comprise up to 70% of the human diet, often supplying a major proportion of a person’s energy and nutritional needs, but are almost always left off the plate when discussing regional food systems. Glynwood's Grains and Staples program addresses this omission by demonstrating the opportunity for farms to include grain and staple crops in farming systems, by educating and connecting food professionals, and by generating enthusiasm for regionally produced grains and staples. We do this in order to improve farm health, rural economic development, and the quality and accessibility of these foods.
The aim of this program is to build on the progress we (as a local foods community) have made over the past decades to bring grains and staples back to their foundational place in our regional food systems. The program will work to support and increase the northeast region’s capacity to produce, process and market staple foods, while creating programming that supports skill development and encourages the integration of local staple foods into regional cuisine.
WHAT WE DO
- Events and Convenings
- Marketing and Promotion
- Value Chain Development
What are grains & staples? When we say grains and staples, we mean “small grains" such as wheat, rye, oats, and barley; legumes and pulses including dry beans, peas and lentils; and corn, oil seeds, rice and tree nuts. These crops are all considered to be emerging non-commodity crops that have similar challenges with regards to production, handling capacity and gaining access to markets in regional food systems.
Glynwood Grains & Staples was founded in 2021 with the goal of building the capacity and connectivity of stakeholders in the Hudson Valley region. Within its first year, the project established a robust network of regional producers, growers, distillers, bakers and other industry actors, building community through a home bakers meetup in Brooklyn, a two-day Hudson Valley Bakers Convening hosted at Glynwood in May 2022, and helping coordinate several field days at regional farms growing small grains and staples. Director of Regional Food Programs June Russell has additionally attended national gatherings such Farm to Flavor (hosted by the Culinary Breeding Network, Seed to Kitchen Collaborative and Artisan Grain Collaborative) to represent the Hudson Valley region and share ideas, challenges and build collaborations with other actors across the country.
Glynwood Grains & Staples is also working diligently to continue market development for regional grains in the Hudson Valley and in New York City. In collaboration with an advisory of stakeholders we are continuing to explore strategies to broaden the value chain and generate points of access for customers, creating an opportunity for consumers to participate in the evolution of a regenerative food and ag economy. In 2022, we started in our own backyard and added a grains and staples section to the Glynwood Farm store, and offered an add-on to our winter CSA share. Finally, Glynwood is participating in working groups of state and city-level actors who are exploring institutional procurement opportunities and New York legislation that could incentivize more cultivation and purchasing of state-grown grains and staples.
A third element to Glynwood’s work is to support the research and development of regionally adapted grain varieties. Through several different grant projects, we are working with university breeding programs and other research entities to test wheat, rye and barley for agricultural, culinary and sensory attributes. Specific projects include testing rye varieties based on baking and distilling characteristics; developing winter wheat varieties that are optimal for sourdough baking and perform well in northern climates; and building a market for hulless barley. Learn more about each grant project at the links provided below.
CURRENT GRANT INVOLVEMENT
Value-Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems II
This project was funded in 2020 by the Organic Research and Extension Initiative, part of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Project Lead: Cornell University
Multi-use Naked Barley for Organic Systems II
This project was funded in 2017 and 2020 by the NIFA Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant, part of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
- Project Lead: Oregon State University
- eOrganic project website
- Project Lead: University of Vermont, Crops & Soil Sciences
- GrowNYC Wholesale: Marketing New York State Grains and Legumes to the New York City Marketplace. Project Lead: NY Farm Viability Morning Ag. Clips
- Common Grain Alliance: Bringing Grain Into the Mid-Atlantic Local Food System Through Consumer Awareness and Market Access. USDA-FMPP
- Northeast Grainshed Alliance. Raising the Grain. USDA-RFSP
- Rye Revival. A not for profit working to support and expand the ecological production of cereal rye.
- Morning Ag Clips: National expert on regional grains joins team at Glynwood.
- Glynwood Blog: Glynwood Grains Program. Inaugural Year, 2021
- Modern Farmer: The best alternative flours to have in your pantry.
- Glynwood Blog: Sensory Evaluation of Winter Wheat Varieties