The Three “Rs” for the FUTURE: Regionalism, Resilience and Reciprocity
A globally interlinked food system rooted in regionalism, resilience and reciprocity -- for which the Hudson Valley is a powerful model
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Small NGO (under 50 employees)
Website of Legally Registered Entity
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Cold Spring, New York
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
The Hudson Valley of New York State covers an area of 7,228 mi^2.
What country is your selected Place located in?
United States of America
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
Glynwood is a regional agricultural non-profit based in the Hudson Valley on a 250 acre working training farm about one hour north of New York City. Our mission is to ensure that the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food, where farming thrives. We believe: (1) that regional is the appropriate scale for affecting food systems change; and (2) that the Hudson Valley holds unique potential to model a healthy, regional food system because of market proximity, regional resources, a legacy of environmental conservation and farming, and a growing cultural interest in good food grown in a way - and by people - you can trust.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
The Hudson Valley is a dynamic and vibrant watershed, foodshed and idea-shed. As the literal birthplace of the young republic of the United States we must acknowledge that it is a place stolen from its original human inhabitants and indigenous cultures hundreds of years ago. It has gone from being a place of war, to a place of trade, and is largely thought of today, as a place of recreation. Both visitors and residents know it as a place of picturesque rivertowns, of secluded mountain hamlets, of proudly farm-focused communities and multiple mid-sized urban centers that have -- yes -- fallen on hard times. It is a place that is (somewhat reluctantly) being redefined by its relationship to New York City, particularly as that megalopolis continues to grow, amassing wealth and power. Today and into the future, the people who call it home are working hard to make it a place of renewal, innovation and vitality.
What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
The Hudson Valley, like so many regions across the globe, needs a new food system: one that is resilient in light of climatic, social, and economic change. Everything about the dominant system in this region makes it challenging for a truly regenerative and reciprocal regional food system to thrive without visionary, sustained and multidisciplinary support from a variety of changemakers and institutions.
The challenges we face are myriad:
1. Environmental: Although the modern environmental movement was by many accounts born in the Hudson Valley via the famous battle for Storm King Mountain, the region is losing "quieter" environmental fights at an alarming rate: on the whole, we are losing topsoil, emitting more carbon than we are sequestering, threatening the health of our waters and encroaching on habitat for wild and cultivated species.
2. Diets: The Hudson Valley is at once a hotbed of bespoke artisan food purveyors and expert culinary trendsetters, while simultaneously harboring food deserts wherein it is challenging to even find fresh vegetables (let alone vegetables that were grown by a local farm).
3. Economics: Being adjacent to one of the largest urban centers in the world, the Hudson Valley region is a picture in extremes when it comes to economics. Median household income in Westchester County (a southernmost county of the region) of $90,578 dwarfs that of household incomes in some of the region's poorest communities like Ramapo, with a median income of $23,924, yet located less than one hour's drive away. With population in NYC soaring, this economic disparity is only projected to increase over the coming decades.
4. Culture: While the Hudson Valley is highly diverse, the economics and politics of the region have resulted in extraordinarily segregated communities across multiple measures of diversity, including race, ethnicity and immigration status.
5. Technology: We're the home of IBM, but somewhere along the way we lost the "tech race" to the western US and California.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Our vision will address these challenges by building authentic partnerships that act at the systems level to bridge the multiple dualities present in today's Hudson Valley (e.g., wealth / poverty, health / "sickness", abundance / lack, conservation / extraction).
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
We envision a new regional food system that honors place and culture; promoting biodiversity, social justice, and economic opportunity that regenerates our built and natural systems to the benefit of all. This new system will be rooted in regionalism, resilience and reciprocity.
In 2050 we will be able to:
--SHOUT from the rooftops the impact our soil management practices have had on mitigating climate change on a regional level, as well as join hands with regions around the world who have signed on to a global soil health network of small-to-medium sized farms who are tracking their own carbon sequestration accomplishments;
--CELEBRATE the thriving second generation farm families whose parents -- in 2020 -- struck out on a journey to start a farm of their own and managed to build something strong enough to leave to their children (or even their grandchildren) by 2050;
--ENJOY and proliferate a new regional diet that meets the cultural needs, physical requirements, economic capacities and culinary desires of the people living here and calling the Hudson Valley home.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
There are not many things more important than the way we feed ourselves. This vision is a clarion call to ourselves, our communities, our institutions and our leaders to ensure we are doing that the best we possibly can.
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?
In person at the NYC Food Tank Summit on Nov 1-2