Small Grains Field Trials
The Farm Hub’s Small Grains project is designed to provide Hudson Valley farmers with the information they need to meet an emerging market for locally-grown grains in the food and beverage industry.
Two hundred years ago, a robust economy existed in the Hudson Valley for the growing and processing of grains.
In the area around Hurley, large quantities of flour were transported along the Kings Road (now Route 209) to the Hudson River and shipped to New York City markets and beyond. That economy all but disappeared by the end of the 19th century, and with it, the collective knowledge behind successful growing and handling of grains.
Today, with the explosion of interest in high quality local food, artisan bakers, culinary specialists, and brewers are increasingly looking to source local grains to use in their products. As a result, growing grain is being re-learned by contemporary farmers and agricultural specialists. Variety selection, grains breeding, seed sourcing, resilient growing methods, post-harvest handling and quality testing are all being examined in a joint research project hosted at the Farm Hub in conjunction with Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County.
Over the course of the project, spring and winter grains have and will continue to be tested and best new varieties are grown in larger quantities at the Farm Hub and on other host farms. These scale-up trials will provide enough grain for use in processing trials with area millers, bakers, brewers, and distillers.
To read more about the latest developments on the Small Grains Field Trials refer to these articles
From Field to Oven:
Bakers, both professional and amateur, have participated in trials coordinated by the Community Food Program. In 2020 the Farm Hub distributed five-pound bags of baking flour to bakers and bakeries for trial.
In 2018 the Farm Hub marked five years of extensive research on small grain varieties at the farm, with the goal of sharing knowledge with area farmers, and promoting the small grains economy.
To read more about the results from the small grains research trial, go to the Cornell Cooperative website
Growing with the Grain
This short documentary film on the small grains research trials continues to screen as part of Oceans 8 Films `Hope on the Hudson 2’ series. The trials are a collaboration between the Farm Hub and Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County to gather data on a variety of grains and share their findings with area farmers interested in adding grains into their rotations and moving into the local grains market.