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Brook Farm backers criticize Glynwood’s bid for parcel of land
By Jeremiah HorriganTimes Herald-Record
Published: 2:00 AM – 06/05/13

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NEW PALTZ — At first glance, Glynwood would appear to be the ideal new resident to an alternative-minded community that’s shown deep and long support for community farming.

Glynwood is a successful not-for-profit farming organization based in Putnam County that has ambitious plans to establish a green, state-of-the-art “farm business incubator” in the shadow of the Shawangunk Ridge, where a new breed of farmers would be shown the ways of modern sustainable farming.

But because some of the land in question is currently leased to an existing operation known as the Brook Farm Project, Glynwood was roundly criticized at a meeting Tuesday evening by the very sorts of people who could usually be expected to welcome them with open arms.

Many of those who packed Deyo Hall at Historic Huguenot Street were members of Brook Farm Project’s CSA who were upset that the current management would not be allowed to remain on the land. The project’s interim lease, which is held by the philanthropic Open Space Institute, is up at the end of the year.

And while several of the more than 75 people attending the meeting praised Glynwood’s vision and its concern for the future of farming, many more said they felt Glynwood didn’t understand or pay adequate attention to Brook Farm or to the New Paltz community in general

Linda Gluck, a Brook Farm member who is also a member of the Mohonk Preserve, which now manages the 323-acre parcel, said, “I feel this is a corporate version of how things develop and I can’t support it.”

Kathleen Frith, president of Glynwood, spent much of the meeting assuring the audience that there would be a place for members of the Brook Farm Project, including manager Creek Iversen, as plans continue to be made.

“This is not a hostile corporate takeover,” she said. “This is a really, really good thing for the Hudson Valley.”

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