In May of 2022, the Hudson River Maritime Museum will be running a Grain Race in cooperation with the Schooner Apollonia, The Northeast Grainshed Alliance, and the Center for Post Carbon Logistics. Anyone interested in the race can find out more here.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum, in cooperation with the Center for Post Carbon Logistics, Schooner Apollonia, and the Northeastern Grainshed Alliance, will be conducting a Grain Race in May of 2022. Contestants in four capacity categories will vie for the highest score when moving cargoes of grain from growers to producers and users such as brewers and maltsters across New England, New York, and New Jersey. The goal of the race is to move the most grain the farthest with the least expenditure of energy: Each Ton-Mile of cargo moved earns one point, but 5 points are lost for each liter of fuel, or 10 kWh of power taken from the grid.
The Hudson Valley was once a major part of the Bread Basket of not only North America, but the Caribbean and Europe, before the opening of the Erie Canal and the railways pushed grain production West. From the late 17th to the mid 19th century, the Hudson valley shipped hundreds of cargos per year abroad in Sloops, Schooners, and other vessels, moving heavy grain thousands of miles without significant carbon emissions.
Based on the Great Grain and Tea Races of the 19th century, conducted by ships sailing from Australia and China to England, but adapted to facing the current climate crisis, this race is designed to bring attention to the topics of local food systems and food transportation. The museum will publish monthly articles about the history of maritime grain movement and other related topics as we approach the race. We'll also be sure to share anything our partners write via our social media pages, and we hope to see some novel and interesting shipments take place in May, 2022.
Museums have a potentially critical role to play in the coming energy transition, both as stewards of records and research which might point the way to proven solutions to our needs, as well as living reserves of rare and valuable skills. The grain race offers a chance to prove this while having a bit of fun as well.
If you are interested in participating in or following the Grain Race, you can find more information Here. You can submit your information for inclusion in the competition as a grower, producer, or shipper via the included link on the Directory page. You can also look for #GrainRace on social media.
Steven Woods is the Solaris and Education coordinator at HRMM. He earned his Master's degree in Resilient and Sustainable Communities at Prescott College, and wrote his thesis on the revival of Sail Freight for supplying the New York Metro Area's food needs. Steven has worked in Museums for over 20 years.
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This blog is written by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff, volunteers and guest contributors.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
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