Growing from Hudson: Modern Farmer

Modern Farmer Ann Marie Gardner by David Harriman

Modern Farmer CEO/editor-in-chief Ann Marie Gardner in the magazine's Hudson office. / photo: David Harriman

By Deanna Fox

With the fertile soil of the river banks and glacial till, the Hudson Valley has long been regarded as a prime location for farming. And now it's proving a productive place for a different take on agriculture.

Based out of a second-floor office on Warren Street in Hudson, Modern Farmer has become a global media brand. The magazine is, in its own words, "for window-herb growers, career farmers, people who have chickens, people who want to have chickens and anyone who wants to know more about how food reaches their plate." In just its first year of publishing, Modern Farmer has already won a National Magazine Award, and it's attracted attention online via features such as Goat Week (complete with a goat cam).

So why set up in Hudson? I asked Ann Marie Gardner, CEO/editor-in-chief of Modern Farmer, to find out.

Hudson Week 2014 in-post ad Olde Hudson

Why was Hudson chosen as the home base of the magazine?

I've spent the last decade living in the Hudson Valley, and while it's not exactly a media hub, it most certainly is a hub for farming and agriculture; for the "Rurban" lifestyle happening all around us. We have proven that you can run a global media brand from Hudson!

What has the experience in Hudson been like so far? Has the community been receptive?

Hudson has been incredibly receptive and inspirational! I think the biggest challenge we've faced here was the initial perception that we're a local magazine, when we're very much global.

Other farming-related groups, like the National Young Farmers Coalition, are based in the Hudson Valley. Have you had the chance to work with them?

Yes, we are huge supporting of the NYFC and are trying to find more ways to work together. We write about local farms alongside global farms and farmers, and we sponsor as many local farming events as we can, even if it's just to supply free magazines. You will see most of the Modern Farmer team at the Hudson farmers market on Saturday mornings.

What prompted you to start Modern Farmer? How has it impacted the agricultural community?

The idea for Modern Farmer -- a global agriculture publication focused on the people, food, animals, tools and technology behind the food we eat -- came to me while I was a reporter for Monocle magazine, traveling all over the world, but living here in the Hudson Valley. I began to see that no matter where I went -- from Brazil to Iceland -- people were interested in food safety, global warming, rural living, gardens, growing their own food, owning their own chickens and sheep... I had these conversations with urban people in Italy, in France, London, Japan, NYC, and of course here in the Hudson Valley, where my neighbors are farmers and these ideas aren't out of the ordinary at all. I could see that this info-seeking consumer was literally transcending all demographics and that the "Modern Farmer" wasn't just a story, it was an entire global movement.

Food and farming go hand-in-hand, obviously. No farms, no food! What are some of your (or the Modern Farmer family's) favorite places to eat in and around Hudson?

We're more farm than table, we like to say, but on any given night we might be at Food Studio or DABA. We love Kat, the bartender at Fish & Game -- we go there a lot for drinks. But mostly you'll find us at Bonfiglio & Bread -- for breakfast and lunch. (Would eat dinner there too if it were open for dinner!)

This interview has been lightly edited.
____

Modern Farmer is available at outlets such as Honest Weight, Whole Foods, and Healthy Living Market, as well as some local bookstores. The current issue features farm dogs on the cover.

Deanna Fox writes about many things, mostly about food. More can be found on her website, Twitter, or Instagram.

More Hudson Week:
+ Eating in Hudson: 5-10-15-20
+ Shopping Hudson with Jess and Kaitlin
+ A perspective on Hudson's renaissance
+ Architecture gawking in Hudson

Comments

I have to say from just a media perspective they're doing a great job. I stumble across their posts from the most random people, and I find myself wanting to learn more about farming and food. I mean, I never knew that I wanted to know if you can eat a fainting goat or not. It's amazing what they've done in a year, and I love that it's from Hudson.

They had infamously mysterious Twitter/troll @darth run their Twitter for Dog Week and it was fantastic: https://twitter.com/ModFarm/status/477475224691036162

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Red, white & blue

Check out this handsome, seasonally-appropriate t-shirt created by local designer Andrew Gregory: It's called "Red, White & Blue." (You know, because the ampersand is red,... (more)

Every house and every neighborhood a grid

New York State is an investor of sorts in Solar City in the form of the $750 million pledged by the state to the company's... (more)

Design help for organizing a house?

Melissa emails: We've lived in our house 10 years, and are in need of some help. We are a family now, with all the 'stuff'... (more)

You should stop and smell the roses

We stopped by Central Park Rose Garden in Schenectady Friday evening. Walking along the rows of blooms -- the roses are either at their peak... (more)

Overcoming hurdles

Two remarkable graduation stories from Bethany Bump over at the Times Union: The Schenectady teen who overcame poverty and its many challenges, as well as... (more)

Recent Comments

... I can't overstate enough how wrong stereotypes about school districts can be. A lot of people have preconceived notions about places, both positive and negative, that don't always match reality until you and your child experience it yourself. ...

A good endocrinologist?

...has 17 comments, most recently from Julie

Mame Faye: the inside scoop on Troy's second most famous figure

...has 3 comments, most recently from Nancy Sawyer -Lanning

Design help for organizing a house?

...has 1 comment, most recently from Harold

On Lark Street, not extinct

...has 5 comments, most recently from Paul

Another record year for New York State maple syrup production

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich