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

Morning Blend

Regional Economic Development Council money + Capital Region projects were awarded $83.1 million collectively in grants and other assistance -- here's a list of the... (more)

Capital Region economic development grants: Tivoli Preserve, Albany Skyway, Nipper, Troy movie theater, craft beverages, and more

Originally published Thursday at 2:20 pm. Updated Thursday at 4:05 pm. The Capital Region got $83.1 million in the state's annual Regional Economic Development Council... (more)

Sonia Sotomayor at UAlbany

Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor will be speaking at UAlbany's SEFCU Arena April 4. The event will be free and open to the UAlbany community,... (more)

Solid Sound 2017 early-bird tickets

Early-bird tickets for the next summer's Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA go on sale this Friday, December 9 at 10 am. Three-day passes will... (more)

Adapting for a more extreme future

The Northeast US is looking at average temperature rises of a few degrees over the next century because of climate change, according to the some... (more)

Recent Comments

I grew up in the Utica area and moved out here in 1998. It really is funny how different the cultures are less than 100 miles away. It's more laid back in the Utica/Syracuse area, and the culture is much more "country" whereas Albany and a lot of the are around it is much more fast paced and has more of a NYC influence. Both are nice places to live, but definitely different vibes.

The best place to get a fresh-cut Christmas tree?

...has 22 comments, most recently from Tess Lecuyer

What if Albany is upstate, but not "Upstate"?

...has 9 comments, most recently from komradebob

Adapting for a more extreme future

...has 2 comments, most recently from BS

Phoenicians Mediterranean Palace

...has 5 comments, most recently from Billy

Solid Sound 2017 early-bird tickets

...has 1 comment, most recently from Michael H