A new quarterly called Modern Farmer is hitting newsstands on April 15, and as of today, they’ve got their web arm up and running. As editor-in-chief Ann Marie Gardner says, the magazine is "for people who understand that what they eat impacts the rest of the world, and want to make a conscious decision about how they eat." In other words, for as visually appealing as the magazine appears to be, it’s not just another Kinfolk knockoff. It’s more like Farmer’s Almanac as seen through the lens of hip, urban, farm-to-table-obsessed design geeks.
In the first issue, there are pieces geared more toward urban (and rural) homesteaders, like one on how to choose the right breed of chicken accompanied by very pretty photos of chickens. And there are pieces geared more toward conscious eating, like one by former San Francisco Examiner critic Jesse Hirsch that explores the global wild pig epidemic. As Hirsch tells us, "I went to a wild pig conference in Mississippi and basically got a lot of bad news."
He adds that the piece "might make you think differently when you see wild boar ragout on a menu." The web content will be updated daily, and Hirsch’s first web piece focuses on an online farmer dating site based in the U.K. called Muddy Matches.
The content isn’t going to be all chicken-coop aesthetics and advice on windowsill herb gardens. Gardner was formerly an editor at the New York Times’s T magazine and founding editor at Monocle, and one of her big concerns is how climate change is affecting how we grow and eat food. As she says in an interview with Cool Hunting, right now this is a "nice to know" set of facts, but "I think in three to five years this is going to be a need to know." She adds that in discussing homesteading, and issues like buying your own generator, it becomes "an economic and a cultural conversion at the same time."
Along the lines of Gilt Taste — which scaled back its editorial offerings last year after a splashy launch in 2011 — the web arm of Modern Farmer will sell products on the site. So far, the offerings include mud boots, a $58 trowel, and a three-liter, stainless steel olive-oil dispenser.
Below, the magazine’s promo video, with some more thoughts from Gardner.