Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Modern Farmer Magazine: A Debut, With Chicken Love

Do you care about the source of your food? Do you prefer local, organic products? Do you frequent farmers' markets and local farms? Do you belong to a CSA or CSF? Do you grow your own herbs,  vegetables or fruits? Do you have respect for farmers? Do you want to learn about all of these topics, and more? If you answer affirmatively to any of these questions, then I recommend you check out a new quarterly magazine, Modern Farmer.

While perusing the magazine stands at Barnes & Noble, I noticed the inaugural issue of Modern Farmer, which was newly released. As I flipped through the pages, it intrigued me, with its fascinating photography and article topics. I bought a copy and have spent several days enjoying its contents. The magazine makes a promising debut, I will be awaiting their next issue and it earns my hearty recommendation.

Their website states their intent: "There has been a movement afoot in recent years to make connections between what we eat, how we live and the planet. Modern Farmer exists for people who want to be a part of that movement—it is 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." Besides being a quarterly magazine, Modern Farmer is also a daily website, events series, and online store.

The magazine runs 136 pages and consists of about 35 articles, columns and reports. I love the diversity of the content, from frozen foods to wild pigs, from smoothies to cocktails. I found the various articles to be well written, informative as well as interesting. They did not come across as preachy or pretentious. The magazine also has a global scope, with articles about the U.S., China, Malawi, South Africa, Italy and more. With the articles, there are plenty of excellent, accompanying photographs of people, animals, items, scenes and much more.

There is a 20+ page center section of the magazine, called The Modern Farmer Handbook, and it is devoted to many more practical issues for farmers. You will learn items such as how to select the best breed of chicken to raise, how to turn your backyard into a four-season farm, and how to build a straw bale house. There is even a section on different type of "poop" used for fertilizer. Immediately following this section is a photo essay, Meet the Modern Farmers, which presents pictures of seven farmers, and some of their families, from around the world and devotes a couple of paragraphs to each one. There is even a farmer and restaurant owner from Massachusetts presented there, Mark Firth of Monterey.

Some of these articles are going to lead me to further research into their topics. I was pleased to see the current surge in organic farms in China and worried about the exploding population of wild pigs, including radioactive pigs wandering across Europe. Another uplifting article was on mangoes in Malawi, and how they have become so popular now for smoothies across the world. And it was cool to end the last page of the magazine devoted to a Durian vendor.

Check out Modern Farmer. You won't be disappointed. You will undoubtedly learn plenty. And you will enjoy it.

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