A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Sprouts for the Win

This is the season of sprout. As  a verb, sprout is synonymous with spring, and means both the fresh growth itself and the activity it’s engaged in. The sprouts are sprouting up all over the place, tough but tender, on a sunward journey to transformation. Grab a rake on any patch of dirt and you’re […]

Getting grounded: Food Security in Kingston and Beyond

We refer to an idea or theory as well-grounded when it’s clearly based on facts, and to be on our own ground commonly means being in a place—physically or metaphorically—where we have competence and knowledge. When we call a person grounded, we’re saying they’re solid—stable, sensible and reasonable. It’s a trait that can seem vanishingly […]

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: A Life with Wood: Ellis Bradley of Sage Studios

Ellis Bradley’s relationship with wood began early. “My dad put tools in my hands as soon as I could walk,” he says. “My family have been woodworkers, barn builders and farmers for 300 years. Now it’s all been left to me, that legacy. I grew up into it throughout my life; it’s not just work. […]

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Adventures In Kindness And Connection:

How The Current’s Been Making Waves This January marks the tenth anniversary of the official founding of the Hudson Valley Current, although a few Currents had already changed hands. (The first-ever Current spent, in 2013, is still here in the Hudson Valley.) Since then, over 1.5 Million Currents have flowed from hand to hand, really […]

Warming up to you

In physics, heat is a measure of change. Temperature measures how much kinetic energy is happening in a given group of atoms or molecules; heat is the transfer of that energy to a cooler group of atoms or molecules. It’s thermodynamics, and its renowned “First Law” states that energy can’t be created or destroyed, just […]

Keeping it Vibrant: How to Make Friends with Your Soil

Generally, being compared to dirt isn’t considered especially flattering. We strive mightily to keep dirt out of our houses and off of our clothes, call it “the dirt” when nasty secrets come out. Cleanliness is said to be “next to Godliness” and being “dirt poor” is hardly a happy state of affairs, while being filthy […]

Member Spotlight: At BjornQorn (and Skate Time) things are really poppin’

The first batches of BjornQorn were popped with reflected sunshine. But before too long, Bjorn Quenemoen and Jamie O’Shea realized they had a popcorn tiger by the tail. Just like their fellow Bard students back in the day, it was love at first nibble for folks in the wider world. A Modern Farmer story from […]

Practical Magic of Roots

Just about every plant needs roots. Even Tillandsia, air plants, sprout roots that allow them to anchor themselves to whatever’s handy; when you buy an air plant, its roots have been trimmed off, but the good folks at Air Plant City advise against trimming them too close, lest you damage the plant. But for the […]


A philosophical question we’d like to discuss. Midtown Lively hit the streets to hear from neighbors and visitors. We appreciate and value what the Midtown community is saying. Here are some of their opinions: My roots are: soil – family – compost – music – art – good food – community that grounds me – […]


It never hurts to have some magick on your side. Note the spelling: we’re not talking about magic tricks, such as those performed by Harry Houdini, David Blaine or Penn and Teller (although it’s probably fun having them on your side, too). Those folks do illusions. Magick is the real deal, the art of lining […]

Tilda’s Seasonal Grain Recipe

AMARANTH WITH PEPPERS AND CABBAGE This Latin American Heritage dish is a delicious way to utilize cabbage, one of our favorite winter vegetables. The mild heat from the poblano peppers perfectly complements the peppery amaranth grains, but feel free to substitute bell peppers if you prefer. INGREDIENTS • 1 cup uncooked amaranth grains • 2 […]


May’s Grain of the Month, the pseudo-cereal Amaranth, makes up for what it lacks in size and perhaps recognition by packing a nutritional punch. Mentioned in Aesop’s fables and Milton’s Paradise Lost and sometimes called the “food of immortality” by the Aztecs, this resilient and visually striking plant has recently gained popularity in the health […]

The State of Main: What Makes A Village Vibrant

When we travel to other Hudson Valley Main Streets outside of Kingston, it’s easy to assume that downtown districts are making a rebound everywhere. But that’s not the case. There are communities across the country that are completely boarded up. The buildings and storefronts are beautiful, but every store is closed—except for a maybe a […]


Imagine the feeling: making a fresh start thousands of miles from home, learning a hundred new things a day and trying to make all the right moves. It’s made many times more challenging because you don’t speak the majority language; some agencies and places are bilingual, but many aren’t, and finding the ones that are […]


It’s the season of the blossom. Tight buds burst into brilliant, silky color. Leaves are unfurling. In the northern hemisphere, baby animals are being born, from bear cubs designed to pack on hundreds of pounds to scrappy featherweight shrews. We’re swapping out the big coats for T-shirts and hoodies, feeling our shoulders relax a little […]


From the beginning, MyKingstonKids has focused on one goal: making Kingston a great place for children. It’s turned out to be a popular mission. “We just hit our sixth year, and it’s going fantastic,” says Executive Director Frank Waters. “We’ve been growing rapidly since we started and we haven’t stopped yet. We’re still moving along. […]


Potential greatness always shows up small at first. The trees start their springtime with tiny buds, a hint of purplish red in the woods before that blast of golden green. Baby birds and lots of animals start out looking completely ridiculous and mature into eagles and cats. Love starts with a few sentences, a shared […]


Come on out and dance. Or act. Or beat the drum. It’s all right here in Midtown, extremely affordable, welcoming to all, and the kids will love it too. The Center for Creative Education is all about finding and living your possibilities—and expanding them by nurturing your mind and body until those possibilities open up […]

WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH $1,000,000? Community Fund Taking Shape in Kingston

On February 25, you’re invited to Tilda’s Kitchen to take part in the ninth and final open forum that will help determine the shape of the Kingston Community Fund, an initiative led by the Good Work Institute that aims to help democratize the distribution of wealth in these parts. Initial funding for the fund will […]


And just like that, boom, it’s 2023. The frenzy of the various holidays, which impacts just about everyone who’s not living in a cave, has passed; we made it through the odd week between Christmas and New Years. Mainstream media, as they do every year, goes from pushing feasting and drinking and carrying on to […]


There isn’t a Samadhi Recovery Community Outreach Center everywhere, but in a saner world, there would be one within reach of every human being, deploying their blend of timeless wisdom with research-based, best-in-class people and methods to increase our individual and collective peace, joy and freedom. Addiction, depression and anxiety are pervasive lately, and it’s […]


It’s a beautiful word. Reverence, a blend of deep fondness and admiration. It’s a warmer, friendlier word than awe, which suggests amazement and even outright fear. They’re powerful feelings this time of year, as we get to watch the cosmic drama of the Solstice unfold in all its merciless beauty. Winter is awe-inspiring, as is […]


It’s officially gifting season, starting with a feast of gratitude, moving on to the Solstice and the sun’s return. What a wonderful human response to the shortening days: present the ones you love with some special token of your fondness, a visible symbol of your feelings. As far as anyone can tell, gift giving is […]


Human beings are born to work with our hands. Centuries of human existence demanded it, and being the wonderful creatures that we are, we gathered together to do it and made all kinds of beautiful things, and creating something beautiful is still the best known cure for a whole host of troubles. Organizers Melissa Hewitt, […]


Under our feet is a 32 square mile swath of limestone stretching from Kingston down to High Falls. And from 1825 till 1910, the earth here gave up sixteen million bags a year of the finest natural cement you could buy. The cement industry literally made the town of Rosendale. Rosendale cement, was used in […]


Microgreens are harvested young, just a week or two after seed germination. All of the energy that would go into making a large, leafy plant is concentrated in tender, tasty little sprigs of goodness. They’re rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and more, and can be up to 40 times as nutritionally […]


I came home last fall after ten years away, amidst a huge life emergency, and the minute our tires hit Catskills pavement I knew in my core that we’d be okay, and I was right. As sure as the river keeps flowing and the mountain winds blowing, there’s a broad, deep and wide Current of […]


The last time the US economy saw high inflation, in the 1970s, President Gerald Ford attempted to rally the country to “Whip Inflation Now.” You could sign a pledge to conserve and cut back and receive a WIN button meant to evoke a sense of WWII-era solidarity.


By the last quarter of the 18th century, enough immigrants of various nations had established a toehold on the North American continent that the dominant Puritan influence of the 1600s had begun to fade. Life was still pretty dour in much of New England, with secular everything frowned upon, but the human spirit is stronger […]

Plants Grow Smart & So Can Towns

According to “Revitalization Opportunities Report for Kingston Midtown,” a 2019 study prepared by Ulster County, Midtown — defined as the 270 acres around the intersection of the CSX rail line with Broadway — had 3,413 residents at the time and was growing much faster than the city as a whole. It’s the most racially diverse part of Ulster County, the youngest (about a quarter of the residents at that time were 15 or under) and the brokest, with one in five households surviving on less than $15,000 a year.

Gifting with Abundance

Gifting season is upon us, and it’s joyful to hunt down something you know will delight someone you love. This is best done with the small, independent local sources; the warmth and mutual appreciation exchanged are a priceless gift in themselves. Plus, you just plain find much cooler stuff.  Whatever you do, don’t do too […]

What Grandmothers Gave

The sun is sinking fast now, and we’re on a completely unfamiliar road somewhere in Virginia. The exit sign promised a motel, but there’s none to be seen, and the commercial zone thins rapidly to large gated driveways—very pretty in the fading light. But the car’s engine feels wrong, like it’s gasping for air, and […]

Local Economics: Putting “Made in the Hudson Valley” Back on the Worldwide Map

Once upon a time, the Hudson Valley was famous for making things: bricks in Kingston, cars in Tarrytown, natural cement in Rosendale, antennas in Ellenville and much, much more. And for about forty years in the late 20th century, the landscape and economy in many areas were largely dominated by IBM, the company that drove […]

Simple Gifts

What if the solution to all of our planet’s problems was hidden in plain sight? If it weren’t for our symbiotic relationship with plants, we’d have no air to breathe—an exchange that even the greediest humans have found no way to monetize, though the monetization of just about everything else has certainly jeopardized it.  The […]

Reclaiming Paradise Through a Democracy of Species

Your body is a democracy. At the cellular level, the best estimate is that you have about 724 trillion citizens; at the microbial level, it’s more like 100 thousand billion, with around 1,200 different species in your intestines alone. Much of the time, this vast, populous democracy functions extremely well, or you would not be […]

Happy Microbes, Happy Life: Let Food Replace Thy Medicine

There seems to be some doubt about whether Hippocrates ever actually said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine, thy food,” although he’s been credited with the insight for a long, long time. Considering what a challenge it can be to get people to agree on what happened last year or last month, it […]

Nutritious Fun: Cooking Class a Hit at Tilda’s

Looking for safe, fun, and nourishing ways to expand your circle in this season of flourishing growth? Get in on the fun at a Friday night Nature of Exchange session at Tilda’s Kitchen and Market and polish your culinary skills, discovering new ways to deploy fresh, local ingredients and enjoy community-inspired local cuisine with a […]

Who Owns That? Baby Steps Toward a Sharing Economy of Land Use

Land. As the saying goes, they aren’t making any more of it. There are around 57,308,738 square miles of land on the planet, over half of which (57%) is uninhabitable desert and mountain terrain. That leaves 24,642,757 square miles or 15.77 billion acres where around 8 billion humans can live. So how did we manage […]

Celebrate Fridays at Tilda’s with Nature of Exchange Evenings

This April, Tilda’s Kitchen and Market will reopen after closing in March to avoid interference with the Broadway Streetscape Project, which will incorporate bicycle lanes, increase green space, and improve the flow and efficiency on Broadway.  At Tilda’s, it’s all about the beautiful flow. The restaurant’s initial opening has been a huge success, with all […]

From Everywhere With Love: The Roots of Community-Inspired Global Cuisine

Global cuisine was born with the spice trade, which had its earliest beginnings around the 10th millennium BC. Cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, pepper, and turmeric, among others, were popular trade goods in the Far East long before Christianity. When they first arrived in the Near East, clever traders kept their sources to themselves and made […]

Women Economists: Putting Heart Into the Ways and Means

The year was 1994 and about a dozen of us sat in the SUNY Empire State College (ESC) group-study room at the edge of the New Paltz campus watching a video on an old-school TV. A man with outlandishly styled hair and curiously feral demeanor was outlining a list of policy changes he claimed would […]

Life Enhancements: Cure Your Cabin Fever with These Local Organizations

Even in normal times, the shortest month of the year can feel like the longest; it’s a rare soul who’s thrilled with a February snowstorm. This year, what with extra restrictions and so much stress swirling around, it can really start to feel like the walls are closing in. Soon, very soon, the buds will […]

Soup, Glorious Soup: Reflections on a Wonder Food

The first soup-maker probably used baskets of tightly woven reeds or animal hide and dropped in a hot rock to make water that would help extract the flavor and goodness from whatever was handy. That was 20,000 years ago, as far as anyone knows. Clay pots made souping it up a lot handier, and humans […]

It’s All in the Flow: Creative Pandemic Responses Around Our Valley

Farewells are tough. Change is tough. And if tough times make tough people, well, we’re getting to be a pretty tough bunch. Not tough as in hard and dried up—tough as in strong and adaptable. Wiser. The world is coming into focus in new ways.  People planning weddings have chafed at gathering limits and then […]

Member Profile: Seasoned Delicious

Building Community Health and Wealth With Caribbean Flair A registered nurse and cardiac critical care specialist, Tamika Dunkley was struck by the struggle faced by patients who were told to sacrifice the pleasure of favorite foods or risk dire health consequences. “My heart would break seeing people come in and spend months in the hospital […]

The path to Livelihood: How this publication came to be

In August of 2010, the first issue of what was then Country Wisdom News appeared in Ulster and Dutchess counties, having grown from an emailed newsletter to a printed four-page monthly broadsheet. Today, in September 2020, we’re Livelihood magazine. Remember the excitement of turning 10? Two whole digits! Life’s full of adventure and fun, partly […]

Member Profile: Kingston Food Co-op

Like many small cities, Kingston’s urban core is something of a retail food desert. Grocery shopping on foot, and healthy, affordable options, weren’t easily available in Midtown. So a little over two years ago Katy Kondrat, manager of the Kingston Farmers’ Market and a longtime food systems activist, got together with smart stakeholders and made […]

Hudson Valley Values: Pulling Together While “It” Falls Apart

(Photo by Jeff Anzevino) We’re witnessing the implosion of a lot of really bad ideas right now: racism, militarism, predatory capitalism. It turns out that these approaches to survival as a species, let alone a body politic, just aren’t holding up to the test of time. Really. Who knew? Sarcasm aside, only a whole lot […]

Member Profile: Midtown Rising

Midtown Rising began in 2015, when members of the St. James United Methodist Church (that’s the big, beautiful stone building at the corner of Pearl and Fair Streets) saw opportunities to build a stronger neighborhood. Outreach coordinator, Jordan Scruggs, reached out to do some organizing among her connections, and something new was born—and five years […]