New Porch + Prairie Magazine Celebrates American Beauty + Virtue

If Charles Kuralt had started a magazine, it might have looked and read a lot like the new Porch + Meadowa beautifully crafted quarterly that is something of a passport to an America some have forgotten about and many never knew existed. Porch + Meadowhowever, remembers.

Along with an abundance of stunning images ranging from western mountains to rural roads and, of course, windswept prairies, the magazine celebrates people who rarely make headlines elsewhere: veterans , farmers, artisans, traders and small business owners, many of them the people who form the backbone of the republic but who the coastal media conglomerates rarely notice.

For founder and editor-in-chief Peder von Harten, the magazine is a labor of love and duty. “I travel a lot and one thing I’ve noticed venturing into small towns is that they are often full of great stories and stories, but not many people write about them,” he said. “When you meet the people of these villages, there is an obvious sense of pride and community. It just makes me want to share their stories with those who will never know how special it is to live in small town or rural America. Growing up, I never dreamed of seeing 90% of the places I’ve been,” says the 38-year-old, “so I feel an obligation to share their lives with others. Perhaps by doing this we can, at least for a while, come together.

Von Harten lives in Oxford, Mississippi, and by day helps run Nicholas Air, one of the nation’s fastest growing private jet services. So it was her life of travel that ultimately led to the creation of Porch + Prairie.

“I remember approaching NJ Correnti, founder and CEO of Nicholas Air, about the project,” says von Harten. “He knew from growing up in Arkansas and then starting his business in Mississippi that there was something special about the people we met in rural America. a passion project for our team in many ways, so it was important to me to see how supportive NJ was of our efforts and how these opportunities to experience new places, primarily due to his generosity, led to great storytelling.”

As you skim through the magazine, it doesn’t fit easily into existing genres of highly specialized verticals – titles often residing in three buckets: how to, where to, why to do. Instead, it takes the reader on a surprising Kuralt-style road trip with an allusion to Steinbeck’s travels with Charley.

“Porch + Prairie shares the stories of the people, places and companies that make our nation work, and we don’t shy away from celebrating the reasons for American pride,” says von Harten. “Our pages contain many stories of farmers and ranchers who work countless hours to put food on our table, or they may feature an unknown story of a veteran’s combat experiences. We are able to live the American Dream through their service…it’s good to remind people of it through rich stories. To be able to meet these people and give their stories the attention they deserve is incredibly rewarding. These are people who don’t have PR firms or agencies to pitch their stories…instead, we’re going to find them.

For von Harten, editorial direction derives primarily from reader interaction, with each issue eliciting comments that become the model for future issues.

“In just a few years,” he says, “we’ve gone from a brand with a very defined editorial focus to a brand that has so much reader engagement that we end up going in the direction that our readers want us to. take away. We get a lot of emails that start with, there’s this place you should write about, or I have to introduce you to such and such.

While much of the content feels heartfelt, it’s clear that von Harten doesn’t like boundaries and doesn’t want to be pigeonholed like any other title. Like America, he sees the magazine as a sort of melting pot.

“While much of our magazine seems to focus on Central America and the mountains,” he says, “Porch + Prairie has featured stories from coast to coast, although I’m naturally drawn to by the stories of the states flown over,” he says. “This territory is home to the lion’s share of our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and perhaps most importantly, our veterans, so I am immediately drawn to these places and people. I like to think we’ve been rewarded as writers because we can share fascinating details about a part of the world that mainstream media never wanted to cover. If that’s our calling, then I’m perfectly happy with it.

Finding stories with heart is central to von Harten’s mission, and he attributes that to the magazine’s success. “For stories that focus specifically on people or communities, there’s a lot of emotion that we strive to capture through our writing and, admittedly, that’s sometimes hard to do. You can write about how a community was rebuilt after a tornado, but it’s hard to put into words the crack in a woman’s voice as she describes one of the monsters at her doorstep. It’s hard to find the words to express the emotion of a soldier after holding his 2-year-old daughter for the first time because he was off to war. This is the heart we want to convey in every story. Why? Because we want to make sure no one forgets.

Although you won’t find the magazine on newsstands in major cities, von Harten is pleased with the growth in circulation and knows where to hunt and hook his readers.

“We’re in front of several thousand eyes now with each issue as our subscriber base continues to grow,” he says. “We will continue to expand this as we have added many more distribution points, such as hotels, lodges and specialty destinations. Nothing sells this magazine like people get their hands on.

The same goes for writers and photographers who are drawn to the title to have their work featured in such a beautiful magazine.

“The creators who have come to us to be part of something special is another aspect that has been particularly rewarding on this journey, especially as they share Porch + Prairie’s journey with their subscribers and databases. I never want to get so big that we forget why we’re doing it, but at the same time I know we’re at the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to sharing our story with so many Americans who are looking for home literature.”

However, it’s not just about marrying memorable prose with stunning imagery, as von Harten sees the magazine as a tool for inspiration, a chance to engage people.

“We want our readers to be inspired to take action after publishing an issue of Porch + Prairie. It doesn’t matter if that means traveling more, or investigating our history on a deeper level, or maybe supporting a non-profit organization of their choice, perhaps a veterans charity. We view Porch + Prairie as an invitation to our readers to become more involved with our country by celebrating its history and supporting its future.

Read the magazine and you’re bound to find reason to be optimistic, whether it’s discovering a hidden part of the Rockies, finding an old Winchester, or meeting someone amazing.

“The media these days gives Americans a whole lot of reason to feel bad about our country. The bad news, the divide between people, this side against the other. Porch + Prairie will always be there to remind our readers the amazing things their fellow Americans do every day and how truly special this nation is.

And they do it without apologies.

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