In a garage on Cherry Alley, behind 326 Union Street, Mercedes Wallner has been operating a year-round, indoor farmer's market called the Hudson Farm Box. It's a drop off and pick up site for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, as well as a place where everyone can buy fresh farm produce and freshly made juices--Green Life Juice (kale, celery, cucumber, ginger, apple, parsley) and Beet Detox (beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, apple). In the short time that it has existed, the farm box has attracted an enthusiastic clientele. Last March, when "Chef Zak Pelacco's Guide to Hudson, NY" appeared in GQ, the Hudson Farm Box was No. 4 among the 13 favorite places featured.
Last Wednesday, Wallner applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a use variance. She wants to create a certified kitchen at the Hudson Farm Box, so she can prepare food on site and sell it there exclusively for take out. Because the area is zoned R-3, adding a certified kitchen requires a use variance.
At the meeting, ZBA chair Lisa Kenneally warned Wallner that a use variance was difficult to obtain. The ZBA then voted to accept the application as complete. The vote was not unanimous. ZBA member Theresa Joyner maintained the application was incomplete because copies of pictures submitted to code enforcement officer Peter Wurster had not been forwarded to the ZBA. A public hearing on the project was scheduled for Wednesday, October 16, at 6 p.m.
Photo source: Hudson Farm Box Facebook page