A Hudson Valley-based investment fund is backing a rather earthen company – a seed company based in Ulster County.
Hudson River Ventures, a Kingston-based small business investment fund focused on the Hudson Valley, is re-seeding, so to speak, an Accord-based company with capital needed for growth. Ken Greene founded about 10 years ago the first seed library in the United States – Hudson Valley Seed Library. The company preserves and sells thousands of heirloom and open-pollinated seed varieties. Greene says the $74,000 loan from Hudson River Ventures will enable his company to make a few new hires, renovate a building to house the company’s offices, storage, warehouse, and shipping operations, and put together the following:
He says about $30,000 of the loan will go toward the catalogue. He says the expense is not so much in the printing, but in the mailing.
Sean Eldridge is founder and president of Hudson River Ventures.
He says his fund has already invested in a handful of craft breweries, and he hopes to invest in farmers and companies who want to grow hops. As for Hudson Valley Seed Library, Eldridge says he likes the marriage of seeds and art.
He notes the annual gallery opening of the artwork commissioned for the seed packets takes place November 9 in Kingston.
Greene says there’s something missing in sustainable agriculture.
And he talks about the importance of regional, local seeds.
Eldridge, a Democrat who has announced a campaign for the nomination to run against Republican Congressman Chris Gibson in 2014, says he is seeing connections among some of the companies in which he invests, a crosspollination of sorts.
Greene notes he was introduced to Hudson River Ventures via the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation.