Dig Deeper


Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change

We are at perhaps the most critical moment in the history of our species, as man-made changes to the climate threaten humanity’s security on Earth. But there is a technology for massive planetary geo-engineering that is tried and tested and available for widespread dissemination right now. It costs little and is adaptable to local contexts the world over. It can be rolled out tomorrow providing multiple benefits beyond climate stabilization.

The solution is farming.

Simply put, we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term “regenerative organic agriculture.” (more…)

GMO Pushers and the Art of War

By Elizabeth Kucinich
From Huffington Post (04/10/14)

In The Art of War the famous strategist Sun Tzu writes, “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

Sun Tzu could write a whole new chapter about Monsanto and the other pushers of genetically modified foods, or GMO.

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) carried Monsanto’s torch when he introduced legislation to block GMO labeling. (more…)

Commuting Farm Worker

Rodale Institute is looking for three commuting workers to aid in general farm tasks at a new site in Easton, Pennsylvania.  The farm will be growing 12 varieties of produce on 5 acres using organic methods and following Good Agricultural Practices in a farm-to-institution model. The project will offer unique and valuable educational and career opportunities. (more…)

Bloom Alert: April 15, 2014

The daffodils are blooming!

While we all wait for the tulips to open, stop by our Garden Store for organic daffodils.  The bright cheery yellow blooms make an excellent gift and look fabulous on your kitchen table.

But there are only a few small patches of the sunshine-y flowers so come earlier rather than later. And check back to see when the 10,000 tulips will be ready!

Rodale Institute is THE place for pick-your-own ORGANIC flowers! Our Bloom Alerts will keep in the loop so you know when to come out to the farm for fresh organic flowers. Check back to see what is bursting forth each week or sign up for our e-newsletter and we’ll let you know when they are ready to pick!

 

For more information on the who, what, when, and where of pick-your-own flowers at the farm, contact our Garden Store.

Bloom Alert: April 8, 2014

April showers bring May flowers! Compost tea was applied to all of the bulbs around the farm and the cool rain is providing an excellent environment to spread the network of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

We are still waiting for the first tulip bud….but the daffodils are nearly ready to burst! Although they won’t be ready for the Cold Crop Plant Sale this weekend, it shouldn’t be long. Check the Bloom Alert next week to see when we anticipate the 10,000 organic tulip harvest to happen.

Rodale Institute is THE place for pick-your-own ORGANIC flowers! Our Bloom Alerts will keep in the loop so you know when to come out to the farm for fresh organic flowers. Check back to see what is bursting forth each week or sign up for our e-newsletter and we’ll let you know when they are ready to pick!

For more information on the who, what, when, and where of pick-your-own flowers at the farm, contact our Garden Store.

Veggie Races to go organic

(Reading, Pennsylvania) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, today announced their new partnership with the Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, to take their award-winning “Veggie Race” organic.

Each night Rodale Institute’s new “Organic Veggie Race” will be front and center during the inning breaks as part of the Reading Fightin Phils’ in-between inning entertainment. A huge fan-favorite, the “Organic Veggie Race” consists of three employees in vegetable costumes racing around the field, often with an unexpected twist. Celebrities have gotten involved, like when wrestling legend Jerry Lawler once clothes-lined Carrot. The veggies themselves have even gotten romantic; Broccoli proposed to his girlfriend in front of the entire stadium after winning the veggie race a few years ago. The moment was captured on video and was played on CNN, ESPN and had over 28,000 views on YouTube. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: April 4, 2014

Every Friday we share some snaps from our 333-acres in Kutztown, PA. Our photographers? The staff members who keep this farm chugging along. Enjoy a sneak peek at what’s going on here at Rodale Institute! (more…)

Beyond Black Plastic

While the use of black plastic is allowed within organic agriculture, it is inherently unsustainable as it is a petroleum-based product and difficult to recycle. Every acre of land farmed using a black plastic system produces 100-120 lb of waste that typically goes to landfills. What’s more, when black plastic is used, 50-70% of a field is transformed into an impervious surface, increasing the volume of runoff by 40% and erosion by 80%. And when herbicides and pesticides are used on fields covered in black plastic, the concentration of these chemicals in the fields’ runoff increases, making environmental and human health impacts even more of a concern. Finally, the increase in soil temperatures during hot summer days under black plastic mulch has been found to shift the soil organisms community towards bacterial rather than fungal and increase microbial stress. Black plastic is also a substantial annual cost to the farmer at $250-$300 per acre for the material and about $20 per acre for disposal.

With increases in cost of production and climate change, vegetable growers are looking into profitable and sustainable systems that increase soil health, reduce carbon foot print and increase their profits.The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE SARE) Program provided Rodale Institute with funding in 2010 to launch a three-year vegetable trial focusing on cover crop alternatives to petroleum-derived disposable black plastic mulch. (more…)

Turning trash into garden treasure

By Rick Carr

Have you ever wished to reduce the trash that makes its way to the curb and ultimately to the landfill? According to the EPA, yard and food waste combined account for 25% of solid waste and nearly 11% by volume in landfills. Backyard composting is just one approach to diverting these materials from the landfill and producing a valuable resource from what was once a waste material. (more…)

Online Assistant: Farmer Tools

Rodale Institute is accepting applications for an Online Assistant to help with our farmer tools. Primary responsibilities include ensuring weekly updates are made to the Organic Price Report. This staff member may work remotely. Time commitment: 8 hours/ week. (more…)