Dig Deeper


Maple Syrup from the Farm

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Kate Harms and Marissa Wagner, Research Technicians, pose proudly with the maple syrup they tapped from Rodale Institute maple trees.

 Sweet Treats from our Trees

By Sabrina Mastronardo, Communications Intern

Our maple trees have been on the farm for years. They’ve shaded the staff and animals in the summer, protected our streams, and added to the biodiversity of Rodale Institute. But for the first time this year, we’ve tapped into the trees for another purpose: maple syrup.

The typical maple syrup you might use to drown your morning pancakes is probably derived from the sap of the Sugar maple tree. Rodale Institute Research Technician, Kate Harms, saw that she could get similar results by tapping our own Sugar maples. But what about the Red, Silver, and Norway maple trees that are also scattered across the farm? For readers at home, would it be possible for them to use the mixture of maples in their backyard for syrup?

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Kate Harms, Research Technician, begins the tapping process by drilling a small hole the maple tree. This is where the sap will flow out from.

“There’s not a lot of data saying what kind of sugar content you can get from sap of other trees,” Harms said.

Pure sap is only 2%-3% sugar. The rest is water that must be boiled down until what remains is syrup with 66% sugar. The higher the sugar content of the sap, the less boiling it requires, a main reason for why people use Sugar maples, a tree known for its high sugar content.

Harms began tapping in February, a time prime for sap harvest, with freezing nights and w
armer days  the sap flows through tubes into a bucket. After setting 97 taps in four varieties of maple trees found on the farm, Harms and her team found themselves with 600 gallons of sap. It was transferred to an evaporator where the water was boiled off for four days.

20 gallons of maple syrup later, Harms’ results were in: other maple varieties had desirable sugar content, too. By combining four types of sap into one bottle, diversity even enhanced the syrup’s taste. “Like wine, the types of trees, weather, time of season, and the soil will put certain flavors in it,” Harms added.

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Harms shows how the evaporator is fueled so that the sap's water content can be boiled off, resulting in a syrup composed of 66% sugar.

On the tags of Rodale Institute’s maple syrup, the word “pure” is printed on its front cover; it is a word that bombards consumers on boxes and bottles down the aisles of the grocery store. Harms explains how pure maple syrup tapped at home – or better yet, on a certified-organic farm – is much different than big syrup brands.

“At the grocery store, many commercial pancake syrups are anything but maple syrup,” she said, listing high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring, and artificial flavor as additives. “Everything we do is right from the tree.”

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The final product, where Rodale Institute research meets sweet bottled treats! The syrup is now ready to be sold at our Garden Store.

Harms has been tapping maple syrup in her own backyard for the past six years, a process she says is easy for people to pick up at home. Instead of the heavy-duty evaporator used at Rodale Institute, Harms uses the grill or her stove to boil the water, and finds equipment to be inexpensive. Maple syrup production doesn’t have to be reserved for the trees of Quebec and Vermont. Harm’s work shows that the collection of maples in the region can yield the same sticky, sweet stuff. She and Rodale Institute are looking forward to next February, when she’ll again tap into the trees that have been here all along.

Many thanks to Leader Evaporator for their support of this project.

Farm Photo Friday: May 1, 2015

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!

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Can you see the smiley face in Irwin's nose?

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Everyone could use a little more green in their life! Come see these plants for yourself at the Spring Open House Plant Sale on May 8th and 9th. Maggie Saska, Plant Production Specialist, is preparing them to be transplanted right into your garden!

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"I'll bet you a bale of hay that you can't touch your tongue to your nose!"

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Parsley, thyme, and basil–oh my! Dan Kemper, Strategic Support Team Member is planting an herb garden for the Institute staff. Learn creative ways to incorporate herbs into your garden at our Healthy Herbal Traditions workshop on June 13th!

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Though it was a cloudy day, the water still reflected the beautiful Rodale Institute scenery.

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The week started off a little gloomy, but we think that from here on out there'll be blue skies... and greener pastures! The sheep seem to agree!

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Houdini took advantage of the sun's warmth with an afternoon mud nap! Xena, on the other hand, didn't want to get too tan.

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Looks like Houdini isn't the only tired one! Sometimes, all you need is a cat nap – even if you're a pig!

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Spring is in full bloom here at the Rodale Institute. If you want to know how to improve your plant growth, check out our Backyard Composting class on May 2nd!

Mark Fabian, Facilities Team Member, is laying down the bricks that will be the new patio for the boiron herb garden!

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At Rodale Institute, there's never a dull moment. This week, we brought in conventional calves which will be transitioned to organic!

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The barn is coming together nicely for the upcoming wedding season! Inside, the lights are hung, the floor is waxed - but you'll just have to visit us to see for yourself!

Don't forget...Show your organic love! 

‘July is National Organic Honey Month’ Announce Rodale Institute & Wedderspoon Organic

 Contact:
Aaron Kinsman
Media Relations Specialist
610-683-1427 (farm office)
215-589-2490 (mobile)

April 29, 2015 (Kutztown, PA) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, announced a new campaign in partnership with Wedderspoon Organic naming the month of July as National Organic Honey Month. The ‘July is National Organic Honey Month’ campaign will make use of social media to spread awareness around issues affecting the honeybees. Both groups will use the hashtag #beeaware to track the conversation and will host a kick-off event on June 21st as part of the Institute’s ‘Kick Off the BBQ Season’ event at their Kutztown, PA research farm.

The campaign will celebrate honeybees and their contribution to the food system as pollinators. It will also raise awareness around the decline in honeybee populations and the threats they face in the form of toxic agricultural chemicals.

Conversely, National Honey Month is held in September and promotes beekeepers, the beekeeping industry and honey as a sweetening product. The USDA-overseen National Honey Board selected September as Honey Month back in 1989 because September is the month when honey collection ends for most conventional beekeepers.

“If you are a beekeeper and you are going to take honey, you should finish by the end of July so that the bees have enough honey to survive the winter. Continuing to harvest honey until September does not give them enough time to build necessary stores for the winter,” said Rodale Institute executive director, ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood.

Rodale Institute’s 333-acre research farm is home to the Honeybee Conservancy, started in 2012 in response to major health problems decimating the honeybee population in North America. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) still results in a 30% death rate every winter for these valuable pollinators with no answer in sight. Rodale Institute posits that individual honeybee stewards are one of the solutions to this problem.

The Honeybee Conservancy promotes healthy beekeeping practices through education and outreach and includes classes in sustainable beekeeping practices, hive hosting on Rodale Institute’s organic farm and support for beginners through the network.

Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30% higher. This year, 2014, marks the 34th year of the trial. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.

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ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.

ABOUT WEDDERSPOON ORGANIC

Wedderspoon® Organic is committed to providing our customers with top quality, premium, and organically certified Manuka honey and honey products from around the world. Wedderspoon® was created 8 years ago with the unique mindset of providing genuine, pure Manuka honey with a high pollen count and has been the top selling leader in the industry since.

A young, innovative company, Wedderspoon® bases its principles on ethical and sustainable honey production, the support of bee conservation and the goal of reducing our negative impact on the environment.​

http://rodaleinstitute.org/our-work/honeybee-conservancy/

www.rodaleinstitute.org

www.wedderspoon.com.

 

 

Farm Photo Friday: April 24, 2015

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!

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It looks like these two aren't sheepish about showing some brotherly love!

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Everyone is hard at work in the greenhouse. Cynthia James, ASC Program Manager and Jesse Barrett, Organic Allentown Program Manager, are transplanting eggplants into larger containers so they have more room to grow!

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It looks like everyone is having some fun as well! Don't have too much fun! These plants need to be ready soon for the Spring Open House Plant Sale on May 8th and 9th.

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Ruuuuuuuuuun! Lewis and Clark are playing a game of freeze tag! Can you guess who is frozen?

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Rick Carr, Compost Specialist, is hauling out the big toys today to make room for fresh straw for Lewis and Clark. Rick is a man of many talents– he will also be teaching a series of Master Composter Program classes at the Institute from May to June!

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Silly pig – fetch is for dogs!

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This little pig loves to show his mom, Miss Peggy, all the odds and ends he finds while exploring this big, new world!

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Bill Lenhard, Strategic Support Team Member, and Mark Fabian, Facilities Team Member, are teaming up to redesign the Boiron Garden. The site will soon host wedding ceremonies in the sunny months to come. Next on the list is to design colorful floral arrangements that will surround the garden.

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Coach Mark Smallwood knows how to please a crowd, whether it be our Norwegian Dwarf goats or humans alike!

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Looks like the hogs will be moving in sooner than expected! Progress on our Hog Facility has been made at light speed. Stay tuned for the grand opening when the hogs take the first step into their new home!

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Remember the tomato grafting photo in a previous Farm Photo Friday? The process is now complete and these strong San Marzano tomato roots are busting out. They can't wait to make their debut at the Spring Open House Plant Sale!

Don't forget...Show your organic love! 

 

Rodale Institute Announces Three New Staff Members

Contact:
Aaron Kinsman
Office: 610-683-1427
Mobile: 215-589-2490
aaron.kinsman@rodaleinstitute.org

(Kutztown, PA, April 21, 2015) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, today announced the addition of three new employees: Dr. Vijay Bhosekar, Director of Scientific Communications; Jesse Barrett, Organic Allentown Program Manager and Justin Barclay, Veteran Farming Program Coordinator.

Dr. Vijay Bhosekar has a Doctorate in Plant Agriculture and more than 25 years of experience as a Research Manager and Research Associate at ANGR Vijay HeadshotAgricultural University in India. Dr. Bhosekar has published more than seventy five peer reviewed scientific publications and has conducted numerous seminars on his area of expertise.

Dr. Bhosekar will work with the Research and Communications
Departments to present the Institute’s research findings to a range of audiences, including scientists, farmers and the general public. He will be responsible for submissions to scientific peer reviewed journals, assisting with lab and field work, and for developing curriculum for farmer training and workshops.

“I am very excited to join Rodale Institute, a pioneer organization in the field of organics. This is an opportunity for me to gain in-depth practical knowledge in organic agriculture working with an educated and dedicated team.” ~ Dr. Vijay Bhosekar, Director of Scientific Communications

jesse press releaseJesse Barrett will manage two farmers’ markets in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as part of the Organic Allentown initiative, a comprehensive initiative to create a city-wide culture around urban organic agriculture. Each market will feature vendors who are certified organic by the USDA or are in the certification process. The markets are located on 7th Street at the St. Luke’s Evangelical Church Parking lot and at the YWCA / YMCA on 15th Street in Allentown. Barrett will also play a hands-on role in developing organic gardens in vacant lots and public spaces throughout Allentown.

“I’m deeply honored to work with Rodale Institute to provide the Allentown community with access to fresh, local organic foods at affordable prices. It’s my personal mission to help make Organic Allentown a successful model that cities around the world will follow to a healthier future.” ~ Jesse Barrett, Organic Allentown Program Manager

Justin Barclay brings with him over ten years of experience in the United States Army and an additional seven years of experience as an analyst justin press releaseand instructor working with the military. His work will expand the Institute’s farmer training offerings for military veterans. With an aging demographic of farmers in America and extreme shortages of certified organic products, Rodale Institute will offer new pathways into organic agriculture for military veterans.

Rodale Institute has also partnered with Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA to create the Organic Farming Program; a 36-credit, one-year certificate program which is open to all students, but was created with military veterans in mind.

“Bringing new organic farmers onto the scene is only possible through quality training programs like the one Rodale Institute and Delaware Valley University have developed. It’s an honor to be a part of improving the way our society farms.” ~ Justin Barclay, Veteran Farming Program Coordinator

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Bhosekar, Jesse and Justin to the Rodale Institute team,” says Rodale Institute Executive Director, ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood. “These new positions are specialized to support the Institute’s ability to create new models of organic agriculture, to train new organic farmers and to communicate our findings to the world.”

Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30% higher. This year, 2014, marks the 34th year of the trial. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.

###

ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.

www.rodaleinstitute.org

Rodale Institute DelVal Organic Farming Program: http://www.delval.edu/organic

Organic Allentown: http://rodaleinstitute.org/allentown

Farm Photo Friday: April 17, 2015

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!

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Thank you to everyone who came out to the Cold Crop Plant Sale this past weekend! Despite the weather on Friday we had a great turn out. We hope everyone had fun and we wish everyone a bountiful garden! Next month, we'll have our Spring Open House Plant Sale where you'll find hot crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and so much more!

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"I see you have come to take pictures of me. How's this angle?" Alfalfa the Nigerian Dwarf Goat has been practicing his poses just in case the camera catches him off guard!

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Best friends are hard to come by! These little guys have been busy rooting through the soil, tilling so we don't have to.

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The Hog Facility is really coming together. We're putting the final touches on it just in time for summer. The hogs have been watching with anticipation for the big move-in day!

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Okay, sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side.

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Come adventure through the Elderberry forest!  Elderberries have many medicinal qualities and are perfect for an organic summer snack!

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Look who's taking a ride on his big green tractor. Ross Duffield, Farm Manager, is preparing the Rodale Institute fields for summer planting.  He can go slow or he can go faster!

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Cynthia James, ASC Program Manager, and her team are planting broccoli using the water wheel transplanter. These broccoli plants will then be harvested sometime in the end of June and be distributed to communities for ASC.

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As Cynthia drives, the water wheel transplanter pokes holes in the ground for the plants to be placed. At the same time, there is a hose leading from the main tank that runs water into the holes to provide the plants with a moist place to grow. If this work interests you, check out our ASC internship opportunities on the Rodale Institute website!

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This primrose is edible so if you happen to find yourself in the Hunger Games you'll be ahead of the competition!

Don't forget...Show your organic love! 

Organic 3.0

By Peggy Miars, OMRI Executive Director/CEO and member of the IFOAM World Board

As organic stakeholders and advocates, we have certainly reached thousands of consumers over the years with our message of improved health and environmental stewardship. But beyond growth, what do we envision for the future of organics worldwide? How will the organic industry of 2030 differ from what we have now? IFOAM-Organics International has already started the conversation and is planning for changes to come. In the process, we’re uniting our collective efforts and developing a plan for organic agriculture in the modern age.

As a new member of the IFOAM World Board, I have been surprised and delighted by the sheer number of imagesorganizations working to support organic food worldwide. Although our interests and priorities might differ, IFOAM works to find common ground and focuses stakeholders on our shared goals. In the process, we build a stronger community with tremendous potential to enact change in our lifetimes. We’ve reached a point in the growth of organics where the future is bright, and focus is exactly what we need. IFOAM-Organics International has titled their exploration “Organic 3.0,” the next phase for the organic industry.

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J.I Rodale

Looking back, we are incredibly fortunate for the work of J.I. Rodale, Rudolph Steiner, Masanobu Fukuoka, and many others who promoted organics in the early 20th century. We can look at this early phase as “Organic 1.0,” a time when the modern industry was just being born from a few tireless advocates. And we are currently seeing the benefits of their dedication in “Organic 2.0,” with a strong industry and stable growth. There has never been a better time to look ahead and chart a course for the future!

IFOAM-Organics International sees the new 3.0 phase as characterized by a culture of technical and social innovation that leads to widespread and mainstream adoption of organic practices. It includes re-thinking the contribution of the organic movement to solving global challenges such as food security, climate change and other environmental and societal issues. The Organic 3.0 approach will enable more people to adopt organic practices and participate with a renewed focus on sustainability.

According to IFOAM, movement toward a sustainable, healthy planet requires simultaneous action on three complementary fronts:

  • Education for producers, consumers and other stakeholders, including scientific evidence of the benefits of organic practices, and clear messages for the general public
  • Policy reform to reflect the true cost of sustainable practices, and to incentivize improved performance with regard to sustainable production
  • A new market framework to assure that credible, meaningful, valid claims are accessible beyond a small niche

Bringing these approaches into action, IFOAM sees two sides to Organic 3.0: updated content and updated methodology. The updated content will define what it means to be organic, with a minimum set of requirements that reflect the four Principles of Organic Production (Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care). These requirements will incorporate best practices in sustainability, with a commitment to continuous improvement.

The updated methodology establishes how organic practices are carried out. It’s inclusive, transparent and participatory, enabling young people to enter organic farming with the appropriate skills, while still allowing stakeholders and consumers at all levels to understand and participate.

At OMRI, our mission is to support the growth and trust of the global organic community through expert, independent and transparent verification of input materials, and through education and technical assistance. We look forward to pursuing this mission with ongoing support for the new phase of global organic growth. Through Organic 3.0, more consumers and stakeholders will understand the importance of organics as the key to sustainable agriculture. This will in turn reduce dependence on non-organic practices and products.

Watch for an IFOAM Organic 3.0 narrative document, expected to be ready for circulation this summer. The document will then be finalized at an IFOAM-Organics International conference in Korea this fall, and an action plan is expected by the end of the year. In the meantime, please join the conversation! Visit IFOAM’s Organic 3.0 pages and send your feedback to David Gould, Value Chain Facilitator, at d.goud@ifoam.bio.

 

 

 

 

Farm Photo Friday: April 10, 2015

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!

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The gang's all here...in the mud! These hogs were cooling down from the warm weather we were having earlier this week.

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"Thanks Ross and Michael, we love our new home!"
Ross Duffield, Farm Manager, with the help of Michael Schmaeling, Facilities Team Member, did a great job of building the chickens their dream home! This is the final product from the sneak-peak you saw last week! Don't miss our Keeping Chickens: Get the scoop inside the coop workshop on April 25th!

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Stephanie Zimmerman, Strategic Solutions Team Member, is giving the piglets some love! They sure do love back scratches! The piglets are growing fast and so is their curiosity! Be sure to register early for the Heritage Pastured Pigs: Help your hogs help your profits workshop on May 2nd!

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This little lamb is curious as well! It seems as if he is challenging this photographer to a game of shadow tag!

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This photographer has been spotted a mile away!

Closer...

Closer...

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Snap! We got the close-up! Irwin seems less amused...

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Rick Carr, Compost Production Specialist and Jesse Barrett, Organic Allentown Program Manager, are making more skeletons for the vertical growing towers that were shown last week! Be sure to follow them as they continue to work on the Organic Allentown program.

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Even Heather Kaiser, Rodale Institute Communications Intern, was hard at work creating the vertical growing towers!

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The bees are back and the farm is finally in full bloom! Thanks to Michael Schmaeling, Facilities Team Member, this celebratory moment is captured!

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Sun's out gun's out! This little piggy is keeping his nose high and his spirits even higher!

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Last week we saw Dan Kemper, Strategic Support Team Member, demonstrate how to graft tomato plants. Here we see how the plants look when they are grafted together.

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Dan Kemper, Strategic Support Team Member, is making last minute adjustments to the plants at the Cold Crop Plant sale today!

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Don't worry if you can't make it out to the Cold Crop Plant sale today. We'll be back on Saturday. Same time, same place, same great products!

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Squeakers doesn't mind that it's a not-so-puuurrrfect day out. He's a witty little kitty who loves to roam the farm!

Don't forget...Show your organic love! 

Master Composters of Rodale Institute

"In the compost heap, a transformation from life to death and back again is taking place."  -J.I. Rodale

According to the US EPA, in the United States food wastes and yard debris represent approximately 45% of the garbage generated by Americans.

At the community level, composting is a cost effective means for managing organic wastes and IMG_4672diverting these wastes from the landfill. In addition to environmental and social benefits, backyard composting creates financial incentives by reducing trash collection fees. Part of the problem with implementing these basic themes into the community is a lack of educated personnel.

Through the Master Composters of Rodale Institute training program, we train individuals to become “Masters” of backyard composting, waste management, and outreach education with the goal of encouraging a wider adoption of organic waste composting.

When:

The training program will begin on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 and continue for six weeks on September 9, 16th, 23rd, 30th and October 2nd. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 6-8 pm. The day and times for site visits will be discussed at the first class.

Program highlights:

  • ♦  The Master Composter Program will focus on the areas of composting, solid waste management, community outreach and education.
  • ♦  Topics discussed during the classes include compost biology, chemistry and physics, vermicomposting, compost systems and uses, and how composting fits into a larger picture of solid waste management.
  • ♦  Speakers include Coach Mark Smallwood, Rodale Institute Executive Director; Rick Carr, Rodale Institute Compost Production Specialist and additional Rodale Institute staff; Peter Hyde, ERM Group Foundation; and J.P. Mascaro and Sons
  • ♦  Site visits include JP Mascaro & Sons composting facility, materials recovery facility and landfill, City of Allentown Parks and Recreation operating facility, and Kutztown’s waste water treatment plant.

Who should apply:

The training program is open to all individuals who wish to become leaders in waste management and backyard composting in their respective communities. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Prior experience in composting, gardening or agriculture is not required.

Requirements:

All Master Composter trainees will be required to complete 40 hours of community service on projects or activities related to composting. Rodale Institute will provide numerous volunteer opportunities but trainees are encouraged to participate in self-directed outreach and education within their communities. Certification of completion will be delivered to trainees upon complete of volunteer service. In addition, each new graduate of the Master Composter program will be featured on Rodale Institute’s website to announce their completion of the program.

Registration:

Registration is $300. To register for this class, click here. To complete a scholarship application, click here. For more information on the Master Composters of Rodale Institute, contact Rick Carr, Compost Production Specialist at rick.carr@rodaleinstitute.org or by phone at 610-683-1415.

Farm Photo Friday: April 3, 2015

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!

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March really does come in like a lion and out like a lamb at Rodale Institute! Honey gave birth to tiny triplets just in time for spring. Look – the lambs are smiling in their sleep!

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Mable wasn't far behind Honey. On Tuesday, she gave birth to two lambs! Welcome to the herd, little ones!

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Everyone crowds around Dan Kemper, Strategic Support Team Member, as he demonstrates how to graft tomato plants. The purpose of tomato grafting is to combine the best qualities of two different tomato plants, one being the rootstock and the second being the top of a fruit-producing variety. The result: strong roots and abundant fruit yield!

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Ross the Builder, Can we fix it? Ross the Builder, Yes We Can!

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While the plants are having a major growth spurt, somebody has to make sure they stay hydrated!  Maggie Saska, Plant Production Specialist, is always on top of keeping the plants happy and healthy. Take some greens home with you next Friday and Saturday at our Annual Cold Crop Sale!

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 Ross Duffield, Farm Manager, with the help of Michael Schmaeling, Facilities Team Member, are constructing another chicken coop. The chickens requested a summer home. Sorry chickens, we couldn't get you to the Hamptons, but Ross and Michael have built you a luxurious new cruise-coop! Learn how to keep your chickens happy at our Keeping Chickens workshop on April 25th.

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Rick Carr, Compost Production Specialist and Jesse Barrett, Organic Allentown Program Manager, have been outside all afternoon building vertical growing columns– just like the ones that will be popping up around Allentown this season for the Organic Allentown program!

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Hey donkeys – quit horsing around!

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Uh-oh. Looks like there's been some mischief – someone dug a few holes in the soil. If this were a game of Clue, we'd guess it was the cat, with a front paw, in the hoop house!

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Xena and Houdini are having fun in the mud! A true pal will help clean off a muddy snout. At our Heritage Pastured Pigs workshop, you can learn more about these happy heritage hogs!

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       Ross Duffield, Farm Manager, sneaks a cuddle with a piglet for just a second before it hurries back to its mother for food and comfort!

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The farm shows no sign of the snow-smothered winter that has just passed. Stay tuned for more spring-inspired photos of the farm and Rodale Institute employees!

Don't forget...Show your organic love!