Dig Deeper


Farm Photo Friday: July 18, 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!

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Rodale Institute Welcomes New Chief Scientist, Dr. Kristine Nichols

(Kutztown, PA, July 8, 2014) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, today announced that Dr. Kristine Nichols is the new Chief Scientist and began July 7th.

Raised on a conventional farm in southwestern Minnesota, Dr. Nichols is a leader in the study of soil biology, particularly mycorrhizal fungi.  The term ‘mycorrhizal’ refers to a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular plant.  The presence of mycorrhizal fungi in a plant’s root system is an indication of good soil and plant health.

Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. Nichols was a Research Soil Microbiologist with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for 11 years.  Her professional achievements have focused on the impacts of cropping and grazing systems on soil microbiology, nutrient cycling, and soil aggregation to improve soil health and water quality.

Dr. Nichols has received several awards, including the 2012 Conservation Research Award from the International Soil and Water Conservation Society.  Listed in the “Top 40 under 40″ by North Dakota Business Watch magazine, she was recognized as “a leader in the movement to rebuild the health of our soils for the sustainability of global food production.”

“Rodale Institute has led the movement toward healthy, living soil for over 65 years.  As Chief Scientist, I will conduct research and develop best methods of regenerative organic agriculture which can be replicated across the world.  I am honored to join Rodale Institute, where the work can have this level of impact,” said Dr. Nichols.

As Chief Scientist, Dr. Nichols will take the lead on all Rodale Institute research projects; act as the scientific voice for the Institute as she travels worldwide; and help create a vision for the future of food and farming.  She will also represent Rodale Institute at conferences and make presentations domestically and internationally.

“Dr. Nichols’ deep understanding of life in the soil is built on years of study and exemplary research.  Her role will be central to the work of Rodale Institute, where we continuously work to illuminate the interconnection of healthy soil to healthy food, and ultimately, to healthy people,” says Executive Director ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood. “She is a most welcome addition to our team.”

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.

www.rodaleinstitute.org

Allentown Champion of the Homeless Joins Organic Mission

(Kutztown, PA, July 8, 2014) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, today announced that Gary Millspaugh is the new Senior Director of Development and began July 7th.  Gary had previously served as Executive Director of the Rescue Mission in Allentown, which provides rescue, rehabilitation and restoration for adult men in crisis. In his new role with Rodale Institute, Millspaugh will focus on working with major donors and initiating a capital campaign in tandem with the ongoing development of a master plan intended to expand Rodale Institute’s presence both nationally and internationally.

“Regenerative organic agriculture’s role in a safe and healthy future of life on Earth becomes more clear every day, and with that increasing awareness, the impact of the Institute must also continue to grow its presence,” said ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood, Executive Director of Rodale Institute.  “Gary’s track record and proven abilities are integral to realizing our vision of the future of the Institute.”

Ed Pawlowski, Allentown Mayor, made the following a statement on Millspaugh’s move; “Gary’s continued commitment to the Allentown community has created a legacy of positive impact.  Rodale Institute also has a legacy of improving public health, both locally and globally.  I look forward to working with Gary and the Rodale Institute team to further the city’s promise to become a center for urban organic agriculture,” said the Mayor, referring to a partnership between the City of Allentown and Rodale Institute to create a network of urban farms on vacant lots and open spaces, including park spaces.

Over his 20 year tenure at the Rescue Mission, Millspaugh crafted several successful programs including community based housing, professional counseling, a medical clinic in partnership with DeSales University, and a licensed addiction treatment center.  The Mission’s buildings were completely renovated in 2007 as part of a capital campaign led by Millspaugh.  His new role with Rodale Institute will focus on working with major donors and initiating a capital campaign in tandem with the ongoing development of a master plan intended to expand Rodale Institute’s presence both nationally and internationally.

“At Rodale Institute I can continue a long-time passion, providing nutritious, quality food to those in need,” said Millspaugh.  “As executive director of the Rescue Mission, I brought that passion to the food served there.  Joining Rodale Institute expands my potential impact from local to global.”

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.

Farm Photo Friday: July 11, 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!

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Bloom Alert: July 9, 2014

We have a wide selection of flowers for sale at our garden store this week! If you are looking for show-stopping flowers to make over your backyard, garden or patio, visit our Midsummer Makeover Sale this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  We have incredible blooms, succulents, vegetable seedlings and herbs.

We are also featuring two cut flowers this week – marigolds and sunflowers.

The marigolds are huge and gorgeous! We have yellow and orange varieties, and the bright green foliage makes an excellent filler for flower arrangements. Did you know that marigolds also repel mosquitos? Next time you are headed out to work in your garden, grab a little bit of the marigold greens or flowers and rub then on your arms, legs and sunhat. Mosquitoes will not bother you at all!

Our sunflowers are also in full bloom this week. Please stop by and get some before the Japanese beetles eat all of their petals! We have the traditional bright yellow variety, but they are a bit smaller than the Mammoth variety used for collecting seeds. This cut flower variety is the perfect size for flower arrangements. Come out to the farm to pick your own, or call ahead and we will have a bunch waiting for you. Also, we still have nasturtiums!

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.

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

ASC interns needed immediately!

We are now accepting applications for Internship Positions in our Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) Program for the second half of the 2014 growing season. ASC is a unique twist on a traditional CSA that makes fresh, organic produce accessible and affordable to just about anyone. Participants will be trained and involved in every aspect of organic vegetable production and running a small local organic grower’s business. This includes hands-on training in seed starting, greenhouse production & seasonal extensions, transplanting, pest & weed management, soil health, urban growing techniques, harvesting, processing, marketing, customer relations, and working with community partners. Interns will also receive training in Business Planning and with the goal of writing a personal business plan by the end of the program. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: July 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…)

Your climate bill is due

By Coach Mark Smallwood
Follow Coach’s blogs posts at Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen and EcoWatch

Americans have a serious spending problem. Our nation is $17.5 trillion in debt; we finance new homes, cars, and educations pretty much as a rule; we use credit cards like free money. And we spend way beyond our means when it comes to the environment. We borrow—some would say steal—finite resources on a closed-system planet. (more…)

Veterans answer a new calling: organic farming

(Kutztown, PA) According to the USDA’s Census of Agriculture, during the last 30 years the average age of U.S. farmers has grown by nearly eight years, from 50.5 years to 58.3 years.  For many of those farmers, it becomes more difficult every year to climb up onto the tractor.  At the same time, farms have become more industrialized prompting a surge in consumer demand for organic foods and other organic agricultural products.  Through a partnership with Delaware Valley College, Rodale Institute is literally sending in the troops.  Brandon Barnhart, an Air Force veteran who served for eight years of active duty, is now taking on a new mission; feeding people organically to maintain and restore the natural world. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: June 27, 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!

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