Dig Deeper

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!


Bloom Alert: June 25, 2014

This week we welcome the soft beauty of two summer garden favorites: Nasturtiums and Poppies.

Nasturtiums have delicate flowers that usually come in various shades of yellow, orange and red. The blooms, leaves, seeds and flower buds of this awesome garden variety are edible and their peppery flavor is perfect in salads, sandwiches and so much more! Nasturtiums are much loved by local foodies for their sharp robust flavor, and they are also much loved by gardeners as they are an excellent companion for most species, including tomatoes.

We are also delighted to announce that our Hungarian Blue Poppies are in bloom! These “bread seed” poppies have a dual purpose – the blooms are exquisite for flower arrangements, and the seeds are used in cooking. Visit our Garden Store this Thursday-Saturday for more information on how to cut your own Nasturtiums and Poppies at the farm.

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.

Everyone ‘kneads’ more local grain

By Renee Ciulla

There is a quiet but swiftly moving current of “grain collaboration” happening throughout New England. Consumers are demanding local grains and even eagerly joining a unique heritage grain CSA, growers are working together to find the most suitable varieties and bakers are proudly displaying racks of bread made from wheat grown in nearby fields. From northern Maine to western Massachusetts, the movement is getting stronger as “our daily bread” becomes synonymous with “locally-grown-grain bread.” (more…)

Designing your Farm for Weed Management

Weed management toolsBy John and Aimee Good

Many beginning farmers overlook the fact that weed management is the most labor intensive aspect of growing organic vegetables. Not using the right weed management tools at the right time can lead to a long season of trying to save crops buried knee deep in the weeds. If your approach to weed management is reactive rather than proactive, you do not stand a chance. Before planting a single seed, it is vital to have a plan for efficiently and effectively managing the weeds. This will ultimately determine the crops’ chance for success. (more…)

Vintage NF: Beyond Your Own Fence Posts

By New Farm Editors, 2002

Organic farming is not just about making a higher profit. Most of us realize that in our bones. Sure, we have to make a living. And, sure, we live and die on the gritty details of compost and cover crops, tillers and no-till. But we are stewards of more than just our soil and our farm and we all draw meaning and sustenance from what we accomplish beyond our own fence posts. By farming organically, we are regenerating the soil, returning the land to its natural state. We are also regenerating the health of ourselves and our family by reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. (more…)

The Art of Animal Husbandry

By Dr. Hubert Karreman

Practitioners of the art of animal husbandry have the ability to understand the workings of a farm that a person steeped in science will never come close to understanding in its strict methodological manner. Whereas animal husbandry allows us to insert ourselves completely into the life of the farm, animal science specifically and intentionally removes the human factor as much as possible so as to isolate factors and determine which one factor can then be manipulated and controlled.

Anyone with any common sense knows that a farm is its own living organism and one can never isolate a single factor in trying to arrive at a meaningful answer. To look at a single factor among all the interactions of various levels of life on the farm is next to impossible. Food produced by the latest animal science will never be as alive and healthy as food produced based on the stewardship inherent in good animal husbandry which allows animals to graze a diversified diet. (more…)