Dig Deeper


Getting kids to eat outside the box

By Lori Stansberry, Founder of Pure Sprouts

Often I go into schools and talk about the importance of eating healthy and what it means to be organic. I have this little exercise I do with kids that challenges them to connect the food source with the finished product (such as milk to a cow, ketchup to tomatoes, French fries to potatoes, etc.). It is always amazing how hard it is for most children to think this way because there is such a disconnect in our current food system between source and purchased products. It’s not necessarily a lack of caring, but it’s a lack of exposure to processes both on the farm and in the factory. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: May 30, 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!

This week, we were very fortunate to host visiting photographer, Cory Treadway!!!  She was inspired to spend some time here at the farm – but most inspired by the ridiculously cute baby goats.  It was difficult, but we were able to pry her away from the kids to give her a tour of the farm and show her some of the other wonderful things we have going on.  The photos are amazing, thank you so much Cory – you are welcome back any time!!

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Cracking the Big Food brick wall

By John Roulac

Some of the biggest news in the food industry this year is the come-to-Jesus moment of General Mills (GM) converting Cheerios to a non-GMO cereal. In January, GM announced that it would halt the use of genetically modified ingredients in original yellow-box Cheerios. This cultural milestone signals not only the swelling consumer exodus from industrial GMO foods, but also the rise of the use of social media by foodies to change the conversation.

The GMO Inside coalition (yes—full disclosure—I am co-founder and co-chair) started targeting Cheerios in 2012 for many reasons, including that the brand’s corporate parent, GM, was a large funder of “no” on California’s Prop 37, the failed right-to-know labeling campaign. In the following 14 months, GMO Inside got 50 thousand anti-GMO comments placed on the Cheerios Facebook wall. (more…)

From ASC to CSA

By Chris West

Editor’s Note: Follow Chris (former Rodale Institute intern and beginning farmer) each month as he keeps us up to date on the trials and tribulations of getting his farm up and running.

I never thought I’d find myself at Rodale Institute four years after graduating from college, but there I was on April Fools’ Day nonetheless moving my modest amount of belongings into a rustic stronghold of the Institute: the Siegfriedale house. The house, like the Institute, was brimming with character and unique little crannies to indulge any farmer’s or visitor’s interest. From that day forth it was a sweaty slope of hard work in the field and many hours of intense yet greatly appreciated air-conditioned workshops as an intern in the Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) program. (more…)

Project Research Coordinator Needed

The Rodale Institute is searching for a Project Research Coordinator to join our team and participate in a dynamic research program with unlimited outreach potential. This opening is specifically linked to our long running, Farming Systems Trial or FST. This position is a permanent full time position with benefits. (more…)

The cruelest month

By Caroline Hampton

“April is the cruelest month…” wrote T.S. Eliot, but with the start of May I’m beginning to think he was off by a few weeks. The joyful part of this month is the beginning of the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, where I am selling produce and bedding plants. I harvested for the first time and had produce to sell at the Mother’s Day Market–so far baby lettuce for salad mix, spinach, arugula and radishes. I am happy to finally have fresh greens to eat! I sold out of produce last week, which felt promising. There are not many produce vendors at the market yet but there will be more as it warms up. (more…)

Farm Photo Friday: May 16, 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…)

Bloom Alert: May 15, 2014

Our tulip blooms were GORGEOUS this year.  In case you missed our amazing solid color blooms last week, we still have some late bloomers that will make you stop in your tracks.  We have three double bloom varieties this year—all white, white mixed with soft pink, and deep coral.

This week will most likely be your last chance to get in on our tulip harvest! Don’t forget you can cut stems or take the whole bulb to plant at home and enjoy for years to come. This week we also have flowering branches available. Contact our Garden Store for more information.

While looking for the perfect flowering branches to feature in this week’s Bloom Alert, I noticed a big bumblebee trying to balance on dainty Viburnum blooms as it collected a fragrant snack.  Later in the day, I found loads of honeybees gathering nectar from our organic apple orchard. We have 16 hives on the farm this year and the honeybees are very busy foraging.

Even though the massive tulip bloom is winding down, we will have fresh flowers available all summer for cut-your-own bouquets including gladiolas, freesias, zinnias, and sunflowers.  Check our Bloom Alert every week to find out what’s flowering on the farm and what flowers are available to create wonderful arrangements for your home!

   

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.

Facilities Team Member Needed

Rodale Institute is seeking a Facilities Support Staff member to work day to day in the upkeep of all Institute buildings and their required maintenance.  The Facilities Support Staff member will work together with other Facilities team members to be sure all tasks, projects and maintenance needs are handled in a timely, professional, efficient and cost effective manner. (more…)

More kinds of bees means better crop yields, research suggests

By Joshua Learn, E&E reporter
Greenwire: Monday, May 12, 2014

Pollination works best and leads to more productive crop yields when several kinds of bee species are involved, new research suggests.

Researchers from North Carolina State University found that blueberries produced more seeds and grew larger when visited by a diverse variety of bees — a revelation that could add fuel to recent worries over dwindling populations of the insect because of pesticides, habitat loss and other threats. (more…)