Dig Deeper


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…)

Welcome ASC interns!

Deliveries haven’t started yet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mountain of work to be done for our Agriculture Supported Communities program. Seeding, bed prepping, transplanting, etc. etc. etc… As you can imagine, we were happy to welcome to latest batch of farmers-in-training a few weeks ago. And now we’d like to introduce them to you! The ASC program, in addition to growing and distributing delicious and affordable organic produce, is also the training grounds for future farmers. The ASC interns learn every aspect of starting up, maintaining and running a small organic grower’s business and, at the end of the season, can go back to their communities with the foundational tools to start their own businesses. Here is our 2014 Crew… (more…)

Farm Photo Friday : May 9, 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 8, 2014

Mother’s Day is this weekend and we have GORGEOUS organic tulips available. And tulips aren’t just for show–they are edible! The petals are especially lovely in a spring salad. Treat mom (and yourself!) to a bunch before they are gone for the year. The warm weather is causing the tulips to bloom quickly and the peak bloom only lasts about a week.

Better yet, treat mom (and yourself!) to a trip out to the farm for a day of pick-your-own and spring shopping. Our Spring Open House and organic plant sale is this weekend. Beginning with the exclusive Preview Party tonight (May 8) and continuing Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10.

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.

Your 2 Cents Program Funds Organic Farming, Military Veterans’ Training

(Kutztown, PA)  Today Rodale Institute announced Wedderspoon Organic and Salba Chia as the newest partners in their  Your 2 Cents program, an inventive program which unites producers, consumers, researchers and educators to launch the next generation of organic farmers.  The Your 2 Cents  program was formed with the idea that companies donate 2 cents per case good sold to the Your 2 Cents  Fund.  In turn, the fund (1) awards scholarships to students of organic agriculture, (2) assists new organic farmers, (3) helps military veterans establish new careers in organic farming and (4) supports research projects on organic agriculture at Rodale Institute.

Wedderspoon Organic and Salba Chia join several brands from the organic sector participating in the Your 2 Cents program, including Amy’s Kitchen, Boiron, Brad’s Raw Foods, DeLoach, EcoTulips, Erewhon, Farm Organix, Kimberton Whole Foods,  Maple Hill Creamery, Natural by Nature, Nature’s Path, New Chapter, Peace Tree Farm, Shop Organic, Uncle Matt’s Organics and Wild Planet. (more…)

Setting a standard for organic in Oregon

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is an agricultural paradise. Farmers, orchardists, ranchers and producers have flocked to the area since the mid-1800s for the rich soil, abundant rainfall and moderate temperatures. The region’s cultural heritage is rooted in a connection to land stewardship. Pacific Foods of Oregon founder Chuck Eggert has a strong appreciation for local agricultural history. With values rooted in connectedness to cultural and culinary manifestations, Eggert began acquiring land in the North Willamette Valley in 2002. Today the Eggert family is one of the many pioneers bringing organic farming to and sustaining soil tilth in North Willamette Valley.

Pacific Foods of Oregon is a privately owned and operated company that began in 1987 as a food manufacturing and processing facility. With the goal of creating healthy shelf-stable food choices using ingredients grown with integrity, the company developed a program called Certified to the Source, designed to identify exactly where the company’s ingredients come from and how they were grown. Through the program, each ingredient used in Pacific Foods’ products must be approved by Eggert himself.

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