Farm Photo Friday: November 1, 2013

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!

Shawn and the team prepare to process chickens.  Today we have American Pastured Poultry Producers Association president Mike Badger on site to perform the processing.

In what seems like no time at all, Shawn is down to the nitty gritty and enjoying cleaning the birds.

Jeff Moyer, our Farm Director and Sam Moll, our new Greenhouse Specialist, taking measurements for a new greenhouse.  Sam is looking official.

But hey, wait just a second - is that a Giant Pink Bunny dressed as Sam Moll for Halloween?

Dr. Hubert Karreman, Institute Veterinarian, performing acupuncture on one of our sows, Venus.  Her back legs appeared a bit stiff, and although we can't be sure, it's likely because she was playfully bumped by one of her friends.  The acupuncture worked very well and she was quickly walking normally.  Two days after this treatment, she was given a follow-up treatment of electroacupuncture for a more lasting effect.  Venus is now visibly much less stiff, she is eating well, and she seems very happy to have Dr. Karreman here at the Institute!

With the pumpkin-picking season behind us, there are still quite a few pumpkins to clean up.  Luckily, Lily is up to the challenge and has stepped up to the plate!

Tammy is also enjoying her work.  Did you know that in addition to being ridiculously photogenic together this time of year, pigs and pumpkins have another special relationship:  pumpkin seeds are natural, medicinal de-wormers in hogs.  (This is why we hired them for the pumpkin removal job!)

Here, Shawn and Aimee Jo are putting bedding down in the new stable area for the hogs.  Although they're very hardy, it's very important to have a safe place for them during the winter.

Here's a shot of their new digs with the bedding spread out very nicely.  Dave Matz has been working on this project and it looks great!

Let's not forget, this is a research farm.  Graham Stevenson helps us to understand some of the difficulties in positively identifying certain citizens of the soil.  Today we discuss nematodes...

Yay!  We found a nematode, right?  Wrong.  On closer inspection, what first appears clearly to be a nematode is actually just a piece of organic matter.  Might it be a piece of fern?  Sure, maybe.  But whatever it is, it's not a nematode.  Let's keep looking.

Could this one be a nematode?  It's long, cylindrical, and well, nematode-ish.  But alas, this is a piece of fungi among an audience of protozoa and bacteria.  Our quest continues.

AHA!  Could it be?  Have we sighted the illusive sasquatch of soil biology?  Graham assures you, this is indeed a nematode.  And not only is he a nematode, but he is a predatory nematode (he eats smaller nematodes -  as opposed to bateria, fungi or root-feeding nematodes).


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