Our Work

Basic Organic Gardening Methods

Rodale Institute's Demonstration Gardens

_MG_0143Rodale Institute's Demonstration Gardens were established in 1974 to show basic organic gardening methods. Our focus is to regenerate and maintain soil health without the use of harmful chemicals. Healthy soil is the foundation for human and environmental health, and when you see the beauty and health of the plants in our Gardens, it’s easy to understand the connection between healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people.

Follow Demonstration Gardens updates throughout the seasons!


We have three distinct growing areas:

Medicinal Garden
In 2015, Rodale Institute unveiled a new Medicinal Garden in partnership with homeopathic medicine company Boiron USA. At the garden, flowers and herbs are showcased not just for their beauty, but for their practical use as medicines. Leopard’s bane, Garden marigold, Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, and many other popular medicinal plants have been placed along the garden’s brick walking pathways. The space serves to educate visitors on the natural healing properties of plants.


Learn more about what's growing in our Medicinal Garden:
Plant names A-F
Plant names G-Q
Plant names R-Z


Cut Flower & Pollinator Garden
This garden displays flowering plants that are both ornamental and beneficial to the farm ecosystem. This garden is a mixture of annual and perennial plants that attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden that provide natural pest control for our crops.

Homestead Garden
This garden has a mix of vegetables, flowers, herbs and cover crops all grown organically on a home garden scale. This area demonstrates such practices as raised bed gardening, natural mulching, companion planting, season extension, and in 2016 a no-till tomato planting is also on display.


Also in our Demonstration Garden, we have a green roof of succulents on top of the garden's building. This is one more example of where you can grow plants. Green roofs reduce energy use and reduce air and water pollution, also providing habitat for wildlife.

Vertical Gardening

Also on our farm are vertical gardens. Recent interests in food production in urban environments have prompted a re-evaluation of soil safety, economic incentives, and the best practices for urban gardening and agriculture. Urban gardening and recreational areas are constrained by space and resources. In locations where there is limited room for raised beds or box plots, vertical gardening becomes an attractive alternative. The Rodale Institute has designed a number of prototypes for vertical gardening called “Growing Towers” and has installed them in the cities of Allentown and Philadelphia, PA.


From starting an organic garden to making herbal preparations from plants growing in your backyard, we teach a multitude of topics to help you live a cleaner and healthier life. Check our Calendar of Events for classes and workshops that may be of interest to you!