Annual Rodale Farm Tour
Date and Location
When (Date/Time)June 8, 2012, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
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The Rodale Institute has been at the forefront of organic and sustainable agriculture for over sixty years. They are a world leader in researching and promoting healthy soils, farms and bodies. PA-WAgN has teamed up with Rodale staff again this year to offer an informative window into some of the exciting projects happening at the Rodale Farm.
Mark “Coach” Smallwood, Executive Director of Rodale Institute, will tour us through the newly established Honey Bee Conservancy. Rodale has developed this program in an effort to promote stewardship of the honeybees on which we greatly rely for pollination of many plants. How can you become a honeybee steward on your own farm?
During the tour we will visit with James Burkholder and his herd of organic dairy cows. James and Jeff Moyer, Rodale’s Farm Director, will discuss how they have worked together to transition James’ herd to organic and what that entails. Rodale is also in the process of including meat animals to their livestock operation. Jeff will discuss how organic regulations differ between dairy animals and meat animals. We will also visit the organic apple orchard where Rodale staff will discuss their research into organic apple production.
After lunch, we will tour the longest-running side-by-side study comparing conventional chemical agriculture and organic agriculture in the country, Rodale’s Farming Systems Trial. This is Rodale’s signature project that continues to produce evidence of the benefits of organic production methods to the health of the soil and our bodies. Rodale research staff will discuss systems and results from the current trials.
Dr. Elaine Ingham will tour us through Rodale’s composting facility. She will touch on composting methods: thermal, worm and static; liquid composts and compost teas; and the benefits of compost applications in different soil conditions and crops.
The $15.00 registration fee includes lunch and materials.