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2014 Annual Tour of Rodale Institute

Always working on something new, the Rodale Institute offered PA-WAgN a fascinating tour of their farm and latest projects.

Every year, PA-WAgN makes a trip out to Kutztown to visit the beautiful and groundbreaking Rodale Institute. This year we had a wonderful time, as usual.

Just as the sun was coming out, we hopped on a wagon to begin a tour of the Institute. The tour started with an introduction to Rodale’s Agriculture Supported Community model- an inversion of the usual CSA. This structure is their attempt to reach lower income families who might not be able to buy into a CSA. We then wondered out to the fields, where we were given a demonstration of the newest roller crimper. This tractor turned out to be quite the hit with our group.

The wagon then took us down the road to the high tunnels and over to the compost piles- places of experiment and discovery for Rodale. We learned about creating compost tea and about taking temperatures on compost piles.

After lunch, we headed up to the bee conservatory and learned about Rodale’s new ventures into raising bees and hogs. The institute uses hybrid hives for their bees, however it was their playful heritage breed of pig that ended up stealing the show.