Rodale Institute’s Holiday message:
A note from our Executive Director
Over the last three years more than one in three cultivated honey bee colonies has died nationwide, posing a serious risk to our national food supply. We believe the answer to saving the bees is the backyard beekeeper. More specifically, non-toxic and sustainable backyard beekeeping.
We are creating a Honeybee Conservancy on the farm to train new organically-minded beekeepers and host hives for folks who might not have the space. We’re only able to open the program up to 40 potential beekeepers this February, so if you’re interested in becoming a pollinator steward, reserve your spot soon.
When you dip into the honey pot, savor that sweet citrus fruit or sit down to feast this holiday season, remember the colonies that not only produced the honey, but pollinated the crops that feed us. Help preserve and protect this invaluable resource in the New Year with the Honeybee Conservancy.
We’ve also announced our full line-up of workshops and events for 2012, including a series of courses by Dr. Elaine Ingham. Whether or not we see you out at the farm this year, we are happy to have you on our team.
Mark “Coach” Smallwood
Our Two Cents
Turkey label claims explained: know what you’re buying
Buying that fresh turkey to roast up for the winter holidays is a long-standing American tradition. Learning what the labels mean and how to ask your farmer about his or her practices can make shopping for your holiday bird almost as easy as eating it.
NOSB gets it right 99% of the time
Rodale Institute farm director Jeff Moyer highlights the top issues up for vote at the latest National Organic Standards Board Meeting in Savannah, Georgia this winter. From animal welfare to herbicides to sulfites and omega-3s, the discussions were often heated, but resulted in level-headed decisions.
Photo by Kevin Dooley/Flickr
In the Field
There is never enough time to fully enjoy the bounty of summer vegetables and the income stream they provide to the small farmer. The winter farmers’ markets sprouting up in dozens of frosty, northern-latitude towns is cause for celebration both for eaters and growers.
Jeroen and Keriann Koeman started EcoTulips a few years ago and came out to the Institute earlier this fall to plant 25,000 organic bulbs. See us planting and learn more about the Tulip Festival coming up this spring.
Turning tulips “eco”
Jeroen Koeman, co-founder of EcoTulips, talks about sourcing, growing and marketing organic tulips and why the industry and the public is just catching on.
With the Super Committee process now dead and the Agricultural Committee deal scrapped, everyone is wondering “Now what?” The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition takes a shot at answering that question as it relates to immediate and 2012 budget issues as well as the Farm Bill process.
From turning compost, to butting heads with biotech, to bringing the microscope to the masses, Dr. Ingham’s goal is the same: Protect and nurture soil life. We chatted with her about how she came to work in microbiology and how her research led her to the Rodale Institute.
Almost everyone has heard of “farm to fork” and the importance of food taking a more direct path from the field to our mouths. But getting the food waste back to the farms is an issue with which fewer folks are familiar. The composting industry is vibrantly alive despite working mostly behind the scenes and has had its share of both good and bad press.
Coming Soon . . .
Flight of the honeybee: The latest in the battle against Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and an interview with Meme Thomas of Baltimore Honey.
Healthy healthcare: Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington, VT not only brings local, oranic fare into their cafeteria’s but is growing their own.
Kids at the farm: Students from Reading High School visited the Institute for a day of intensive, hands-on learning and left with a new appreciation for how science and agriculture go hand-in-hand.