The Rodale Institute has developed a model facility for managing pastured hogs.
I was able to visit the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania last week on the drive back from Manhattan. This beautiful structure enables hogs to be indoors during inclement weather and outdoors otherwise. Pastures can't support hogs every day of the year, so having a hard surface for bad weather becomes advisable. Otherwise, they will root and destroy their outdoor area. This facility allows for simplified delivery of grain and water during adverse conditions. Animals and caretakers are much happier with a facility like this as home-base.
We are considering investing in such a structure. But it is a big step, and we want to feel confident sufficient demand is in place to support such a venture.
The Rodale Institute was founded in 1946, and is the originator of the concept of "organic agriculture" in the US. The founder, Robert Rodale, perceived how industrial agriculture had lost its senses, and accordingly committed his family farm to performing research to prove that organic agriculture can feed the world and, indeed, always has. He was a man of courage, willing to stand against new prevailing wisdom.
As USDA is permitting industrial agriculture to wedge its nose under the organic label, Rodale is countering with more specific certification calling for "regenerative organic" production. It has always been a step ahead, and we are grateful for its leadership. Below left is the building housing its solar-powered bathrooms and below right is a timeless barn on the property, that will be standing centuries hence.
Yesterday we enjoyed the privilege of a visit from new members of the management team of Findlay Market - Marianne Hamilton and Andrew Pytlik. We gave them a tour of the farm and enjoyed Moroccan Sliders for lunch, and engaged in lively conversation with them about the complexity and future of Findlay Market. It was an honor to receive them, and we appreciated the considerable gesture they made to drive two hours one way to connect with us.
We will be smoking chickens and legs-of-lamb tomorrow, so if you would like one for Sunday, let us know. Next Sunday is the last before Easter, so it would also be helpful to apprise if you would like lamb of any sort for the occasion, as is a tradition. We have bone-in legs, boneless, boneless smoked legs, and rack of lamb, each being exceptional.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Both Susan and I will be there to attend. The rest offered by Beth & Bob the past several weeks has been helpful to us, but find we miss our customers who have become friends! The building of relationship and connection is so much of this journey.
May it endure, like the stone barn at Rodale.
Drausin & Susan
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