Rodale Institute and Hoch Orchards – Chapter 19

Rodale Institute, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Famous as pioneers of organic principles, J.I. Rodale, founded Rodale Institute in 1947.  Committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet.

Rodale Institute
Rodale Farm, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. 333 acres of organic beauty.


Animal pasture is moved regularly to new forage areas. Animals, plants, soil, and beneficial insects work together. Chickens are heritage breeds.


chicken pen

goats, cat, milk pail

donkey,  Farm interns participate in organic experimental approaches.


honeybee conservaHoneybee Conservancy is new. A new hive design combines both Langstroth and Top Down incorporated into one hive.




Pheromone baits confuse the cycle of the plum curculio. Kaolin clay on fruit trees for other pests.


IMG_9428smCompanion planting.IMG_9108sm

IMG_9046smIMG_9041smIMG_8999smRodale might have the biggest compost pile I’ve seen. IMG_8970sm

Find out more about Rodale’s 162 mile Walk for an Organic Planet. They will be hand delivering their report that proves REGENERATIVE ORGANIC AGRICULTURE can reverse climate change.


Hoch Orchards, LaCrescent, Minnesota

Overlooking one of Hoch’s many idyllic orchard yards, you can see apple and apricots here. Note the rows are not void of plantings in between, rather plants that attract beneficial insects and provide nutrients for the soil are grown there.


It’s harvest time.  There are different organic apples grown; some for sauce, cider, hard cider, and for the pure goodness of a luscious apple.

IMG_0352smStrawberries in between the apple trees

strawberry, biodynamic, apple orchard Nature is welcome herecaterpillar

The interrelationships of the animals, plants, and soil on the farm work together for a self-sustaining loop.IMG_0390smHarvesting hard cider apples from an old established orchard perfect for cider.





apples in freezer

Jackie at work in the coolers filling orders, amazing and efficient.

IMG_0341smSorting apples apple sorting

Harry & Jackie Hoch of Hoch Orchards & Gardensjackie and harry hoch

Laurie Schneider is a visual storyteller whose portrait and documentary projects help people connect with their food and take a closer look at sustainable living. Laurie’s projects include commercial, editorial and portraiture work with sustainable agriculture, animals, and people.  When she is not clicking the shutter, Laurie is riding horses or rescuing honeybee swarms.  She is proud to be a steward of the land. Schneider is a recipient of the Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and arts and cultural heritage fund.  Contact Laurie directly for assignment work at 651-351-1100 or




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