Gardenfest! at Rodale Institute

William Landesman wlande at
Tue Jul 2 15:41:25 EDT 1996

Phone:  610-683-1486
FAX:    610-683-1494

Rodale Institute's GardenFest! '96  
To Take Place August 3

Organic Food Court, Farmers Market Stands, Free On Site 
Parking Among New Features. 

KUTZTOWN, PA- GardenFest!, a celebration of organic gardening and food, will be held this year on Saturday August 3 at the Rodale Institute Experimental Farm near Kutztown, PA.   

The annual event is sponsored by Rodale Institute, and features workshops and demonstrations from garden experts and authors from across the country.

Over three thousand people from across the country attended GardenFest! last year.

Twenty garden workshops are being offered, running continuously from 9 am to 5 PM, at seven different sites.  Topics include growing perennials, vegetable gardening, water gardens, composting, cooking, and the many uses of herbs.

Michael Ableman of Santa Barbara, California, will give his presentation "From the Good Earth", a photographic tour of gardens and farms around the world.  Ableman will be the keynote speaker at the International Federation of Organic Movements' world conference in Denmark later in August. Mr. Ableman's approach to growing is so unique, his farm is zoned for education.  He was featured along with Rodale Institute in the December 1995 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Other presenters include tree fruit expert Lee Reich, herbalist Judith Benn Hurley and TV 


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host Jeff Ball.  Mike McGrath, editor in chief of ORGANIC GARDENING magazine, will attempt to answer 1,952 garden questions in 60 minutes, and Bertha Reppert has tips for organic herb growers.  All of the guest speakers will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions and autograph books.

Food choices have been expanded.  Several local caterers and restaurants will offer 
healthy lunches, snacks and beverages in a new food court. 

This year, attendees can take home a bounty of fresh, organically grown food and plants.  A new growers market will be located on the path to the parking field.  Visitors can browse the stands on their way in, and save their shopping for the way out, so they won't be burdened with packages all day.  A half dozen local organic farmers will set up stands for the day. 

There will be guided tours of the world-renowned Experimental Farm throughout the day.  The Rodale Institute bookstore, featuring a wide range of books, unusual hand tools, plants, gifts and crafts, will be open all day.  A book sale will take place under a tent outside the store.

Families are encouraged, with adult-supervised children's programs throughout the day.  There will be nature walks, a butterfly release, pasta-making, crafts, games, and the new "worm tunnel" in the children's garden.  Children ages 5 and up are welcome at any time.

Attendees can also tour Food: The Essence of Life.  This museum quality, indoor exhibit  traces the evolution of food and agriculture technologies from the Neolithic era to the present.  Celebrating the first anniversary of its opening last year at GardenFest, new activities for children have been added.  Kids can fill out a passport at each station they visit, and enter their completed passport in a prize drawing.

Art In The Garden is an exhibit of original paintings and sculptures by regional artists.  All of the work being shown will be for sale.

A market of Pennsylvania handcrafts will line the path from the bookstore


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to the garden, featuring the work of 15 craftspeople from around the region.

New this year will be free parking on site.  No longer must attendees park at Kutztown University and ride a shuttle bus to GardenFest!  Directions to the Rodale Institute Experimental Farm are provided in the registration kit.

Garden equipment and supply companies will have displays and demonstrations of garden power equipment, seeds and plants, tools, and supplies for successful organic gardening.

Live bluegrass music will be performed throughout the day by the Plywood Cattle Company Band.

The fire that destroyed Rodale Institute's operations shed will not be a setback to this year's GardenFest.  The blaze took down a large outbuilding that was not part of the GardenFest! site.  The remains of the building and debris will be removed before the festival opens.

Preregistration for GardenFest! is $25, which includes passes to three lectures, filled on a first-come, first served basis.  Additional lectures are $7 each.  The deadline for Preregistration is July 26.  General admission to GardenFest! on August 3, which does not include workshops, is $8 for adults and $5 for children 5 to 12 years of age.  Parking is free.  GardenFest! brochures and registration forms are available by writing:  GardenFest!, 611 Siegfriedale road, Kutztown, PA  19530.  Or, call 610-683-1400 Monday through Friday.

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