Author Archive: Alexis Campbell

Horn Farm Happenings – January 26, 2024

Homesteading Education: A Throwback

Between 2013 and 2016, Horn Farm Center’s Homesteading Education Day was an annual community gathering where visitors participated in demonstrations, talks, and workshops focused on common and forgotten homesteading skills, such as cottage gardening, growing fiber and dye plants, food preservation, homemade soap, candles, cheeses, and more.

We are paying homage to Homesteading Education Day by offering homesteading-themed topics throughout 2024. Check out our Homesteading Education “throwback” classes below:

And, we have much more to come later this spring and fall! Stay tuned and we will share more opportunities for you to get back to those homesteading skills.

Help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary this year by enjoying special programs that harken back to a popular event remembered by many in our community!

Click here to Register for Homesteading Programs


10 Acres Planted: We Did It!

Helping nature thrive is an ongoing commitment, but at the end of 2023, we celebrated a huge milestone!

After four years of thoughtful planning, ambitious planting, and tireless stewardship, we’ve finished planting our 10-acre multifunctional riparian buffer restoration project, called Regenerative Farmscape East.

What is a riparian buffer and what makes ours “multifunctional?” Check out 2023 blog series, For the Whole Stream to explore the importance of stream-side environments and how we’re doing what we can to support ecological health both upstream and downstream.

Thanks to hundreds of program participants and volunteers of all ages, over 400,000 square feet of degraded land has been planted with over 15,000 native trees and shrubs. 

This collaboration between people and plants is an effort to nourish soil, protect water, create habitat, and provide other local benefits in the form of education and harvestable agroforestry products. As an organization dedicated to connecting people with nature, we’ve created a buffer that does the same: offering food, medicine, fodder, and a “nursery” of plant materials for future propagation while helping the land heal and thrive.

The project will continue to be a labor of love, bringing together students, volunteers, farm supporters, and wildlife for years to come. But for now, we’re happy to take a gander across the buffer and celebrate the great strides that four short years have accomplished. We will continue bolstering and stewarding the buffer with the hope we’ve had all along: that through learning and experience, we can sow healthier relationships between people and nature.

This project was made possible through grant funding from DCNR PennVest, the GIANT Company through Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Healing the Planet program, and the Mid-Atlantic Media Hub Fund of York County Community Foundation. Thousands of trees along with tools and ample support were provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership.

Our gratitude also extends to the hundreds of volunteers and stewards who dug in the dirt with us to uplift the land. We’re especially grateful for our board member, Master Watershed Steward, and intrepid volunteer Cindy Pizziketti for thousands of hours committed to this project.


Livestaking with Alliance for Chesapeake Bay

Now that our 10-acre multi-functional riparian buffer is growing, we are eager to enjoy the buffer as an interactive learning and demonstration space.

Join the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay at the Horn Farm Center for an in-person demonstration of the process of livestaking.

This training will cover livestake collection and installation and will also provide the opportunity to take home a few livestakes as well.

This session is limited to 50 people, so register for free today to save your spot!

Click here to Register for Livestaking


Save the Date: Spring Plant Sale

Dreaming of spring? So are we! Mark your calendars for the Horn Farm Center’s 12th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 4th, 2024 from 9AM to 3PM.

If you’ve shopped with us before, you know it’s going to be a great time!

Stop by and shop from a wide variety of organically grown vegetable, herb and flower starts. The sale will also offer trees, shrubs, grasses, herbaceous perennials, and a unique selection of native plants.

Click here to learn more about the Plant Sale


Last Chance to Apply! Ecological Gardener Training Starts Soon

Whether you’re interested in converting your lawn into a thriving ecosystem, seeking deeper connection with native plants, or simply want to contribute new skills to your community, the Ecological Gardener Training Program offers a comprehensive deep-dive into the world of creating and tending resilient ecosystems.

We’re just under TWO WEEKS AWAY from the start of the program, so apply today to reserve your spot! No prior knowledge or training is required–just a curiosity and a passion for connecting with nature.

Click here to learn more & apply.

Horn Farm Happenings – January 12, 2024

The Way of the Willow

In many cultures around the world, animals and plants hold symbolic meaning far deeper than their ecological roles.

Willow trees, for example, share a widely common cultural significance of survival and endurance. Because of their unique ability to thrive in adverse conditions, people around the world see willow trees as a sign of resilience.

Willow is also extremely flexible. Having branches that may be bent without breaking, willow trees can withstand high winds, storms, and even natural disasters. Willow teaches us that flexibility and adaptation are key to success when faced with challenging circumstances.

And so it’s fitting that we are kicking off 2024 – the Horn Farm Center’s 20th Anniversary – with two community events, our Winter Willow Workdays:

We hope that you can join us! These two volunteer days will be the first of many opportunities this year to celebrate and honor the resilience of our organization – through storytelling, programs and community events both new and renewed.

Here’s a sneak peak at what we have in store during our 20th Anniversary year:

  • Horn Farm History & Storytelling
  • A Special Series of Homesteading Workshops (stay tuned to find out why this is a 20th Anniversary “throwback” theme)
  • Summer Solstice Community Gathering on June 22, 2024
  • New announcements about the Farmhouse Rebuild Project
  • and, the launch of a Wild & Uncommon new brand for the York County Pawpaw Festival – also entering its 20th year!

2024 will be a year for reflection, celebration, and transformation as we move towards the next season of carrying out our mission. In the spirit of our friend the willow tree, we will look back at all of of our accomplishments and the hurdles we’ve overcome while also looking forward and sharing our vision for the future of the Horn Farm Center.


A History of Community Resilience

The Horn Farm Center is a conservation success story. Born out of the effort to save the farm from industrial development in 2000, the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 2004.

The Horn Farm was saved by a community of passionate people, who understood that our natural spaces and cultural practices of stewarding and cultivating the land are sacred and need to be preserved. 

20 years later, that sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of our community and natural environment has endured. In fact, it has grown exponentially as we have cultivated a deeper connection with this place.

The Horn Farm has been farmed for at least 250 years and continues to be farmed and stewarded today. The farm has weathered fire, flood, and even thieves, yet it stands on as a symbol of York County’s proud heritage in locally-rooted farming and land stewardship.

Across its history and into today, the farm is also a symbol of York County’s maker-spirit: always exploring the fringe and the cutting edge with the help of imaginative community members.

Learn more HFC history


Learn to Garden Ecologically

Interested in building native habitats and pollinator gardens? The Ecological Gardener Training Program teaches the work of fostering native habitat gardens throughout the seasons.

Why start now?? Because students experience the flow of activities as the seasons shift: from a winter of observing, learning, and planning to getting down in the dirt during the growing season, fostering real change on the land.

Whether you’re interested in converting your lawn into a thriving ecosystem, seeking deeper connection with native plants, or simply want to contribute new skills to your community, this Training Program offers a comprehensive deep-dive into the world of creating and tending resilient ecosystems in human spaces.

We’re excited to bring you another year of nature-based learning in partnership with Waxwing EcoWorks Co.!

We’re just under ONE MONTH AWAY from the start of the program, so apply today to reserve your spot! No prior knowledge or training is required–just a curiosity and a passion for connecting with nature.

Click here to learn more & apply.


“The Ecological Gardener Training Program was an outstanding experience! The core classes provided great context in gardening for nature and the course gave us plenty of experiences to practice planning, site prep, and planting. The field trips were exceptional and the camaraderie with other gardeners was a joy. Highly recommend!”

– Diane Koons, 2023 Ecological Gardener Training Program Graduate


beekeeping-1

Last Chance! Beekeeper Training Starts Soon

Don’t miss you chance to become a beekeeper in 2024! Taught by Mark Gingrich of Gingrich Apiaries, the Horn Farm’s Beekeeper Training Program explores beekeeping from its scientific underpinnings to keeping a hive at home.

Over the course of this two year program, participants will work side by side with Mark and other program participants to learn all aspects of keeping bees.

Register soon! The Beekeeper Training Program starts on January 17th. The class meets monthly for 1.5 hour sessions from January until October.  

Click here to register. 

Horn Farm Happenings – December 22, 2023

Cheers to You!

It’s hard to believe another year is soon gone by. We’re looking back with gratitude for all of the program participants, volunteers, donors, and community partners who supported the Horn Farm Center in 2023! Thank you for your curiosity, your care, and your commitment to our mission of connecting folks to the land.

Like our daily gratitude for soil, water, and biodiversity, we cherish the people who make this work possible.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season, and we’ll see you at the Horn Farm in 2024!

– Horn Farm Center Board of Directors & Staff


A Call to the Wild Ones

To the ones who love to get their hands dirty, the ones who come alive in wild spaces, the ones who know there is more to learn and want to make a difference… we are saving a place for you at the Horn Farm.

Uncover your true power to become an agent of positive change. Discover how to transform degraded landscapes into healthy, biodiverse, productive habitats through ecological learning and hands-on training.

Become a skilled steward of the land at the Horn Farm Center next year: The program runs once a week from February 11 – May 21, 2024.

Now is the time to submit your application and become a 2024 trainee! Apply between now and New Years Eve (12/31/23 at midnight) for $100 OFF the program cost!

SCHOLARSHIPS are also available and given out on a rolling basis. Apply soon to make the most of available scholarship funding AND this extended discount!

Click here to learn more & apply.


The Season for Making a Difference

In the spirit of giving this holiday season? You can make an impact by sharing your talents and offering new or used gifts to the Horn Farm Center!

Here is our “wish list” of items and services that will help further our mission to foster ecological learning through land stewardship, community partnership, and hands-on experiences. 

Expertise & Services

  • Seeking an IT professional who is able to offer occasional technical support
  • Seeking an active or retired mechanic, who would like to offer their time to occasional volunteer projects on our farm equipment and vehicles

Equipment & Materials

Can you help out? To donate your time, talents, equipment, or tools, please contact Project Manager, Anna Echo-Hawk at anna@hornfarmcenter.org.

Want to support our mission in other ways? Consider offering a year-end financial donation to the Horn Farm Center.
All contributions are tax-deductible! Click here to donate to the Horn Farm Center. 


Learn the Art of Beekeeping

Don’t miss you chance to become a beekeeper in 2024! Taught by Mark Gingrich of Gingrich Apiaries, the Horn Farm’s Beekeeper Training Program explores beekeeping from its scientific underpinnings to keeping a hive at home.

Over the course of this two year program, participants will work side by side with Mark and other program participants to learn all aspects of keeping bees.

Register soon! The Beekeeper Training Program starts on January 17th. The class meets monthly for 1.5 hour sessions from January until October.  

Click here to register. 


Give the Gift of Learning Experiences

Looking for last minute gift ideas? We offer gift certificates for Horn Farm Center classes and workshops!

Give the gift of a unique learning adventure this year. For more information please contact us at education@hornfarmcenter.org or call 717-757-6441.

Also, don’t forget we have our signature “What Would Nature Do?” t-shirts and limited edition Pawpaw Festival merchandise available for purchase online!

Shop today to support the mission of the Horn Farm Center!
Please note: We cannot provide priority shipping or guarantee that HFC swag will arrive before Christmas.  


Winter Willow Workdays

Last week, we were gifted with a pleasant sunny morning to greet the first Winter Willow Workday of the season!

Volunteers helped to prune, sort, and bundle hundreds of fresh willow rods for the benefit of the land and our community of learners. We grouped together the straight and consistent rods by length and stored them to dry for future basket-weaving ventures. With the surplus rods, we tied together bulky “brushwood bundles” that will be placed along unstable stream banks to reduce sediment loss and provide erosion control.

Interested in helping out with the basketry willow harvest? Join our community Winter Willow Workdays in 2024 at the Horn Farm Center! 

Learn more about agroforestry, coppicing and multifunctional riparian buffers while lending a helping hand this winter!