Happenings

Horn Farm Happenings – November 27, 2020

Dear Friends of the Horn Farm,

It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other. We are discovering what we are truly made of as we learn to adapt to the changing circumstances of our time. And, like all businesses and non-profit organizations in York County and beyond, the Horn Farm Center is working hard to weather the storm.

When the farm closed to the public this spring, we necessarily postponed and canceled numerous programs, workshops, classes and special events. Despite these losses of income, the Horn Farm Center Board of Directors made the important decision to maintain operations as normally and safely as possible: tending our land, caring for our facilities, and employing our staff. And, as an essential producer and provider of local food, we continued to run our CSA and farm operations, which fed nearly 35 households as well as several communities in need through our partnership with Sprout of Hope. We also continued to maintain a safe space for community gardeners to nourish their families in the face of uncertainty. 

And while the farm was much quieter than usual this year, our skillful staff adjusted quickly, continuing their work to create a regenerative farmscape by completing a new riparian buffer project funded by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) Stream ReLeaf program. Through the support of DCNR and in partnership with Keystone 10 Million Trees, our small team planted over 6,000 trees on 6 acres of the western side of the farm, establishing a multi-functional riparian buffer that will produce agroforestry crops and protect the surrounding waterways such as the Kreutz Creek and the Susquehanna River. 

At the Horn Farm Center, this past year has been profound. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the true value of our work, not only in our service to our community, but also our impact on the ecological health of our region. 

Even in the midst of the global pandemic, the Horn Farm Center’s small but agile team was able to adapt, using difficult circumstances as an opportunity to usher in change and innovation. In just 4 short months, our dedicated board members evaluated the needs of the organization and facilitated a seamless transition of leadership, welcoming our new Executive Director and ensuring our stability. 

Despite our triumphs this year, we are feeling the weight of this global crisis. We need your financial support to help weather the impact this pandemic has had on our operations and our ability to serve our community through our educational programming. 

We know that our loyal supporters, like you, are examining their ability to continue to support the Horn Farm Center during this period of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, does have provisions to help citizens provide financial support to nonprofits. We have compiled some information from the CARES act to share with you, which could prove helpful in deciding how to continue supporting the institutions that you love. 

As you may know, regulations that pertain to charitable giving are changing rapidly. Here are two highlights to bring to your attention:

As part of the CARES Act, households and individuals who do not itemize deductions on their tax returns are now eligible for an above-the-line deduction for cash donations of $300 or more in 2020.

For those of you who do itemize your tax deductions, because of the CARES Act, cash gifts to qualified charities, like the Horn Farm Center, in 2020 will be 100% deductible against your adjusted gross income. 

Note that for 2020 only, the required minimum distribution (RMD) provision from any form of IRA is suspended. However, you can still make charitable gifts from your IRA account to your favorite charity directly from your IRA without any impact on your tax return. Work with your tax and financial advisors to contribute using your IRA in 2020. 

In the face of this year’s challenges, we have discovered that we are much more resilient than we knew we once were. Our staff is creative and devoted to their work. They are nimble problem-solvers who are willing to go the extra mile to achieve our mission. Likewise, our dedicated board members have demonstrated the true meaning of service as they continue to volunteer their time and make sound decisions for our organization.

We are very excited about the future of the Horn Farm Center and hope that you are too. As a member of our community, your participation is vital. Together we can make a difference and transform the way we feed our communities and steward our land for generations to come.

If you are in a position to support the Horn Farm Center this year, please consider making a financial contribution either by check or online: visit our website to donate at hornfarmcenter.org/donate or become a patron of the Horn Farm at patreon.com/hornfarm

Sincerely,

Alexis Campbell

Executive Director

P.S. We understand if contributing to our organization is not feasible at this time. Your past support has helped make it possible to continue serving our community in creative ways, and we hope you will continue to discover the joys of stewarding the land at home regardless of your ability to donate.


The Horn Farm Center is supported by a community of dedicated volunteers, partner farmers, CSA members, community gardeners, program participants, local businesses, and long-time supporters.

Click here to learn more about how YOU have made an incredible impact with the Horn Farm!


Upcoming Events:

Saturday, December 5: The Living Landscape
January 20, 2021-October 9, 2021: Beekeeper Training Program (Registration Now Open)
March 2021: Land Steward Training Program (Application Deadline: January 31, 2021)

See you at the farm!

York County has moved into the green phase for dealing with COVID-19, so we are resuming some on farm classes with modifications. Classes will be held outside and are limited to 10 participants per class. If more than one class occurs on the same day, start times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals arriving at the same time. Multiple hand sanitizer stations are available. We will adjust as needed as time passes and things change. Participants are required to bring a mask and wear when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. Except for family members physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained.

Horn Farm Happenings – November 6, 2020

Bed Prep Continues with a Little Help from Our Friends

Thanks to a small group of dedicated volunteers, we made great progress this week preparing our beds for what will become a multifunctional riparian buffer on the eastern side of Horn Farm, an area that we call “Regenerative Farmscape East.” An extension of our work on the western side of the farm this year, we are aiming to protect our waterways by planting trees and perennial crops that will help to slow and filter sediment while keeping the stream banks in place. The riparian buffer will be “multifunctional” because we selected a variety of plant species that will also produce food and agroforestry products within the buffer. In addition to producing food, wood, and fodder, we will be creating wildlife habitat, rebuilding our soils, and making our farmscape more resilient.

Last Wednesday marked the first official day of bed prep for the project, which will set the stage for our plans to plant nearly 10,000 trees next spring! This week we continued to build our beds by spreading leaves that will then be tilled and incorporated into the soil. We’ll be back at it next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! We hope to continue this process throughout the month of November and ultimately prepare the entire 6 acres before winter takes hold.

Want to learn more? Come on out to the farm during several volunteer days this month to get your hands dirty and discover how we are redefining agriculture at the Horn Farm! Click here to learn more. 


Registration Now Open: 2021 Beekeeping Training Program

Serious about bees? Learn how to become a trained beekeeper at the Horn Farm next year! Program participants learn under the supervision of our beekeeper, Mark Gingrich of Gingrich Apiaries. Over the course of the two year program, participants will work side by side with Mark and other program participants to learn all aspects of keeping bees. At the end of year one, each participant will have the option of receiving a bee colony to be moved to their home property. During the second year, participants will benefit from repetition of some aspects of the program, learn more advanced techniques and troubleshooting while managing their own hive at home. Click here to register and discover what the buzz is all about!


Horn Farm Plant of the Week – Stinging Nettle

Versatile and powerful – it’s hard to ignore the beauty of stinging nettle (urtica dioica) especially if you touch it! Originally native to Europe, nettle has made its way around the world and is best known for its 5 (of 6) “stinging” subspecies that have hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems. These hypodermic needles inject histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation upon contact. Besides its bite, stinging nettle is an incredibly versatile plant that is highly nutritious. Rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium, young nettles can be eaten by soaking the plant in water or cooking it to remove the stinging chemicals. Nettle stems also contain a bast fiber that has been used historically to make clothing.

Discover more #hornfarmplantoftheweek stories on social media! Follow the Horn Farm Center on facebook and instagram.


Horn Farm Center’s New 2021 Land Steward Training Program

We are pleased to announce a brand new training program from the Horn Farm Center. A holistic hybrid of the Horn Farm Center’s Regenerative Farmer and Woodland Steward Training Programs, this new training program is an immersive learning experience focused on deep ecological literacy and skill-building that will empower students to restore damaged ecosystems and reintegrate into the landscape in a way that supports a healthy human lifestyle.

Using a whole systems approach, students will learn in the Horn Farm’s cultivated, wooded, and wild spaces. Led by Horn Farm Woodland Steward, Wilson Alvarez and Field Manager, Andrew Horn, students will explore a combination of food cultivation and land stewardship practices as result of a deep foundational understanding of ecological systems.

Is 2021 your year for land stewardship? We hope you can join us as we practice hands-on techniques for working to restore the land.

Click here for more information. 


Living Landscape

The landscape is alive and we are part of it! Join us for a winter walk through the woodlands and meadows at the Horn Farm Center on Saturday, December 5th at 10am.. This ecological adventure will spark your sense of wonder and teach you about all aspects of the land we call home. We’ll focus on the broad patterns of the landscape as well as dive deep into the details of the micro-ecosystems under rocks, inside dead trees, beneath the soil, and beyond. Click here to register. 


A New Way to Support Horn Farm – Become a Patron on Patreon

At the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, we are committed to finding ways for humans to feed themselves while also working in partnership with nature. By restoring ecosystems, cultivating healthy soil, producing abundant yields, protecting our watershed and teaching others to do the same, the Horn Farm Center is redefining agriculture. We hope you will join us and become a part of our growing community of land stewards. Become patron of the Horn Farm Center.

Click here to become a patron on the Horn Farm!


Horn Farm Center is Hiring!

Do you have a wealth of skills and a heart to change the world from the ground up? Consider joining the Horn Farm team! We are now hiring for TWO part-time positions:

  • An Executive Assistant who will help to support the mission of the organization by managing our administrative systems and keeping our team activities organized! 
  • A Community Education & Outreach Coordinator who will help to strengthen the role of the Horn Farm Center as a leader in the field of regenerative agriculture though education and outreach! 

YOU might be just the professional we are looking for! Click here to learn more about the latest employment opportunity at the Horn Farm Center.


Upcoming Events:

Saturday, November 7: The Living Landscape
Monday, November 9: Riparian Volunteer Day
Tuesday, November 10: Riparian Volunteer Day
Wednesday, November 11: Riparian Volunteer Day
Monday, November 16: Riparian Volunteer Day
Tuesday, November 17: Riparian Volunteer Day
Wednesday, November 18: Riparian Volunteer Day
Monday, November 30: Riparian Volunteer Day
Tuesday, December 1: Riparian Volunteer Day
Wednesday, December 2: Riparian Volunteer Day
Saturday, December 5: The Living Landscape
January 20, 2021-October 9, 2021: Beekeeper Training Program (Registration Now Open)
March 2021: Land Steward Training Program (Application Deadline: January 31, 2021)

See you at the farm!

York County has moved into the green phase for dealing with COVID-19, so we are resuming some on farm classes with modifications. Classes will be held outside and are limited to 10 participants per class. If more than one class occurs on the same day, start times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals arriving at the same time. Multiple hand sanitizer stations are available. We will adjust as needed as time passes and things change. Participants are required to bring a mask and wear when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. Except for family members physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained.

Horn Farm Happenings – October 30, 2020

Breaking Ground for a Regenerative Farmscape

This week we broke ground on an exciting new project at the Horn Farm! Expanding upon our efforts to transition to regenerative agriculture and truly restore the farm’s ecological systems, we were recently awarded a PennVest grant through the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to install 20 acres of mixed multifunction riparian buffer plantings. There has already been quite a bit of work done behind the scenes on this project, including design and the removal of non-native species.

However, Wednesday marked the first official day of bed prep, which will set the stage for efficient and successful tree plantings in the spring of next year. Focusing on 6 acres surrounding the creek just east of the farmhouse, we plan to grow a variety of multifunctional trees that will help to protect our waterways and keep our soils in place while producing a number of agroforestry crops.

Thanks to the Wrightsville Borough, we spread about 3 inches of leaves on the beds. We then used our tiller followed by a subsoiler to incorporate the leaves into the top 6-8 inches of the soil.  Finally, we spread wood chips to cover the beds fully and allow the fungal hyphae to spread. We hope to continue this process throughout the month of November and ultimately prepare the entire 6 acres before winter takes hold.

Want to learn more? Come on out to the farm during several volunteer days this November to get your hands dirty and discover how we are redefining agriculture at the Horn Farm! Click here to learn more. 


Registration Now Open: 2021 Beekeeping Training Program

Serious about bees? Learn how to become a trained beekeeper at the Horn Farm next year! Program participants learn under the supervision of our beekeeper, Mark Gingrich of Gingrich Apiaries. Over the course of the two year program, participants will work side by side with Mark and other program participants to learn all aspects of keeping bees. At the end of year one, each participant will have the option of receiving a bee colony to be moved to their home property. During the second year, participants will benefit from repetition of some aspects of the program, learn more advanced techniques and troubleshooting while managing their own hive at home. Click here to register and discover what the buzz is all about!


Farewell to the 2020 CSA & our Dedicated Farmer Trainees!

This week we said farewell to the 2020 Horn Farm CSA season! Thanks to our loyal members who are truly a Community Supporting Agriculture. It was a tough but abundant year and we couldn’t have done it without you! We are already planning for another successful year in 2021. We hope that you will rejoin us next year.  We also hope to welcome new members as we plan to expand our CSA membership offerings. Stay tuned for more info on the 2021 CSA season.

As we wrapped up the Horn Farm CSA, we also said farewell to our Regenerative Farmer Training Class of 2020! Darby, Julia, and Max had perhaps the most interesting farmer training program experience to date, as they all adapted and pitched in to help the Horn Farm during this global pandemic. We are so thankful for their enthusiastic participation and willingness to ride the ups and downs of this tumultuous year with us. We couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated and talented class of future regenerative farmers. We wish them well in all of their endeavors and hope that they will carry with them the seeds of knowledge that they cultivated here at the Horn Farm wherever they take root.


Horn Farm Center’s New 2021 Land Steward Training Program

We are pleased to announce a brand new training program from the Horn Farm Center. A holistic hybrid of the Horn Farm Center’s Regenerative Farmer and Woodland Steward Training Programs, this new training program is an immersive learning experience focused on deep ecological literacy and skill-building that will empower students to restore damaged ecosystems and reintegrate into the landscape in a way that supports a healthy human lifestyle.

Using a whole systems approach, students will learn in the Horn Farm’s cultivated, wooded, and wild spaces. Led by Horn Farm Woodland Steward, Wilson Alvarez and Field Manager, Andrew Horn, students will explore a combination of food cultivation and land stewardship practices as result of a deep foundational understanding of ecological systems.

This is an opportunity to learn to integrate semi-wild spaces with both annual and perennial agricultural production, focusing on the Horn Farm Center’s work to create a regenerative farmscape. Participants will also explore ways to restore ecosystem health by applying the principles and techniques of disturbance-based forest management.

Is 2021 your year for land stewardship? We hope you can join us as we practice hands-on techniques for working to restore the land.

Click here for more information. 


Living Landscape

The landscape is alive and we are part of it! Join us for a winter walk through the woodlands and meadows at the Horn Farm Center on Saturday, December 5th at 10am.. This ecological adventure will spark your sense of wonder and teach you about all aspects of the land we call home. We’ll focus on the broad patterns of the landscape as well as dive deep into the details of the micro-ecosystems under rocks, inside dead trees, beneath the soil, and beyond. Click here to register. 


A New Way to Support Horn Farm – Become a Patron on Patreon

At the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, we are committed to finding ways for humans to feed themselves while also working in partnership with nature. By restoring ecosystems, cultivating healthy soil, producing abundant yields, protecting our watershed and teaching others to do the same, the Horn Farm Center is redefining agriculture. We hope you will join us and become a part of our growing community of land stewards. Become patron of the Horn Farm Center.

Click here to become a patron on the Horn Farm!


Horn Farm Center is Hiring!

Do you have a wealth of skills and a heart to change the world from the ground up? Consider joining the Horn Farm team! We are now hiring for TWO part-time positions:

  • An Executive Assistant who will help to support the mission of the organization by managing our administrative systems and keeping our team activities organized! 
  • A Community Education & Outreach Coordinator who will help to strengthen the role of the Horn Farm Center as a leader in the field of regenerative agriculture though education and outreach! 

YOU might be just the professional we are looking for! Click here to learn more about the latest employment opportunity at the Horn Farm Center.


Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, November 4: Riparian Volunteer Day
Thursday, November 5: Fall on the Farm: Volunteer Thursdays
Saturday, November 7: The Living Landscape
Monday, November 9: Riparian Volunteer Day
Tuesday, November 10: Riparian Volunteer Day
Wednesday, November 11: Riparian Volunteer Day
Thursday, November 12: Fall on the Farm: Volunteer Thursdays
Monday, November 16: Riparian Volunteer Day
Tuesday, November 17: Riparian Volunteer Day
Wednesday, November 18: Riparian Volunteer Day
Monday, November 30: Riparian Volunteer Day
Tuesday, December 1: Riparian Volunteer Day
Wednesday, December 2: Riparian Volunteer Day
Saturday, December 5: The Living Landscape
January 20, 2021-October 9, 2021: Beekeeper Training Program (Registration Now Open)
March 2021: Land Steward Training Program (Application Deadline: January 31, 2021)

See you at the farm!

York County has moved into the green phase for dealing with COVID-19, so we are resuming some on farm classes with modifications. Classes will be held outside and are limited to 10 participants per class. If more than one class occurs on the same day, start times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals arriving at the same time. Multiple hand sanitizer stations are available. We will adjust as needed as time passes and things change. Participants are required to bring a mask and wear when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. Except for family members physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained.