In 2021, we are thankful.
Last year, we learned many invaluable lessons and discovered the opportunity in disturbance, which has provided an opening for something new to take root. We are still taking stock – getting grounded in our new reality and continuing to plan for a more regenerative future with hope and gratitude.
2020 was a big year for the Horn Farm Center. And, despite our collective challenges, we are proud of our accomplishments. Most notably, our strengths have come into full focus as we demonstrated what we already knew to be true: that our power and our resilience lies in our relationships.
We are humbled by the ongoing support of our small but dedicated community. To those of you who donated your cancelled program fees, who provided generous financial gifts, who showed up in the sweltering heat of July and the blustery cold of November to offer a helping hand on the farm, who offered words of encouragement by phone, email, or social media – we thank you! We also thank our farm partners, who continue to innovate, collaborate and inspire us.
And while we said farewell to some old friends, this year we welcome several new team members (as well as some familiar faces) to the Horn Farm staff and Board of Directors.
With renewed energy and enthusiasm we are looking forward to a new season of growth at the Horn Farm Center. We are taking a close look at our organizational history, business practices, and overall institutional well-being. Through this mindful observation and honest inventory, we are designing for regenerative practices, not only on the land, but for our entire organizational system.
Here are some of the ways we are growing this year:
1) Whole Systems Approach: On the land, we are cultivating soil health, protecting our waterways, increasing biodiversity, and growing healthy food. We are also designing our land management practices in ways that integrate and create synergies between the field and wooded areas on the farm. This means that our farm team will be working more closely with one another – creating a regenerative farmscape and providing new holistic educational experiences such as our new Land Steward Training program, that launches this spring.
2) Relying on Reciprocal Relationships: Using a whole systems approach, we are focused on bolstering the health of our ecosystem by making connections and building relationships. Our board and staff are engaged together in new ways, focused on co-creating a more resilient organization and fostering partnerships on the land and in our community. We are starting small, working with our renting farmers, partner farms, as well as local businesses, to creatively collaborate and support one another. For example, the Horn Farm Center is partnering with long-time renting farmer and former incubator program participant Jeremy Kilgore of Kilgore Family Farm to increase the number of CSA shares available at the Horn Farm.
3) Communication & Community: As a small organization with a huge mission, communication is a priority. We want to better connect with you, not just by sharing what we are doing but also by listening. By stepping up our game on social media and implementing a multi-faceted communications strategy, we want to engage in conversation with our friends, patrons, and followers as much as possible. This month we launched a new blog, which will feature monthly posts, articles, and musings from the Horn Farm’s team of land stewards. We also plan to host a new monthly video series (think video podcast) that will be available on our website as well as all of our social media channels. If you have feedback or suggestions for us, we would love to hear from you! You can comment and post on our blog and social media channels, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Beyond Sustainability – In addition to redesigning and implementing new ideas, we are taking a good look at the long-term resiliency of our organization. The Board of Directors have made a deep commitment to the ongoing financial sustainability of the Horn Farm Center. We are asking ourselves: “How can we continue to redefine agriculture and champion regenerative practices? How can we make a greater impact and serve our community in York County and beyond?” In the face of economic uncertainty and shifting cultural norms, the Horn Farm Center must continue to adapt and grow. The entire Horn Farm team is embarking on a new Development Plan that focuses on strengthening our relationships and fostering community support for the Horn Farm Center.
5) Education & Safety – This year we continue to offer modified educational programs to protect the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff. All classes will held outdoors and are limited to 15 participants. We ask that you bring along your face coverings during your visits to the farm. The Summer Kitchen continues to be closed for classes. However, we are designing a new “outdoor kitchen” classroom space where we will host a small number of cooking class offerings. In addition to new in-person classes and workshops this year, we now have virtual presentations!
We are very excited about the future of the Horn Farm Center and hope that you are too. As an integral part of our ecosystem, your participation is vital. Together we are making a difference and redefining agriculture. We hope to see you soon at the farm!
Horn Farm Center Health and Safety Policy
Due to COVID-19 the Horn Farm Center is offering on-site educational programming with some modifications in order to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff. All classes will be held outside and are limited to 15 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.
Participant expectations are as follows:
- Participants are required to bring a mask and wear it when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. We have a limited supply on hand if you forget yours.
- Physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained except in case of family members.
- Do not attend if sick or recovering.
Until further notice, no indoor classes are available at this time. We are offering virtual classroom experiences via zoom.