Happenings

Horn Farm Happenings – March 22, 2024

20th Anniversary “Throwback” Programs

Throughout 2024, we’re offering new and renewed programs that harken back to a popular community event from our past: Homesteading Education Day.

Embracing local resources and living in tune with nature takes a lot of forms. For many, it begins with reclaiming skills that empower us to use food and materials more resourcefully, keeping our impacts as local as possible.

Food preservation, homemade fertilizer, and fix-up jobs using shared tools are all ways we can work toward better health for our communities and environment.

Check out our spring Homesteading series below and register at the event links:


 

Learning & Growing at Horn Farm

As the weather warms, our greenhouse internship is in full swing! Interns have been busy with a variety of plant propagation methods, using seeds, root divisions, and stem cuttings to get hundreds of plants ready for our 12th annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 4th (9am-3pm).

~Here’s a glimpse of last week’s work with elderberry~

Like many plants adapted to wet and disturbance-prone habitats (think streambanks and floodplains), elderberries are well-suited for rooting and growing from cuttings. With mindful branch selection from mature plants, interns pruned the elderberry patch for easy maneuvering and collected hundreds of living rods to propagate in the greenhouse.

With their showy summer blossoms and bold autumn berries, elderberries support countless insects and birds. They’re also a boon for stem-nesting bees in the winter. We too can partake in the harvest, benefitting from the berry’s incredible vitamin stores and immune-boosting properties with fresh elderberry syrup through the cold season.

Elderberry is one of the many plants that will be on offer at the Horn Farm’s spring Plant Sale! Join us on Saturday, May 4th from 9am to 3pm to welcome the growing season!


Horn Farm History: Annual Plant Sale

Back in 2013, the inaugural Plant Sale accompanied the debut of our first greenhouse, where we host the event today. Both community donations and volunteers were instrumental in making this project possible. In fact, the greenhouse was built entirely with the help of Horn Farm volunteers! The three-month build breathed new life onto the vacant foundation of the farm’s historic bank barn, which burned down in 2005.

The greenhouse has since supported the former Incubator Farms Project and Farmer Training Program, renting farmers, educational programming, and even the farmhouse fire recovery–serving as temporary classroom space for our current training programs during the winter. Now, three greenhouse interns, renting farmers, and our farm manager are hard at work greening the space once again with thousands of chemical-free plant starts for local gardeners and growers this May.

The 12th annual Horn Farm Plant Sale is sponsored by:

Click here for more info about the Horn Farm Plant Sale


Supporting Our Mission & Work

With a deep commitment to fostering financial well-being within our community, Sides Wealth Advisory Group is dedicated to supporting the regenerative mission of the Horn Farm Center!

Sides Wealth is one of York’s leading advisory firms, with business roots tracing back more than 20 years. They offer a wide variety of wealth management services and work with clients through all phases of life, including long-term planning, investment management, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and life insurance.

The Horn Farm Center partners with local businesses who believe in our mission to foster ecological learning through land stewardship, community partnership and hands-on experiences. We thank Sides Wealth Advisory Group for their partnership and support as an annual business sponsor this year. 

Does your business want to make an impact by supporting the Horn Farm Center this year? Click the link below for more information.


Kilgore Three Generations

Kilgore Family Farm CSA

Want to fill your plate with local flavor this year? Become a member of the Kilgore Family Farm CSA at the Horn Farm Center! 

Kilgore Family Farm’s produce is grown organically at the Horn Farm – which means NO use of synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides!

From June to October, CSA members receive a weekly box of seasonal, organically-grown produce. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Spring: lettuces, spinach, kale, swiss chard, spring onions, beets, herbs
  • Summer: kale, swiss chard, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, beets, summer squash, watermelon, cataloupe, onions, herbs, and more!
  • Fall: garlic, beets, turnips, winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, swiss chard, spinach

If you are interested in joining the Kilgore Family Farm CSA this year, please reach out to Jeremy Kilgore at kilgorefamilyfarm@yahoo.com

Click here to learn more. 


Small Change. Big Difference.

Did you know that you can choose to “round up for charity” when you shop at Lemon Street Market in downtown Lancaster? During the months of March & April, all donations will go to support the Horn Farm Center!

Customers can also choose to increase their at-the-register donation by adding to their round up value.

Lemon Street Market is a full-service grocery store located just off the corner of Mulberry and Lemon Street in Lancaster City. The store focuses on sustainable and healthy living, with many local, organic, vegan, and gluten-free options.

A big thanks to Lemon Street Market for supporting the Horn Farm Center!

Click here to Learn More


Foraging: More than Finding Wild Foods

Through foraging, we can rekindle our ancient relationship with the land and root ourselves more deeply in a sense of home. We can learn about the seasons, needs, and lessons of local ecosystems while enjoying, tending, and sharing their gifts.

This May and June, the Horn Farm Center is offering an 8-week Forager Training Program led by experienced foraging educator Jon Darby.

From “weeds” to trees, this course will provide foundational knowledge for those interested in beginning (or deepening) their path towards building a relationship with the land, incorporating wild plants into their everyday life, and gaining the knowledge to confidently share with others.

Included among the program topics are:

  • Plant observation and ID,
  • Basic botany,
  • Harvesting, processing, cooking, and tasting,
  • Medicinal and alternative uses,
  • Safety and ethics, and more!

The Forager Training Program begins on Thursday, May 2nd, with classes being held on consecutive Thursday evenings until June 20th. See the program webpage for more details about the class schedule.

SPACES ARE VERY LIMITED, so register soon to join our most immersive foraging experience!

Register for 2024 Forager Training Program

 

Horn Farm Happenings – February 23, 2024

Growing – and Leading – Regeneratively

The Horn Farm Center Board of Directors serve as the governing body of the organization. As a team of dedicated volunteers, the Board of Directors establish our mission and purpose, ensure adequate resources, and provide oversight of the farm’s operations.

Our Board of Directors are hard at work, chairing and leading six volunteer committees, assisting with fundraising and rebuilding efforts, and even pitching in to plant trees and run special events at the farm. All of that on top of full-time jobs, families, and other community service!

We love our Board of Directors. Their passion for our mission shines in every zoom call, committee meeting, and thoughtful decision they make.

This year we welcome five talented new members to the Horn Farm Center Board of Directors:

  • Kelly Dearman, independent strategy consultant
  • Tom Warman, retired environmental consultant
  • Renee Evans, artist and co-founder of Sugar Mountain Workshops
  • Dave Yates, owner of F.W. Behler, educator, & writer
  • Carolyn Pugh, attorney with Bellomo & Associates

Ecological Gardeners in Training

The last two weekends have been abuzz with ecological learning, nourishing movement, and creative empathy thanks to a vibrant new cohort of eco-gardening trainees! We’re grateful to continue our collaboration with Waxwing EcoWorks Co. as we kick-off the 2024 Ecological Gardener Training Program.

For these first four weeks (our “Ecological Core Curriculum”), we spend our time building a foundation for regenerative earthwork, exploring important questions, and cultivating connections as a community of practice. This year, we’re excited to integrate new and enhanced teachings like:

  • More functional movement sessions for tuning our bodies to the work and building resilience;
  • Creative expressions to build a sense of place and deeper compassion for nature;
  • Indigenous ecological knowledge, thanks to the writings and teachings of indigenous scholars and our friends at the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Zimmerman Center for Heritage.

Eco-gardeners are drawing from so many directions to build their toolkits for flourishing, impactful ecological gardening at home and in their communities!

Photos courtesy of Elyse Jurgen, owner of Waxwing EcoWorks. 


Join Our Land Steward Crew

Do you love getting your hands dirty and working outdoors? Do you have experience with landscaping or lawn maintenance? Are you interested in learning about regenerative farming and ecological restoration?

We’re seeking a part-time, seasonal land steward to help staff, renting farmers, and volunteers manage the Horn Farm property.

Activities include: mowing and weed whacking, trail maintenance, weeding and monitoring restoration sites, tool upkeep, leading volunteer workdays, and supporting HFC community events.

This position is seasonal, lasting from May to October 2024. Perks include flexible working hours, seasonal produce and foraged goods, and free tuition for HFC classes beyond the term of the position.

Consider joining our crew this summer and apply soon!

Click here to learn more


Final Winter Willow Workday

Over the past several months we have enjoyed the magical scenery and brisk cool air of our winter landscape while harvesting basketry willow from our multifunctional riparian buffer and demonstration field.

We’ve got one more volunteer workday happening this week as we wrap up the harvest to sort and bundle rods.  Join us on Tuesday, February 27th starting at 4PM for the last opportunity to coppice and process basketry willow this season. 

As a volunteer, you’ll learn a bit about agroforestry, enjoy some outdoor exercise, and have the opportunity to take home willow rods for craftwork or decor.

Click Here to Volunteer


Small Change. Big Difference.

Did you know that you can choose to “round up for charity” when you shop at Lemon Street Market in downtown Lancaster? During the months of March & April, all donations will go to support the Horn Farm Center!

Customers can also choose to increase their at-the-register donation by adding to their round up value.

Lemon Street Market is a full-service grocery store located just off the corner of Mulberry and Lemon Street in Lancaster City. The store focuses on sustainable and healthy living, with many local, organic, vegan, and gluten-free options.

A big thanks to Lemon Street Market for supporting the Horn Farm Center!

Click here to Learn More


A Regional History Through Time

Back by popular demand, Land & Peoples of the Lower Susquehanna Valley is returning for its second year!

In four two-hour sessions, this new series will take you on a fast-paced tour through the geological, archaeological, and historical past to reach a deeper appreciation of the land we live on and the people who have left their marks on it. The sessions will be run in seminar style, and participants will be invited to share their own stories, insights, and local knowledge.

Each session will be led by HFC Board Member, Dr. Ed Wilson, who will be accompanied by regional experts with specialized knowledge about topics of interest. Program topics include:

  • Origins of the Landscape
  • The Indigenous Peoples & Their Land
  • European Settlement & the Collision of Worlds
  • The Contemporary Landscape & Its Challenges

Join us for “The Land & Peoples of the Lower Susquehanna Valley” starting March 12th from 6-8pm. 

All classes will be held at the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center thanks to our friends and partners at the Susquehanna National Heritage Area.

Register for The Land & Peoples of the Lower Susquehanna Valley


Crawl with the Critters

Ready to get outside this spring? Join us for an adventure into herpetology -the scientific study of reptiles and amphibians. Venture into the woods as we go “herping” – an exciting outdoor exploration to sight jumpy creatures. You’ll be turning over fallen logs, looking under rocks, and sticking your hands in the mud to uncover some of nature’s most fascinating creatures.

We invite participants of all ages to join us on our Critter Crawls – from young tadpoles to old tortoises. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and children under 3 may not be well suited for these activities.

Come equipped with a spirit of inquiry, a respect for the small, and a willingness to get your hands dirty, and you might be surprised at the multitude of life you can find right under your feet!

Register for Critter Crawl Series

Horn Farm Happenings – February 09, 2024

 

Learning from the Land & Our Partners

Last weekend we had a basket-full of fun and hands-on learning during our first Agroforestry Work & Learn – a collaborative educational program thanks to our friends from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural ResourcesPenn State Extension, and Foggy Blossom Farm.

Below pristine blue skies, we hosted farmers, land stewards, community organizers, and curious folks from all around our region for a full day of education in the Horn Farm’s multifunctional riparian buffers and demonstration fields.

Over the course of the day, participants had an opportunity to:

  • Learn the nitty-gritty of planting, growing, coppicing, bundling, and sorting basketry willow while partaking in our annual coppice work.
  • Explore our riparian buffer and learn how to use native species for live staking (or planting new plants from cuttings). Take-homes included!
  • See a glimpse of check dams, Zuni bowls, and other earthworks that use site-sourced materials for land restoration.
  • Enjoy a special session from western PA-based Foggy Blossom Farm on taking willows from tree to basket!

It was a great day for sowing inspiration and weaving together folks from across PA (and beyond!) interested in the creative and restorative potential of agroforestry.

Interested in learning more about working with coppice trees? Join the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay at the Horn Farm Center for an in-person demonstration of the process of livestaking.

Click the link here to learn more and register for this free learning opportunity!


Commissioners Share Support for the Farmhouse Rebuild 

This past week, York County Commissioners – President Commissioner Julie Wheeler, Vice President Commissioners Scott Burford,  and Commissioner Doug Hoke – visited the Horn Farm Center to discuss the Farmhouse Rebuild Project.

After touring the building, which has been stripped, stabilized and protected since the fire, we shared our plans for transforming the 1840s residence into highly functional and energy-efficient classroom and office spaces. We also discussed some of the unexpected hurdles we faced during the design phase of the project, which have included:

  • unusual design challenges related to retrofitting a historic brick building to be highly energy efficient;
  • volatility within the construction market;
  • and the long timeline necessary for thoughtful planning and fundraising.

Despite these surprises along the way, Murphy & Dittenhafer and our rebuild team completed construction documents for a newly retrofitted facility at the end of last year. We are now focusing on raising funds to start construction.

The farmhouse has always stood as an iconic symbol of the Horn Farm and our important mission to heal the land and educate our community. We are eager to see the farmhouse become that once again when the project is completed. During their visit, each Commissioner shared their excitement and support for preserving and revitalizing this historic landmark.

Learn more about the Farmhouse Rebuild Project.


Join Our Land Steward Crew

Do you love getting your hands dirty and working outdoors? Do you have experience with landscaping or lawn maintenance? Are you interested in learning about regenerative farming and ecological restoration?

We’re seeking a part-time, seasonal land steward to help staff, renting farmers, and volunteers manage the Horn Farm property.

Activities include: mowing and weed whacking, trail maintenance, weeding and monitoring restoration sites, tool upkeep, leading volunteer workdays, and supporting HFC community events.

This position is seasonal, lasting from May to October 2024. Perks include flexible working hours, seasonal produce and foraged goods, and free tuition for HFC classes beyond the term of the position.

Consider joining our crew this summer and apply soon!

Click here to learn more


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


A Legacy of Growing in Community

In 2009, the Horn Farm Center launched the Community Gardens at the Horn Farm because our founding members believed that everyone should have access to fresh, home-grown foods. Since then, Horn Farm’s 101 community garden plots have been a source of nourishment, connection, and community for hundreds of local gardeners.

The Horn Farm Community Gardens remain a cornerstone of our programatic offerings today. Plots are currently open and available for registration!

Each plot measures approximately 20′ x 20′, and gardens are open for use from April 1st through October 31st. As a regenerative farm, we ask that gardeners follow organic and ecologically-guided gardening practices–more info is available at the registration link below.

Looking back on our 20 year history, we are so thankful to those that had the foresight to establish a collaborative space for cultivating healthy food and community. Join our deep-rooted community of local gardeners- reserve your plots!

Take a look at the 2009 Merchandiser article announcing the Community Garden project! You can see some of Horn Farm Center’s founding members, many of whom still support the organization today: the late June Evans (front), David Dietz, Paul McCleary, Mike Flinchbaugh, Steve and Mary Presto (left to right). 

Click here to Become a Community Gardener