Happenings

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!

Horn Farm Happenings – December 8, 2023

Welcoming the Wonders of Winter

Yesterday morning’s coating of snow was a welcome sight at the Horn Farm Center–especially in our native pollinator gardens! These plots were planted in 2022 by students of the Ecological Gardener Training Program, which is now accepting applications for the 2024 program.

While the native perennials are tucking most of their energies underground for the winter, we leave their stems, seed heads, and leaf litter intact for a flurry of reasons:

Exposed seeds are a boon: dropping to the garden bed to multiply spring growth while feeding our furred and feathered neighbors, who are currently foraging for energy-rich foods that will warm them through the cold.

Additionally, leaf litter and plant debris provide overwintering habitat for pollinators like butterflies and moths, who may settle in at any point in their life cycle: egg, pupa, caterpillar, and even adult-stage. Other beneficial insects will use dry, hollowed stems to lay their young for the winter’s rest.

Lastly, as the winter wanes, all of this decaying matter will retain water and nourish spring soil, aiding the growth of next year’s bounty.

Nature shows us how winter dormancy is not the absence of life, but its continuation–so why not take a cue and conserve our own energies into the spring by leaving these beautiful winter gardens be? From butterflies to blooms, the rainbow of the spring is an outcome of the winter’s own muted beauty.

Click here to learn more and apply.


Rediscover Your Place in Nature

A call to the wild ones… 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.

Now is the time to submit your application and become a 2024 trainee! 

Join us for the 2024 Land Steward Training Program: February 11 – May 21, 2024.

Scholarship funds are available to all applicants thanks to the Peterman Family Foundation and the generous contributions of other students enrolled in the program.

Click here to learn more & apply.


Open Call for Program Instructors

Each year we host about 100 educational programs and events at the Horn Farm Center. We do so with the help of outside instructors, who bring their own experiences and expertise to our community at the farm.

As part of our mission to provide a diversity of educational experiences that connect people to the land, we are always looking to partner with new program instructors – even first-time teachers!

Instructors are paid for their time and teach a wide range of program topics that align with our values and mission, including:

  • Sustainable Gardening Practices & Techniques
  • Agroforestry – live staking, coppicing, fruit and nut tree production
  • Natural Arts – basket weaving, natural dyes, fiber arts, paper making, etc.
  • Homesteading – food preservation, natural building, animal husbandry, etc.
  • Cooking Classes
  • Natural or Local History
  • Outdoor Wellness Activities – yoga, forest bathing, nature journaling
  • Herbalism
Interested in teaching or have a new program idea? Connect with our Community Engagement Coordinators to explore whether teaching with the Horn Farm Center is a good fit for you in 2024!

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.

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. 


Winter Willow Workdays

Interested in agroforestry? Starting NEXT WEDNESDAY, we are seeking daytime volunteers to help us complete our second annual willow coppicing!

Coppicing is the process of pruning a tree or shrub to ground level in order to stimulate the growth of shoots and provide a sustainable supply of agroforestry products year to year. This winter, we will be coppicing several dozen varieties of willow for basketry materials.

In line with our regenerative mission, our willow field also serves significant environmental roles by occupying one of two riparian buffers. The willow roots aid in water retention and help stabilize the soils near the heavily eroded stream bank that we’re working to restore.

Learn more about agroforestry, coppicing and multifunctional riparian buffers while lending a helping hand this winter. Our winter 2023/2024 workdays are open for registration:

Due to the inclement weather anticipated for this weekend, our Agroforestry Work & Learn has been RESCHEDULED to Sunday, February 4th, 2024. Registrations for the new date will open after this Sunday, December 10th once we coordinate with folks who have already signed up.

We hope you can join the fun at the Horn Farm!

Horn Farm Happenings – November 22, 2023

YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Our mission of connecting people with the land is activated each and every day by the support, generosity, and dedication of our community! Today we share a wholehearted THANK YOU to our donors, community partners, program participants, volunteers, farmers, and everyone else who animates our work of healing our relationship to the earth.

For a small, mission-driven non-profit like Horn Farm Center, each of you make an impact! Here are a few things we’re grateful for as we look back on another year stewarding the land and educating others to do the same:

  • Over 1000 volunteer hours committed to our work, from day-to-day upkeep to ambitious restoration projects and annual community events.
  • More than 1200 program participants across 114 programs exploring the ways we can connect more deeply with local landscapes.
  • About 1500 trees planted, establishing the final 2 acres of multifunctional riparian buffers and 1 acre of a forest garden restoration planting.
  • Over $10,000 raised this past weekend thanks to donors who supported our mission during Lancaster ExtraGive.

Like our daily gratitude for soil, water, and biodiversity, we’re grateful for the people who make this work possible!

Thank you for your important contributions to our community.


Grab Your Holiday Swag

Just in time for the holiday season our signature “What Would Nature Do?” t-shirts and limited edition Pawpaw Festival merchandise are available for purchase online!

All proceeds benefit educational programs and regenerative practices at the Horn Farm. Shop today to support the mission of the Horn Farm Center!

Click here to shop and support Horn Farm Center!

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

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