Community Gardens

Community Gardens Plot Registration 2024

Grow your own food at the Horn Farm!

Growing your own food has many benefits: being able to ensure food safety and security, saving money, enjoying the health benefits of eating the freshest food possible, the satisfaction that comes from raising your own food from seed to harvest, and deepening your relationship with the land.

The Community Garden program at the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education offers soil lovers and aspiring farmers the opportunity to grow fresh, chemical-free food on prime farmland in the company of other enthusiastic and dedicated gardeners. Garden plots are rented annually from April 1st through October 31. Each plot measures approximately 20 x 20 feet. Plots are assigned on a "First Come, First Served" basis. Returning gardeners will retain their previous plots unless otherwise requested.

  • The annual fee for one 20' x 20' plot is $55.
  • You have the option to add additional plots at $35 each.
  • Your registration is your signature of agreement to the HFC Community Gardens rules and responsibilities listed below.

Horn Farm Center Community Gardener Responsibilities

Ecological Gardening:

  • Community gardens must be managed in an ecologically responsible way. The use of chemical herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers is not permitted. Organically approved herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizer products are allowed. If you are not sure if something is allowed, please check with the Program Coordinator before use. Email or (717)757-6441.
  • Use of unauthorized chemical products is grounds for immediate cancellation of the rental agreement.


  • Gardeners are responsible to weed and properly manage their gardens and keep outside plot borders weeded.
  • Weeds are a valuable source of nutrients when dropped in place within your plot and used as mulch. If you choose to remove them, they may be placed in the designated composting area. Neither plant matter or stones are to be thrown outside the edges of your plot or in any other common area such as paths or driving lanes.

Crop Planting:

  • Tall crops should be planted where they will not shade neighboring plots. Vining plants should be contained within the plot borders.

Storage on garden sites:

  • Lockers smaller than 2 feet high, 2 feet wide, and 6 feet long are permitted. Shanties and lean-to shelters or shade stands of any kind are not permitted.

Water Usage:

  • Historically, water was available from the spring fed faucets at the north end of the gardens. Before the fire, two large rain barrels collected water from the farm house. Currently, the water flow from the spring is intermittent and scarce. We have made adjustments and provided gardeners with access to well water that was initially designated for the farm house and summer kitchen. We plan on catching rain water again once the farm house rebulid is complete. The faucets may be available for a short period in the Spring depending on precipitation levels.
  • Only hand watering (cans or buckets) is permitted. Hoses are NOT permitted.
  • Watering containers must be covered or turned upside down after use. To prevent the creation of habitat for mosquito larvae, no standing water is permitted in the garden area.

Please be mindful of your water use, here are some best practices:

  • Plan to water in the early morning or later in the evening. 
  • Use straw, leaves, or wood chips around your plants to retain moisture. Your watering efforts will go much further.
  • Water is a precious resource. Please treat it as such.

*If you would like to bring small tanks from home to water we highly encourage that as well.

Border Fencing:

  • Temporary fencing of plots is encouraged but must fall inside the outer 6” border of the plot.
  • Weeding must be done on outside edge of fencing.


  • Dogs must be leashed and in owner’s control at all times. Pick up after your pet.
  • Trash and litter are to be cleaned from plots, adjacent pathways, and disposed of properly.
  • Loud music is prohibited in the garden plot area.
  • Smoking cigarettes is prohibited in the gardens area.

Rental Leave:

  • If for any reason a plot must be abandoned, the gardener shall notify the Program Coordinator immediately.
  • If a plot becomes unkempt, the gardener will be given one week’s notice to clean it up. If clean up does not occur within the one week time frame, the plot will be considered abandoned, and will be reassigned to another gardener.
  • No refunds are given for early departure or termination.
  • If not renewing for the following season, gardeners must remove any intact straw bales, all non-biodegradable material (i.e., stakes, fence, wire, lumber, ground covers), and any perennials from the garden.  Do not remove the original stakes placed by the Center.


  • New gardeners must attend an orientation meeting in order to receive their plot assignment. Orientation will take place on April 13th from 10:30-11:30 AM.
November 13th, 2023 9:00 AM to August 31st, 2024 12:00 PM
4945 Horn Road
York, PA 17406
United States
Phone: (717) 757-6441
Event Fee(s)
ONE Garden Plot $55.00
TWO Garden Plots $90.00
THREE Garden Plots $125.00
FOUR Garden Plots $160.00
FIVE Garden Plots $195.00
SIX Garden Plots $230.00
SEVEN Garden Plots $265.00
EIGHT Garden Plots $300.00