Horn Farm Happenings – April 6, 2024

Happy 20th Birthday Horn Farm Center!

Two decades ago today, the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and we have been providing educational experiences rooted in the land ever since.

A lot goes into building a nonprofit from the ground-up. Our predecessors were undaunted – dedicated to the vision of an educational center to celebrate and preserve our agricultural and cultural connections to the landscape. We’re grateful for their devotion, imagination, and advocacy that helped make the Horn Farm Center a reality.

Speaking of imagination, check out some of the earliest HFC logo drafts, drawn by founding member and local artist Barbara Rooney to capture HFC’s first brand.

Help us celebrate 20 years by learning our story and exploring ways to become involved with our mission today: hornfarmcenter.org/our-story/

There are many ways to get engaged – from classes and workshops, to volunteering, to donating to support our missionWe wouldn’t be the Horn Farm Center without you – our community! 

Banner Image: a concept map for a “living history education farm and agriculture museum” at the Horn Farm.


Kimchi & Power Tools

What do kimchi and power tools have in common? Apparently, they were the stars of the show this past weekend at the Horn Farm Center!Folks came from near and far to learn distinct, versatile skills for locally-based living. From preserving seasonal foods to building from scratch, Saturday’s Intro to Power Tools and Fermenting Kimchi workshops showcased how we can use the foods and materials available right here at home in abundant and creative ways.

With gratitude for our community of learners, educators, and supporters, we’re looking forward to many more classes this spring at the Horn Farm Center!

So what did our class participants learn this weekend?

In Intro to Power Tools, the Pole Barn became a woodshop as teams learned the basics of measuring, drilling, sawing, and more: all useful skills for DIY home renos, fix-up jobs, and small carpentry projects involving reused or locally-sourced materials. Participants explored not just the techniques and mechanics of power tools, but the value of tool- and skill-sharing with neighbors in building more resilient, thrifty communities.

Just down the hill in the Summer Kitchen, participants concocted their own unique blends of spice, sweetness, sourness, and umami with hands-on kimchi-making sessions. The workshop covered both traditional preparations and personalized spins on this probiotic powerhouse, and everyone left with their own jars of kimchi ready to ferment at home. Folks even enjoyed samplings of various kimchi styles and vegan kimchi pizza!

Organically-Grown at Horn Farm

We’re one month away from the Horn Farm’s 12th annual Plant Sale, taking place on Saturday, May 4th from 9am to 3pm!

What will you find if you stop by our Plant Sale? Horn Farm Center staff, interns, and our partner growers are assembling a wide array of vegetable, herb, and flower starts alongside native plants like herbaceous perennials, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees. Make a plan to visit the 12th annual Plant Sale for all of your gardening and landscaping needs.

Want to lend a hand while purchasing your plants? Consider volunteering!

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

Click here for more info about the Horn Farm Plant Sale

Get Ready to Give Local: May 2-3, 2024

Mark your calendars for Give Local York. This year, York County’s biggest day of giving will run from 9pm-9pm on May 2nd and May 3rd.  

The real success of Give Local York will not be how much money we raise but the tremendous impact those dollars will have when nonprofits across York County put them to work.

Join the movement by supporting the Horn Farm Center on May 2-3, 2024!

Riparian Buffer Volunteers Needed!

Want to learn more about riparian buffers, agroforestry, land stewardship, and managing trees? Join us for our spring riparian buffer workdays to gain hands-on experience working with riparian buffer plantings.

During our Spring 2024 riparian buffer workdays, volunteers will plant new tree saplings, check and right tree tubes, manage introduced species, and fortify tree tube bases with rocks to prevent vole damage. Special activities may include live staking and planting native ground-layer plants.

We hope you will join us for a volunteer work day this spring!

Click here to learn more. 

Get Moving at the Horn Farm Center!

Ready to get moving this spring? Informed by various tasks we might do in the garden, around our house, or just while living life, this workshop series explores natural movement, breathwork, specific body part exercises, dynamic movements and restorative stretches.

The main goal of this program series is to begin to develop a new “movement lens” and to build physical resilience by moving, breathing, and observing.

Classes take place on Thursdays in May from 5:00pm to 6:15pm:

Join us starting May 9th for this one-of-a-kind class as we explore natural movement, breathwork, specific body part exercises, functional/dynamic movements, and restorative stretches.

Register for Practical Movement


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