Exploring the Small Farm Dream at the Horn Farm

Thinking of creating a business on few acres of land (or your backyard garden) in 2017? If so, Exploring the Small Farm Dream can help you determine if your vision could become a reality. This course, developed by the New England Small Farm Institute, will be offered in a three-evening series from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, August 9, 23 and September 6, 2016, by the Penn State Extension Agricultural Entrepreneurship Team in cooperation with Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, in York, PA. Penn State is an affirmative action, equal opportunity university, and all interested individuals, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age or disability, are encouraged to attend. Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact our office at (717) 921-8803 in advance of your participation or visit.

Whether you envision owning a farming or food business – selling cut flowers, growing heirloom tomatoes, raising free-range chickens, or making goat cheese – this course will provide the tools to start making that dream come true. Participants will discuss current opportunities in small-scale agriculture, explore objectives, assess personal and financial resources, conduct preliminary market research, and develop an action plan for pursuing their entrepreneurial interests. This interactive course will include creative exercises, research, and class discussions that will allow you to accurately assess your skills and resources. Interviews with local agricultural business owners will also be included to provide first-hand knowledge about what to expect when starting your business.

The course will be held at the Horn Farm Center (4945 Horn Road, York, PA 17406) on Tuesday evenings, August 9, 23, and September 6, 2016, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. A registration fee of $125.00 per person, $200.00 per couple/partners covers all classes and materials. To register for this class, visit http://extension.psu.edu/events (search for event link using the keyword “Exploring”) or call the Penn State Extension Dauphin County Office, at (717) 921-8803 before Friday, July 29, 2016; class size is limited to the first 16 registrants. For more information concerning class content and activities, please contact Extension Educator Winifred McGee at wwm1@psu.edu or by calling (717) 921-8803.   

Cycle the Solstice

bike riders at teh Horn Farm Cycle the Solstice event

On Saturday, June 18, The Cycle Works of Wrightsville, Pennsylvania will be hosting the second annual Cycle the Solstice bicycle ride to benefit The Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education. Cycle the Solstice is a 10-, 20-, 30-, 62-mile fun bike ride through York and Lancaster counties. The ride will offer cycling opportunities for riders of all ages and abilities while providing information about leading healthy lifestyles through supporting sustainable, organic local farming. This healthy, fun family event will benefit Horn Farm Center’s Internship Program that offers hands-on training for future farmers and homesteaders.
The general format of each ride will have riders leaving from the beautiful grounds of The Horn Farm Center in the morning, riding their chosen loop at their own pace, guided by road blazes and cue sheets, and returning to the farm upon completion of their loop. Along the way, riders will stop at local small business farms and markets for refreshments produced at the farms and other local food and agriculture businesses.

New for 2016 – VIP Grower 20 Miler! Based on the responses from last year’s ride, we’re offering a guided, tour-style 20 mile course with lots of extra perks! Registrants for this ride will receive preferential parking, special event swag, a trained bicycle mechanic ride leader, a support vehicle, a meal at the half-way rest stop and more!

Everyone who registers by JUNE 5th will receive an event t-shirt (100% cotton, organic dyes), a canvas drawstring market backpack, as well as information from our sponsors about growing and buying local food and living a healthy lifestyle.

Event Details:

PARKING is available onsite.
REGISTRATION will open at 7:30am. Day-of registration will be available for $5 extra.
FOOD – A light breakfast and coffee from Veloroma Coffee House will be available at registration. We are working on lining up post-ride food.
RAIN OR SHINE – Unless the forcast calls for something epic, the rides will roll wet or dry.
We are making inprovements to the course markings and cue sheets from last year, but we do encourage riders to download the course map to their smart phones or cycling computer ideally close to event date to allow us to update the courses with the rest stops, etc.

Click here for registration and more information.

Many Hands Make Light Work

This morning as I went through the albums of archived photos, flyers, and news clippings (compiled by a volunteer) I was overcome with feelings of gratitude for the amazing people who have volunteered their time, money, and love for the Horn Farm for over 16 years.  In 2000, in response to plans to rezone the property as industrial, citizens circulated a petition that in two weeks received 2300 signatures of people who wanted the farm remain in agriculture. It has, and it will long after we are all gone thanks to the vision of the current County Board of Commissioners who recently voted both to place a conservation easement on the property thus preserving these 186 acres forever as farmland, and also to recognize the successes and viability of the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education by extending our lease of this land from the County to 99 years.

What prompted me to go through albums of photos this morning was my search for a ‘before’ photo to go with these photos which hint at all of the work being done by people who continue to shower their time, money, and love for the Horn Farm in their work to convert the 1800s summer kitchen into a certified kitchen where we will be able to offer our beginning farmers a place to process fresh produce into sauces, jams, and pickles as well as a place hold classes, workshops, and celebrations as we continue to find ways to connect our community to local food. The celebration of the completion of renovations is scheduled to happen at our Summer Solstice celebration on June 20.

When I accepted this position I hold as Executive Director not quite one year ago, I knew intellectually that an enormous honor had been bestowed upon me. Now I understand with both my head and my heart how many people have made it possible for me to do my work here, today.  I look forward to continuing our work together as we make way for those who have yet to come.

Thank you for all that you do!



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