Horn Farm Happenings – December 9, 2022

The Season for Learning & Growth

The slower winter pace of outdoor work at the Horn Farm has provided an opportunity for exploration and learning. This past week, HFC staff took two field trips to learn from regenerative practioners in Pennsylvania.

Our first trip was to Green Light Plants to learn about perennial plant propogation and forest farming. Dale Hendricks has been growing and propagating plants professionally since 1975. In 1988, he co-founded North Creek Nurseries, and in 2009, Dale founded Green Light Plants to build carbon-friendly and regenerative landscapes. He has been growing native, woodland and permaculture plants, organically and joyfully ever since. Dale graciously invited our entire team to his property to learn first-hand how he has implemented regenerative permaculture systems on his homestead.

We also visited Foggy Blossom Farm outside of Pittsburgh, PA to learn about growing and coppicing willow for basketry. Owners Dan and Betsy Brockett are raising a food forest and nursery in tandem with an ever-expanding willow program. Dan began teaching himself how to weave willow baskets in 2018 and he hasn’t slowed since.

Over the course of several hours, Dan walked us through Foggy Blossom Farm, teaching everything from willow-specific pests to demonstrating his harvesting and sorting processes. Learning from Dan was a unique opportunity since he is both a grower and a crafter of willow. His perspective was incredibly helpful as we make plans for managing over 800 willows for basketry that were planted in 2018 at the Horn Farm.

We are grateful to have such talented and generous friends who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with us. We thank Dale Hendricks, Dan Brockett, and Betsy Brockett for helping our team and the Horn Farm grow!

Rebuilding the Farmhouse

Just a few months ago on October 25th, we reached the one year anniversary of the farmhouse fire. We have come a long way since, with many months spent on:

  • recovering our operations,
  • engaging contractors and architects,
  • determining our goals for the rebuild,
  • and working on the design process.

We still have work to do but we anticipate being ready to rebuild by next spring. To keep you up to date on our progress, we created a new landing page that will provide regular updates and information on the farmhoues rebuild.

Apply Today: HFC Training Programs

“I signed up for the Land Steward Training Program because I own a small farm with a woodlot and space for gardening. What I learned gave me skills and knowledge for using local energy and existing ecosystems to achieve my goals.

I’m now a lifelong student of my land. More than that, I gained lasting friendships with likeminded people in the area, and these are an important source of ongoing encouragement and volunteer labor on my farm! I’ll always be grateful for my time at the Horn Farm.”

— Chris Upham, 2021 Land Steward Training Program graduate

Each program fosters deepened connectivity with the land around us while providing hands-on practice to develop skills in your area of focus. Join us next year for a learning adventure at the Horn Farm Center!

Each program fosters deepened connectivity with the land around us while providing hands-on practice to develop skills in your area of focus. Join us next year for a learning adventure at the Horn Farm Center!

Click here to learn more about Training Programs

In the News: Wandering in York County

History teacher and blogger, Jamie Noerpel, took a Foraging Class at the Horn Farm with five of her students. She shared their experience learning with Woodland Steward, Wilson Alvarez in her York Daily Record blog “Wandering in York County.”

We thank Jamie for capturing the essence of our educational programs and for featuring the Horn Farm Center in her blog!

Photo Credit: Jamie Noerpel







Volunteers Needed: Winter Willow Harvest

We are seeking daytime volunteers to help us complete our second annual willow tree coppicing! Community workdays are scheduled for December 13th & 14th and January 16th & 17th.

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 are harvesting willow shoots for basketry, kindling for biochar, and live stakes.

Tasks will vary depending on our progress and volunteer counts. These can include: pruning willow branches with hand pruners (down to stump level); sorting harvested branches by height and thickness; bundling and tagging prepared branches; and carrying branches and branch bundles.

Let us know if you can join us!

Click here to Volunteer

Winter Plant & Tree Identification with Calyx

Identifying plants in the winter presents a unique set of challenges. Practicing this skill will not only strengthen your plant ID skills, but will also provide you with a renewed sense of abundance for the food and medicine available to us throughout the cold season.

Join us on Saturday,  January 28th at 1pm-4pm for a Winter Plant & Tree Identification Walk with Calyx Liddick of Northern Appalachia School.

Click here to Register for Plant ID Walk

Horn Farm Happenings – In Reciprocity

We envision a world where people live in reciprocity with nature, and our agricultural practices revive ecosystems and human well-being.”

– HFC Vision Statement

Reciprocity is the practice of mutual exchange. This principle is essential to our work. In everything we do, we seek to give as much—and more—than we take.

Giving to the land isn’t easy. It takes patience, knowledge, optimism, resources, and above all, incredibly strenuous work. The same goes for our efforts to extend our giving outward: to grow regeneratively while educating others.

So, why do we continue to do what we do?

We give to the land because the land gives generously to us. Our food, clothes, fuel, and fiber. The soil under our feet and even the air we breathe. All these gifts make our lives possible.

So, we give back. Just as you do.

In fact, your contributions go far beyond reciprocity. Your giving is a great multiplier.

Every dollar is amplified through our stewardship practices to heal the land and each person we teach.  

In this way, your giving strengthens our commitment to reciprocity: not just on the land, but in the food shared, the community nurtured, and the individuals inspired to fall in love with the earth.

With your help this year, we made incredible progress towards the strategic goals that underpin our vision.

Together we…

  • trained 20 new Land Stewards & Ecological Gardeners and served over 750 program participants;
  • planted 2 more acres of multifunctional riparian buffers that will protect our water, build our soils, and create wildlife habitat;
  • built a new outdoor classroom space that will serve hundreds of learners and future land stewards each year;  
  • grew our capacity to carry out our mission by hiring 3 new permanent staff and 2 seasonal land steward assistants;
  • are designing carbon neutral classroom and office spaces in the farmhouse that will decrease our operational costs and increase our capacity for educational programs next year.

Every time you give to the Horn Farm Center, you are giving back to the land, our community, and future generations.

Please consider making a financial contribution either by check or online: visit our website to donate.

Thank you for your commitment to our work and mission.


Alexis Campbell, Executive Director

Horn Farm Happenings – To Friends of the Farm

Thanks for Being A Friend

You’ve given a lot this year. And, that’s why we want to say thanks for….

  • attending our programs and events,
  • volunteering your time and talents,
  • making an impact on the land,
  • helping us recover from the farmhouse fire,
  • and, contributing financially to help us carry out our mission.

In this season of giving and gratitude, we are thankful for all that you do.

Every time you give to the Horn Farm Center, you are giving back to the land, our community, and future generations. 

Thanks for being a friend of the farm!


The Horn Farm Center Board & Staff