Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education

Horn Farm Happenings – February 19, 2021

Get Out & Dig In

It may be hard to believe but soon we will be starting seeds in the greenhouse and preparing for spring. As we continue to persevere through the winter season, we are rejoicing in the simple things: sunny days, signs of wildlife in the snow, and the opportunities to connect, share, and dream for the future.

We have big plans this year. In addition to offering a wide variety of outdoor educational programs,  growing the Horn Farm CSA and launching our new Land Steward Training Program, we have lots of work to do!

Starting in March, we will embark on a year-long project, installing a 6 acre multifunctional riparian buffer on the eastern side of the farm. The project is part of “Regenerative Farmscape East” a 20 acre riparian restoration project funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources PennVest program.

In addition to diversifying the crops grown on the farm and improving the ecological health of the landscape, this project will positively affect the health of our waterways downstream, namely, Kreutz Creek, the Susquehanna River, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Our goal is to plant nearly 17,000 trees on the Horn Farm by 2022.

We know this is a tall order; we can’t do it without your help. We also need many hands to accomplish all the things we know and love about the Horn Farm: growing nutritious food, inviting and inspiring visitors, running the CSA, maintaining our facilities, and more!

Volunteers are central to the Horn Farm Center’s mission and serve as stewards of the land and the organization. Whether getting their hands dirty on farm or completing behind-the-scenes projects, our volunteers are vital in enhancing our ability to grow healthy food, restore our ecosystems and teach others to do the same.

We are so thankful for our volunteers. If you think you might be interested in sharing some of your time and talents with us as well, please join us! We invite to become a part of our team.

Click here to learn more & to become a volunteer!


Horn Farm Center Health and Safety Policy

Due to COVID-19 the Horn Farm Center is offering on-site educational programming with some modifications in order to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff. All classes will be held outside and are limited to 15 participants per class. If more than one class occurs on the same day, start times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals arriving at the same time. Multiple hand sanitizer stations are available. We will adjust as needed as time passes and things change.

Participant expectations are as follows:

  • Participants are required to bring a mask and wear it when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. We have a limited supply on hand if you forget yours.
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained except in case of family members.
  • Do not attend if sick or recovering.

Until further notice, no indoor classes are available at this time. We are offering virtual classroom experiences via zoom.

Horn Farm Happenings – January 29, 2021

Looking Forward

In 2021, we are thankful.

Last year, we learned many invaluable lessons and discovered the opportunity in disturbance, which has provided an opening for something new to take root. We are still taking stock – getting grounded in our new reality and continuing to plan for a more regenerative future with hope and gratitude.

2020 was a big year for the Horn Farm Center. And, despite our collective challenges, we are proud of our accomplishments. Most notably, our strengths have come into full focus as we demonstrated what we already knew to be true: that our power and our resilience lies in our relationships.

We are humbled by the ongoing support of our small but dedicated community. To those of you who donated your cancelled program fees, who provided generous financial gifts, who showed up in the sweltering heat of July and the blustery cold of November to offer a helping hand on the farm, who offered words of encouragement by phone, email, or social media – we thank you! We also thank our farm partners, who continue to innovate, collaborate and inspire us.

And while we said farewell to some old friends, this year we welcome several new team members (as well as some familiar faces) to the Horn Farm staff and Board of Directors.

With renewed energy and enthusiasm we are looking forward to a new season of growth at the Horn Farm Center. We are taking a close look at our organizational history, business practices, and overall institutional well-being. Through this mindful observation and honest inventory, we are designing for regenerative practices, not only on the land, but for our entire organizational system.

Here are some of the ways we are growing this year:

 

1) Whole Systems Approach: On the land, we are cultivating soil health, protecting our waterways, increasing biodiversity, and growing healthy food. We are also designing our land management practices in ways that integrate and create synergies between the field and wooded areas on the farm. This means that our farm team will be working more closely with one another – creating a regenerative farmscape and providing new holistic educational experiences such as our new Land Steward Training program, that launches this spring.

2) Relying on Reciprocal Relationships: Using a whole systems approach, we are focused on bolstering the health of our ecosystem by making connections and building relationships. Our board and staff are engaged together in new ways, focused on co-creating a more resilient organization and fostering partnerships on the land and in our community. We are starting small, working with our renting farmers, partner farms, as well as local businesses, to creatively collaborate and support one another. For example, the Horn Farm Center is partnering with long-time renting farmer and former incubator  program participant Jeremy Kilgore of Kilgore Family Farm to increase the number of CSA shares available at the Horn Farm.

3) Communication & Community: As a small organization with a huge mission, communication is a priority. We want to better connect with you, not just by sharing what we are doing but also by listening. By stepping up our game on social media and implementing a multi-faceted communications strategy, we want to engage in conversation with our friends, patrons, and followers as much as possible. This month we launched a new blog, which will feature monthly posts, articles, and musings from the Horn Farm’s team of land stewards. We also plan to host a new monthly video series (think video podcast) that will be available on our website as well as all of our social media channels. If you have feedback or suggestions for us, we would love to hear from you! You can comment and post on our blog and social media channels, or email us directly at info@hornfarmcenter.org

4) Beyond Sustainability – In addition to redesigning and implementing new ideas, we are taking a good look at the long-term resiliency of our organization. The Board of Directors have made a deep commitment to the ongoing financial sustainability of the Horn Farm Center. We are asking ourselves: “How can we continue to redefine agriculture and champion regenerative practices? How can we make a greater impact and serve our community in York County and beyond?” In the face of economic uncertainty and shifting cultural norms, the Horn Farm Center must continue to adapt and grow. The entire Horn Farm team is embarking on a new Development Plan that focuses on strengthening our relationships and fostering community support for the Horn Farm Center.

5) Education & Safety – This year we continue to offer modified educational programs to protect the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff. All classes will held outdoors and are limited to 15 participants. We ask that you bring along your face coverings during your visits to the farm. The Summer Kitchen continues to be closed for classes.  However, we are designing a new “outdoor kitchen” classroom space where we will host a small number of cooking class offerings. In addition to new in-person classes and workshops this year, we now have virtual presentations!

We are very excited about the future of the Horn Farm Center and hope that you are too. As an integral part of our ecosystem, your participation is vital. Together we are making a difference and redefining agriculture. We hope to see you soon at the farm!


Horn Farm Center Health and Safety Policy

Due to COVID-19 the Horn Farm Center is offering on-site educational programming with some modifications in order to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff. All classes will be held outside and are limited to 15 participants per class. If more than one class occurs on the same day, start times will be staggered to reduce the number of individuals arriving at the same time. Multiple hand sanitizer stations are available. We will adjust as needed as time passes and things change.

Participant expectations are as follows:

  • Participants are required to bring a mask and wear it when proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. We have a limited supply on hand if you forget yours.
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained except in case of family members.
  • Do not attend if sick or recovering.

Until further notice, no indoor classes are available at this time. We are offering virtual classroom experiences via zoom. 

Horn Farm Happenings – January 27, 2021

Our Community is Growing

At the end of last year we said farewell to two staff members, Jon Darby and Pam Moore, as well as four board members, Erin Shrader, Shayne Smith, Allen Clements, and Julia Paris. We thank all of our former staff and board members for their years of dedicated service to the Horn Farm Center and we continue to celebrate the impact they have made on our community through their work. Like all of the transitions we experienced in the last year, we are thankful not only for the lessons learned but also the opportunities these disturbances have provided to the organization.  This year we welcome several new team members to the Horn Farm Center, including one staff person and four new members of the Board of Directors.  Please meet and welcome our newest team members!


Meet Katrina Zervanos, Horn Farm Center’s New Executive Assistant

Born and raised in Harrisburg, PA, Katrina holds a B.S. in Actuarial Science with a minor in Computer Science from Lebanon Valley College. After gaining a few years of experience working in a corporate setting, she decided to explore her interest in permaculture design, herbalism, and regenerative agriculture through an internship at Urban Edge Farm and Susquehanna Apothecary in Lancaster, PA. Katrina found the Horn Farm Center in 2019 through a foraging class and thought it to be the perfect place to continue learning and growing after her internship. She is excited to use her skillset to support the Horn Farm Center and the community.

Click here to learn more about Horn Farm Center’s staff.


Meet Horn Farm Center’s Newest Board Members

Michael Barlett, Treasurer 

Michael Barlett has had a lifelong interest in organic gardening and experimenting with different growing methods. Since his summer working on an organic farm outside of Pittsburgh, Pa Michael has worked hard to garden organically and broaden his understanding of how we interact with the world around us.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree in International Studies at Washington and Jefferson College Michael had the opportunity to spend a year in rural Japan where an entirely different way of living with the land allowed him to learn about how ancient and modern cultures lived side by side in rural communities.

Throughout his travels he has always taken time to learn about the rural communities and farming methods that locals use to adapt to their surroundings. Recently he has begun to experiment with breeding his own Dwarf Tomatoes to fit into his small garden and always trialing new varieties of fruits and vegetables.


Julia Parrish

Julia grew up on her family’s vineyard and winery in Lower Chanceford Township, York County. She first became interested in the land on their farm, helping in her grandparent’s garden and harvesting grapes. Julia attended Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences, where she served as an Ag Advocate, participated in NAMA (National Agricultural Marketing Association), and majored in Agricultural Business Management.

Upon graduation, Julia interned with Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Waugh, Chair of the Ag and Rural Affairs Committee before attending the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle.  During law school, Julia worked on campus at the Ag Law Center and at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel. Upon graduation, Julia clerked in Ocean County, New Jersey before returning to York County.  Julia was an associate at the Law Office of Marc Roberts in York before moving to her current office, Lancaster Law Group, LLC, where she practices estate planning, estate administration, and general civil matters.  Julia is most proud of her children than she and her husband, Mark, are raising in Lower Windsor Township, where she serves on the Planning Commission.


Nathan Hardman

Nathan was raised in York, Pennsylvania. For as long as he can remember, his parents and grandparents have kept and tended to family gardens. As an avid lover of tomatoes and being outdoors in general, Nathan would often find himself in the garden tending to the tomatoes and other various fruits and vegetables and, of course, providing quality control.

After graduating from York Suburban High School, Nathan attended Messiah College where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Since then, he has been working at C.S. Davidson, Inc. as a civil engineer on various types of projects including: stream restoration, land development, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment. He is a graduate of Leadership York and is passionate about his local community.

Nathan has always had a drive to make the world a better place and believes that everyone should have access to healthy food options and that the production of food should be both beneficial to the recipient and the soil that it comes from. In his free time, Nathan likes to tend to his garden and house plants and spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, and skiing.


Jonathan Darby 

Jonathan is dedicated to educating people about the intersection of farming and ecology, to growing tomorrow’s farmers, and to building community resilience in uncertain times. Jonathan is a wild foods enthusiast and educator, former owner and operator of Sterling Farm, and has been active in the local farming community for the past ten years.

Jonathan has been involved at the Horn Farm since 2008 when he volunteered on the committee that conceived and created the Incubator Farm Project. Jonathan received his Permaculture Design Certification in 2011 from Susquehanna Permaculture and in 2014 completed his Permaculture Teacher Training through Dynamic Ecological Design. On January 1, 2016, Jonathan Darby was promoted to Education Director at the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education. In January 2021, after retiring his role as Education Director and pursuing his other local business ventures, Jonathan made the decision to continue to serve the Horn Farm in a new role as a member of the Board of Directors.

Click here for more information about the Horn Farm Center Board of Directors.


In this time of great uncertainty, there’s a fundamental truth that gives us hope—that together we can do extraordinary things!

The Horn Farm Center is supported by a community of dedicated volunteers, partner farmers, CSA members, community gardeners, program participants, local businesses, and long-time supporters. Here are some of the ways that you are making an impact:

  • In 2019-2020, we trained 7 new land stewards through the Horn Farm Center’s signature Regenerative Farmer Training Program.
  • In 2019, our educators provided approximately 650 class participants with immersive educational experiences on the farm!
  • The Horn Farm CSA continues to feed an average of 40 families each year and partners with 5 local farmers – making the Horn Farm farm stand a community hub for nutritious food!
  • As of this year, all of our farmers have transitioned to employ only organic and regenerative farming practices on the 186 acres of the Horn Farm.

Click here to learn more about how YOU have made an incredible impact with the Horn Farm!