Horn Farm Happenings – November 4, 2022

Kitchen Classes: Making A Comeback

Just as the weather is cooling down, the Summer Kitchen at the Horn Farm Center is beginning to heat up!

Between the pandemic and the farmhouse fire, classes in our Summer Kitchen went dormant over the past few years. We’re excited to revive and re-introduce kitchen programs, beginning with a back-to-basics bread series taking place this winter!

Taught by longtime friend and volunteer, Ellen Gibb, this series of three bread-baking workshops will cover the basics of ingredients, techniques, and variations for distinct bread-making styles. We’ll also reflect on bread-baking as an exercise in reconnection: with ourselves, our history, our ingredients, and the land.

A special thanks to our friends at Shipley Energy for helping to weatherize the Summer Kitchen for year-round use with a new mini-split HVAC system and helping us get back on our feet after the farmhouse fire.

Register for individual classes or take the full series at a discounted charge. The first class of the series will be taking place on Wednesday, November 16th from 6 to 8pm at the Horn Farm Center’s cozy Summer Kitchen!

Click here to register for Bread Baking Basics. 

Greenhouse Internships: Now Accepting Applications

Interested in learning about nursery plant production and greenhouse management? We have two internship opportunities available next year that will provide hands-on learning and personalized job coaching with Farm Manager, Andrew Horn.

Throughout the course of the internship students will learn:

  • Production planning and seeding schedules
  • Seasonal greenhouse management
  • Plant propagation techniques
  • Materials & Methodology
  • Plant Anatomy, taxonomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, genetics
  • Irrigation – watering, water testing, understanding plant nutrition
  • Plant Health Management – foliar sprays, root dips, seed coats
  • Plant Sale Management – budgeting, pricing, product placement, retailing

  Learn More About 2023 Internships

Community Gathering: Join Us by the Fire

Enjoy the company of fellow community members and the warmth of a bonfire at the Horn Farm on Sunday, December 4th between 3 and 5pm. All are welcome! We’re looking forward to celebrating the land, our community, and the ways they’ve come together throughout this year.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Feel free to bring your own chair, and be sure to dress warmly, as the event will take place outdoors. Of course, the fire is contingent on weather conditions. We’ll make sure to reach out in advance if plans need to change. 

As your “ticket” to this event, please bring a canned or preserved food item. We’ll be collecting donations for the York County Food Bank.

Click here to let us know you’re attending


Calling All Tree-Lovers!

We’re looking forward to a gathering of tree-loving volunteers TOMORROW, Saturday, November 4th for a final planting and maintenance day before the end of the year.

Come out to the Horn Farm Center to plant trees, perform important upkeep, and enjoy a morning outdoors surrounded by peak-leaf beauty!

New volunteers are always welcome! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the riparian buffer and why we’re all about it while supporting our land/stream reparation efforts.

Click here to Register

Plant Identification with Jon Darby

Discover the diversity of Pennsylvania’s woodland species. Using bark and budding patterns, students will learn how to identify plants, trees, and shrubs in the wooded areas at the farm.

Come prepared for all weather, to get dirty, wet, and cold! This class is family and child friendly, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

Join us on Sunday, November 6th at 1pm for a Guided Nature Walk focused on Plant Identification with Jon Darby of Riverbend Foraging. 

Horn Farm Happenings – October 21, 2022

Why We Do What We Do

There are a lot of justifications for the work we do and the skills we teach at the Horn Farm Center. One came through with alarming clarity on NPR’s Morning Edition last week.

According to the latest reporting from the World Wildlife Fund, the populations of most major animal groups on our planet have plummeted nearly 70% since 1970. From fish to mammals, birds to reptiles, these creatures are critical to the biodiversity that keeps ecosystems stable and the atmosphere livable.

It shouldn’t be surprising that this striking loss is attributed to human activities: habitat fracture, overdevelopment, unsustainable agriculture, and globalized consumption. Concerned scientists and environmentalists have not minced the fact that we’re living through an era of human-driven mass extinction.

This is why we spend every day doing what we do: demonstrating and teaching ways for people to produce, consume, and interact in greater harmony with the land. The gravity of the situation is overwhelming, but we know that solutions lie in committing ourselves to locally-focused, ecologically-sound lifeways and teaching these skills to future generations. We need to prioritize habitat repair, regenerative farming, and other forms of uncompromising earthcare if we want to ensure a livable future for all.

Learn more about the Horn Farm Center’s strategic goals to increase wildlife habitat through agroforestry and regenerative agriculture,  reduce our carbon footprint, and teach others to do the same by visiting our website.

We encourage you to listen to the full segment on NPR’s website and read WWF’s report at worldwildlife.org.


Cheers to Our Community

This month, we had the pleasure of hosting many of our generous donors and community partners for an evening of connection and celebration.

Locally-crafted sweet potato mash, onion tarts, custard acorn squash, braised greens, hazelnut cookies, and pawpaw beer made for great company as we shared this year’s progress in transitioning to perennial agroforestry and growing our regenerative mission.

As a keynote to the program, Dale Hendricks–local tree-enthusiast and owner of Green Light Plants LLC–connected our vision to the pioneering work of John Hershey, who spent much of the early 20th century learning from native trees and cultivating a landscape where agriculture could work in harmony with natural systems. His work pushed the edge and recognized the land’s needs well before agroforestry and regenerative agriculture were termed. We can’t help but see our own shift towards perennial agroforestry on the farm as part of his legacy.

Very many thanks to all of our donors for the tremendous help you have given us this year in the wake of our farmhouse fire. With your support, we’ve taken strides not only toward a rebuild that befits our mission, but toward new and exciting projects that will capture the full scope of what we’re all about.

Another thanks to John Wright Restaurant, Farm to Freezer, Locally Seasoned, Collusion Brewery, and Sarah Cahill for transforming Horn Farm produce into culinary delights for the event.

From our human partners to our other-than-human collaborators, we look to our community with beaming hearts and so much gratitude!

Thank You York College Students!

Thank you to the York College of Pennsylvania Spartan Serve Network for joining us at the farm last Friday to complete some important riparian buffer management! Student volunteers cleared a weedy patch near our tree plantings, mended damaged tree tubes, planted seedlings, and provided stellar golden-hour company.

As the season winds down, we’re looking forward to one last community volunteer opportunity in our 8 acre multifunctional riparian buffer. Register today to join us on Saturday, November 5th, 10am-12:30pm, for some late-season planting and tree check-ups.

If you’re new to volunteering with us, this is a great opportunity to learn more about our ongoing land restoration project in partnership with DCNR PennVest, GIANT and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Healing Planet Earth, the Stabler Foundation, and the Keystone 10 million trees campaign.

K10 Partnership Celebrates 5 Million Trees

Congratulations to Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership for reaching a huge milestone this month! Together with many partners from around the state & region, #10MillionTreesForPA planted their 5 millionth tree in Franklin County.

The Keystone Partnership has been pivotal in our efforts to establish 14 acres of riparian buffer on our farm, helping us plant over 15,000 trees over the past four years! We couldn’t have done this without the Ketystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, who provided trees, supplies, and volunteer resources.

As we bask in this accomplishment, let’s give a shout out to the hundreds of volunteers who’ve put hands to the dirt and helped make our vision a reality. From 2018 to just last week, over 200 volunteers have braved the elements, planted seedlings, posted tubes, righted poles, and managed invasives, bringing both muscle and comradery to our stewardship efforts.

Community Gardeners Take on the “Soil Your Undies” Challenge!

As we prepare for our  Soil Microbes 101  class on October 29th, we’ll let you in on a BRIEF experiment conducted by two of our community gardeners this summer!

As part of the Pennsylvania Soil Health Coalition‘s “Soil Your Undies” Challenge, enterprising gardeners Phyllis and Mark buried two fresh pairs of drawers in their garden plots to see just how hungry healthy soils can be. Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and worms process soil nutrients by feeding on organic (carbon-containing) compounds, so adding cotton underwear to the mix, it turns out, can tell us a lot about how these populations are getting along!

Annihilated undies = a thriving soil food web, full of the microbes essential to garden and ecosystem health. After this experiment, our gardeners will amend the soil in Mark’s plot and see if any improvements occur.

Soil Microbes 101 with Suzanne Shea

Ever seen a nematode? A microarthropod? Halloween is almost here, so why not spend some time with the creepy crawlies that call our farm and garden soils home?

Next Saturday, discover the creepy crawlies that make our soils come to life. In this program, participants will explore the microbial life that makes up soil and how we can nurture it, producing healthier plants and happier land.

Participants will get to see microbes through the microscope while exploring the building blocks of soil science. Whether you’re a gardener, farmer, or aspiring food grower, fall is a great time to expand your knowledge and plan proactively for the growing season!

Join us on Saturday, October 29th for Soil Microbes 101 with Certified Soil Food Web Lab-Tech, Suzanne Shea.

Click here to Register for Soil Microbes 101

Horn Farm Happenings – October 7, 2022

Discover the Secrets of Soil

What do healthy crops, resilient ecosystems, and a stable climate have in common? SOIL!

Nurturing healthy soil is non-negotiable if we want to act in partnership with nature, and this month’s Saturday classes will help you learn how to do just that! Whether you’re winterizing your garden, planting cover crops, tending to compost, exploring lawn conversion, or are just interested in exploring the living world beneath our landscapes, understanding the nuances of soil will help you grow as a land steward. You won’t want to miss these new opportunities at the Horn Farm Center!

So, join us on the 15th, 22nd, and 29th to delve (literally) below the soil surface. Get to know its language, its living occupants, and the ways that we can act as better, more resourceful caretakers.

Check out the class links below to learn more:
Soil Biology Deep Dives (10/15 and 10/29, 2-4pm)
Biochar and Soil Carbon (10/22, 1-5pm)

Click here to Register for Soil Classes

2200 Pawpaw Festival Visitors!

While severe thunderstorms shut us down early on Sunday, we still enjoyed a beautiful, memorable weekend bringing together local vendors, environmental educators, stellar volunteers, and the pawpaw-curious from near and far!

With over 2200 visitors, this year was our biggest, most well-attended Pawpaw Festival, and we’re grateful for the show of support–not only for this unique native fruit, but for the mission of the Horn Farm Center to foster learning through ecological land stewardship, experiential education, and community partnership.

Proceeds from the festival will help us to expand our educational programs in land stewardship and regenerative living while we continue to recover and rebuild following the 2021 farmhouse fire. Thank you to all the vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees who made the 2022 Pawpaw Festival a huge success!

Thank You Sponsors

We’re grateful for the sponsoring businesses that helped make our 2022 festival such a success: UPMC, 7group, Richards Energy Group, Inc., Natural Awakenings Lancaster/Berks and Natural Awakenings of South Central PA, Rutter’s, The Wenger Group, John Wright Restaurant, and York County Solid Waste & Refuse Authority.


Grab a Few Brews & Celebrate at Liquid Hero

This weekend is going to be sunny and cool! Looking for something to do?

Our friends at 🍺 Liquid Hero Brewery 🍺 in downtown York are celebrating their 11 Year Anniversary, and they’ve invited us to join the party! Drop by THIS SATURDAY, October 8th after 12pm to grab a beer and say hello!

We’ll be sharing lots of things with you: Horn Farm info, merch, upcoming events, wild tea from our meadows, and other surprises. Pay us a visit, and support this awesome homegrown business while you’re at it!





The Art of Seeing & Observation

Observation is an essential awareness skill that serves as the building block for all other wilderness skills. Participants will learn to expand their observation skills by using all 5 senses to truly observe the wild. The program includes awareness techniques, tracking, and more. If you’re going to take only one of these classes, this is the one we recommend!

Join us on Sunday, October 9th for The Art of Seeing & Observation with Woodland Steward, Wilson Alvarez. This class is part of the Wild Lands: Primitive Skills Series

Photo: Students Learning to Walk & Observe Like Animals

Click here to Register for Art of Seeing & Observation