Horn Farm Happenings – February 09, 2024


Learning from the Land & Our Partners

Last weekend we had a basket-full of fun and hands-on learning during our first Agroforestry Work & Learn – a collaborative educational program thanks to our friends from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural ResourcesPenn State Extension, and Foggy Blossom Farm.

Below pristine blue skies, we hosted farmers, land stewards, community organizers, and curious folks from all around our region for a full day of education in the Horn Farm’s multifunctional riparian buffers and demonstration fields.

Over the course of the day, participants had an opportunity to:

  • Learn the nitty-gritty of planting, growing, coppicing, bundling, and sorting basketry willow while partaking in our annual coppice work.
  • Explore our riparian buffer and learn how to use native species for live staking (or planting new plants from cuttings). Take-homes included!
  • See a glimpse of check dams, Zuni bowls, and other earthworks that use site-sourced materials for land restoration.
  • Enjoy a special session from western PA-based Foggy Blossom Farm on taking willows from tree to basket!

It was a great day for sowing inspiration and weaving together folks from across PA (and beyond!) interested in the creative and restorative potential of agroforestry.

Interested in learning more about working with coppice trees? Join the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay at the Horn Farm Center for an in-person demonstration of the process of livestaking.

Click the link here to learn more and register for this free learning opportunity!

Commissioners Share Support for the Farmhouse Rebuild 

This past week, York County Commissioners – President Commissioner Julie Wheeler, Vice President Commissioners Scott Burford,  and Commissioner Doug Hoke – visited the Horn Farm Center to discuss the Farmhouse Rebuild Project.

After touring the building, which has been stripped, stabilized and protected since the fire, we shared our plans for transforming the 1840s residence into highly functional and energy-efficient classroom and office spaces. We also discussed some of the unexpected hurdles we faced during the design phase of the project, which have included:

  • unusual design challenges related to retrofitting a historic brick building to be highly energy efficient;
  • volatility within the construction market;
  • and the long timeline necessary for thoughtful planning and fundraising.

Despite these surprises along the way, Murphy & Dittenhafer and our rebuild team completed construction documents for a newly retrofitted facility at the end of last year. We are now focusing on raising funds to start construction.

The farmhouse has always stood as an iconic symbol of the Horn Farm and our important mission to heal the land and educate our community. We are eager to see the farmhouse become that once again when the project is completed. During their visit, each Commissioner shared their excitement and support for preserving and revitalizing this historic landmark.

Learn more about the Farmhouse Rebuild Project.

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

Save the Date: Spring Plant Sale

Dreaming of spring? So are we! Mark your calendars for the Horn Farm Center’s 12th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 4th, 2024 from 9AM to 3PM.

If you’ve shopped with us before, you know it’s going to be a great time!

Stop by and shop from a wide variety of organically grown vegetable, herb and flower starts. The sale will also offer trees, shrubs, grasses, herbaceous perennials, and a unique selection of native plants.

Click here to learn more about the Plant Sale

A Legacy of Growing in Community

In 2009, the Horn Farm Center launched the Community Gardens at the Horn Farm because our founding members believed that everyone should have access to fresh, home-grown foods. Since then, Horn Farm’s 101 community garden plots have been a source of nourishment, connection, and community for hundreds of local gardeners.

The Horn Farm Community Gardens remain a cornerstone of our programatic offerings today. Plots are currently open and available for registration!

Each plot measures approximately 20′ x 20′, and gardens are open for use from April 1st through October 31st. As a regenerative farm, we ask that gardeners follow organic and ecologically-guided gardening practices–more info is available at the registration link below.

Looking back on our 20 year history, we are so thankful to those that had the foresight to establish a collaborative space for cultivating healthy food and community. Join our deep-rooted community of local gardeners- reserve your plots!

Take a look at the 2009 Merchandiser article announcing the Community Garden project! You can see some of Horn Farm Center’s founding members, many of whom still support the organization today: the late June Evans (front), David Dietz, Paul McCleary, Mike Flinchbaugh, Steve and Mary Presto (left to right). 

Click here to Become a Community Gardener