Horn Farm Happenings – July 6

It sure was hot this week! Sunny days with temperatures approaching the 100 degree mark! Here’s a little bit about what’s going on. 

The impact of human activities such as deforestation, agricultural monocultures, and urbanization have (as their unplanned, secondary effect) lowered the ability of watersheds to retain waters and has caused a decline in soil moisture, a fall in groundwater levels, as well as a warming of the surface of the land. What was once a pristine, continuous forest canopy is now fragmented and degraded. The loss of healthy forests across the globe has had a direct effect on the extremes in weather we are now experiencing. It’s about more than just additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; it’s about the loss of the plants that keep the Earth’s systems in balance.

platanus occidentalisWhy do trees matter?

When solar energy reaches the Earth’s surface, that energy can be converted to heat, or that energy can be used by plants to power photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which a plant transforms carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into carbohydrates, oxygen, and releases water vapor (evaporation). Plants also regulate their own temperature through a process called transpiration. Transpiration is the process by which moisture is carried through plants from roots to small pores on the underside of leaves, where it changes to vapor and is released to the atmosphere.

Transpiring plants, especially trees, are the perfect air conditioning system of the Earth. The tree is ‘fueled’ only by solar energy, is made of recyclable materials, requires minimal maintenance, and emits water vapor in response to the heat and humidity of the environment. Evaporating water is carried away and is released as condensation (fog, mist, rain) in cooler places. Unlike an air-conditioner which releases heat into nearby surroundings as it condenses moisture, a tree cools the environment as a byproduct of its activity. A tree is also quiet, absorbs noise and dust, provides food and habitat, is beautiful, and sequesters carbon. Wow! Recognizing the importance of trees, we’ve to reincorporate them into our farmscape beginning by restoring the health of the degraded woodlands on the Horn Farm. We started with the woodlands surrounding the farm fields of the farm business incubator and internship programs. This project is designed to provide ecological, economic, and educational yields. The replacement of overly abundant vining species with a greater diversity of useful plant species will provide food and other useful products while restoring ecosystem biohabitats, biodiversity, and resilience. Contact us to find out more!

Make your July transformative! Join wilderness expert Wilson Alvarez for an intensive primitive skill building experience! Over the course of two weekends, Wilson will lead participants through the process of bow making.Wilson Alvarez Bowmaking InstructorMaybe you’re someone passionate about learning techniques for survival and self reliant living.Maybe you’re an archer who loves hunting with a bow and arrow. Maybe you’re a woodworker who would love to learn a new skill. Whatever the reason, this is your chance to learn how to make hunting-quality, wooden bow and arrows from scratch with your own two hands. You will leave with your own finished bow! Wilson is a certified permaculture designer, inventor, gardener, skilled tracker, bowyer, nature-awareness instructor, and writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For the past 13 years, he has studied and taught classes and workshops on bio-intensive agriculture, regenerative technology, foraging, hunting, trapping, tracking, and wilderness survival. For more information and registration: Bow Making

Just two acres of our farm keeps 43 families supplied with fresh produce!
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Shares

Here is what we plan to include in this week’s CSA shares:
Summer squash
Swiss chard
Mustard greens
Garlic scapes (use as you would garlic)
Apple mint
Not a CSA member? There’s still time to join at a prorated rate. Click here for more information.

Upcoming events:
July 7 – First Saturday Volunteer Work Day
July 10 – Tuesday Evening Farm Work Crew
July 14, 15, 28, 29 – Bowmaking
July 17 – Tuesday Evening Farm Work Crew
July 21 – Monthly Farm Tour
July 23 – Tuesday Evening Farm Work Crew
July 24 – Preserving Herbs
July 31 – Tuesday Evening Farm Work Crew
July 31 – Knife Skills for the Home Cook
August 4 – First Saturday Volunteer Work Day
August 21 – Seasonal Eat & Meet

See you at the farm!