Horn Farm Happenings – June 12, 2020

Starting in July, we are happy to announce that we will be resuming classes and workshops at the farm! We will be limiting class size and will only be offering outdoor classes so that we can adhere to required safety protocols. We are still working out the details. Look for more information on our website and Facebook page nest week.

In addition we are presenting four new online classes covering the Foundations of Plant Medicine. These classes will meet via Zoom, which is an interactive, online meeting software. To participate, you’ll need internet access and a computer, tablet, or phone. Zoom link and other details will be sent to you before the class meets. Class sizes are limited to allow for participant questions and interaction.

monarda and echinacea in palms

Photo: Michelle Johnsen

On Saturday, June 20: Water Infusions and Plant Journals

Plants and humans have always had a special relationship – plants create compounds that work to heal and support human body systems, and humans help propagate plants through seed dispersal and ecosystem interaction. Over time the use and understanding of plants as medicine was forgotten by more and more people until the knowledge was held by very few. As many of us turn towards learning skills of resiliency and methods of subsistence, we can share the information within our communities and help each other learn how to connect with the wisdom of the plant world again.

One helpful tool in learning about plants and their medicinal characteristics is a simple plant journal created to keep track of plants and herbs, personal observations about medicinal uses and plant behavior, and others experiences with the same. The plant journal becomes both a living reference book, and a recipe book, tailor made to the herbalist/student who has created it.

In this 2 hour class, participants will learn techniques for starting and keeping a plant journal based on the simple practice of direct observation and the sampling of water based infusions. With an organic approach, learning about plants can feel more like getting to know a whole world of new friends than like a school assignment with a test at the end. In other words, this class is about learning to transform the ancient art of making a cup of tea into the basis of your plant studies and research.

On Saturday, July 11: Oil Infusions and Salves

There are many ways to prepare plant medicines so we can use them to heal and support our body systems. One common way that is an easy skill for the beginner to master is to make a salve. Salves begin with an oil infusion, which is then mixed with beeswax and other ingredients to create a healing salve or balm. Salves are a staple in the herbal household and a foundational element of an herbal practice.

In this class, participants will learn about specific plants and herbs that are particularly useful when applied topically, and learn the process, from start to finish, of turning them into oil infusions and simple salves.

On Saturday, July 25: Tincture Making

When herbalists want to create a plant medicine with an extended shelf life, they often make a tincture, which is an infusion using alcohol, vinegar, or vegetable glycerin as the base substance. Tinctures are very effective in extracting medicinal compounds from plants, last longer than a water infusion or decoction, and are an easy way to ingest less palatable herbs, or those remedies that require higher and more frequent doses.

In this class, participants will learn the basic principles of tincturing, including plant and herb preparation, ratios, and infusion mediums. We will explore some useful plants to tincture and discuss when and how to use them.

On Saturday, August 8: Creating an Herbal First Aid Kit

Every home should have a simple, yet comprehensive first aid kit. With a little knowledge and some preparation, so much that ails us on a day to day basis- body pain, digestive upset, headache, cramps, scrapes, burns, stings- can be easily and simply treated at home using herbal and natural remedies.

In this course we’ll discuss common injuries and health issues, the types of herbs and supplies you need to safely treat them at home, the types of herbal remedies that are helpful to include in your herbal first aid kit, and how to make and use those medicines.

This is a perfect class for parents, caregivers, teachers, activists, first responders, herbalists, gardeners, homesteaders, and anyone with an interest in healthy living and basic emergency preparedness.

photo: Michele Johnsen

Last month we announced the resignation of Executive Director Alyson Earl. Today we are beginning our search for a new leader of the organization.

The Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education is seeking a new Executive Director to continue our important work and to move the organization into the next chapter of its life.  The best candidate will have a regenerative mindset and will have had experiences with stewardship of natural spaces, the growing of food, and the management of non-profit organizations.  We are looking for someone who is more than familiar with sustainable and regenerative philosophies when it comes to agriculture.  You’ll be open to observing what the organization and its home has to tell you.  From those observations and through collaboration with employees and board members you’ll help to shape its future.  Our new Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead an organization that is composed of thought leaders in the regenerative movement and is an active and significant player in changing the way humans view and interact with the community of life that supports them. Our new Executive Director will have the opportunity to work within a site that is living proof that the damage done to our land and water can be changed for the better and you will have the opportunity to provide the philosophies, skills, and wisdom for MANY others.

If you feel invigorated by this opportunity and want to know more about the position, please find it on our website: https://hornfarmcenter.org/jobpostings

Upcoming Events:
Saturday, June 20: Water Infusions and Plant Journals
Saturday, July 11: Oil Infusions and Salves
Saturday, July 25: Tincture Making
Saturday, August 8: Creating an Herbal First Aid Kit
September 19 & 20: Pawpaw Festival