Horn Farm Happenings – June 23, 2023

Become a Part of the Crew

Restoring land and reviving ecosystems takes time and a big team. That’s why we launched a new, dedicated volunteer program this spring focused on engaging with nature and each other in regenerative ways.

The Horn Farm Community Crew program offers hands-on volunteer training with Horn Farm staff. Volunteer crew members will play a key role in specialized projects focused on ecological restoration and bolstering our wooded and wild areas.

Perks of membership include ongoing training and education with experienced staff, a free t-shirt, volunteer social events, and the ability to log hours spent volunteering to redeem free class vouchers and other perks.

Over time, this program will help to cultivate a vibrant network of earth stewards dedicated to helping nature thrive! By learning and tending together at the Horn Farm Center, members can take the skills and experiences of land-based volunteering home and further spread the knowledge, determination, and confidence that our communities need to bring ourselves back into balance with nature.

Learn more about the Horn Farm Community Crew by visiting the link below and signing up for our second training day on Sunday, July 23rd!

Click here to learn more.

There’s no shortage of surprises for volunteers at the Horn Farm!

While working in our riparian buffer last week, Board Member Cindy Pizziketti and our Community Crew volunteers came across a nest of red-winged blackbird chicks on a red osier dogwood… accompanied, of course, by the shouts of an irate parent protesting nearby!

Throughout the seasons, hundreds of red wings call our meadows and wet fields home, preferring to forage in open habitats and freshwater edges like our riparian buffer. It’s always reassuring to see a new generation thriving at the Horn Farm!


Welcome Summer Intern, Mel Beans!

Meet Mel Beans, our new Education & Communications Intern! Mel joins us from the Public Service Summer Institute (PSSI), a program of the The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement at Franklin & Marshall College. For the next six weeks, Mel will be assisting our community engagement team with research and content development: creating future blog and social media posts, farm signage, and other educational materials. Additionally, Mel will aid us in identifying new audiences and outreach avenues to help us spread the word about the Horn Farm’s mission and offerings.

“I’m a rising junior at Franklin & Marshall College pursuing a B.A. in environmental studies and public policy. After taking an environmental justice course and diving into research on “forever chemicals,” I realized that I wanted to pursue a career that actively acknowledges and addresses the ways in which the environment is deeply interconnected with and integral to our wellbeing. I jumped on the opportunity to intern at Horn Farm Center, seeing how their mission aligns with my passions and career goals. As the Education & Communications Intern, I’m grateful to contribute to HFC’s essential role in demonstrating not only sustainable, but regenerative and resilient agriculture by assisting with research and outreach.

In my free time, I enjoy being with friends and family and in nature, thrifting, listening to music, and watching video essays. On campus, I’m a house advisor and the president of Catastrophic Relief Alliance, an F&M organization that addresses housing needs locally and nationally, especially in the wake of natural disasters.

I aspire to have a career in nonprofit work, specifically focusing on environmental and social justice. I’m also interested in urban planning!”

Summer Youth Program: Ages 9-12

Scurry like a squirrel, build like a beaver, and move like a mastodon this summer at the Horn Farm Center!

This three-day program series is an opportunity to learn about animal behavior and ecology through the lens of the animal! Students will learn about squirrel, beaver, and mastodon by studying their habitat, life cycles, and behaviors. Each day, students will explore how these animals move in the landscape through fun, engaging activities and then they will become the animal by mimicking their behavior on the land while discovering how these animals play an important role in our ecosystems.

Join us on July 31- August 2nd from 9AM-12PM for Becoming the Animal Summer Series! Parents are encouraged to stay and attend the program, or we offer a drop-off and pick-up 30 minutes before class begins and ends.

Click here to learn more

Plant Language: Ecology & Herbalism

“If we surrendered to the earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees” – Rainer Maria Rilke

What is plant language? From an herbalist perspective, plant language is the ability to understand how and why a plant manifests the way they do in the world.

We can detect this language through taste, touch and smell. We can also learn the language of plants by understanding how plants shape themselves in response to their environment. This program will uncover the secrets of plant language by focusing on one particular herbal ally: Goldenrod.

Guided by clinical herbalist, Alyssa Dennis, students will harvest and prepare goldenrod while examining their ideal habitat and discussing their growth cycle. In addition to uncovering the mysteries of plant communication, each student take home a prepared goldenrod tincture.

Class will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions with a lunch break from 1-2pm. Students are encouraged to pack a lunch to enjoy during this time.

Join us for Plant Language: Kin-centric Ecology within Herbalism on September 16, 2023 from 10AM-5PM at the Horn Farm Center! 

Click here to register