Horn Farm Happenings – June 7, 2019

We planned to get them planted sooner, but today we are putting these beautiful willows in the ground! Thanks to a DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) Stream ReLeaf grant, we are planting another agroforestry system close to one of our three streams. Soon we will be able to harvest the branches for ornamental use, for making baskets, and for restoration projects on other parts of the farm. These willows come in all sorts of different, colors, shapes, and even scents!

We learned more about one of our friends the red-winged blackbirds this week. Even though there is plenty of work to do on the farm, we recognize the vital importance of taking time to simply observe. Observing from a single place over time can reveal patterns that remain hidden to a mere passerby. Here’s an example. This year, we have deliberately decided to stop mowing certain areas of the farm in order to create more diverse habitat and to save resources like time and fossil fuel. When we take the time to observe, we discover that there are many more creatures moving through and within the landscape. There is more habitat, there are continuous corridors for safe passage, and, in some cases there are particular structural elements needed by certain species. The wooden stakes that we put into the ground next to the newly planted trees have doubled as perches for blue birds who need a stable perch from which to hunt.Image may contain: plant, tree, grass, sky, outdoor and nature The male red-winged blackbirds, on the other hand, don’t mind a perch that moves in the breeze, and they have moved in to the field where the tall stalks of yellow dock grow intermittently amongst the grasses. They perch there and sing letting others know whose territory belongs to whom! Check out the call here: red-winged black bird. We couldn’t get close enough for a photo of the birds, but, while trying, also noticed that the mate of the male bird fed on the dock seeds while he chased other females away. There’s so much to see and learn!

Upcoming events:
June 22 – Cycle the Solstice
June 29 – Foraging – June Plant Walk
June 29 – The Ayurvedic Kitchen
July 13 – Mushroom Cultivation
July 13 – The Ayurvedic Kitchen
July 18 – Where the Wild Things Grow (Youth Program)
July 23 – Introduction to Canning: Peach Jam
July 29 to 31 – Building Backyard Habitats (Junior Naturalist Training)
July 29 to 31 – Building Community Habitats (Junior Naturalist Training)
August 8 – Introduction to Canning: Tomato Sauce
August 10 – The Ayurvedic Kitchen
August 20 – Roasted Vegetables
September 7 – The Ayurvedic Kitchen
September 10 – Introduction to Canning: Applesauce
September 28/29 – Pawpaw Festival
October 12 – Bread: Rising to the Next Level
October 15 – Woodland Steward Training Program

See you at the farm!