Horn Farm Happenings – March 17, 2023

History Mystery at the Horn Farm

No, that’s not a lawnmower! This week, GeoView Inc. conducted ground penetrating radar on two small areas of farm fields, just north of the farmhouse. This geophysical investigation is part of an ongoing history mystery here at the Horn Farm!

It all began with a 1700s map of the Ruby property, now part of the Horn Farm. The map was hand-drawn by landowner and surveyor, Samuel Ruby and details the orchards, production fields, and boundary lines of the Ruby property. The buildings depicted on the map, including a log cabin, pre-date the Horn Farm’s farmhouse and barn buildings and are believed to be located where Route 30 stands today. The Horn Farm’s farmhouse was built many years later in 1844 (est.), north of where the original log house is depicted on this map.

The map also has a number of unidentifiable notations and marks, two of which are the subject of our history mystery. Local historian Joseph Brillhart and geologist Jeri Jones of Jones Geological Services are leading the efforts to uncover the truth behind these curious markings.

Joseph Brillhart is a long-time friend of the Horn Farm Center and descendant of the Ruby Family. After many years of genealogical and historical research on the Ruby family, Joseph Brillhart, with the help of Jeri Jones, has located what we believe to be the location of the mystery plots. Joe’s thorough research has provided a few educated guesses as to what we might find: a family cemetery and a small outbuilding that may or may not have been used as a whiskey still.

It will be a few weeks until we have the results of the ground radar. Although it is a long-shot, we are hoping to uncover new insights into the history of the Horn Farm. If the ground radar reports indicate disturbances in the soil, we will have more clues as to what history lies beneath our feet.

We’re often searching for the stories that the land can tell us, be they ecological or cultural. That’s why we’re looking forward to potential discoveries that might enrich our knowledge of the farm’s history: to grow our records, find ways to honor our past, and put our present work in proper perspective.

Click here to discover more Horn Farm History

Welcome Greenhouse Intern: Shannon Phifer

“Growing up in Lancaster County and spending my summers up in the Pine Creek Valley, I had a deep-rooted connection to the beauty and wonder of nature and the great outdoors from a very young age….

I am humbled to be able to continue on in my exploration and education as one of the interns at the Horn Farm Center. When I am not interning at the farm, I work as a farm educator at Heritage Creek Farm Camp and Education Center in Mt. Joy.  I look forward to an amazing growing season and all the skills I will be able to take with me.”

Our greenhouse is buzzing with activity this spring as we welcome two new Greenhouse Management Interns! In addition to learning the ins and outs of organic seed starting and propagation, our interns will play an integral role in preparing for the Horn Farm Center’s 11th Annual Plant Sale on May 6th from 9am to 3pm.

What’s Going on with the Farmhouse?

We are rebuilding! On the night of October 25th, lightning struck the Horn Farm Center’s historic farm house, destroying the 2nd and 3rd floors.  Since then, recovery and rebuilding efforts are underway.

To learn more about our plans, process, and timeline, please visit: rebuildhornfarm.com


Explore the topic of foraging as an act of reciprocity.

In this class, we will discuss the ecological impacts of foraging, the history of tending wild plants in North America, how to develop better relationships with the land and the plants that provide for us, techniques for harm reduction and positive-impact harvesting, as well as plant identification and subsistence uses of plants.

Join us for Regenerative Foraging with Calyx Liddick from the Northern Appalachia School on Saturday, April 8th from 10AM-1PM at the Horn Farm Center!

Click here to Register.

Next Week: March 22-25, 2023

Are you curious about Earth Care, or wondering how you can have an ecological impact this year? Do you want to connect more deeply with Nature and care for the land around you, but aren’t sure where to start?

For 4 days, from March 22 – 25th, LadyBug EarthCare is bringing together dozens of training sessions, interviews and presentations from activists, experts and naturalists, who have found ways to increase their ecological impact through connection with Nature. You’ll hear about everything from Placemaking, Pollinator Gardening and Woodland Stewardship to Earth-Focused Professions, and more.

Horn Farm Center Executive Director, Alexis Campbell will be featured on Saturday, March 25th at 5PM to share Grounding Education with Action at the Horn Farm. You will also hear from some amazing experts like William Padilla-Brown, Dale Hendricks, and Calyx Liddick.

Each presentation is FREE and will be available for 24-hours, but you can also get lifetime access (along with some other amazing bonuses) by grabbing the ALL-ACCESS PASS HERE.

Enjoy the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Earth Care Summit!

Learn Bio-Intensive Gardening Methods!

Start transforming your garden for the health of soil, food, ourselves, and the planet!

Wherever you are in your gardening journey, bio-intensive methods offer great additions to the home-gardening toolbox. These simple techniques maximize productivity on small plots using minimal equipment and existing soil conditions. With a special focus on seed starting and bed prepping, we’ll equip you with timely ideas for spring management as the growing season approaches.

Join our Farm Manager Andrew at the Horn Farm Center on Sunday, March 26th from 10am to 2pm to tour some of the insights of this innovative and accessible practice.

Click here to Register!