Horn Farm Happenings – November 10, 2023

Agroforestry Work & Learn

Agroforestry is an agricultural production system that incorporates perennial plants like trees and shrubs. This regenerative, climate-smart farming offers exciting environmental, economic, and creative promise in our region.

That’s why we’ve partnered up with PA Department of Conservation and Natural ResourcesPenn State Extension and basketry artisans from Foggy Blossom Farm to bring you a day of hands-on learning to explore agroforestry projects at the Horn Farm Center!

Through a combination of hands-on volunteering and educational programs, we’ll spend the day exploring two versatile agroforestry products taking shape in the Horn Farm Center’s riparian buffers: shrub willows for basketry and native riparian plants suitable for live staking.

Whether you are new to agroforestry or a seasoned land steward, this Agroforestry Work & Learn offers hands-on experience in the field, time with fellow agroforestry enthusiasts, and the opportunity to hear from experts and practitioners from the Horn Farm, Foggy Blossom Farm, and our state partners.

Participants will also get to take home willow materials and live stake cuttings for their own projects.

Agroforestry Work & Learn Schedule:

Willow Coppicing (9:00AM-10:00AM)

  • Visit to the field to coppice, sort, and bunch willow rods. Instructors will discuss establishing, caring for, and using basketry willow varieties.

Riparian Buffer Tour & Live Stake Cutting (10:45AM – 11:45AM)

  • Visit 8-acre multifunctional riparian buffer (under restoration management since 2020) to discuss native plants, their uses, and live stake propagation. Gather and prepare live stakes for optional take-home planting.

Woodland Tour (12:00PM – 1:00PM)

  • Tour of the Horn Farm’s woodlands and wild spaces to learn about site-sourced, wildcrafted infrastructure for ecological restoration.

Intro to Basketry (2:00PM – 3:00PM)

  • Discuss and demonstrate the foundations of weaving artisianal baskets from willow rods. Hosted by Dan and Betsy at Foggy Blossom Farm.
  • NOTE: This concluding session will take place at the Hellam Township Municipal Building (35 Walnut Springs Rd, York, PA 17406).

Click here to learn more & register. 

Get to Know a Trainee!

What does a former student have to say about their experiences learning with the Horn Farm Center?

“In my first class, Wilson said that someone could make this type of work their full time job. I didn’t think much of it at first because I was working for a conventional native landscaper from Lancaster at the time, but the following year upon leaving that company, I decided to start my own native landscaping LLC called Restoring Creation Land Care. I have done organic land management (pulling weeds and bed prep without chemicals), pollinator beds, rain gardens, and more.

My favorite practice is woodland restoration, using a lot of what I learned in the Land Steward Training Program to manage woods for invasive species (without using chemicals) and erosion control. I created a successful business based on what I learned at the Horn Farm Center. I did a lot of networking on my own, but the training and inspiration came from the Horn Farm.”

Inspired? So are we! Learn more about the Land Steward and Ecological Gardener Training Programs: two 16-week immersions beginning in February 2024 that dig deep into regional ecology, environmental challenges, and the practical skills for healing and protecting local natural landscapes.

Now is the time to submit your application and become a 2024 trainee!

Click here to learn more & apply.

Open Call for New Instructors

Each year we host about 100 educational programs and events at the Horn Farm Center. We do so with the help of outside instructors, who bring their own experiences and expertise to our community at the farm.

As part of our mission to provide a diversity of educational experiences that connect people to the land, we are always looking to partner with new program instructors – even first-time teachers!

Instructors are paid for their time and teach a wide range of program topics that align with our values and mission, including:

  • Sustainable Gardening Practices & Techniques
  • Agroforestry – live staking, coppicing, fruit and nut tree production
  • Natural Arts – basket weaving, natural dyes, fiber arts, paper making, etc.
  • Homesteading – food preservation, natural building, animal husbandry, etc.
  • Cooking Classes
  • Natural or Local History
  • Outdoor Wellness Activities – yoga, forest bathing, nature journaling
  • Herbalism
Interested in teaching or have a new program idea? Connect with our Community Engagement Coordinators to explore whether teaching with the Horn Farm Center is a good fit for you in 2024!

Become a Beekeeper Next Year

Join us for our 8th annual Beekeeper Training Program! Taught by Mark Gingrich of Gingrich Apiaries, the Horn Farm’s Beekeeper Training Program explores beekeeping from its scientific underpinnings to keeping a hive at home.

Over the course of this two year program, participants will work side by side with Mark and other program participants to learn all aspects of keeping bees.

At the end of year one, each participant will have the option of receiving a bee colony to be moved to their home property. During the second year, participants will benefit from repetition of some aspects of the program, learn more advanced techniques and troubleshooting while managing their own hive at home.

Give Back for ExtraGive on November 17th

We bring people to the land in a variety of ways:  foraging and nature walks, gardening and composting classes, cooking and crafting workshops, community gardens, training programs, and more!

Our work is diverse but our goal is simple: create lasting impact by inspiring a love for the Earth. 

But we can’t do it alone! As a small but mighty non-profit organization, we rely on a community of people – you may be one of them – who believe in our mission.

We have seen firsthand the amazing things that can happen when our community comes together to give back!  Whether you make a $10 donation or a $100 donation, your gift will go further for the Horn Farm Center during ExtraGive!

Your support of hands-on experiences at Horn Farm Center truly makes a difference. Mark your calendars, invite your friends, and get ready to give EXTRA to support the Horn Farm Center on November 17th!

Winter Willow Workdays

Interested in agroforestry? We are seeking daytime volunteers to help us complete our second annual willow coppicing!

Coppicing is the process of pruning a tree or shrub to ground level in order to stimulate the growth of shoots and provide a sustainable supply of agroforestry products year to year. This winter, we will be coppicing several dozen varieties of willow for basketry materials.

In line with our regenerative mission, our willow field also serves significant environmental roles by occupying one of two riparian buffers. The willow roots aid in water retention and help stabilize the soils near the heavily eroded stream bank that we’re working to restore.

Learn more about agroforestry, coppicing and multifunctional riparian buffers while lending a helping hand this winter. Our winter 2023/2024 workdays are open for registration:

We hope you can join the fun at the Horn Farm!