Horn Farm Happenings – September 10, 2021

How It All Began: Slow Food to Festival Fanatics

17 years ago, Richard and Judy Bono hosted their first pawpaw event at Blue Moon, a restaurant in downtown York. At the time, the couple were excited to share their appreciation for this forgotten native fruit with their friends and advocates of the Slow Food movement.

Little did they know at the time, that this humble gathering would later become a state-wide attraction, drawing nearly 1800 visitors from around the east coast each year. People have traveled from upstate New York, Pittsburgh, and even Atlanta, Georgia to attend the York County Pawpaw Festival.

The event is held annually at the Horn Farm Center, where Dick Bono manages a small pawpaw orchard. Dick, York City Architect Emeritus and cofounder of York County Farm and Natural Lands Trust, was heavily involved at the Horn Farm Center since its founding. At the time, he was determined to demonstrate that cultivating a variety of pawpaws was possible. After some experimentation at home, Dick broke ground on his orchard at the Horn Farm in 2012, starting with 24 trees.

Click here to read more.

York County Watershed Week: September 16-25th

The 2021 Pawpaw Festival is part of York County Watershed Week in partnership with the Watershed Alliance of York. The purpose of the Watershed Week is to increase public awareness about the importance of local watersheds to community health, sustainable economies, and environmental quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Participants can get to know their watershed and the organizations who are working hard to enhance, restore, and protect them. With events happening all around York County, Watershed Week is fun for the whole family!

The Watershed Alliance of York will be at the Pawpaw Festival on September 18th & 19th at the Horn Farm Center! In addition to sharing info about our local watershed, volunteers will be leading a tree planting activity at 1:00pm, each day of the festival. Visitors are invited to take the Clean Water Pledge and to get their hands dirty planting trees at the farm!


Planning for a Regenerative Future

Last week, the Horn Farm Center team (Board of Directors and staff) met for a day-long retreat and planning session at Shank’s Mare Outfitters. We are hard at work, developing our “evolutionary plan” (aka strategic plan) and visioning for the next stages in the organization’s growth.

During our visit to the banks of the Susquehanna, we took a few moments to explore and enjoy the river ecology -and we skipped rocks! We thank Shank’s Mare Outfitters for providing a space for creative collaboration and supporting our work at the Horn Farm Center!


7group Supports Regenerative Ag Education

7group began more than 20 years ago to help to change how American builders, designers, architects and owners saw how to understand the built environment as sustainable. When 7group worked on creating the U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification program, their dynamic team knew that it was the first step towards true sustainability, but not the last.

Together with clients and colleagues, 7group has been imagining a different way to understand how humans, their built environment and the natural world around us all live and breathe with each other. Through learning, community, design and story, 7group is stepping into a new era of deeply regenerative work.

7group’s deep commitment to regenerative practices is naturally aligned with the work of the Horn Farm Center and they are proud to support regenerative agriculture and education as the title sponsor of the 2021 York County Pawpaw Festival. 

Free Seminar: The Importance of Beavers

Did you know that beavers are primarily crepuscular? They are only occasionally seen during the day. They usually wake at dusk and are also active at dawn. Beavers are fascinating creatures but they are also essential to our local ecosystems. Discover the importance of this keystone species during an in-person seminar at the York County Conservation District, located at 2401 Pleasant Valley Rd., York.

This seminar will be taught by HFC Woodland Steward, Wilson Alvarez as part of York County Watershed WeekFree Admission. Registration Required. 


We are currently in search of a number of items and services that will help us achieve our mission to connect soil, food, and people in ways that improve the health and resilience of our community. 

  • Engine repair work on our small gas push mower
  • An electric push mower
  • Utility vehicle and trailer (such as used golf card or gator)
  • Electric weed-trimmer
  • Electric leaf blower

Can you help out? To donate your time, talents, equipment, or tools, please contact Farm Manger, Andrew Horn at farmmanager@hornfarmcenter.org.

Click here to volunteer

UPDATED: Horn Farm Center Health and Safety Policy

The Horn Farm Center is offering on-site educational programming with some modifications due to COVID-19. Multiple hand sanitizer stations are available. We will adjust as needed as time passes and things change.

In order to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff, participant expectations are as follows:

  • Outdoors – Participants are required to bring a mask and wear it when physical distancing cannot be maintained. We have a limited supply on hand if you forget yours.
  • Indoors – Participants are required to wear masks indoors.
  • Do not attend if sick or recovering.