Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education

Horn Farm Happenings – January 12

Happy New Year! We’re back at work and excited about seeing you on the farm in 2018. Horn Farm Community Gardens

Are you reading seed catalogs and dreaming of playing in the garden? The popular Community Garden program offers soil lovers and aspiring farmers the opportunity to grow fresh, chemical-free food on prime farmland in the company of other enthusiastic and dedicated gardeners. Each plot measures 20 x 20 feet. Seasonal garden plots are open from mid-April, weather permitting, until the end of October. Seasonal plot registration can be found here. Horn Farm offers a limited number of year-round plots for more serious gardeners who wish to manage and tend a plot through all four seasons. (Contact us for details on year-round plots).


foraged foodsIn addition to what we grow for ourselves, we can also find food growing wild. Foraging is the act of finding and gathering wild foods. For the majority of our existence on this planet, human beings lived as hunter-gatherers. By engaging in this age-old practice, we can provide ourselves with healthy and FREE food and medicine, become more self-reliant, and connect on a much deeper level to the landscape in which we live.

Back by popular demand is our Foraging Intensive. Over the course of nine months, you will go from learning foraging basics to incorporating wild plants into your everyday life and gain the knowledge to confidently share what you know with others. More information and registration here. Monthly foraging class schedule and registration will be posted soon!


This year we will be talking a lot about regenerative agriculture which basically means we grow our food in ways that leave the land better than we found it. And it all starts with soil. Soil is more than particles of sand, silt, and clay; it’s the combination of those particles interwoven with all the living organisms along with the byproducts of their activities in the soil. Check out this short video from the Soil Carbon Institute (one of our favorite websites) which demonstrates the importance of living soil: http://soilcarboncoalition.org/flour-bread-demo. Also from the Soil Carbon Institute are these Soil Health Principles:
• Much of soil life is fed by liquid carbon produced by photosynthesis, exuded
through living plant roots. Keep living roots in the ground as long as
possible.
• Soil life needs protection from heat, pounding rain, and wind. Keep soil
covered year-round.
• A diverse system is more resilient than a monoculture. Use plant diversity to
increase diversity in soil microorganisms, beneficial insects, and other
species.
• Soil life is hard at work building underground structures we depend on for
water, carbon, and nutrient cycling; and for structural stability for our own
infrastructure. Try not to disturb soil structure with tillage.
• Like any other living system, soil ecology will succumb to overwhelming
stresses. Minimize chemical, physical, and biological stresses.
• A healthy landscape stores and filters water, cools the surrounding atmosphere,
creates mist and clouds, and prevents flooding and drought. Complex systems
involving all kingdoms of life are responsible for the water cycle on land. Plan
with the whole water cycle in mind.
• Nature never farms without animals. Animals move nutrients, create small and
large pores in soil, manage flows of water, pollinate crops, balance predator/ prey
relationships, and replenish soil microbes. Plan to integrate and welcome a
diversity of animals, birds, and insects into the system.
• Every place has unique strengths and vulnerabilities. Get to know the context
of the land.


Upcoming events:

January 16: Bread Baking Basics (waitlist)
January 27: Introduction to Permaculture (waitlist)
February 20: Bread Baking 201
March 24: Bread Baking Full Day Workshop


Please support our work by making a financial contribution. Donate today!

See you at the Farm!