The Horn Farm is seeking daytime volunteers to help us complete our second annual willow coppicing! Our winter 2023/2024 workdays are open for registration.
Learn more and register below …
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. Back in 2018, the Horn Farm planted a dozen+ varieties of willow on the western fringe of our production fields with the goal of performing annual coppicing and enjoying a consistent yield of usable materials, like weaving materials for basketry classes, kindling for biochar, and live stakes (cuttings that can become new plants) for propagation on and beyond our restoration landscape. In line with our regenerative mission, our willow field also serves significant environmental roles by occupying one of our 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. Additionally, brushwood bundles created by tying together large batches of surplus branches are useful along the edges of stream channels to slow streambank erosion.
Glimpses from our winter 2022/2023 willow workdays, including coppicing, bundling, and learning about willow propagation and live stakes.
Register for one or more of our volunteer workdays here:
- Agroforestry Work & Learn: Sunday, December 10th // 9am-3pm
- Wednesday, December 13th // 9am-12pm
- Monday, January 15th (MLK Day of Service) // 9am-12pm
- Wednesday, January 17th // 9am-12pm
While volunteers are welcome to arrive and depart at their leisure, we recommend that folks arrive at 9am so we can provide a group orientation.
Tasks will vary depending on our progress and volunteer counts. These can include: pruning willow branches with loppers (down to stump level); sorting harvested branches by height and thickness; bundling and tagging prepared branches; and carrying branches and branch bundles.
Note: if we meet our goals and there are still volunteer days scheduled, we will cancel the remaining workdays and notify registrants.
The willow field in 2018, shortly after planting.
Willow branch yields from a harvest. The thin, red-tipped shoots can be dried for basket-weaving, while the thick golden cuttings can be planted to propagate more willows.
Volunteers after a successful willow coppicing / bundling workday, January 2023.