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Grow & Harvest Food & Friendship at the Horn Farm Center Community Garden

Jun 28, 2021 01:25PM ● By Alexis Campbell

Long before the pandemic ignited a frenzy of home gardening locally and beyond, the Horn Farm Center’s community garden program in York has flourished.

 

 Launched in 2009, just five years after the organization’s founding, the Horn Farm Center’s Community Gardens have blossomed into a hub of self-sufficiency, community resilience, and local food security in Hellam Township. The community gardens are an ongoing opportunity for aspiring growers to grow nutritious, chemical-free food in the company of other enthusiastic and dedicated gardeners. Each plot measures 20 x 20 feet and is available to local residents for a modest fee from mid-April until the end of October. A total of 102 garden plots are a source of healthy food and community connection for over 40 families, many of whom return year after year to tend to their same garden spaces.

 

Linda Kurzik, for example, has been a community gardener since 2015. In her 6 years of gardening at the Horn Farm, Linda, together with her long-time friend Nedette Otterbein, cultivates an abundance of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. Over the years the garden has taken on a sense of permanence, with wood-framed raised beds, trellises, and even a sitting area and delightful décor. What began as just 2 humble garden plots has evolved to become a bountiful retreat that spans 8 garden spaces. Linda and Nedette spend several hours a week tending to their garden and enjoying each other’s company.

 Linda grew up gardening with her mother and her love for cultivating plants has remained strong. “She would be happy to see this,” Linda remarked as she walked through a maze of neatly mulched garden paths. In addition to garlic, greens, peas, squashes, potatoes, strawberries, peppers, and an expansive variety of flowers and herbs, Linda grows 17 different types of tomatoes. Any type of plum tomatoes, or paste, are her favorite, which she uses to make sauce and tomato juice for canning. Beyond the colorful harvest, Linda returns to her garden at the Horn Farm each year because of the relationships she has built over the years.  

 

“It’s a sense of community - the people you talk to and help out along the way,” says Linda. “I am always learning something new and it is rewarding when children walk through and ask questions. The wildlife we see here is also incredible. Last year we watched 4 baby bluebirds hatch,” she said pointing to a small painted birdhouse. “And the robins always visit us while we are weeding!”

 

For many of the gardeners, the Horn Farm Community Garden is a home away from home – a place where they can get away for awhile and truly connect – with nature, their food, and their family and friends. If you are interested in learning more about the community gardens at the Horn Farm Center, visit their website: HornFarmCenter.org, or contact [email protected].

 

In addition to the Community Garden program, the Horn Farm Center offers a wide variety of educational programming for all ages. From gardening and cooking classes to foraging and primitive skills workshops, the Horn Farm is a destination for immersive learning experiences where people can explore and connect with community, land, and food. Other programs at the Horn Farm Center include: a Beekeeper Training Program, the Horn Farm CSA, the annual Spring Plant Sale, the Pawpaw Festival, and the Horn Farm Center’s signature Land Stewardship Training Program.


Come grow with us!


Alexis Campbell is the Executive Director of the Horn Farm Center. For more information and to get involved, visit the HornFarmCenter.org, or contact [email protected].





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