Grow & Harvest Food & Friendship at the Horn Farm Center Community Garden
Jun 28, 2021 01:25PM
By Alexis Campbell
before the pandemic ignited a frenzy of home gardening locally and beyond, the
Horn Farm Center’s community garden program in York has flourished.
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.
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.
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
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!”
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].
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.