By Sam Reese
I have been doing a great amount of research into agriculture and farming in Pennsylvania. It was amazing to learn some of the things I have been discovering. Agriculture is the biggest industry in our state. Many people might take farming for granted, myself included, and might have little appreciation for where our food comes from when we sit down at the dinner table.
The advances in agriculture over the centuries are truly remarkable. Central Pennsylvania has one of the richest heritages for farmers and agriculture. Growing up outside of Reading, PA I felt that I was in farm country until I moved to Lancaster. The amount of farms isn’t what surprised me, it is how the entire community seems to embrace it. Sure what city in America doesn’t have a local farmers market or produce stand? Lancaster County however has an amazing amount of local produce stands and farmers markets that are open more than just one day of the week. As you go grocery shopping every store advertises how they carry the freshest local produce. There are even museums in York County that are dedicated to the history of agriculture. You just don’t seem to see that much anymore.
The people who work at the Horn Farm Center are some amazing folks as well. They have the can do attitude with a “sleep when it’s done” mentality. When you speak with them you can tell they are knowledgeable at least to someone who is an amateur at the subject and they are very helpful as well. You can see how they want to have a positive impact in their community and the communities surrounding them. They provide free workshops and educational programs to families and residents. Their website has been under construction for the last few weeks but be sure to check it out for upcoming events and programs. Or if you feel more than inclined they are always looking for volunteers or people to participate in their community garden projects.
It is exciting to help out people that are trying to have a positive impact on our world and environment. This is a place I would truly like to volunteer when I have the extra time and many of their projects are something I can see myself really wanting to be a part of.