Experience a community farm in Leon County
“You can do really good work by yourself or you can do really great work with lots of different people, and what I’m doing right here is setting up shop, so that we as a community could really build some skills around farming," said Joe Icet, Hill Horizon Farm Co-Operator.
Between Centerville and Normangee in Leon County, sits Hill Horizon Farm, a community farm that is growing crops year-round.
The farm, which is ten acres, is co-operated by Joe Icet and Terry Garner.
Icet said his goals for the farm are to get better at creating a premium soil for the farm and create opportunities for families and communities to build unity around the idea of land stewardship.
Booming with vivid-lush colors, the farm is currently producing everything from beets to onions to cilantro to kale to mustard greens to various salad mixes. However, other crops like potatoes were just planted to be harvested in later months, according to Icet.
The farm is open to the public on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., weather permitting.
At the farm, you can purchase fresh grown vegetables and crops. However, if you would like to get your hands dirty, Hill Horizon Farm is a volunteer-based farm and you can work on the farm and in return, you will be paid in “green”, of the harvested vegetable type, according to Icet.
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Hill Horizon Farm is located at, Private Road 4030 in Normangee.
“I’ve found healing working with the land,” said Icet. “I figure heal the land. Heal your community, and heal yourself. That’s what I’ve been pursuing.”
Before starting Hill Horizon Farm, Icet gained his knowledge of community gardening from his work in Houston. In Houston, he developed three successful urban gardens, and the last garden of three was in the Fifth Ward, explain Icet. “[In the garden] we created a Disneyland of sustainability,” said Icet.
According to Icet’s neighbor and Hill Horizon volunteer, DeLonn McCall, “Icet was awarded the 2011 Texas State Governor’s Award for Social Innovator, and in 2009 he earned the Houston Mayor’s Proud Partner Award.”
Icet’s dream was always to have a farm of his own between Dallas and Houston, and in 2018 after purchasing the land from the Texas Veteran Land Board he opened Hill Horizon Farm.