Got a spare goat’s horn laying around the house? If so, you can create a beautiful

centerpiece celebrating the abundance of the season’s harvest. Most of us will have to settle
for the typical, hollow-horn shaped wicker basket you can find at the local hobby/craft store.
The tradition of filling the ‘horn of plenty’ can be traced back to 5 B.C. The Latin word
‘cornucopia’ literally means “cornu” (horn) and “copia” (plenty). It is written into Greek
mythology, legend says that it was an endless source of food and drink, refilling itself with
whatever its owner requested, and our European farmer ancestors are the ones who
celebrated harvest festivals with a goat’s horn filled with grain and fruit. Not only does the
cornucopia decoration appear on tables during the harvest season, it is a permanent fixture
on the state flag of Idaho, the coat of arms for Panama, Columbia, Peru, and Venezuela all
symbolizing prosperity.
With an abundance of dried or drying plant material in the landscape, collecting these items
provide excellent filler to mix in with a variety of fruits, vegetables, gourds, and nuts to
complete your cornucopia. Fountain grass and blue fescue are cultivars found in Xeriscape
gardens and make lovely additions to arrangements. If collecting, dry these and other grasslike
materials upright in vases or jars for 7 to 14 days in a dark, dry location. Dried seed pods
of poppies, love-in-a-mist and hollyhock are also useful in autumn displays. Harvest the
podded stalks that have dried naturally in your garden and use them “as-is.”
Searching the Internet on popular arts/crafts sites, like Pinterest, or visiting the local craft
store, you will find a variety of visual ideas and arrangement plans best suited for the
materials collected, grown, or purchased which will best fit the overall size and shape of the
cornucopia. When completed, not only will you have created a beautiful centerpiece of the
season’s abundance, you will be taking part in a tradition with a long history of harvest
celebration throughout the world.