Today social farming in Europe is the therapeutic use of farming practices that provide health, social or educational services for one or a range of vulnerable groups of people.
As an alternative to traditional healthcare, farmers are paid for providing a ‘health service’. Farms, market gardens and woodlands are used as places to provide meaningful activity for a range of client groups (including: those experiencing mental health issues; excluded and disaffected youth; those with alcohol/drug issues; people with special needs and autism; prolific offenders and those on probation; the long-term unemployed).
Social farming can deliver effective health and social care through partnerships between agricultural, social, health, justice and educational agencies.
It provides immediate, simple, cost-effective solutions to targets in health, crime, agriculture and education. It is currently an underdeveloped tool for reversing the escalating cost-trends related to healthcare and social inclusion and can provide economic opportunity for farms as a form of diversification.
In recent years the concept of social farming in England, Scotland and Wales has gained momentum and in the last number of years here in Ireland under our So FAB Project
Larry Masterson, Social Farmer, Blissberry Farm, Munterneese, Mountcharles, Co.Donegal, Ireland
Phone 00 353 87 7642917
Good countryside fresh air, brown earth and human kindness are the seeds of a new revolution in the way we care for society’s most vulnerable individuals which today is taking shape across Europe’s farms and fields – called SOCIAL FARMING. It’s transforming lives and there’s something deeply intuitive about caring for the individual through the care of the land.