A true glimpse of what #SocialFarming is about . . .

The SoFAB Project has compiled four fantastic films over the late autumn – early Spring of 2013/2014 to illustrate the work of the Project.

Four distinct films have been produced and are now available for viewing on SoFAB’s website (viaYouTube)

http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org

SoFAB The Participants Experience
(Some coverage from Blissberry Social Farm Mountcharles Co. Donegal)

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Social Farming Across Borders (SoFAB) @lairdhse06 @blissberryfarm #SocialFarming

The SoFAB Project has compiled four fantastic films over the late autumn – early Spring of 2013/2014 to illustrate the work of the Project.

Four distinct films have been produced and are now available for viewing on SoFAB’s website (viaYouTube)
http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org

SoFAB The Participants Experience
(Some coverage from Blissberry Social Farm Mountcharles Co. Donegal)

Social farming (sometimes called ‘Green care in agriculture’, ‘farming for health’ or ‘care farming’) is defined as the use of farms and agricultural landscapes as a base for promoting mental and physical health.

#socialfarming-a-new-paradigm-with-positive-benefits-for-the-entire-community . . . today in a global local level, the health sector and social services need alternatives to traditional medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, and work training.

Green care is the use of agricultural farms and the biotic and abiotic elements of nature for health and therapy-promoting interventions as a base for promoting human mental and physical health, as well as quality of life. Animals, plants, crops, gardens, forests, and the landscape are used in recreational or work-related activities for: People with learning disabilities, depression and burnout problems, or a drug and alcohol addiction history, including youth and elderly people, young offenders, prisoners, people effected by natural disasters, and social service clients. Green care practices may be also useful for everyone who wants to maintain a health and quality life, and for students for on farm education.

“Green care” as a base for promoting mental and physical health, through normal farming activity and is a growing movement to provide health, social or educational benefits through farming for a wide range of people. Provide services on a regular basis for participants who attend the farm or the forest activities regularly as part of a structured care, rehabilitation, therapeutic or educational programme.

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#SocialFarming has the potential to offer solutions to public service provision in rural areas

Social Farming Across Borders

This project promotes ‘social farming’ as a viable option for achieving improved quality of life for people who use health and social services, through enhancing social inclusion and connecting farmers with their communities.

Social Farming Across Borders (SoFab) Pilot
http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org

http://www.seupb.eu/Libraries/Project_Case_Studies/IIVA_ProjectCaseStudy_05-08-13_SocialFarming_pdf.sflb.ashx

@lairdhse06
@blissberryfarm

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Working farms have a role to play supporting people in rural communities in Europe.

#SocialFarming

Today across Europe many people suffering from mental distress in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, UK, Austria, Belgium and Slovenia are prescribed agriculture work where they acquire new skills and gain increased confidence while farmers get paid for providing a health service and benefit from additional labour power.

Holland has about 1200 social (care) farms that are a fully integrated part of the health service but here in
Ireland social (care) farming is still a relatively new concept.

Ireland was trailing behind other European countries in introducing social (care) farms as a treatment for mental health recovery. But since 2012 we have taken big steps to move forward through the latest cross border pilot programme called ‘Social Farming Across Borders’ (SoFAB) @lairdhse06

Twenty working farms, (10 North & 10 South) have just completed that pilot with a further 60 farmers in training.
Further information from SoFAB at http://www.socialfarmingacrossborders.org

I believe places like Blissberry Social Farm and fellow SoFAB. Farming pilots have a future role to play and could support people with mental health problems. It could also help rural regeneration and break down the stigma and isolation surrounding mental health problems in rural communities.

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Community Gardens Champion – Joann Butler @OURganicG is more than just a green thumb!

I believe creating a successful COMMUNITY GARDEN takes more than just a green thumb and Joanne Butler with her passion, skill and expertise proves that.

I’ve learned from listening and watching Joanne from OURganicGardens Gortahork work over the past few years – that it takes time, dedication, leadership, and organisation. Often these elements are overlooked my many, and as a result, initial enthusiasm is lost and community gardens are short-lived.

This isn’t so on Joanne’s patch!

Within the community gardens throughout central and west Donegal Joanne provides all participants with both the technical horticulture skills, knowledge, and practices to ensure a productive and abundant harvest. She also provides the tools for community organising and community resource mobilisation to build and maintain successful and sustainable community gardens.

“It all starts with the soil! Learn how to build the healthy soil you need to grow strong and successful gardens.”
– Wise words from Joanne.

Topics shared from Joanne’s workshop – preparing garden beds, spacing and thinning techniques, specific plant growing requirements, crop rotation, and non-chemical growing principles for healthy and thriving gardens.

Donegal is known for its strong community and thriving gardens – all great credit due to Joanne.

Keep up this fantastic work and long may it last Joanne.

Thank You.

#SaveLEADER #SaveLDCS What’s it all about . . . Simply . . . the Irish leader programme seen as a model of best practice in Europe and one that has successfully supported rural communities here in Ireland is under thr

#SaveLEADER #SaveLDCS
What’s it all about . . .
Simply . . . the Irish leader programme seen as a model of best practice in Europe and one that has successfully supported rural communities here in Ireland is under threat!

LEADER Rally today in Dublin at Dáil Eireann ‘Keep LEADER in the Community: NO to Alignment’

Local Development Companies and community organisations from across the country are protesting in support of the retention of the bottom-up approach of LEADER by local development companies.

The rally will take place on at 1.30pm at Dáil Eireann and will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.

Development Companies (predecessor LEADER Group) have successfully delivered the LEADER Programme for over 20 years. Now, however, the government is proposing to change this system, which is regarded by the EU as being a model of best practice throughout Europe, and one that has successfully supported the economic, social and community development of rural communities throughout Ireland in recent decades. As the main structure of the Companies dependent on the LEADER Programme, if LEADER funding is taken away then other vital Programmes such as Tús, the Rural Social Scheme, Rural Recreation Officer, (walks), and many more are also threatened by these proposed changes. The proposed policy change being driven forward by Minister Hogan & the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is called alignment, and aims to transfer the delivery of the LEADER Programme to a newly established committee within each Local Authority Area. Local Development Companies are now entering a critical phase in determining the outcome of this alignment process; the protection of the LEADER model in Ireland, which is the most successful LEADER delivery structure in the EU, is in danger of being lost, and with it, the years of experience, skills, expertise & local relationships built up over the years by these valuable companies.
Now, more than ever, they need OUR SUPPORT, so that communities – and not Local Authority Committees – can continue to decide how LEADER funding should be administered.

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