Social farming is about rural family farms offering services that promote social inclusion.
Today Health & Social Care Providers have the opportunity to partner with farmers to provide choice for people that they support in development of their person centred plans.
Farmers have the opportunity to diversify farming activities and augment their income through the development of Social Farming services thus making greater use of their farming skills and farm.
Small holdings environments (like Blissberry Social Farm in Mountcharles Donegal JFC Innovation Award 2014 Winners Service/ Rural Business) and fellow SoFAB pilot farmers offer activities to encourage physical activity and opportunities to develop self-esteem while giving an insight and experience of a rural way of life.
Developing the social farm model Blissberry Social combines care of the land with care of people in a setting where they feel safe, respected and engaged in meaningful light activity.
Its a real innovative partnership between farmers, participants and health and social care agencies that develops peoples potential rather than focusing on their limitations – I believe (and fellow SoFAB pilots) that Social Farms grows peoples potential. They provide a healthy daily structure, build confidence and devlop social and practical skills – while having some fun along the way.
Social farming is an innovation in the provision of services by farmers and farm families in using the assets of the farm in non -agricultural activity. There is a lot of knowledge and experience of Social Farming across the island of Ireland.