Care Farming: a New Approach to Therapy
Care farms are a growing movement around the world. Though still rare here in North America, there is an interest in this type of therapy and rehabilitation. Care farming uses traditional agriculture in an innovative way to generate and promote therapy, rehabilitation, social inclusion, education, and social services. This type of agriculture offers opportunities for disabled or disadvantaged people to participate in growing food, working with animals, and/or learning new job skills while being integrated into supportive environment where their capabilities may be valued and enhanced. This includes people with mental health problems, people with disabilities (social, physical, mental, sensory, learning, etc.), addictions rehabilitation services, prisoner rehabilitation services and probation, services for older people, therapeutic activities for children, adults and young people doing community service, and so on. All participants benefit from the physical work, skill learning and development, and a reconnection with food, nature, and their community. They are assisted in becoming productive members of the community.