Social Farming offers people who are socially, physically, mentally or intellectually disadvantaged the opportunity to spend time on a family farm in a healthy, supportive and inclusive environment.
SoEngage: Definition of Social Farming
Social Farming is a planned outcome focused, support placement for people on a farm using the natural assets of the people (the farmer or grower and his or her family), the place, the many activities (which are carried out on that farm) and the community around the farm to support a person to achieve some of their own chosen goals.
It is fundamentally based on spending time with farmers / growers and their families in the natural environment of the farm, and encompasses the key elements; which are valuable, meaningful activities and the social and community connections which the ordinary farm can provide. These elements combine to deepen its impact further and to support people who are vulnerable or need assistance as Figure 1 demonstrates.
The key features of Social Farming
The farm must be a regular, ordinary productive / commercial farm and it can be large farms, medium size farms or small farms.
The farm enterprises can be many and varied and can include horticultural production,forest areas, livestock production, equestrian, food production, machine, wood, farm workshop etc.
The participants come to the farm for support and are not employees.
The farmer may be paid or receive benefit in kind grants etc. for providing the support to the participant(s) or may not be paid for the support which they provide.
The participants engage in the farm, environmental, workshop, household activities while on the farm.
The participants spend time with the farmer and or farm family while on the farm.
The participants come to the farm on an ongoing basis or for shorter specified periods of time.
The participants choose to be at the farm and involved in the activities.
THE TRAINING WILL BENEFIT
Farmers through the entrepreneurial opportunity it provides them.
The people who use the social farm services by providing more professional services.
The wider rural community through the social, economic and cultural sustainability.