A therapeutic care farm uses the healing powers of animals, plants, nature, and each other to promote compassion, connection, enjoyment with education.
What is a care farm?
Therapeutic care farming is the use of farming practices to create an environment where people reconnect to the earth, animals, nature, and themselves. It is a farm where plants, animals and people live in harmony with nature, doing what we do as natural creatures. While there is human intervention, we try and do things as natural as possible. We plant and harvest the lavender, fruits and vegetables, and we do it using organic and natural principles. All our animals, will get to live out their natural lives while we enjoy their natural behaviors.
What types of therapy does a care farm provide?
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal is to improve an individual's social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Advocates state that animals can be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness. Animals used in therapy include domesticated pets, farm animals and other wildlife.
Horticultural therapy engages people in gardening and plant-based activities. The visual aesthetics of plants are known to elicit feelings of inner peace. Direct contact with plants guides the individual's focus away from stress to enhancing their overall quality of life.
Where are care farms located?
Care farms are very popular in Europe. There are literally thousands of them in Western Europe, but there are only few found here in the United States. Traditionally, care farms welcome people to participate in farm activities in whatever way they can. The very act of participating, feeling included, being included in nature, and having a meaningful task can be incredibly healing.