What is a care farm?
The care farming industry is well established, respected and researched in Europe, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands; but, it's still a fairly new concept in Canada and is a growing industry.
Canadians have begun to appreciate the healing power of the great outdoors and are returning to nature-based venues for recreation, to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life, and for overall enjoyment. Across Canada, care farms do tend to be fragmented as they can be solely community gardens, petting zoos, or farms open to the public; however, it's rare that all of these activities can be found in one location, like at Fiddlehead Care Farm.
To view some videos about Care Farming and the importance of nature, please click HERE
What can care farms can do for you and the community?
Through the therapeutic use of farming practices, care farms provide health, social or educational care services for a range of vulnerable groups of people – including those with mental health problems, people suffering from mild to moderate depression, people with substance abuse history, adults and children with learning disabilities, children with autism, and disaffected young people.
Care farms also:
- Combine care of the land and animals with care of people, in a setting where they feel safe, respected and engaged in meaningful activity.
- Use farmland, woodlands and gardens as a base for promoting mental and physical health through normal farming activity.
- Are a partnership between members and health and social care agencies that develop people's potential rather than focusing on their limitations.
- Members often experience improvements to their physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being.
- Local communities and economy become more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
How does it help?
There is a well-established and growing body of evidence that shows that spending time hands-on with plants and animals can make a noticeable difference to your well-being. Some of the benefits include:
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved social interaction
- Enhanced confidence
- Developing awareness of well-being
- Working individually and as part of a team
- Preventing deterioration in many conditions
- Seeking paid employment or voluntary work
It confirms that time spent with other people in a natural environment where you can learn and grow will only do you good.