What surprised a Polish researcher about Dutch care farms

By Ilona Matysiak, visiting guest of the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw, Poland

The idea is quite simple: to combine agricultural production with health and social services provided to people with different types of disabilities. However, it’s really hard to imagine or understand a care farm if you have never seen such a thing. One of the most important goals of my four-week research stay at the University of Wageningen was to unburden my imagination and see them for real. Continue reading

‘t Paradijs – A Tale of Man and Nature

Written by Sophie Hopkins, MSc student

Care farming is becoming increasingly popular and accepted as a health care service, particularly in the Netherlands where the main clients of care farming are the elderly, those suffering from mental health problems, children with autism and the mentally or physically handicapped. General definitions of care farming are a contentious issue as it is the individuality of care farms that seem to be appealing. However, accreditation schemes ensure clients of a certain standard of care without compromising the rural idyll that is attached to this care option.

Undertaken from an interpretive approach, I looked at the benefits or limitations of care farming to participants by examining their own experiences and perspectives. My case study was a mixed farm in Barneveld where people were incredibly helpful and welcoming. The focus was to provide an overview of all those involved in care farming, from the clients, to the staff, volunteers and family members, because I believed that it is not only the clients that experience care in this context. Continue reading