ABOUT THE CARE FARMING NETWORK
What is Care Farming?
Care Farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices for marginalized or vulnerable groups of people. This model is common in the UK and Europe and goes by varying names, including Care Farming, Social Farming, and Social Care Farming.
The Care Farming Network advances the therapeutic use of farming practices by connecting new and established agricultural-based programs to build capacity, increase quality, and provide technical support.
Goals of the Care Farming Network:
Increase Awareness. We are introducing people in the United States to the concept of Care Farming and its therapeutic benefits.
Build Community. The Care Farming Network is growing a network of Care Farms, including an online directory and map.
Build Capacity. Our knowledgeable consultants provide consultations to both new and existing Care Farms. As the network expands, we plan to host conferences, establish regional chapters, create networking opportunities, and funding opportunities for aspiring Care Farms.
Resources the Care Farming Network offers to members:
- Consultations: Knowledgeable Care Farmers with real-world knowledge will provide guidance on how to start a Care Farm, build capacity, and grow your farm.
- US Care Farm Directory and Map: Our directory lists Care Farms throughout the US and provides links to each member’s profile, making it simple to find a Care Farm nearby.
- Tools to learn and grow: Technical support, tools, and resources about Care Farms operations, best practices, fundraising, identification of needs, and staffing and volunteer management. All free to access and share!
- Events: The Care Farming Network will be hosting workshops, seminars, and conferences. In addition, we can provide opportunities to share other Care Farms events through our communications channels.
- A supportive community: The Care Farming Network is a place where Care Farms come together to actively engage with each other and share knowledge.
- Free membership. There is no cost to join the network!
Our Vision: A Care Farm in Every County!
The Care Farming Network: Present and Future
While Care Farms serve many different populations, the Care Farming Network is currently focusing on outreach to Care Farms serving individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Differences and neurodiverse populations.
Why? The Care Farming Network is currently a program of Red Wiggler Community Farm, an established Care Farm founded in 1996 where people with developmental disabilities come together to work, learn, and grow healthy food. And in the United States, neurodiverse individuals and individuals with developmental differences have been historically underserved. For instance, 81% of adults with developmental differences do not have a paid job in the community, and only 36% of the public believes that people with intellectual differences are capable of being leaders.
By focusing our early-stage growth on I/DD and neurodiverse populations, we will use our expertise and knowledge to build a strong foundation and widen the scope for Care Farms that serve other marginalized communities.