Farming for Health: aspects from Germany


  • K. Neuberger
  • I. Stephan
  • R. Hermanowski
  • A. Flake
  • F.-J. Post
  • T. Van Elsen


Until now, the term ‘Farming for Health’ is unknown in Germany but it would cover a wide spectrum of different kinds of social agriculture already existing in Germany, such as farms that integrate disabled people or drug therapy into their farming system, or farms that integrate children, pupils or older people. Relevant work in Germany is done in ‘Sheltered Workshops’, where supporting and healing powers of farming and gardening are used for disabled people with a diversity of work possibilities. Relevant activities also take place in work-therapy departments using horticultural therapy and in animalassisted therapy. There are an estimated number of 1000 different projects for mentally ill, disabled and elderly people in hospitals, Sheltered Workshops, on farms and other projects in Germany with a multitude of individual work places. The upcoming idea of Farming for Health may be met by the term ‘multifunctionality’ as one of the future goals of agriculture: to combine the production of cash crops with social functions, like providing space for recreation, care for landscapes and care for disabled people. Research showed that farms that work together with clients in their farming system have more time and financial support to integrate aims like caring for biotopes and landscape measures into their work schedule