Placing a care farm in the empty, unused space on the farm near the Equestrian Center can benefit both the students on campus and the community. A care farm has a therapeutic method of connecting with the earth that benefits humans and animals, according to Kindred Spirits Care Farm website.
Care farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide social or educational care services for vulnerable groups of people, according to fao.org.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations website also wrote “Care farming experiences from European countries have shown that economic participation helps vulnerable persons, people with intellectual or physical disabilities, ex-combatants, convicts, etc., integrate back into society.”
Students and people of the community such as at risk youth and adults can profit mentally and emotionally from working in the soil and helping with the animals on the farm.
Karen Snook, a worker at Kindred Spirits Care Farm, said that connecting with the earth reunites all creatures together harmoniously.
“There’s no need to raise animals with such love and care, have them think of you as a friend then turn them away to slaughter,” Snook said. “We should care about the earth and these animals more than that.”
Kindred Spirits Care Farm is a home for rescued farm animals, according to their brochure. It also said the rescued animals help people learn patience, compassion and a renewed wonder with the miracles of other living beings.
Snook emphasized that act of participating in care farming, being included and being one with nature with a meaningful purpose is healing to both people and animals equally.
The farm can sustain itself by selling fruits and vegetables both on campus and to the community as it has done in the past. The eggs from the chickens on the farm are being sold in the Bookstore now. What is preventing us from planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables to also sell and aid the campus and community?
The ability to farm and plant vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers can help people learn more than just being one with nature, it also teaches science and mathematics.
Science is implemented in how the plants grow and mature. Mathematics comes into play with how long the garden takes to grow various flowers, vegetables and fruits.
Snook said she is in contact with the Vegan Society on campus and is trying to find a way to set up a care farm at Pierce. Also she said she has a donor who is ready to give her more than half of whatever it may cost for start up.
Care farms are more prominent in the United Kingdom, but California and Oregon are two of the known states that also have them.
The animals on campus deserve a safe environment, care and nurturing as well as the students and community.
As Michael Jackson said in Heal the World,”There are ways to get there. If you care enough for the living, make a little space, make a better place.”