In the running winter semester, the beginners course on Social Farming is taking place in Witzenhausen for the third time. In this innovative course offered by the University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, by Dr. Thomas van Elsen (German working group of Social Farming (Deutsche Arbeitgemeinschaft Soziale Landwirtshaft, DASoL)) and the social worker Martina Rasch (Fachstelle Maßstab Mensch) students and project initiators work together for three months to develop a concept for the implementation of a Social Farm.
The initiators have different profiles, often with social or pedagogical backgrounds and with a place where and an idea how to start a Social-Farm-project. They are united in their search for a more concrete approach and look for solutions for various challenges on their way to becoming Social Farmers. This is where the students take part. With their widespread knowledge about agricultural contexts and already existing Social Farms and regulations, they support the project initiators in doing research, elaborating the given situation, and in writing a concept.
For the students, this serves as a module in their Bachelor studies and is rewarded with Credits.
Among the concepts developed in recent years have been, for example, the establishment of a vegetable nursery to provide a daily employment offer for people with a psychiatric illness, the development of a vegetable garden for a woman with a disability, a concept that combines solidarity agriculture with youth welfare and the establishment of a farm kindergarten. Some of the projects are already turned into reality.