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Care farming is the use of farming practices for the stated purpose of providing or promoting healing, mental health, social, or educational care services.[non-primary source needed] Care farms may provide supervised, structured programs of farming-related activities, including animal husbandry, crop and vegetable production and woodland management.[non-primary source needed] Some farms attempt to alleviate the effects of the unrecognized medical condition nature deficit disorder.[non-primary source needed]
Recently, agricultural multifunctionality has given a boost to the development of care farming.
Benjamin Rush (1746–1813) is said to be one of the first medical scientists referring to the positive effects of the practice of horticultural therapy on the well-being of mentally diseased.[by whom?] Rush published 5 books in a series of Medical Inquiries and Observations, the last being concerned with The Diseases of The Mind (1812). In this volume, the practice of horticulture is mentioned twice.[better source needed]
It has been remarked, that the maniacs of the male sex in all hospitals, who assist in cutting wood, making fires, and digging in a garden, and the females who are employed in washing, ironing, and scrubbing floors, often recover, while persons, whose rank exempts them from performing such services, languish away their lives within the walls of the hospital.
- National Care Farming Initiative (UK)
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2011-08-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Rush, B. (1812) Medical Inquiries upon Diseases of the Mind, The History of Medicine Series, No 15, New York: Hafner Publishing Company, 1962
- Green exercise (University of Essex)
- Supporting policies for Social Farming in Europe. Progressing Multifunctionality in Responsive Rural Areas
- Editors Francesco Di Iacovo, Deirdre O'Connor, 2009
- Editor Joost Dessein, 2007
- Editors Jan Hassink, Majken van Dijk, 2005