European meetings on social agriculture
and therapeutic agriculture 2023
From May 24 to 26, 2023
Cantonal school of agriculture of Grange-Verney in Moudon.
Social services in rural areas
Message from the President of the Association Agriculture sociale Suisse romande.
This is an activity that has been obvious for a long time, because the farm offered more accessible activities to those "marginalized" people that the world of industrialization did not know how to value.
With the flow to the cities, the factory work, the institutionalization of social care, our society has been shaped by technology and refined by technocracy. Social services were born from this logic of productivism, often forgetting the human factor. During this revolution, the countryside was emptied of human activities, tasks were replaced by machines, which had to increase the productivity of the farms.
We are beginning to measure the limits of this evolution, my farm, which used to support two households, now only provides half of our family income! The topsoil is showing some signs of weakening. We are becoming aware of the importance of this umbilical cord, which should ensure a large part of human food and especially guarantee biodiversity. Another warning sign? A part of the population is getting tired of city life and the constraints of productivism.
I therefore propose to imagine a redistribution of the cards, why don't we consider reinvesting the rural areas with activities that allow us to renew this link to the "matrix", let's allow the emergence of activities full of common sense, in an environment governed by the balance that nature gives us. Our villages are empty during the day, I propose to create structures of life and work there. The world of farmers suffers more and more from the misunderstanding of its situation, here is the opportunity to build bridges. And to convince the sceptics, science is showing us the therapeutic virtues of this return to our roots.
In our race for efficiency, have we not lost our senses, is it not time to learn to value the essential? If we forget the system a little, to worry a little more about the human, don't you think that society would gain in stability?
Yes, we see it as a project of society, so I invite you to join us. These European exchanges aim at sharing knowledge and experiences in this field, our country lends itself admirably to city-country connectivity, but unfortunately does not make ideal use of it. The experiences of other regions show us the interest of such projects, let's learn from them and progress.
President of Social Agriculture Suisse romande
Social agriculture and its contribution to health.
Practiced because of exclusion, isolation, or disorientation: social farming has therapeutic virtues. Known for its open, easily accessible and hospitable context, it is not easy to describe "how it works". What does it actually do in terms of neuro-sensory stimulation? We will find out in our discussion and film conference on May 25 in Lausanne.
The Swiss association of farmers practicing social care.
Objectives of the meetings
In the wake of international meetings organized by the ASTRA Network (Rhône-Alpes, France) over the past several years, we would like to organize a meeting in Switzerland with social agriculture actors in order to draw up a European panorama of the situation of social agriculture, its recognition, its financing and its development in current and future issues.
The network we have already built up gives us access to many qualified contacts, practitioners and academic researchers and constitutes the fabric of a profession that is no longer marginal.
"Gardening is always about dealing with forces beyond our control. We can leave our mark on a place, adapt it to our needs - however we define them - but the garden is a living being that belongs only to itself and that we cannot totally control."
Sue Stuart Smith "The Gardener's Balance
Seen from the Angels, the tops of the trees are perhaps roots, drinking the skies; and in the ground, the deep roots of a beech tree seem to them silent ridges.
Rainer Maria Rilke