Nieuws - 16 december 2010

Multifunctional farms


Xiangdan Meng, PhD Rural feminization, Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, writes about Dutch farms she picked up from three visits last year.

If your children do not know anything about farming or related matters, you can bring them to a farm to learn these things from farmers directly. If you want to buy fresh organic food, you can go to a trustworthy farm to buy it. If partially disabled people cannot find a meaningful way to realize their potential, they can also find a farm where they can do some voluntary work. These are general facts about Dutch farms I picked up from three visits last year.
In the suburbs of big cities in China, there are some recreational farms for urban people's relaxation and entertainment during weekends or holidays. Enjoying natural food and a less polluted environment are the main aims of people who go there. These farms are more like tourist attractions and they are always near to places of historical interest and scenic beauty.
Compared with Chinese farms, Dutch farms have more functions. They have meaningful functions like providing teaching or training for students, supplying organic food for local residents or city dwellers, and offering workplaces for partially disabled people who still want to perform certain tasks. The latter type of farm, which is called a 'care farm' in the Netherlands, is the most special and meaningful type, in my opinion. It provides equal opportunities for people to exhibit their value. Moreover, some multifunctional farms also pay attention to nature management, which makes a positive contribution to our environment.