Social agriculture is only a partially new practice, a retro-innovation, which associates traditions and styles typical of traditional rural communities with the needs of contemporary society. The use of natural resources, rural spaces and contact with biological cycles, but also equal participation in the management of concrete production cycles, are elements that substantiate social farming activities.
Over the years we have conducted small experiments with some of the children and it has been found that the care and activity of gardening and horticulture can be important opportunities for growth.
Respecting the times of nature, taking care of the daily growth of garden products or small animals such as rabbits, hens, donkeys allows you to develop practical skills related to the use of specific tools, knowledge relating to the seasonality of products, how they are sown , plant and cultivate, but it also allows you to develop abstract skills such as the spirit of observation. Taking care of a sprout and turning it into an adult plant capable of producing lush fruit becomes a metaphor for understanding what it means for a child to grow up and become independent. It is a way to re-read parental care towards oneself, it is a way of understanding the role of educators and the role of the Ethical Hotel, from which, when one is sufficiently grown and ready, one can “detach” to meet other experiences.
Children can carry out small gardening activities both in the Ethical Hotel, where there are flower beds, pot plants and aromatic herbs, and in specific dedicated outdoor spaces. In particular, one of the projects that we would like to realize is the creation of a Bio Ethical Park, an agricultural area where the students of the Ethical Hotel can manage a small vegetable garden and some farm animals. To foster collaboration with society, the Park could be managed in collaboration with voluntary associations, individuals, the elderly and schools. Some hypotheses are:
– inside the city. This project would make it possible to redevelop a green area of the city and could be open to children and pupils of kindergarten and primary schools and to the elderly who make their knowledge and time available;
– outside the city. The spaces could be private individuals who make a portion of their property available as a form of support for the experience of the Independence Academy.
The solutions can be different, not least in the case of availability by farms in the area, the organization of internships at the individual production companies.