Animals hold a mirror for clients and supervisors in care farms

The summer issue of Dynamic Perspectief, the member journal of the Society for Biodynamic Agriculture and Food, has been published under the title “The Role of Animals in BD”, with very diverse articles in the field. What is the role of bees within the company? How do you deal with bringing animals for slaughter? What does eating animal products do to humans? Can veganism and biodynamics go together? Animal safety is very important, but what dilemmas are you facing? What role do animals play in care farms? You can read the article on this last question written by Wim van Oort below.

The therapeutic value of animals
Animals holding a mirror for clients and supervisors

On a nurturing farm, people with a mild physical or mental impairment, exhaustion process or reintegration find a good environment to relax and access the core and source of their being. Animals play an important role in this: they reflect personality traits that are also found in humans. By connecting with clients on a soul level and “being what they are,” they open up the layers of the subconscious. Wim van Oort asked some client advisors about their experiences in practice.

Photo: Wim van Oort

More self-confidence thanks to goats and horses
Peter Lover has been working for the past 20 years at the bio-care farm De Klompenhoeve in Egmond aan den Hoef, part of the Esdégé-Reigersdaal Care Foundation. 75 clients with a mild intellectual disability find daytime activity on the farm looking after animals, preparing dairy products, and working in the garden or workshop.

Peter: “I see animals as an essential part of the creature ‘De Klompenhoeve’, they are supportive of clients and supervisors. Even though I come from the construction industry and only trained in BD transplant at a later age, I really noticed as soon as I started noticing that things weren’t going well. Alright in De Klompenhoeve with the goats. There was little interest and they were not listened to. When I was not there, they reacted differently and gave a little milk. Always while working in contact with the animals. After milking I give them a pet and thank them when they leave the salon. Then I get a hug in return. The better the animals feel their skin, the more revenue you get. Phenomenological observation, you know your animals feel better.”

“I’ve also noticed that other animals have to be added to make De Klompenhoeve’s nature more complete, including chickens, cows, and pigs. They each have a different energy. Goats are fleeting and calling for touch, chickens scanning the area and marking the area and the cows reducing contact, but radiate peace during Rumination. This way each animal reflects something specific and the clients feel that.”

“We try to give the animals as normal a life as possible. Newborn lambs stay with the mother for three months. You might think ‘this costs milk,’ but you become stronger and less stressed animals in return. Chickens walk freely through the coop and are our natural fly traps. Birds Small mammals and insects are also part of Klompenhoeve’s balanced creature.We have a three-celled apiary and co-manage nature in and around the yard with insect hotels, woodweeds, less frequent mowing, tough and nature-friendly plants Our ditches, with their sloping banks, are of exceptional quality compared to the rest of the land low”.

Peter wanted horses, because of their ability to reflect. For several years now, the horse yard has been covered with a roof, so that participants can ride daily, even in winter and in rainy weather. “Our clients quickly capture the energy of animals because they feel free. They are so pure and not hindered by thoughts. Horses play a special role in this. They are ‘watching’ by nature and have the ability to send strong signals about what they like and don’t like. It’s great to see that our clients They overcome fear by petting a horse, they can be quite zen when brushing and dance shamelessly in interaction when riding.By working with such a large and powerful animal gives participants more self-confidence.That’s what they are here for And I enjoy this immensely. When you become one with your animal, you no longer have to take riding lessons.”

“In addition to driving, clients also have a responsibility to feed, remove manure, and disperse home. As a result, they develop caring qualities. She notes that these responsibilities make them more self-confident and earn a different position in society. Horses help enhance this quality.”

The healing power of cows
David Borghouts works at De Noorderhoeve Bio-Learning and Care Farm in Schoorl. Day activities and workplaces at home are offered to people who need long-term care and to young people who are far from the labor market.

David: “Our 20 dairy cows eat and chew at the same time and thus adopt the same digestive rhythm. Rhythm has a beneficial effect on people who take care of cows. The digestive power of a cow subconsciously affects its mirror neurons. You might recognize it.: If someone yawns: If someone yawns or coughed, that is contagious.This also happens every day in our barn: the cows take us with them in comfort and digestive capacity.Participants who are sensitive to sadness in the dark winter months, are better able to “digest” their heavy thoughts if they work with the cows every day, So the cows help us during the winter.”

Animals have a formative and relaxing effect
De Dennenkamp is a BD mixed care farm in Rekken. Piet Schagen regularly works with adults with intellectual disabilities, but also children and young adults with behavioral problems.

Pete: “From our anthropological point of view of man and the world, we know how strong the plant and animal world is connected to us. We have a variety of farm animals: cows, sheep, pigs, horses, chickens, dogs and cats. Often small animals too” We combine care and farming to make this connection effective . Animals have a formative and comforting effect on those involved in our care. They are essential in this mix. Children as well as adult participants share many feelings with animals. We “make sure feelings don’t get too much, and then calm them down. It’s important that we don’t overburden animals. We encourage respect for all creatures. Every contact and every beautiful encounter is a puzzle piece in the biographies of the participants.”

“Caring for animals also allows for many conversations to take place about nutrition, sex, danger and bullying. The order of clicking can be recognized in both the animal and human worlds. Sharing this in the farming/care combination has a vital therapeutic effect.” Outside. in. This meaning is therapeutic, but it is achieved by “playing” with each other. Play without worries on the farm! “

The entire summer issue of Dynamic Perspective can be read here.

Leave a Comment