Topic: Social farming in the context of community-based social farming (CSF)
Social agriculture connects rural and municipal environments thanks to utilising the potential of agricultural farms to provide social services for local communities. This type of agriculture fosters social integration; as a business activity and a method of farm management in rural areas, it contributes to strengthening the relations between rural inhabitants, while at the same time allowing for strengthening of the relationships among various entities involved in social agriculture. This is where new social relations ‒ bonding and bridging ‒ are formed, connecting farmers, rural area inhabitants and beneficiaries of social services.
One of the possibilities of farm diversification is to provide care services. In Polish farms, the new form of diversification is not very popular. Social agriculture can operate in symbiosis with the primary purpose of the existence of small farms ‒ ensuring the farmer and his family members the supply of basic food products, and generating additional revenues from the implementation of various social tasks. This challenge causes need of entrepreneurship which is an inherent characteristic of the market economy. Entrepreneurship also entails a preparedness to bear risk. Developed countries, with deeply rooted democratic and free market structures that are economically and politically stable are characterized by a high level of social trust also show entrepreneurship. An entrepreneurial economy above all is created by people who operate in conditions that encourage taking on new challenges that are always associated with a certain degree of risk. It is difficult to create a clear psychosocial sketch of Polish people regarding their willingness to take on tasks that demand a certain talent, courage and certain models established over generations.
The article presents the ideas of the Community-based Social Farming project, which is based on cooperation, uses local capital, and implements education focused on such values as: health, history of the region, culture, recreation, healthy food. The primary goal of those actions is to create new social bonds, based on intergenerational and cross-environmental integration. It is an opportunity to obtain additional sources of income for farming families and an alternative way of rural area management in the Małopolskie Voivodeship, characterised by agricultural fragmentation.