Animal Home Pihka
Animal Home Pihka is the centre of Piispala’s Care Farming activity and it is a home to a merry group of goats, pigs, hens, chinchillas, ponies and a funny donkey Maria. The place was opened at the end of summer 2016 and since then it has been actively used by different types of groups. The activities include actual work such as taking care of the animals, barn work, grooming, feeding and walking the animals. However, other activities such as goat agility or pig skateboarding are also included. In the spring 2017 a garden project was started and Pihka's garden has become a place of therapeutic social gardening.
What is Care Farming?
Care Farming programme (“Green Care” in Finnish) is an activity which relates to nature and rural environment and aims at improving human welfare and quality of life. The activity is professional and carried out in a responsible and goal-oriented way bearing in mind the common well-being of human and animal. Participation, experiencing and the reviving influence of nature are the elements that increase well-being of people involved in Care Farming activities. More information about Care Farming can be found from the homepage of Green Care Finland.
Care Farming in Piispala
In Piispala´s camp school programme based on the methods of Care Farming, the goal is to provide the participating children and youth with the experience of animal care-taking and mutual trust. Participants learn to carry responsibility of the animals and learn different assignments related to animal care-taking. An important part of the programme is to learn and improve emotional skills. Animals express their feelings openly and clearly and they also react to the participating person’s feelings. Care Farming methods are used in the same way with other groups (families, elderly people, nursery groups). However, the activity is tailored according to each group’s needs. In addition to animal assisted activity in Animal Home Pihka’s yard area social gardening that fully supports the goals of Care Farming activities is executed.