Pistes: (Horticultural Therapy Association of Victoria Inc. -> association which helps people to implement "therapeutical garden" with mentally disabled people; they have factsheets online to give some tips and provide a technical assistance)

First of all, it is important to mention that every person is diferent and we cannot make rules that apply for everybody. Here, a "mentally disabled people" is a person who has different capacities from the rest of the population; that makes him or her difficult to adapt to the current functioning of society.

- Gardening: the action of growing and take care of plants. In our study, we will talk about growing vegetables, fruits and edible plants; but in general gardening encompasses all kind of plant.
- Therapy: treatment of an ilness or -in this case- social difficulty. Gardening is presented as a way to enhance/improve physical, mental and social health through various elements as physical activity, a sensorial approach such as intellectual stimulation.
- Community garden : sharing a garden with various people that are not only family: it can be within a neighbourhood or with a social aim -as the type of garden of the video-. The idea is to promote teamwork and the sharing of knowledges, experiences and equipment, as well as friendliness.
- People with additional needs : people that have ways of seeing the world and to act that are different from most of the people in the society: people with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy... They are also called "mentally disabled people". In this project of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, they also includes homeless people and addicted people.
- Socialization : way to enter in a society, to understand norms and values. In the case of therapeutical community gardens, the teamwork create a real group of people and allows them to feel part of a group: development of feeling of belonging
- Outside world: when people with special needs, especially in the social way, talk about the outside of their comfort zone. In this case, the outside world is showed as something really scaring until they go out.

Mail to send to

In the framework of the vocational B.A. in coordinating projects in the field of environmental education for a sustainable development we are now studying in Montpellier Supagro further education farming college - France ( Passionate about this thematic we are now working on the impact of food producing on mentally disabled people : their physical, intellectual and psychological health as well as their social inclusion.
In our researches on this topic, your project has peaked our interest because it presents horticultural activities as a real way of social integration for people who are often marginalized.

We would be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to answer some questions we have about your project
When would you be available for a skype appointment as soon as possible?

Sincerely yours.

Eléa, Lou, Marine and Louise

Also we asked for an interview to a german friend of mine living in Colombia. She created her project of urban agriculture with people with special needs, they are transforming products (herbal tea, cakes) and selling it. This project is called Proyecto Friese.