City farms, French community of Belgium.

To appreciate the sweetness of a calf’s skin. To breathe in the smell of the dung or the bread which is being baked. To take delight in the goat’s milk that has just been milked. Or just play in the grass… So many experiences which escape most people’s life.

The objective that is being pursued by the city farms is to allow mankind to take up with nature again, to stimulate a creative approach of the animal and the vegetable worlds so as to be able to discover the phenomen of life.

Each farm has it own reality, due to its facilities, its public, its environment or its financing system. So one city farm is specialized in welcoming handicapped persons or people in difficulty, integrating and making people responsible. Another gives greater importance to the environment’s approach, where the farm is the ideal crossroads to put several environments in touch with each other.

Several systems are possible : accommodation, indivual training periods in a farm, welcoming of groups during the whole day, welcoming of schools,… Not only do city farms develop ways of doing, but also ways of being. The young people who regularly take part in a farm’s life are brought to ask themselves interesting questions and they are lead to look attentively and critically at the things surrounding them. They have the opportunity to construct together useful things according to realistic plans or plans which require some creativity. They learn how to manage their environment in a democratic manner which shows solidarity.

The Fédération Belge Francophone des Fermes d’Animation group together educational farms which are situated in the suburbs of the cities, in the cities or in the countryside. It was founded in March 1987 and has been considered as an Official Association since 1988. It is one of the fouding members of the European Federation of City Farms. Its mission is to promote the eschanges between the farms which are members and to let the public know about their activities. It is a source of information for the creation of news plans and it wishes to obtain an official recognition.