Kerry Social Farming is a voluntary, locally led, community based initiative.


FarmElder Erasmus+ project has come on stream with SKDP joining partners from the FARCURA project in this endeavour. The purpose of FarmElder is to examine the needs of elderly people in the partner countries and produce a free online training course and case studies on how social farms can benefit older people. A series of videos are being created to show the beneficial experience which social farming gives to older people. These are now available on along with other national case studies from our European partners. The Autumn Newsletter is here

In September 2023, project partners met at Arouca, Portugal, hosted by ADRIMAG. SKDP was represented by Joseph McCrohan. Work is continuing modules for the online training course on social farming for the elderly. The video which was recorded during FarmElder visit to Glencar and Kilgarvan in May 2023 is now complete and should be distributed shortly. This video will be beneficial as it demonstrates how older people are already involved in providing social farming opportunities on their own farms and in a community garden setting.

KSF welcomed our European partners to Kerry during 10th -12th May 2023. On 10th May, following a project meeting in Kenmare, the group visited Breeda & Pat O’Sullivan’s sheep and suckler farm in Bridia Valley, Glencar, which was a Case Study in FarmElder. Breda O’Sullivan, supported by St John of God Services Killorglin, comes to the farm and helps with feeding cattle and sheep and at lambing time. Farmer Breeda was interviewed by FarmElder team and gave her insights into social farming and her enthusiasm for the project. Anni & Josef Hindelang, host farmers from Bavaria, shared their experiences of hosting groups of people with dementia and their carers on their farm since 2020.

The group visited Kenmare Community Garden, another a Case Study for FarmElder, focusing on the part played by in its development by local resident Denise McClure. Manager of Taobh Linn Centre, Tanya O’Sullivan and Patricia Holbein (SKDP Board/ Kenmare Community Garden Committee member) explained how the site has progressed from vacant waste ground to what is now a haven of activity with a polytunnel, a large number of raised beds and recently planted native trees and fruit trees. Work is ongoing to develop the garden as a space for local school students to learn about nature and how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This work is being done with the assistance of SKDP Rural Social Scheme members.

The FARCURA project 2020

SKDP is part of FARCURA research on social farming in Europe. The FARCURA website is and has details of all project activities. Kerry Social Farming is represented within FARCURA team by Joseph McCrohan, SKDP Rural Development manager. The aim of this collaboration between educational and third sector organisations from Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Ireland has been in working together to create greater, more widespread awareness of social farming.

The National Summary Reports 2020 and Case Studies, which includes a case study on a host farm in Kerry, as well as reports on Social Farming practice in Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia is available on the website.

The project team have created a six module introduction course to social farming. This free course is now available on the website. The course looks at practical examples of social farming such as building relationships with participants and with service organisations; it provides tips on communication and conflict management; looks at the day to day organisation of activities on the farm and gives tips on the enterprise planning and business management of a social farm. The course is available in French, German, Slovenian, Portuguese and English. Each country held at National Conference during 2021 (see our NEWS page for information on the Irish Conference held in South Kerry in September).

The Final FARCURA Conference was held online on September 30th.

The partnership is delighted to announce receipt of funding from EU Erasmus Plus to continue working in social farming. The Farmelder programme, beginning in 2022, will examine the potential for developing social farming projects that address some of the challenges faced by older people across Europe.


Social Farming (FACURA Project) - Erasmus+ Project

Kerry Social Farming is committed to engaging with Irish and European partners for the further advancement of social farming and opportunities for host farmers and participants in a wider European context. With that, SKDP is one of several partners, with Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) as lead/applicant partner, in a successful submission, Fostering inclusion through Social Farming (FARCURA Project), which has been granted European funding under the Erasmus+ Programme.

The FARCURA Project will run from October 2018 to September 2020 and aims at developing a flexible training course (workshops and E-Learning portal) for farmers; agricultural training consultants/ advisors; higher education staff; farming and social care representative bodies on the new and innovative topic of social farming.

The FARCURA project consortium consists of 8 partners from Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Belgium and Germany. The partners involved in the project are:

Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland
South Kerry Development Partnership CLG, Ireland
Zavod Grunt, Slovenia
Biotehniski center Naklo, Slovenia
Hof und Leben GmbH, Germany
Agrarsoziale Gesellschaft e.V., Germany
ADRIMAG - Associacao de Desenvolvimento Rural e Integrado das Serras de Montemuro, Arada e Gralheira, Portugal

Evaluation of Kerry Social Farming (KSF)

An Evaluation of Kerry Social Farming (KSF) was commissioned by the KSF working group in 2016 to review the implementation of the Project to date and to help inform its future development. The research was funded by the Department for Agriculture Food and the Marine (via Commision for Economic Development of Rural Areas Programme, Rural Innovation and Development Fund (CEDRA)) and was carried out by Dr Brendan O Keeffe (Mary Immaculate College), Dr Caroline Crowley (Crowley Independent Research) and Dr Shane O Sullivan (Limerick Institute of Technology). A link to the KSF evaluation report 2017 can be accessed here:

Additional research which has informed both the development of social farming in Kerry as well as the evaluation report on Kerry Social Farming, include the Iveragh Uplands Report and an assessment on Rural Vibrancy in Kerry. These reports highlighted that farming has a greater societal role to play in Ireland and also have highlighted the strength of the voluntary spirit that is present in Irish rural communities.

Contact Kerry Social Farming with any queries.

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