CARE FARMING AND CARING COMMUNITIES
Care farming is a wonderful concept, based on that most human instinct, the desire to take action to benefit others. However, in much of the discussion of care farming, the assumption is that the caring goes from strong parties to weaker parties, from those who supply the caring to those who need the caring. The approach emphasizes the business opportunities in providing care to those who need it
However, in well-functioning communities, there is a great deal of caring that is not undertaken to produce incomes for those who provide the care. There is mutual caring, with no distinction between those who provide care and those who receive it. Most caring is driven by the desire to establish good human relationships. Strong caring communities function like large families. With sustained mutual caring of this sort, there is likely to be much less need for the unilateral kind of caring.
I would like to share two essays-in-progress that might help to provide context for this discussion on care farming and, more broadly, on the ways in which food systems might help to strengthen the caring. Ending Hunger in Caring Communities, available at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/EndingHungerinCaringCommunities.docx argues that hunger in the world would be sharply reduced if communities were more caring. The second essay, On Caring, available at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/OnCaring.pdf probes more deeply into the meaning of caring in various contexts.
Aloha, George Kent
Similar experiences from developing countries: