Isokummun sheep farm
The farm has Green Care work activities for the mentally handicapped and mental health rehabilitators. Green Care is an activity that maintains and improves people’s well-being and quality of life. The work is based on various nature-based methods using animals and the natural environment. More information: https://www.gcfinland.fi/ . On our farm, Green Care activities take place in collaboration with a psychiatrist and psychologist. They are responsible for the professionalism of our staff and are consulting experts. In 2020, we have also piloted youth camp activities from which the experiences so far are great.
Isokummun Sheep Farm is the first company in Finland to receive the nature care quality label.
Green Care operations as part of work and day service production
Green Care means utilizing nature, the rural environment and the farm to provide rehabilitation and wellness services. It aims to improve people’s well-being (mental, physical and social) and increase their quality of life. Green Care covers many methods that are used purposefully and responsibly. Green Care thinking also has dimensions of preventive work. Activities are often located in the natural environment or on a farm, but natural elements can also be imported and used in urban and institutional environments. Seeing and experiencing nature in one's own immediate environment creates opportunities for empowerment and with it enables the growth of a person's holistic well-being. The revitalizing well-being of nature has been studied since the 1960s. Studies have shown that activities related to nature, plants and animals strengthen people's experience of inclusion, community and sensory experiences, as well as calming, refreshing, improving mood and improving concentration. The financial investment in implementing the Green Care method is comparable to producing more traditional functions.
Green Care operations at the Isokummun sheep farm have been produced for seven years together with various partners. There is a lot of evidence of effectiveness in terms of customer well-being. Theses have been done on our activities and we are currently writing a report on the implementation and effectiveness of youth camp activities. The Green Care method can be utilized for different customer groups. For the longest time, we have provided rehabilitative day activities for mental health rehabilitators and the mentally handicapped. Depending on the customer, the services may vary in scope, content and duration. The organization of day activities is always based on a customer-specific service plan. The activities emphasize activities that support survival in independent life and promote social interaction, with the aim of strengthening clients' various everyday skills and managing their own lives. Farms activities involve psychiatrist Kirsti Sikkilä and her spouse, psychotherapist Hannu Sikkilä. Kirsti Sikkilä is responsible for the professionalism of the farm's operations and acts as a consulting expert. Hannu Sikkilä works as a work supervisor and trains our staff to meet the needs of new customers. The farm currently employs a chef, two supervisors (a teacher and a special instructor for children and young people) and a couple of entrepreneurs. In addition, the team includes an IT expert who is responsible for matters related to the development of the digitalization of the farm's new youth project. This fall, we have managed the Sykkyrä project with ELY funding. In this activity, we are offering farm camp activities as a pilot for small school-age high school students in Sievi and Kannus. The project has progressed well and its impact is already visible. We hope that such activities will become a permanent practice. In addition, we offer our skills and operating environment to primary school children and young people in substance abuse in the form of action days. The main production of the farm is sheep farming, so the operating environment is sheep shelters with animals. In addition, the farm has three horses, two ponies, several dogs and a rabbit. Based on all the research and feedback, the presence and work with the animals has become paramount. Without the sheep farm, we would not have a suitable environment for such activities.
In 2018, the Isokummun sheep farm received the Organic Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Sievi Municipality's Agricultural Producer of the Year award.