Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Prospect Meadow Farm, Agriculture-Psychological aspects, Agricultural laborers-Psychology, Therapeutic farming, Agriculture, Agricultural interventions for mental illness, Beneficial farming activities, Moral treatment, Gould Farm, Hopewell Farm, CooperRiis Farm, Non-traditional mental health treatment, Alternative mental health treatments


This paper explores beneficial therapeutic effects of farming activities for program participants at Prospect Meadow Farm in Hatfield, Massachusetts. Prospect Meadow Farm, owned and operated by Servicenet is a therapeutic farm serving individuals with developmental and mental health conditions. This research is important because it challenges the orthodox conventions of psychiatric treatment in the United States. Furthermore, it is the first research done at Prospect Meadow Farm. The literature provides a historical context of the progress, missed opportunities and collaboration between blossoming professional occupations. Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy and Social Work occupations seem historically intertwined in progressing foundational theories related to this research. It seems that discounting, marginalizing or continuing to consider places such as Gould, Hopewell, CooperRiis and Prospect Meadow Farms as "fringe" is a disservice to all humans. This qualitative content analysis study was conducted through interviews with thirteen program participants at Prospect Meadow Farm. They were identified and recruited through their participation at Prospect Meadow Farm. Findings demonstrate that farming activities are beneficial and commensurate with similar therapeutic farms. The findings also show the need for greater attention by social workers to the rehabilitative and therapeutic effects of such farming opportunities.




iii, 58 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-53)