High Contrast Text Larger Text Smaller Dyslexic Font Reset View

Social Therapeutic Horticulture

The Warrah Biodynamic Farm, plant nursery and beautiful natural surroundings provide opportunities for participants to experience the therapeutic benefits of farming and gardening, through hands-on practical activities. Our bushland environment, sensory gardens and biodynamic farm are a great resources asset for the work we do and to the people we support.

What is Social Therapeutic Horticulture?

Social therapeutic horticulture is the process of working with people using horticultural activities. It is facilitated by a trained educator and aims to achieve specific goals.

Social therapeutic farming and gardening involves the process of using the experience of plants, gardens and animals as a vehicle to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, communication and thinking skills, confidence and inclusion.

It promotes the outdoors as a safe and secure place to develop the ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help with independence, empowerment and personal autonomy.

Through participation in our programs, our clients are engaged in meaningful activities, which develop a wide variety of transferable skills and provide social connections. For further information on social therapeutic horticulture see Cultivate NSW and Thrive.


The following skills and capacities are being developed through Warrah’s farm and gardening programs:

Focus – special awareness, attention to detail and sequential processing

Teamwork – awareness, appreciation and collaboration with others 

Work ethic – taking responsibility and owning the process

Confidence – self-belief and increased wellbeing

Empowerment – leadership and creativity

Autonomy – initiative and self-direction. 

Social Therapeutic Horticulture Programs

The following Social Therapeutic Horticulture programs are offered at Warrah through:

Nursery Skills

This program is responsible for all the propagation for Warrah Biodynamic Farm, from seed through to planting. In an average year, the nursery skills program produces over 150,000 organically certified seedlings for the farm and for selling to the public at our onsite Warrah Farm Shop.

Farm Skills

This program involves hands-on engagement in farming activities to directly support the operation of the Warrah Biodynamic Farm. Tasks are varied and include planting, weeding, composting, harvesting, pruning, animal husbandry and general farm maintenance.

TAFE Training

In collaboration with Hornsby TAFE, Warrah offers training in Career Pathways and Employability Skills for our participants. This program involves developing practical skills, confidence and hands-on experience through tangible projects related to gardening and landscaping. Projects have included garden makeovers, landscape construction, carpentry and fencing. The current project involves the development of a dedicated Horticulture Therapy Garden. This program is part of our wider suite of services for participants at Warrah.   

For further information on these programs, please contact Ali Pruys, Executive Manager Community Services on 9651 2411 or apruys@warrah.org.au