Check out this interesting article about how Dutch urban planning has included petting zoos and “children’s farms.” HERE
Most of these are not true working farms, and are surely inferior to the real thing, but much better than allowing children to grow up without any connection at all to farms and farm animals.
Some excerpts from the article:
Amsterdam is something of an urban jungle, with apartments stacked tightly in three- and four-story buildings, and streets are congested with cars, trams, buses and ever-present bicycles — about 800,000 of them. But thanks to Dutch tradition and some clever planning, almost every city neighborhood has either a petting zoo or a children’s farm.
Thanks to these local farms, my daughter, who has grown up entirely in the city, feels perfectly comfortable around farm animals.
Michele Hutchison, an author of “The Happiest Kids in the World,” a new book exploring why Unicef in 2013 rated Dutch children highest in the world on measures of happiness, said that many of the ways those children are being raised today may look old-fashioned, but that this is more of a conscious choice by contemporary Dutch parents to resurrect old-fashioned family values: fresh air, nature, unsupervised play.
“Dutch kids’ parents played outside unsupervised when they were young, and now they consciously try to allow their children to do the same,” she writes.