Monday, April 30, 2012
Accessible Gardening Resources
Gardening is one of my favorite outdoor activities. I love growing flowers, herbs and vegetables. Since I live in the woods, I cultivate flowers and kitchen herbs in containers on the deck where the sun shines for half the day. For full sun growing I help a friend in her garden and reap the abundance of fresh air and vegetables throughout the season. The benefits of gardening include mild to rigorous exercise and social time with others. A hands-on connection to the earth, living food, and nature are also a deep part of the experience for me. I also enjoy a sense of connection to my ancestors, who grew much of their own food.
Raised beds and adaptive tools are two popular solutions that help facilitate easier access to the soil. Gardening buddies can do the heavier lifting. With a quick search on line to see what is specifically available, I found Accessible Gardens, a Rhode Island based company founded by Ray LaRoque, a wheelchair user who has "raised gardening to a new level" with portable raised garden structures much like what I found in Ann Arbor.
Other resources available to the budding gardener include basic articles such as those offered by the University of Minnesota's Extension Services, a spinal cord injury support site called Apparelyzed, and garden supply companies such as Natural Yards. There are a few good books on the subject as well - just Google "accessible gardening" on Amazon to find out more.
If gardening appeals to you, now is the time to explore your options!