Accessible Gardening for Individuals with Disabilities

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Gardening Supplies
My supplies for this years gardening adventure

 

Accessible gardening is a fun way for individuals with disabilities to connect with nature.  Gardening is healing for the mind, body and spirit.  Not to mention, accessible gardening can provide delicious produce for a healthier diet. This spring, I decided to test out my green thumb with a small garden.

Green Pepper Plant
Pepper Plant

I have to admit my green thumb is very green.  As a matter of fact, I don’t have a single plant in my apartment.  With this in mind, I decided to start off slow and easy this year by planting a few tomato plants, a few pepper plants and some lemon grass. My mom and caregiver, Crystal, helped me plant them all in one of three raised garden beds my apartment building provides.

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I have a neighbor, Keith, who is a very successful gardener. He has several ground level gardens in the back of our building.  Additionally, he has beautiful flower gardens all around our building. Surprisingly, Keith is a quadriplegic and depends on a sip and puff ventilator.  He creates these beautiful gardens with the help of his caregivers.




Hunter Kelch planting tomatoes
Attempting the one handed digging technique

 

As we were planting, I drove my mom crazy with all kinds of questions. There are so many things I want to learn to make my gardening adventure a success. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am tweaking my diet by adding more fresh produce.  Accessible gardening is a great way for me to accomplish this inexpensively.

 

Watering the new plants

 

In my quest for obtaining a greener thumb, I searched the internet for accessible gardening. I read about the benefits of gardening.  Accessible gardening is beneficial for the mind, body and spirit.

 

Tomato Plants
Tomato Plants
Accessible Gardening
Accessible raised garden beds

 

Here are just a few benefits of accessible gardening

Mind

  1. Cognitive- Designing a garden can be simple and complex
  2. Educational- Classes can be taken to learn and improve gardening techniques.  Additionally, reading about gardening can be done year round.

Body

  1. Gardening promotes movement.
  2. Challenges strength and balance.
  3. Promotes eye-hand coordination.  Also increases range of motion.
  4. Builds endurance.
  5. Provides healthy food options.

Spirit

  1. Helps to divert your mind away from you and your situation
  2. Increases self-esteem.
  3. Puts one in touch with nature.
  4. Gives control over one’s environment.  As a result, gardening is empowering.
  5. Gardening can increases socialization.
  6. Can provide solace from the stresses of disabilities.

I really have enjoyed the gardening experience so far and plan on expanding my garden next summer!   In the meantime, I plan on adding a few houseplants to my apartment.  What is planted in your garden?

Until next time, Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’

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6 thoughts on “Accessible Gardening for Individuals with Disabilities”

  1. This includes activities such as gardening or food preparation and cleanup. However, the United States faces a shortage of affordable and accessible housing for low-income older adults and individuals living with disabilities .

    1. I am fortunate to live in nice and affordable housing. The management company provided the accessible garden boxes. I am one of the lucky ones and I appreciate this blessing. There is definitely a crisis on many fronts facing those with disabilities. Thank you for bringing one of those to light.

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