This is a thought based on a post I read on Permies long ago, that still bugs me. It hurts me to think about how sad she was. It was someone who only posted once, in (I think) one of the neurodiversity threads. She said she had POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) (a condition in which a change from lying to standing causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate) and wished she knew how to be able to do things like work with a group on a garden, when she felt useless, as she can’t climb a ladder, and needs to lay down periodically. This comment has bugged me for several years. I can think of a LOT of things to do with someone like that! Not everyone needs to be able to climb a ladder. I have serious health issues, and one of the things that hurts me a lot is bending down to pick something up, then standing back up. If I had her at my place, I’d outfit a wagon with cushions, lay on your belly, you are the weed pulling/rock removal person. I NEED one of those! I crawled over an area yesterday to derock it, as I can’t bend over to do it.
I’m about to build a house, and there’s an old lady neighbor who said “Oh, I WISH I could help you! That would be so fun to be part of!” I told her “Oh yes, I can give you work!” (Her face lit up when I said that! :D ) Not everything is lifting heavy objects, I have a whole list of things that can be done differently. I’m base painting most things before they are installed, so all that has to be done from a ladder is just touch up, instead of all the heavy paint work. She can paint from a chair, on the ground, in the shade. Kids can be used to bring and position stuff for the older ladies to paint. I can use almost anyone, by thinking about it.
Gardening stuff is also not all digging the dirt. It’s a lot of cleaning and sorting seeds, labeling, sealing things tightly, and cleaning, chopping, canning, dehydrating produce. I can always use help on all of that, I’m designing my kitchen to be chair accessible, (mostly for me, as I have serious issues that one of these days might not let me stand up) so most of the work can be done sitting easily. And most people have a kitchen table that is the right height to sit at. My best friend is blind, and I know what kind of things she does well, if she was here, I could give her useful work too.
My thought/question for the day is “What could you do with someone who has limited mobility, health issues, vision issues, or whatever, that is useful work?” Love to see everyone brainstorming it, so those who have people in that category have ideas to work with. Apologies if there is a thread like this someplace, I haven’t noticed one.
Yes, that's it! :) That one has stayed in my head and bugged me for years. I didn't realize there was not only a thread of disabilities on here, but that I have read it...
Probably oughta remove this one. I'll flag it for the mods to kill.
In her book, Master Gardener Mary Moss-Sprague presents techniques to garden that can be used by people with disabilities and produce heaps of food. Her techniques take advantage of the vertical space to grow more food in small spaces. Her book covers the basics of planting and growing information for many plants and presents interesting ideas that will appeal to all gardeners.
Here in Maine we have Agro-Ability, which is a federal government based grant program that addresses needs of disabled farmers. They have come up with a lot of new ergonomic tools and will even modify equipment and stuff to keep farmers working.
They are not in all states, but are in many, many states...
A sincere thank you to all of Permies Forums for making Christmas special to Katie and I, and our four daughters. Thank you!
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work