Today’s guest on Grow! with Katie is adaptive gardening expert and author, Toni Gattone.
Toni has devoted her time to researching and helping those with disabilities, limitations, and folks who are getting older in age to extend their time in their garden with adaptive gardening.
Adaptive gardening is finding new ways to do this to cause less strain on your body, using tools and products that are easier to use and more ergonomic, and planning your garden to be the best garden for you!
Toni's book, The Lifelong Gardener: Garden with Ease and Joy at Any Age, "celebrates gardening at any age while also being an information-rich resource about resilience, not giving up, and how an adaptive approach to gardening can remove barriers, and create new opportunities for senior and boomer gardeners".
Toni told us about so many great tools and products that she uses and recommends to others, including this Reversable Garden Kneeler, raised garden beds like this one, and so many more! We even got a lesson on how to sharpen your tools with the Ironwood Tool Sharpener.
We spoke specifically about people with back pain, which is what got Toni so involved, and things to do to avoid pain in the garden. The raised beds limit how much bending you do, more ergonomic tools lessen the strain on your body overall, and most importantly, don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help! Lifting heavy or awkward objects may be in the days behind you, which is okay!
One specific limitation that we focused on for adapting your garden space is for those in wheelchairs. Open-bottom raised beds allow for the wheelchair to scoot right under for a more comfortable setting, limiting the amount of strain on the back and neck from stretching and leaning. Also, when planning walkways and paths in your garden, lean toward paved or more solid ground for a smoother ride.
Toni has really taught us so much about how we can extend our gardening habits and hobbies into our later years and how people with limitations have adapt and overcome in the garden!
Watch today’s episode of Grow! with Katie with Toni Gattone!