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October 2015


Maine AgrAbility raised beds at Common Ground FairMaine AgrAbility attended the three-day Common Ground Fair in Unity, ME, with a booth featuring accessible gardening.ME AgrAbility AT tools display boardMaine AgrAbility sign at Common Ground FairThe two raised beds (built by AgrAbility during Homestead Day in June) were showcased during the event. Packets were handed out with resources concerning: accessible gardening tools & tips; ME AgrAbility staff having funhealth & safety tips for gardeners with disabilities; and AgrAbility-related resources for farmers & gardeners.The display also featured a rotating sign (courtesy of the wind!) with thought-provoking messages and a static display board with accessible design tools and text on the characteristics for discussion.
Staff even managed to have a little fun adapting the tools themselves!

ME AgrAbility visiting Cultivation Works project in SacoMaine AgrAbility visited the Cultivation Works project in Saco this month helping to assess their microgreens production. Cultivation Works supports people with disabilities in growing fresh, healthy produce for our local community. AgrAbility Project Coordinator Lani Carlson provided ideas and advice on accessible design options and network connections.

AgrAbility had a display at the week-long Farmington Fair. Lani Carlson was involved during ag education day at the fair with more than ME AgrAbility display at Hydration Ag Day1,000 students, teachers, and chaperones, from five counties participating in the event. AgrAbility presented "Am I Hydrated?" to the students and adults, discussing the importance of hydration and sun safety on the farm and playground. Maine AgrAbility received programmatic and material support from the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health and a generous donation of water from Farm Credit East for this event. It was a great visual display for youth to understand signs of dehydration and led to many interesting conversations!

Through the work of the California-based Farmer Veteran Coalition, a national organization, Maine is poised to become the first state chapter in the nation when it files the paperwork in October, according to Michael O'Gorman, founder and executive director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The Maine group recently selected a nine-member board of directors and will hold its first board meeting Oct. 1. Maine AgrAbility is excited to be part of this event. Read more from the Portland Press Herald (9/13/15).

One of the Maine AgrAbility partners, Alpha One, had a booth at the Maine Summit on Aging in Augusta. The day-long summit featured talks and workshops as well as a display area. The booth featured the garden scoot and tools that led to conversations about accessible gardening, working smarter and issues facing the aging farmer population in Maine.

Submitted by Lani Carlson