Ohio AgrAbility staff attended the Amish Family Farm Field Day in Wilton, Ohio, and talked to attendees about container gardening, using ergonomic tools, and adapting their gardens to fit their changing abilities. Several of the attendees shared their solutions for raising garden beds, and using repurposed items like baskets and tires for container gardens. The ergonomic tools on display were especially popular, and many people speculated on how they could adapt their current tools to make them more ergonomic and arthritis friendly.
Gardening will also be a priority topic at the upcoming Farm Science Review, September 19 - 21, in London, Ohio. OAP staff will give talks about gardening with arthritis at the Small Farm Center and at the Utzinger Memorial Garden. OAP staff has partnered with the Ohio State University Master Gardeners to post educational garden markers with ergonomic tips throughout the garden.
OAP Disability Services Coordinator Laura Akgerman participated in a celebration for the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in downtown Columbus. Laura networked with the other exhibitors, telling them about AgrAbility services, and asking what specific needs their clients have. OAP staff are planning a workshop to identify and address the needs of organizations that work with clients with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and how they can collaborate with AgrAbility, Extension, and the agricultural community, to develop training and employment opportunities. In addition to the planned workshop, Ohio AgrAbility has been working with OSU Extension to develop a training curriculum for garden and greenhouse tasks, that is intended to be used to train employees with developmental or intellectual disabilities who work in community gardens. The curriculum will be used by employers and job coaches to train employees, and will provide a resource for employees to use after their training is completed.
Submitted by Laura Akgerman