LESS AGILE – MORE FRAGILE – GARDENING AFTER 55!

 

Conversation at Permaculture groups and gardening gatherings at my age always turns to aches and pains. People want to keep on gardening but struggle with bits and pieces falling off – arthritis, new joints, RSI, old sports injuries, heart problems and so on. We’re a crotchety old lot. Anyway, I have recently had neurology surgery and now I am never able to bend, stretch or twist my lower back, or lift heavy objects. So here I am with a new large growing project and realising I have to adapt to this new order of things in the health department.

I have over the years partly wrecked my body already with gardening.  I developed tennis elbow and RSI in the 1990s, due very much I think to gardening on heavy London clay which makes everything hard going. I discovered Peta fist grip ergonomic gardening tools then and have been using them ever since. I was introduced to them at THRIVE the organization for social and therapeutic horticulture when I was on one of their wonderful courses.

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Peta  Ergonomic Gardening Tools

www.peta-uk.com

www.thrive.org.uk

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Getting stuck in with Peta Fist Grip Trowel.

I have worked out over the years many ways of making my gardening easy, little tweaks and small alterations. Here is one of them – the watering can launch pad! Build a small pile of bricks and slabs under a tap to lift up watering cans to an easier height for lifting off!

 

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The Watering Can  Launch Pad

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So easy to set off with a watering can now!

I have lots more tips I plan to share and I also want to have conversations and explore ideas with you too. I hope to be growing food well into my 80s so that’s a lot more gardening.  The Permaculture maxim of making gardening ‘the least work’ is apt, and my no-dig, no-work methods pinched from Ruth Stout are serving me well.

I’m going to run a ‘mixed agility’ gardening class next year. I always have some high raised beds and learners  are always amazed at how easy that makes it to cultivate and work the ground. Little things like this and the right tools make so much difference.  Follow this blog for more ideas!

And if you are under 40 you probably don’t need to be reading this post yet – just send the link to a gardener who is older than you!

 

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