Blue Barrel Gardening Helping Crookston Seniors

A group of seniors in Crookston have been keeping themselves busy with a summer gardening project

CROOKSTON, Minn. — A group of seniors in Crookston have been keeping themselves busy with a summer gardening project.

When you are bound to a wheelchair or have difficulty bending down, it can be tough to complete your daily activities.

“Oh so much fun,” said Wanda, one of the gardeners.

Adult Day Services at Riverview Health is beating around the bush with a new way to help those with mobility issues enjoy gardening.

“They can hardly wait to get here every day because they have a garden to take care of,” said Linda Nephew, the Supervisor at Adult Day Services.

When the group was brainstorming ideas for their yearly garden, one of the aids came up with the idea to create a barrel garden.

Before they knew it, volunteers were bringing the idea to life

“He cut them in half and he even went one step further and made handles on them,” explained Linda. “They are portable they can be moved.”

Charon is just one of the members who was greatly affected by this project.

“A few years ago, I have osteoporosis, and I broke my back in a few places,” said Charon Knoell, a member at Adult Day Services. “Ever since then I can’t bend over or I’ll break it again. So now that we have the barrels as our gardening it works out so much better.”

“It’s perfect for wheelchairs and people with bad knees who can’t get down to the ground,” explained Linda.

It has been a reminder to participants that mobility challenges won’t stop them from doing anything.

“I know I can do something now,” explained Charon. “When before, when you take all the stuff away that we can’t do and then you get something you can do, it’s really fantastic.”

Instead of getting down on the ground to garden, they get to be face to face with the plants.

Green beans, peppers, peas, tomatoes and cucumbers are just some of the fresh produce being grown in their courtyard.

“Now we can actually have our own and not worry about where it’s going to come from,” said Rose Eckstein, an aid at Adult Day Services who came up with the barrel idea.

The garden gives the participants and the staff something to look forward to.

“I can’t believe we get paid to do this. I know that’s for sure,” explained Linda and Rose.

The group is hoping to pick their fresh produce and make home–made salsa before the summer ends.

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