Sunday, July 12, 2020

Meet Marilyn Anderson

Meet Marilyn Anderson

Recently Ned Stoller, Michigan AgrAbility, and Marilyn Anderson, American Barn Quilts, discussed raising chickens on Marilyn's homestead. Marilyn is living with rheumatoid arthritis, which can make even simple chores around her homestead painful. She has pain in all joints, especially wrists and hands, so Stoller recommended using pipe foam insulation to fatten tool handles as much as possible. He also recommended an ArthWriter handball to help with gripping small hand tools. You can insert a tool and secure it in the hand ball, then hold the large diameter ball comfortably in your hand. 

Arthritis can make long duration tasks and grasping difficult; specifically moving the feed barrel to fill it with feed and carrying buckets with wire handles. One solution is to use fat bucket handles and rest and stretch the hands periodically. Stop 1 minute for every half hour of work to rest the hands and stretch the fingers back and spread apart. Another solution is an automatic chicken waterer which can supply a ready supply of fresh water without carrying heavy water pails, opening waterers, or dragging hoses.

This is a photo collage of Marilyn Anderson and Ned Stoller in Marilyn's garden, which has raised beds, trellises, and landscape fabric to control the weeds.

Marilyn, like many farm women, wanted to continue growing her own fresh produce, in spite of living with disabling arthritis. So she asked her husband to build some raised garden beds for her. Wide paths (for wheeled vehicles), vertical growing (trellis), and landscape fabric (to keep the weeds down) are all great examples of how to accommodate a farm garden for a person with a disability.

Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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