Raised garden beds are a great addition to home or community gardens, as not only do they make gardening easier for people with mobility limitations, but they have advantages for plants and for all gardeners. Heights can be customized for gardeners’ comfort and access—and planting can begin sooner in the spring, as the soil in a raised bed will warm up faster than what’s in the ground!
In some areas, the ground is made up of clay soil in which certain plants will not thrive. Rather than digging out a foot of the clay and replacing it with another kind of soil, build a raised bed! Gardeners can control soil quality in raised beds, as well as fit them in small spaces. These gardens can also be dedicated to certain kinds of plants or shared with children.
Gardening can be a stimulating, active, relaxing, fulfilling, and enjoyable outdoor activity for everyone. Urban farming has the potential bring to communities together to work toward a common purpose, and community members of all abilities can find joy in growing delicious food as well as beautiful flowers.
Check out gardening expert Mark Cullen’s thoughts on raised bed gardens here, and read about raised community gardens in Halifax, Nova Scotia (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/common-roots-urban-farm-halifax-hospital-accessibility-wheelchair-1.3747119) and Cold Lake, Alberta (http://www.coldlakesun.com/2016/08/29/growing-accessibility-at-the-community-garden). For even more information, check out the book Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It … Garden Anywhere!” by Tara Nolan (https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/raised-bed-revolution-build-it/9781591866503-item.html).