I have always wanted to make my son an accessible garden that my son could learn to take care of independently. I was hoping a garden could be something he could learn to enjoy and learn from.
Earlier this year I applied for the Family First Braille Grant for an accessible raised garden for my son Liam. Liam is 7 years old, deafblind and loves anything and everything braille. I was extremely happy and excited to find out that Family First Grant accepted our grant proposal! Here is what I was able to create for my Liam thanks to that grant:
1. Raised Garden Bed:
I ordered mine from Amazon and it was extremely easy to put together. If money is an issue, there are plans you can find online to create raised garden beds to your specifications for a cheaper price.
I wanted a garden for Liam that was at his level if he was standing up — a garden that he would not have to bend over to tend to. I wanted a garden that could be put on flat ground and something that he was able to walk around easily to get to the other side. This planter had all of the qualities I was looking for.
2. Water Sprayer attachment:
I bought a sprayer to attach to the hose (very inexpensive — around $4.00!) It has a great “mist” setting for Liam to water his plants with ease. I also bought a nice new hose that won’t kink and was easier to hang up when not in use.
An accessible garden wouldn’t be complete without braille! I added durable braille labels to the outside of the box that will be permanent labels for the box. Thank you Awards USA again for making beautiful labels.
The labels read: “Liam and Finn’s garden”, “vegetable” and “fruits.”
I also created wood “markers” to place in the soil near the plants so that Liam can identify the plants. I placed braille labels onto the wood markers. Liam likes to take the markers out, read them, and place them back in the soil again. These labels can be changed from year to year depending on the plants we place in the garden.
I used popsicle sticks to create a small “fences” around the groups of plants.
I chose all edible plants this year. We planted peppers, strawberries, huckleberries, kale and broccoli. I have a little money left over from the grant, so I am planning to buy some fun plants that smell pretty and have great texture for Liam to feel. I was thinking of lavender for sure!
Liam has enjoyed helping plant our new garden (except for the fact that his hands got really dirty-he didn’t love that part. We had to keep spraying his hands with the hose in between plants lol). He likes to turn the water hose on by himself and water the plants in the morning. We get to have nice discussions about the plants, their labels, and the different features of each of the plants!
Thanks again Family First Grant for supporting families like mine!