Monday, August 4, 2008

Chronically Ill and Needing A Stress Release, Bag or Key Hole Gardening Maybe Your Answer

It is the first week of August! With the publication of my Spring video, I had stated that with the onset of each season, I would share my yard. Suffering with a chronic illness, the heat can be just as dangerous to venture out in, as the cold. This week you don't have to. You can enjoy the beauty of the outside right from the (sort of) comfort of your computer chair.

Oddly enough, gardening is one of the few outlets that those of us in chronic pain still enjoy. Gardening does not require world shaping decisions, life threatening concentration, or even great coordination. If you plant something in one area and it does not grow well, move it. If you forget where you put your gardening tools, use a kitchen knife or screwdriver instead. When weeding or watering, If your coordination is less than desirable, keep your cane with you and use it to lean on.

Now, I cannot say that I have dug one (1) hole in my yard. I am fortunate enough to have help. But I do, when my health allows, keep the weeds pulled out and the plants watered. It is my version of exercise. It is definately my way to relieve stress.

While viewing the video and you notice the weeds, look over them and assume my health did not allow it. Constantly escalating prices have created a desire to have my own vegetable garden next year. I found just the help for all of us. They are called Bag Gardens and Key Hole Gardens. Both gardens require full sun. Never the less, they require very little space, very little strength to build, and their up keep is minimal.

Key Hole Gardens , so named because when you look down at it from the top, it resembles a key hole, were originally created by HIV patients in Africa. These gardens allowed the patient to grow their own nutritional food. Thus, staying healthier and living longer.

The opening allows the person working the garden to reach it from all sides. As a result of the high rate of HIV deaths most of the gardens in Africa are built and taken care of by children or the elderly. The Key hole garden can be as tall or as short as you desire.
CLICK to view the video instructing the construction of the Key Hole garden.

The Bag Garden can even be purchased and constructed at your own speed. These bags are now sold as starter kits for school children. However, in Africa and cost conscious families around the world, the bags is much larger.

Some cost conscious gardeners are creating multiple bag gardens containing a variety of fruit and vegetables.

CLICK to view instructional video.

If each gardener would make one of these gardens, we could not only feed our family, we could help those less fortunate who do not have a place to put a garden.

Just out of curiosity, I called our local Food Bank. I asked if they took fresh fruit and vegetables from local gardeners. She said "Yes! We do it all the time. The need is so great that the fresh vegetables and fruit go quickly". She also stated that they gave receipts for the gardener to receive tax credit from the IRS.

So, here is my challenge to my fellow gardeners or soon to be gardeners;

Be proactive about your own nutrition. At this moment, we have no idea where our fresh food is from

Plant enough seeds or seedlings to support your family

Share any excess harvest with your local Food Bank.

Pass this information on to someone you know can benefit from it

Ask help from someone who does not have a place for a garden. Ask if they would like to share with building, caring for and harvesting the new garden


Elio Galluzzi said...

Mckey, what a beautiful video!
Well, it makes my little garden look like a bunch of weeds :(
Bag gardening it's really interesting, I am planning to look into it, and just in case ask for further support from you:)
What a great article!

Mckay K said...

Hi Elio! Thank you for the response on my video. For some reason it was not as clear on the web. But I am happy to learn that it is OK. I know you would tell me if it was not.

If you click on the picture of bags and seeds, it will take you to a video. The video shows the children building the bag garden.

However, you know if you need further instructions, I am more than happy to help.

I think it is something that we can do to help keep our monthly food cost down while controlling what we are putting into our family's mouths! :~)

Have a great day!

Speedcat Hollydale said...

I don't have a yard ... shoot!

There used to places around the city with "garden areas" for rent. I just don't see them anymore. Too bad, really.

Mckay K said...

I have seen them of TV. I think we still have two that you can rent space in the city.

That is why I like the bag garden idea most. It could be put on a sunny deck. However, if you don't have a deck, make new friends!

Cant's you just see your next social event;
NEW AQUAINTANCE: Nice to meet you!
SPEEDYCAT: Do you have a yard or deck? :~)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea. Just goes to show that the old adage where there's a will there's a way still rings true today. I am going to try the bag garden. I love gardening and this looks like a great new challange. Thank you so much for the inspiration.
Pamela June

Mckay K said...

Thanks for visiting Pamela. I have pretty much decided on the bag garden myself.

I hope it inspires other to grow their own food and to "pay forward" their abundance.

Thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting. Please visit again.

Sweet Cocoa said...

I really enjoy gardening also. I really want to look into bag gardening. Last year i had a balcony full for containers with flowers. Mostly petunias! This year I have moved and tried to start a garden at my mothers with not much help or success. Magically a yellow squash plant appeared and i plan to see if the squash will be good enough to eat! I would love to grow veggies in a hanging bag garden.

Jeanne said...

Mckay k,

If you haven't already worked on fine-tuning your video with YouTube, I'd leave it as is. Your garden is beautiful!! I wish my yard looked like that!! I enjoyed the entire video but like the red and yellow flower near the end especially and the gorgeous trees with red blossoms (near water, it looked like?). I really enjoyed it!

I love, love, love you idea to donate any excess veggies to a local food bank! I wonder how many people just throw out their excess veggies that rot before they can all be eaten?? That is a great idea!!


Mckay K said...

Hi Sweet Cocoa,

Love your site and the picture of your squash. I do hope it taste good.

I want to encourage others to grow their own food. It is so important that we do what ever we can to be come as independent as possible.

However, we do not want to forget families that are less fortunate than we are. Please pass on the idea of giving excess food to your local Food Bank

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

Mckay K said...

Jeanne, thanks for your input about the video. I have not had the opportunity to work on it. I guess I did not need to. I, so, enjoy my yard.

But,it was not always like that.
As I have mentioned many times it is a labor of love, by my son.

I loved the red flowers too. They are named Red Crape Myrtles. They get as big as the pink ones shown earlier in the video.

We use them for natural privacy fencing.

The donations to the local Food Banks is weighing heavy on my heart. I am relying on everyone who reads these blogs to encourage the donation of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Now that we know the fresh food will be accepted we have no excuse.

When we know better we do better! :~)

Chronic Chick Talk said...

Wow sounds like your garden is doing well. I am know going to view your video. intreasting bag gardening. I'll have to check it out cause its really difficult to replant.

Mckay K said...

Hi Chronic Chick. Thanks for stopping by. I think it is really interesting and something that I am personally going to try next season.

My flowers did do well. Except for the occasional insects. But what would a garden be without insects.

Have a great evening and Stay well.

Anonymous said...

We would love to have a veggie garden but don't really have a place to put it where the dogs won't scavenge it! But I do frequent the local farmer's markets for my produce (I love the summer!).
That is so awesome that you are going to donate some of your produce!! Good for you!!!

Mckay K said...

Hi Yaya
I love the summer as well. It seems as though everything just comes alive. I guess it does.

Other than sharing my summer flowers, my biggest goal is to get other chronically ill people interested in growing their own food and donating a part of it.

For a lot of us, our economy is critical. There are so many people who have nothing. It would be great to, at the very least, help them to stay healthy by providing with something else beside caned goods.

Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for your always kind words.

Hinsley Ford said...

What a wonderful post. :) I have always *wondered* why I don't have the urge to garden, because it seems like such a calming, beautiful process. Plus, I love to caretake. But - when you can't bend, ya just can't bend. And when heat makes you ten times worse, television and books easily show their appeal. Anyhow, wanted to stop in and say hello.



Hinsley Ford said...

BTW, just by looking at this video, I can smell the fresh air, the greens and flowers, hear the sound of bees buzzing, and feel the sun on my shoulders. Thanks for the tour from my bed! :)

Mckay K said...

Hinsley, you just made my day. You are exactly who this blog is for and definitely who the video is for. I am glade you enjoyed the video.

You are so right. When you have a restriction such as bending, gardening is just not what your want to do.

There are days when I can not bend or even sit up. On those days, I lie in bed and joyfully look out my window.

Thank you for the positive response. I am overjoyed that you left a comment.

I hope you are having a great day! Or, at lease as painless as possible day :-)

Anonymous said...

yes any work which you like most can be used as a stress buster. gardening is also one of them.very nice post

Christina Crease

Mckay K said...

Christina I certainly believe that to be true.

My hope is that we with disabilities will find that certain thing that we love and "JUST DO IT".

The benefits are amazing.

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Stopping by to say hello ... and thank you for the wonderful comment :-)


Mckay K said...

Hello Speedycat
Thanks for stopping by. You are so welcome.

When someone is not ready for the assistance, it is impossible to help that friend. As I stated on your blog, your recent heart wrenching post on your alcoholic friend was not for him. but for one of your readers.

Maybe one day, that person will come forward and acknowledge its impact on their life. And again, you may never know. One thing is for sure, you have done all you can do.

Hope you are having a great evening :)