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Re: Elderly gardeners

A couple ideas about elderly gardeners:

Jobs could include:  watering with someone else pulling the hoses;
acting as volunteer/gardener meeter/greeter as people come in; passing
out info.; "experienced gardener" to assist others and answer questions
- maybe even have reference books for them; volunteer manager - be the
one with the list of what needs to be done and who's doing what; looking
for insect damage and identifying problems; taking inventory of whatever
needs to be inventoried; any other kind of organizational work that you
could get off someone else''s plate.

Don't underestimate the importance of giving people a space of their own
to do with whatever they choose - most people want to have something
that is theirs and a lot of people will do whatever it takes to sustain
something like that if it belongs to them. Especially people who have
lost full control of other parts of their life. A plot of your own can
be a powerful thing.

I liked the idea someone sent of partnering with kids, although that can
be tricky. I've seen some middle school kids be pretty mean to old
people and volunteers in gardens before. What if the kids were paired to
help the older gardener? Sorta like benefitting the kid by helping, and
benefitting the gardener with someone to do what they tell them to do.
As long as the kids had a respite (can't be slaves, although - hey -
that's an idea..)and the process was facilitated - what did you learn
from the older person? What did you notice about what they need? What
can they do and where do they need help? What was your experience of
being their helper? Would you like to do it again? With the same person
or someone else? In what ways can you be helpful to an older person? How
does that feel? What do you think you'll need help with someday? What do
you need help with now?  Etc etc.

Good luck!  Kathy

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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