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Spring has sprung! Well, in most places. Who else is stoked to get their fat ass out into the beautiful sun and start living life to the fullest this year? I am REBORN bitches. I am THRIVING. Let me blossom like the daffodils in our back yard. The time has come y’all. Time for what, you ask? Its fat gardening time.
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Over the weekend @fatgirlflow and I got our hands dirty! . I had never done any sort of planting or gardening related things ever before. I have a hard time letting go and jumping into activities that get me out of my comfort zone. I was never really the kid that wanted to get messy. . As I got older I think that translated into not wanting to be put in situations that may get uncomfortable, especially as a fat person. Gardening had never even been on my radar as something I could try to do. I thought, “Painfully being on my knees in dirt with my ass hanging out? Pass.” . But look at how happy I am! Look at how happy we are. Making the environment accessible sure does help when I wanna try new things. Whats some kind of accessibility adjustment youve made or would like to see so that you could try something new? #comfyfat #fatactivism #fatpositive #thisiswhatnonbinarylookslike
I honestly never thought I’d be saying this but I’m truly inspired after my plant re-potting experience with my partner over the weekend. I’ve avoided any gardening activities my entire life because I really thought it would be the worst experience for a fatty. I imagined being sweaty, my knees hurting, dirt in all of my crevices…no thanks.
Accessible Gardening, Please
And while, yes, re-potting plants is much different than getting elbow deep in a garden, I realized something new about myself. I love feeling close to the Earth. I love gardening. How can I make this activity more accessible so that I can continue to explore it? How can I help others feel safe to try this out?
I began looking into tools and accessories for gardening geared toward helping folks with physical limitations. I found some pretty stellar accessories and add on’s that I didn’t know existed!
Handle Add On
It can be really rough on the body not being able to work in an upright position. I personally don’t have too much dexterity in my arms and wrists. These handle add on’s allow you to switch up the position of your hands so that you can work at a more comfortable angle. How brilliant is that? Perhaps my hands will be less likely to fall asleep while using this!
Long Reach Hand Tools
Extended trowels, hoes, etc can help you with making sure your posture doesn’t get all messed up from leaning over your garden. It might be difficult to avoid leaning over at all while tending to your soil. But these long reach tools can definitely help reduce the backbreaking work required when gardening.
Boasting of an extra wide raised foot step, this weeder is the perfect tool for extracting those weeds. Its got a firm grip handle with “room for both hands” so that you can support yourself properly and get that balance right. This type of work is really strenuous on the body, so take your time with this and take breaks when needed.
Listen y’all. I did my best to try and find a gardening-specific stool with wheels that could accommodate over 300 pounds and it seems like they are pretty hard to find. However, I did find these portable camping stools that have a weight limit of 400 pounds. They fold up for easy transport and could be a great option for that overdue break while you’re out in the beautiful hot sun. Part of the “Over 400 club?” Check out this article about sturdy chairs for fat people. One of them might be the right fit for you and your outside activities.
Grab & Go Rake
For some reason these look a little funny to me, but screw it! I think they’re a good idea. When you start working on your lawn, you might need to get rid of a bunch of old leaves, pine needles etc. first. Making multiple trips back and forth anywhere on my feet is tough. Who wants to get all tired out just from the prep? This leaf grabber rake (or as I call it, the Grab & Go Rake) eliminates the need for multiple tools. Use this guy to move debris at a faster and easier rate so you can get started on that good stuff.
These kneeler seats look really cool, and would be an awesome choice for any of you who are within the weight limit of 300 pounds. They have the ability to be low to the ground like a kneeling pad or a small bench like seat. They fold up for easy storage too.
For folks over that weight limit, I’d suggest at least getting kneeling pads until we can find better seating options. The best available on Amazon are around 2″ thick and about 18″ wide. I’ve heard really great reviews on these specific ones, as they’re made for gardening, exercise, working on cars etc. They’re extra thick, so it’ll take just a bit longer for us heavier folks to wear them down!
Elevated Garden Beds
These can be a bit on the pricier side but they’re what I am most excited about trying someday here soon. What better way to make gardening more accessible to fatties than to raise the garden up off the ground? You can get raised beds which are great for separating different plants, or ones that come right up off the ground like the one pictured above.
We Want Those Bennies
Here’s the deal. There are actually tons of benefits to gardening.
Stress relief. Feeling productive. Getting grounded. Relieving anxiety. Oh, and of course, access to delicious fruits and veggies. Why shouldn’t fatties be able to get out there and grow their own food?
If you’re interested, try grabbing one of these variety packs of various seeds for veggies to try to grow. You can also grow your own herbs, even inside your house with one of these indoor gardening kits. Make sure you look into the best times of year to grow your fav plants for best results.
Let’s get out there and get our hands dirty! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to play around and have fun in the sun. We should be able to make ourselves comfortable enough to step out of our comfort zones and try new things. Fat folks deserve the ability to get in touch with nature y’all!
Great article! I love gardening, but it can be physically exhausting. Fortunately, my very-fit sister is happy to split the duties – she cleans up, weeds, does the really physically difficult work, and I plan, plant, and water. Another trick I like to employ is growing my herbs in pots on the patio – it’s easier to plant and maintain since they are close to the house and elevated.
Such good ideas. Sharing responsibilities and potting things on the patio are really great ways of making things more accessible!
Love this article! I have some chronic pain issues and have used lots of these products to help me garden without pain. One tip for getting a raised/elevated garden bed at a good price – retail stores in colder climates will often sell off their floor models at a VERY discounted price at the end of the season (usually end of july/beginning of august). I got one 80% off this way, and started using it the follow year!
What a great article! You make it sound like fun, maybe I’ll have to try that this spring. Thanks for the ideas.
My mom just gave me a ton of seeds and even though I love gardening I’ve been dreading it as well. This has given me the push I needed to do It! Definitely investing in some sort of portable seat and kneeling aid.
Some of these are brilliant and simple ideas; kneeling pads for ground planting!?
I can’t WAIT to move into my own house and grow something edible so I’m sure many of these tips will come in handy; especially raised beds/pots that can be shifted to a bench/seating area.
How exciting! Life is for the living.
I have an elevated bed, and lots and lots of pots. I put the annuals in the pots, for lots of flowers, and my veggies and herbs in the raised bed. The raised bed was really not that expensive, and I’ve been using it now for ten years, so it’s paid for itself. The raised bed is also good for keeping the dog from peeing and/or digging up my vegetables, not to mention the groundhogs. I can’t get down on my hands and knees and dig too much, so the raised bed is really productive and easier for me. I also grow strawberries in hanging pots. They are so invasive in the ground, and they look pretty in the hanging pots, although the birds get most of my berries, and I get just enough to put into my drinks.
Awesome information. I’ll be gardening for the first time next year.
Gardening helps me so much with my mental health disorders! I use lots of pots for veggies and I allow myself to just do what I can, which is sometimes just two shovelfuls then rest. I’m trying to start clearing and improving the front flowerbeds which are wild from a decade of not being able to do anything. I want one of those kneeler/seat things, because I can kneel for a few minutes at a time but struggle getting back up. Unfortunately they’re all too narrow. We need more companies to think inclusively. Maybe if I can find a walker at a thrift store once my vaccination is fully effective I can use that if I lower it? I’m tall, so it might work. I appreciate your posting this.