To minimize constructionlabor, Mr. Loskot found newuses for discarded objects. “Icommandeered discardedupright and chest freezers atno cost. These are ready-made beds, no constructionrequired! Now I haveappliance repair shops saving broken freezers andcontacting me for pick-up.”The appliance shops will alsodrain and recycle the coolant,eliminating environmentalhazards. According toLoskot, strawberries, blueberries, bamboo, andespecially asparagus love thisgrowing environment. Asshown in Photos 2-3 (below),the asparagus is in its harveststage and new crops of spears are harvested eachspring. They use the freezersin sets of two giving them a bed 28 inches across by 10feet long and 32
The Loskots planted two-year-old crowns two yearsago and now harvest freshorganic asparagus every 2-3days. They reserve the
November 12-14, 2004Abilities Expo/Northern CASanta Clara ConventionCenter. For a list of workshops, exhibitors, andfree tickets visit the web site:www.abilitiesexpo.com November 17 - 21, 2004American Public HealthAssociationWashington, D.C.Contact: National Children'sCenter for Rural andAgricultural Health andSafety, Marshfield Clinic,1000 North Oak Ave.,Marshfield, WI 54449.Phone (800) 662-6900 or Visit the web site:http://research.marshfieldclinic.org/children Nov. 18-20, 200414th Annual MidwestFarmworker Stream ForumHosted annually by the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH).Adam's Mark HotelDenver, CO Contact: Lisa E.Hughes, 800-531-5120www.ncfh.org
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freezer beds for cultivarsneeding containment or for crops that are easilyharvested at this height. Theonly maintenance is addingone cubic-foot bag of steer manure in the fall andshredded computer-paper mulch twice a year.Recycler Loskot loves pointing out other environmental benefits,“appliances are recycled andkept out of our landfills, thefreezers keep pesky gophersout, freezing temperatureswill not heave plants, andthese beds conserve water.”To improve eye appeal, theycan even be sided with slateor wood.
Visit Marshall’s website:http://herb-blossom.com/.CalAgrAbility NEWS will beublishing other articleseaturing Marshall and hisunique farming ideas.
Recommendations For Raised Bed Farming
Install even surfaces for wheelchairs: concrete,decomposed granite, compactlevel dirt.
Brick walks arediscouraged because theymay heave.
If a grassy area is desired,openwork paving stones,which have holes for thegrass to be seeded through,are available.
A traditional lawn is toouneven and not appropriatefor person in a wheelchair or with impaired walking.
All gates or doors must bewide enough (at least 36inches) for a wheelchair to pass.
Gates and doors shouldslide rather than swing, andlight enough to move easily.
Ramps, along with gates,doorways, walks, and space between raised beds, should be a minimum of 3 feet widefor single-person l and 6 feetfor two persons.
Full sun or at least 6 hours aday is recommended for raised planters andcontainers, 8-10 hours for vegetables.
Mulching is a must withlarger raised planter. It slowsthe evaporation and helpskeep the soil cool for theroots.
[From Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, Publication 426-020]
Photo 2: Recycle freezers as raised beds. Shown abovewith asparagus spears. Photo 3: Freezer with computer-paper mulch.