Maine AgrAbility Blog

This is awkward…

Fishermen and aquaculture harvesters spend a lot of time bending, pulling, tugging, and straining, and those movements should be balanced with opportunities for recovery. Taking even just a few minutes to focus on your breathing or stretch your back can help alleviate discomfort and even fend off injury. Work Task: That moment when you are […]

Read more

Who’s Got Your Back? Part II

Bending and Mending Whether you are building a trap, mending a net, or heaving an oyster cage, you may find yourself hunched over or in an awkward position in order to complete a task. It’s important to be mindful of how you are working, but it’s also good to consider taking time to stretch and […]

Read more

Who’s Got Your Back? Part I

Whether you’re pulling lobster traps or oysters cages, or hunched over shucking scallops, your low back probably takes a beating. Fishermen have an intuitive understanding of ergonomics but perhaps don’t stretch and strengthen specific muscles as often as they should in order to prevent and alleviate low back pain. Here’s the team that has your […]

Read more

Choosing the Right Tools

  No matter what your age or ability, make sure your tools are right for the project and they fit your size and strength. Tools will really make the work easier, especially if they’re designed with ergonomics in mind.  An ergonomic tool is one that assists with the work you need to do and at […]

Read more

An Ounce of Prevention

By Ketra Crosson, Occupational Therapist, Independent Living Specialist Trying to take some of the advice that I give others in Maine AgrAbility, in recent years I have started earlier in the season, working in the garden for shorter sessions, avoiding the ‘marathon’ planting and work periods. I have also been mindful of gathering my tools, […]

Read more

Raised Bed Gardening: The Reality Sets In

By Ketra Crosson, Occupational Therapist, Independent Living Specialist Since I have been experiencing increased joint issues in my hips, knees, and ankles, I have developed a love/hate relationship with gardening.  I find that I have about a 1-hour tolerance before my body starts to say, “Enough!”.  My activities include repetitive standing-up and kneeling-down; walking on […]

Read more

Raised Bed Gardening: The start of the growing season

I have had a garden every season since I moved to my home in 1991.   Having a busy job as an OT, and later adopting my daughter as a single parent. Like most things, some years are good for certain plants, and not so good for other plants. It seems like my gardening method […]

Read more

Raised Bed Gardening: First-person perspective from an occupational therapist

My name is Ketra Crosson.  I am an Independent Living Specialist with Alpha One.  Alpha One is the non-profit disability-related partner with Maine AgrAbility. I am also an occupational therapist by training.  With Maine AgrAbility, I provide on-farm/worksite assessments.  I also provide technical assistance via my experience as an Independent Living Specialist/Occupational Therapist. Working from […]

Read more

Osteoarthritis, Gardening, and the Hands

By Ellen S. Gibson Your body is your best tool. Take care of it. The body is a marvel. Unfortunately, we tend to take it for granted when it’s working well. It’s when it doesn’t work so well—when we are in pain and cannot function as we did in the past—that we stop and take […]

Read more

Farming for the Long Term

By Ellen S. Gibson Jason Russell: Farming for the long term Jason Russell and his wife, Jenny, own Stoic Oak Farm in Amherst, Maine. They moved here in 2017, after Jason separated from the Army. Jason is particularly interested in sustainable agriculture, a whole-systems approach to farming that mimics the productivity and resiliency of natural […]

Read more