USING A KNEELER TO PLANT OUT BY HAND MAY SAVE THE COST OF KNEE INJURIES – 4th wk in March 2014

We are busy in our new not-so-small kitchen garden at present, so apologies for the delay in updating the blog! The organic onions sets are now all planted, several hundred each of Sturon and Jetset white varieties and Kamal red variety, all bought from the certified organic suppliers http://www.fruithillfarm.com.  Before we moved to Tacumshin in south Wexford, a couple of dozen sets would have filled the small onion patch in Balbriggan.

Operating by hand on a larger 3 acre scale brings with it new challenges. For a start, physiotherapists recommend a gardener to change activities at regular intervals so different muscles are used and tired muscles are rested a bit. The lower back in particular can suffer if there is too much bending without a rest or at least a change in activities.

I recently met a retired tiler who had undergone two knee replacement operations after years of an occupational hazard kneeling on kitchen floors and other hard surfaces. This is a salient warning to gardeners who kneel to sow, plant, tend, weed, etc.. After meeting my tiler friend, I rooted out the kneeler I had bought some years ago for €30 from a mail order catalogue. The metal and rubber kneeler doubles up as a seat if required also and works well even on a wet day. One could also say it is also anti-rheumatic as it is raised enough from the ground to remain dry.  It also has handles to make standing easier putting less strain on the back. What’s not to like about a device that saves  injury and energy, and increases productivity? Hopefully the attached photograph is of interest.

Metal kneeler with rubber pad at the ready for planting out one of the organic onion beds.

Metal kneeler with rubber pad at the ready for planting out one of the organic onion beds.

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