Invention makes gardening possible for disabled people

ISHPEMING — Gretchen Preston loves her garden. It’s something that she enjoys doing without much help from others.

Gretchen uses her Seeing Eye dog, Lloyd, to get around. Now, she can plant crops and flowers by herself, thanks to an invention by Earl Senchuk. The ‘Seed and Weed’ is designed to make gardening easier for people with or without a disability.

“You don’t double seed, you can plunge the seeds to the exact depth on the package and it eliminates weeding by about 80%,” said Senchuk.

Senchuk showed Gretchen how to plant seeds using the Seed and Weed. She planted seeds in another one of Senchuk’s inventions, called the ‘Boomer Bloomer’, which allows gardeners to grow certain crops nine months out of the year. Gretchen found the entire process very easy.

“Earl has done a really nice job on getting his prototype to a place where it’s easily accessible for a blind, impaired person or someone that has problems with their hands like arthritis,” said Preston.

Senchuk created these prototypes in order to make gardening easier for people with disabilities as well as senior citizens. The Boomer Bloomers can be put up just about anywhere.

“People’s backyards, nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, veteran’s facilities and to anyone who wants to grow a garden without bending over.”

Gretchen will be able to harvest the spinach and lettuce she planted Wednesday when December rolls around.

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