According to the CDC, people should eat five cups of fruits and vegetables each day. To better understand this, a fist-sized apple is one serving. A cup of fresh spinach or five to eight broccoli florets is one serving of vegetables. Ideally, you want two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables to achieve healthier eating habits.
Like most adults, it’s unlikely that your parents are eating enough produce. Ten percent of the nation’s adults don’t meet the recommended guidelines. One of the best ways to increase their intake is by growing it in their backyard. When there is a large bounty of produce that you can pick daily, you’re more likely to increase the amount you eat.
Gardening is a great hobby for Gifts of the Garden Month. It gets you outside in the fresh air and sun. It also allows you to work the muscles as you weed, dig and rake the soil, and carry fresh produce into the home. Setting up a garden doesn’t have to be difficult either if you create raised garden beds.
Pick up some cheap paint buckets and drill a hole in the bottom for drainage. Add a layer of crushed stone and fill it with potting soil and compost. Buckets are excellent for growing tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and eggplants in these buckets.
If you don’t want to build a raised garden, try lasagna gardening. It’s best to start setting this up in the late summer. Use wet cardboard to cover the area for your lasagna garden. Cover that in grass clippings and wet leaves. Add layers of damp newspaper, compost/manure, and garden soil.
Once the garden soil layer is in place, add another layer of wet newspaper, more compost/manure, and more garden soil. Keep building in layers until the bed is about 10 to 12 inches high. Thoroughly soak it down and cover it in a tarp for the winter. Over the winter, the materials break down and are ready for planting in the spring.
Take some lumber and build large rectangular or square frames. Place them in a sunny location in the yard and lay down a layer of cardboard inside the frame to cover the grass. Soak that down and fill the frames with a mix of compost, manure, and garden soil.
Cedar is the best wood to use for wood-framed raised garden beds. Aim for beds that are about 10 inches high. At the end of the growing season, add more compost and mix it to get ready for the next growing season.
Do your parents need someone to help out during the week? Consider hiring senior care aides to help them with their housework and laundry. Caregivers can drive them to stores and take them to appointments.
With senior care aides, your parents also have help remembering to put on sunscreen or drink water after being outside for a while. Call to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Evanston, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.