West Virginia Assistive Technology System

Spring 2015 E-Brief

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2015 Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints Awardees

Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints is an accessible gardening program for West Virginians with arthritis, osteoporosis, other musculoskeletal conditions and joint limitations. Administered by the West Virginia Assistive Technology System since 2007, Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints is funded by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health’s Osteoporosis and Arthritis Program.

  • Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. (Arthurdale, WV) plans to rebuild the community’s Victory Garden with accessible raised garden beds.
  • Brooke County Committee on Aging (Follansbee, WV) plans to construct raised beds for fruits and vegetables on two lots that were converted into gardens.
  • Community Resources, Inc. (Parkersburg, WV) plans to partner with the Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities Division of Westbrook Health Services to build raised flower beds.
  • Greenbrier Valley Master Gardener Association (Lewisburg, WV) plans to install a deep portable raised bed that can showcase different crops and move around the garden.
  • Hamlin Library Crafty Ladies (Hamlin, WV) plans to start growing seeds in an old greenhouse, experiment with square foot gardening and plant raised vegetable and herb beds at the Hamlin Public Library.
  • Hardy County Health and Wellness Center (Moorefield, WV) plans to build raised garden beds at their wellness center, which is next door to a local senior center.
  • The McDowell County Commission on Aging, Inc. (Welch, WV) plans to replace old vegetable and flower beds with accessible raised beds at its building.
  • Morgan County Master Gardener Association (Berkeley Springs, WV) plans to revitalize the Senior Life Services Atrium, and put in raised garden beds with pavers so people who use wheelchairs can garden. The project also plans to use a drip irrigation system on a timer to reduce the amount of water needed to nurture the plants.
  • National Church Residences Foundation, Rivermont Presbyterian Homes (Montgomery, WV) plans to partner with WVU University of Technology nursing students to plant organic vegetables in raised garden beds.
  • National Church Residences Foundation: Twin Oaks Plaza (Oak Hill, WV) plans to build raised garden beds with an intergenerational team of volunteers that includes seniors and local Boy Scouts.
  • New Martinsville Rotary Club (New Martinsville, WV) plans to add tops and seats to raised beds at local senior centers. The project also plans to work with a local nonprofit food program to plant raised garden beds at New Martinsville Community Gardens and Paden City Community Gardens.
  • Planned Approach to Community Health of Taylor County (Grafton, WV) plans to construct raised garden beds with a seating area and a wheelchair accessible path to start a community garden in coordination with WVU Extension Service and the City of Grafton.
  • Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (Weston, WV) plans to do an intergenerational project that includes seniors and local Girl Scouts. The project plans to plant raised beds beside Criss Manor, a high rise for seniors, and make a natural playground for children across the street.
  • Summers County Council on Aging, Inc. (Hinton, WV) plans to construct raised vegetable beds with hand rails to make gardening more accessible. They also plan to add a rain barrel to make watering the plants easier.
  • Wayne County Community Services Organization, Inc. (Huntington, WV) plans to plant raised garden beds to provide accessible gardening opportunities at the Fort Gay Community Center.

Gronomics Wedge Raised Garden Box

The Gronomics Wedge Raised Garden Box is a raised garden bed made of red cedar. The box is wedge shaped; it is wide at the top and comes together at the bottom into a “V” shape. The planting depth is 18 inches deep in the center. The height and shape may make it easier for a person using a stool or a wheelchair to reach plants. The box can be used on patios and decks, and can hold 6.5 cubic feet of soil. It has a dovetail design so you can assemble it by sliding the pieces together without using tools.

For more information, visit www.gronomics.com or call 855-299-6727.

Nutrient Management Certification Program in WV

a photo of a lady pulling up carrots

To help farmers make sure they apply the right amount of nutrients to the land, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has developed the Nutrient Management Certification Program. This is a "voluntary program available to individuals with the expertise to provide nutrient management technical assistance to the agricultural community."

WVDA has an exam that allows a qualified person to become a Certified Nutrient Management Planner. The person must meet requirements to take the certification exam. To learn more about the certification program and find a list of suggested resources to prepare for the exam, visit the www.wvagriculture.org and click on "Nutrient Management". The exam is generally given twice a year. To find out more about the exam, contact Jerry Ours, WV Nutrient Management Program Coordinator at 304-538-2397.

Craftsman NEXTEC Hammerhead Auto Hammer

The Craftsman NEXTEC Hammerhead is a 12 volt automatic hammer with a rotating head. The hammer rotates to three angles - 0, 45 and 90 degrees. An LED bulb rotates with the head to light the work area. The tool can be used to hammer nails in many tight spaces where it might be hard to swing a hammer. It also has a magnet for holding a nail in place to allow a person to hammer using one hand.

For more information, visit www.sears.com or call 800-697-3277.

Rhubarb Cobbler

Cobbler Ingredients

  • 4½ cups of rhubarb stalks cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Note: Do not use the leaves of the rhubarb plant.

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup milk or half & half


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Mix the cut up rhubarb stalks and 1 cup of sugar.
  4. Place mixture in greased baking dish; sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  5. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  6. Next add in cold butter to make a crumbly mixture.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk (or half & half).
  8. Add to the dry ingredients; stir with a fork.
  9. Drop spoonfuls of topping onto the rhubarb/sugar mixture in the baking dish.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Top with ice cream. Recipe adapted from www.food.com.