Growing your own food can be a rewarding experience. Picking your favorite fruits, vegetables & herbs to sow is the easy part. But sometimes harvesting your yummy food can be quite a challenge, especially for senior citizens. Bending low to the ground to cut lettuce or picking ripe tomatoes can be hard on your knees or make it difficult to stand back up. Especially if you experience some physical limitations, like back pain. No worries though- you too can take pride in having your own garden by growing food in a raised bed! This method allows you to “raise” the level your food is grown in by controlling the height and having your food grow at waist high, making it super convenient for senior citizens to actively participate in having their own garden.

There are several types of raised beds to choose from and will depend on what your budget is, what style you like and what size space you have to place them. Raised beds are beneficial because you can control the soil quality, pick weeds out easily and best of all, harvest anything you want without ever needing to bend! Perfecto!

The method we selected for building our raised beds was using wooden pallets. As an added bonus, all of the wooden pallets were donated to us, saving us a ton of money!


We had each person focus on one particular task, such as removing nails, to make the process easier. Next, we formed the base and left a small gap at the bottom to allow for air circulation. It’s a good idea to line the inside of the bottom with chicken wire to keep rodents out and even help prevent weeds from growing through. We built them 6 ft in length, 33 in. in height, and 28 in. wide. This is a fairly simple project and with the help of student volunteers and a few adults for adult supervision made a raised bed in about an hour.

Raised Garden Beds - rescue mi nature now

You can choose to leave your raised beds plain or paint them, whatever you prefer. You can fill the bottom of the raised bed with larger organic material like tree branches, stumps, leaves and grass before adding your topsoil and compost.

Now, the best part, start sowing your seeds, water them, and wait for them to start growing! Doesn’t get much easier than that. Happy planting & harvesting! #nobending #raisedgardenbeds #woodenpallets #growfood #farmandfinance #sustainability #recycle #rescuenaturenow

Rescue MI Nature Now, Inc. is a Michigan Nonprofit organization with the goal to connect , rebuild natural habitats and restore faith in the surrounding communities. We began as a beekeeping family and wanted to expand our passions which include working in the community, uplifting the youth and lending a helping hand. Rescue MI Nature Now, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to developing green space within the community and providing nature based educational programs.

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Andrew Buendia is a graduate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a dual bachelors in Political Science and Sociology. Fueled by a passion to ensure that Detroit communities are directly representative of not just the current residents, but also the long lineage of residents is what prompted Andrew to become more involved with the city he grew up in. One way to do this is by coordinating community relations to gain better insight to what the community not only wants, but the best method of action to go about solving their impending issues.

Brodrick Wilks is a Recent University of Michigan graduate with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration; coordinated with Brilliant Detroit to host 30 Axiom student volunteers in August 2019 where they helped transform vacant lots by beautifying and cleaning up a green space and removing overgrown tree brush and weeds from community garden.