A sweet idea makes strawberry picking handicap accessible.

Published: Apr. 25, 2019 at 6:33 PM EDT
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A quick tug is all it takes to claim a fresh strawberry as a snack on Rogers Farm "They can try any of the berries as they're picking it and they fill up their bucket and they're excited," Michael Stephens, owner of Rogers Farm explains.

When Michael Stephens took over Rogers Farm last year, he noticed a problem.

"A lot of people with disabilities and a lot of elderly people weren't able to participate as much as their families were."

Lorraine Cardwell's daughter Karrah has Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy and is used to making compromises.

"If you're not a typical person, that could run, hop, skip, jump, and play you miss a lot."

Lorraine explains that she gives her daughter every opportunity to do things that make Karrah smile like riding horses and spending time outdoors. Karrah never was able to pick a strawberry - until recently.

Rogers farm opened up a small area for people who can't bend to pick strawberries right off the plant. The plants their handicap u-pick are growing out of irrigation pipes that they repurposed as planters. The idea raises the sweet treat high enough to pick the berries off the plant without bending.

Because of the sweet idea, Karrah, who just turned 14, was able to pick strawberries for the first time in her life.

"I would talk her through it. This is the strawberry. I described it, and then I said now I need you to pull. Even though it was with help she accomplished something and that's important to me that she accomplished it," Karrah's mother explains.

This was the project's first season and is just the beginning of ideas Stephens has to make a day at the farm fun for all.

"We're just going to expand this into every direction we can take it. Different vegetables, flowers, fruit, anything we can do to be all-inclusive."

Lorraine Cardwell says she's so grateful for the unique idea.

"I really had no words these people..they went above and beyond, outside of the box."