Couple starts accessible cooking classes in custom kitchen at Warren County farm
As Eric Boltz recovers from his own life-changing incident, he’s showing others with different abilities how to live—and thrive.
WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A man and his wife are turning their Loveland farm into a sanctuary for the differently abled, including those recovering from debilitating injuries.
Eric Boltz is partially paralyzed after being hit by a car in 2015. The spinal injury left him without feeling or movement below his chest.
Previously, Eric was a competitive cyclist. After the crash, Eric had to relearn how to do the basic things in life with the help of his wife, Yvonne Boltz.
“There’s nothing wrong with his brain, you know?” Yvonne said. “Just watching him struggle with how he was perceived and the things that he couldn’t do that he used to do.”
Fast forward several years, and Eric is cycling gain in an adaptive wheelchair.
“You think of a disability as tragic,” he said. “But then you get this look inside of this different side of it, and I think it’s really neat.”
As his own recovery progresses, Eric is using his background as a scientist and engineer to teach differently abled people how to thrive in life.
He’s starting with monthly cooking classes in their custom kitchen at Boltz to Nutz Farm.
“Accessible or adaptive doesn’t mean easy,” Eric said. “It just means possible.”
Eric says there are countless tasks of ordinary life you don’t even think about until you can’t do them as you could before.
“I don’t have the ability, for instance, to lean over,” he said. “For instance if I lean over, I have to put my hand down to support myself.”
Eric can’t use a traditional oven, lest he burn himself. That’s why he built a unique oven in the farm’s custom kitchen with specialized French doors that roll beneath the oven’s doors so Eric can put food inside safely.
The kitchen also features touchscreens and adaptive knives for those with limited hand functionality. Height-adjustable cabinets and countertops are indispensable as well.
Eric says it’s magical to see people in class return to cooking or be able to cook safely for the first time. He speaks of a newfound purpose in helping others through their suffering and recoveries.
“I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell my story,” he said. “We can share stories and maybe find some answers.”
The cooking classes are just the beginning. Eric and Yvonne are working to make the farm more accessible for those of all ability levels.
The next class will be held on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. focusing on cooking a healthy, delicious breakfast.
Find out more here.
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