Monthly Archives: November 2018

Viewing a Farmacy Garden from the Dietetics Perspective

Volunteering at the Farmacy Garden has been one of the most fun and rewarding Dietetics assignments I’ve had. I loved that it was hand-on learning, and what was even more enjoyable was that everything I was learning felt very relevant to my career goal of working with nutrition education. My primary job as a garden volunteer was to work on what needed to get done in the garden and to help garden visitors during garden hours. I very much enjoyed getting to meet members of the Christiansburg/Montgomery County community as a garden volunteer. As a VT student, most of my daily interactions are with other VT students. As a garden volunteer, I met many people who lived in the area, which is a different experience than my VT bubble, and it made me feel more connected to and appreciative of the area. Everyone I met was friendly, and a few more experienced garden participants helps to teach me a lot about how the garden runs.

My family plants a garden most summers, so I had some gardening experience, but I learned a lot about growing food on a larger scale. We also only grow a few types of plants during the Summer, so I learned a lot about what goes into growing Fall/Winter vegetables. My family has also never grown berries, so harvesting from berry bushes was a new experience. My hope is to plant raspberry bushes in my own garden next summer, now that I know more about what goes into caring for them.  I feel like my own gardening learning shows just how much good the Farmacy garden can do. Obviously, providing fresh and health produce to community members is an important role. But teaching what goes into growing produce and getting people interested and invested in growing healthy food is just as important. And it’s a socially sustainable way of helping more people have access to fresh and nutritious food.

Helping with the garden was also interesting specifically as a dietetics student. I spend a lot of time learning about fruits and vegetables are healthy and how my future role as a dietitian will likely include trying to get people to incorporate more of these food groups into their diet. Basically, I spend a lot of time learning about the foods that are good for people. Working with growing these foods gave me insight about the process of what goes into producing the foods I learn so much about.

Post contributed by: Caroline Best

Farmacy Garden Promotes Healthy Lifestyle

A community garden is so much more than just a place for vegetables to grow.

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to work with the Farmacy Garden through my Virginia Tech Community Nutrition class. Even though we had discussed the idea of community gardens in previous nutrition-related courses, I had honestly never put too much thought into them before this experience, and wow was my mind opened.

Community gardens like the Farmacy Garden can be extremely beneficial to the community as a whole. From this experience I was able to learn about all the great things the Farmacy Garden does for the Montgomery County community. I was able to see first hand the positive impacts this garden has on its individual `community members.

Community gardens can provide access to fresh produce, strengthened community connections, and continued education. They also promote increased fruit and vegetable intake and increased physical activity, which can all lead to a healthier mind and body. Not to mention, the positive environmental impact these gardens create by promoting local and sustainable farming.

While all community gardens have a really great positive impact, the Farmacy Garden has some specifically great qualities. The use of garden prescriptions from the neighboring community clinic is a very creative and effective way to promote healthy behaviors without creating unnecessary costs.

Each time a community member came to the garden with their prescription, they were eager to learn about gardening and to take home fresh produce. I really enjoyed working closely with the community members. I was able to see how a seemingly simple idea of picking your own produce can have a much greater influence on both the individual and community level.

I didn’t expect spending a few hours each week digging in the dirt to translate to such a greater knowledge and understanding. I have really learned so much from my time working with the Farmacy Garden. Now that I have witnessed the vast benefits that community gardens can provide, I hope to be able to promote the use of them in my future as a dietitian!

Post contributed by: Christy Snook