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