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