Thursday Feature: Volunteer Gardening

Hi again! It’s Adrienne. You may remember me from my healthy snacking post back in May.

Not only do I like to attempt to take good care of myself but I also enjoy helping others. I strive to regularly volunteer and this past weekend I had the opportunity to do so over at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

In the back of the park hidden from the regular visitors, they have almost an acre of gardens that produce vegetables for FeedMore’s Community Kitchen. This year they hope to produce 10,000 pounds of crop. Last year they only missed the mark by about 80 pounds!

The garden depends heavily on volunteers to help with all tasks from tilling the land to harvesting at the end of the season. I enjoy gardening at my own house so I thought it’d be fun to help out.

We spent the morning moving through various tasks.

The first thing we did was check squash plants for squash bug eggs. It’s a tedious but necessary task that helps prevent the bugs from killing the plants. To get rid of the eggs, we snapped off any leaves that held the tiny, copper-colored eggs. Pretty easy to do and rewarding.

We planted tomatoes next. Many plants are grown from seed on site but others are often donated like the ones we dealt with. We planted about 30 plants in a very short amount of time. It’s amazing how much you can achieve with a good amount of volunteers!

After planting another 20 or so tomato plants, our last task was to do some weeding in the wheelchair accessible beds. Yet another task that seemed to go quickly. Did I mention that I love weeding? Not normal. :)

I really enjoyed the morning – talking to the other volunteers and learning a little from the head gardener all while helping the community. I hope to visit again soon. It’ll be fun to see the results of our work!

If you’re interested in joining me one Saturday, please visit Hands On Greater Richmond to sign up. I usually click on the ‘Project Calendar’ at the right-hand side of the page to find opportunities. On the calendar you’ll see that you can volunteer at Lewis Ginter every Saturday and Monday for the next couple months.

You don’t need any experience to come help! Just wear some clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting dirty, closed toe shoes and bring gardening gloves if you have them. Water and sunscreen are good to have too!

Feel free to email me at hippieitch [at] gmail [dot] com if you have any questions or comments!

Adrienne @ HippieItch


Monday Feature: Hippie Itch

Hi all! I’m Adrienne, the blogger over at Hippie Itch.

Ever had an itch that you’ve just GOT to scratch? I have it all the time in the form of a desire to help others and grow as a person. I write about healthy habits, volunteering, ‘green’ projects, my dogs (a lot) and some other stuff too.

I did some major traveling recently (to Australia!) so I thought I’d write about some healthy habits I attempted to incorporate into our trip.

My husband, Al and I usually use traveling as an excuse to buy treats but this time I wanted us to be ready and raring to go after a day and a half crossing the globe. We needed to eat healthy. If we had eaten poorly, we would have be even more tired and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to spend a day or two recovery from travel.

I prepared.

I packed some tangerines, trail mix and a couple different healthy yet sweet bars. I bought the bars to substitute for the candy we’d normally eat. I got Archer Farms Fruit Bars, TLC Layered Granola Bars, Luna Bars, and some protein bars for Al. Delicious yet healthy!

With those bars in my belly, I had enough sense to take my time at the airports to scope out the healthier food options. Previously if I hadn’t eaten enough on the plane, I run straight to something unhealthy just because I was starving! Eating healthy snacks was such an easy fix.

This time I found a sushi bar and got the vegetable roll. I also ate two tangerines. I was so proud of myself, you don’t even know! No soda, no candy, just good food.

I also bought a latte for some protein and much needed caffeine.

On the plane I read some healthy eating inspiration. I think it helped me stay on track!

And last but not least. I drank water and lots of it. Normally I wouldn’t drink much while traveling because I didn’t want to have to go to the bathroom often and interrupt the person next to me. This time I was up every two hours, disturbing the guy in the aisle seat. I’m sure he wasn’t too happy with me but my body was!

After all that traveling, besides being tired, I really didn’t feel that bad! We got in to Brisbane at 7:00am and went all day until we CRASHED at 9:30pm. By that time I was slapping myself to stay awake but I only blame it on the jet lag.

If you’re going to take anything away from my little post here, I’d say drink water!! I’ve got proof because on the flight back I didn’t drink as much and therefore didn’t move much either. My muscles were tighter and my legs were more swollen. It was pretty uncomfortable.

All in all, it was a great trip and more proof that eating healthy is the way to go!

Thanks for listening. Please come visit me over at Hippie Itch and say hi! It’d make my day. :)