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We were wrapping up the previous issue of Experience Life when I happened upon the inspiration for this month’s column — an art project made by Lizzy, my 8-year-old daughter. I was struck by her beautiful representation of nature and was curious about what had sparked her creativity. So, I thought it would be fun to hear her thoughts . . .

Jamie Martin | What was the art project assigned by your art teacher, and how did you make this?

Lizzy Martin | To draw fruits and vegetables and show what happens above the earth and underground when they’re growing — it helps us learn about where our food comes from. We used marker paints and water to make it look like watercolor.

Lizzie's illustration of vegetablesJM | How did you decide what to draw? Are these your favorite veggies?

LM | The teacher showed us a list of vegetables that are in gardens, and then I got to pick the ones I wanted to draw. I like cucumbers and potatoes, so I picked those. I named it Garden of Imagination.

JM | Why do you think gardening is important?

LM | We wouldn’t have fruits and vegetables without gardening. These are some of the healthy foods that we need in life. We need to have good soil because it helps us get the food that we need.

JM | Do you think it’s hard to grow your own food?

LM | It can be. It might not work exactly how you wanted. And the food might not look how you
think it should, but it actually still tastes very good, like carrots do. It also takes patience.

JM | What’s your favorite thing to eat from our garden? Is there anything new you want to try growing this year?

LM | Tomatoes — the baby ones — are my favorite to eat. I’d like to grow watermelon and strawberries because they’re very juicy and delicious.

JM | Anything else you want to add about gardening?

LM | It’s important for living and surviving in our environment.

Both the bounty of a garden and the knowledge we gain about any topic we’re interested in start from the same place: seeds. To help them grow, we need to nurture those seeds as they send down roots and sprout — and we need to have patience with the time it takes for them to develop and mature. My daughter’s understanding of the importance of soil health for gardening, for instance, has been blossoming thanks to a variety of inputs — education at school, conversations at home, and hands-0n experience in our family’s garden.

When it comes to our planet and its health, the earlier we start educating ourselves and taking action, the better. Earth needs all the understanding, care, and love we can give it, individually and collectively.

In the April 2022 issue, you’ll find lots of ideas and stories (see “Climate Champions”, for instance) with nature in mind. I hope they inspire you to learn a little more, dig a little deeper, and get more involved. Let’s get started.

Jamie Martin, Experience Life
Jamie Martin

Jamie Martin is Experience Life’s editor in chief, Life Time’s vice president of content strategy, and cohost of the Life Time Talks podcast. Follow her on Instagram @jamiemartinel.

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