Nourished by Nature

“If you want to share joy and beauty with the world, you must fill your life with those things.” – Jeff Goins, “The Most Important Part of the Creative Life”

I started my Master Gardener classes in early January. I’ve been doing most of the work online, but managed to attend two Saturday classes at the Minnesota Arboretum and see a few of the instructors in person. I have already learned some things that have changed what I’m doing with my indoor plants and my plans for my outdoor yard and gardens. (By the way, none of the plants photographed are mine; they are in the Conservatory of the Arboretum.)

Being a part of the Master Gardener program, I now hear about so many learning and doing opportunities! For example, I’m going to participate in a Non-circulating Hydroponics Salad Table Trial and am looking forward to the possibility of growing lettuce inside next winter.

Okay, I can feel some of you yawning about now, but I love this stuff!

I have also learned about a local conference in March called “Nature Heals.” The conference is about the neuroscience of human bonds with the natural world and how a connection to nature is essential to human health and well-being.

The conference will be led by Eva Selhub, MD, who (along with Alan C Logan ND) wrote “Your Brain on Nature”.The second facilitator is Meg Olmert, who wrote “Made for Each Other”. Meg works with an organization called “Warrior Canine Connection”. They teach Service people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) how to train mobility service dogs that are then partnered with Veterans with mobility impairments. The program is just one example of the ways pets can have therapeutic effects on people.

The reason for all of this – my interest in gardening, nature, the importance of connecting to plants and animals – is initially selfish as these are things that have been a great help to me during times of upheaval. Pets and nature are an amazing pain reliever!

And I’d like to learn more about this area of study so I know how I can take something that has helped me and create a program or find an existing program that can help other people.

If you’re interested in this kind of nature and human health stuff yourself, I’ve included two videos you might enjoy. The first is a four minute video on the Warrior Canine Connection program.

The second is a twelve minute video on research showing how spending time in nature benefits human health. (Don’t let the opening shot turn you off. There are some gorgeous forest scenes and it is spoken in English.)

If you know of other people working on a project in this area of nourishing the human spirit with nature, I’d love to hear about it.

This post also appears on Vision and Verb where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word.

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  1. So glad to hear that scientists and medical doctors are FINALLY catching onto the fact that animals are beyond valuable to the human race!!! They are a gift from God to us…they give back so much more than we allow ourselves to give to each other. We have so much we can learn about how to love and give of ourselves from animals, and dogs especially are truly “man’s best friend”. People who love and have horses in their lives, also know of the incredible peace and joy that comes from them. Our lives are enriched in immeasurable amounts by sharing ourselves with these wonderful creatures! I don’t want to live without them. Good videos, good subject and beautiful flowers!

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