Artificial Greens

Published in the May 2022 Issue Published online: May 11, 2022 Articles Emily FitzPatrick
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THERE IS ONE THING that is every parent’s worst nightmare — science fair projects. Let’s be real. The majority of the time, these projects become more of a test of the skills of parents than of the children who are supposed to be experimenting. How a child does on these projects often depends on the amount of time parents dedicate to assisting and encouraging their children, with the exception of a few kids who are able to pull off the massive endeavor on their own.

Like every other kid given the task of choosing a project, I spent eons flipping through the packet of ideas we were given, trying to decide which idea was the most feasible. Which one would help my parents not to kill me, but also wouldn’t bore me to the core? Despite how much time I spent thinking, I often mismeasured how interesting or easy a project would be.

For example, when I chose to measure whether real or artificial light would lead plants to grow the most, I forgot to take into account that I would need to measure my experiment every single day. Though I was searching to fulfill a clear hypothesis, my belief that the plants in direct sunlight would grow more than those in artificial lighting conditions, the process to come to that conclusion was tedious.

Grabbing a ruler and writing down the number of centimeters each plant had grown became my least favorite activity for a few months. Despite my boredom with the daily routine, I was amazed to see that contrary to my hypothesis, the plants under artificial lights were growing. They weren’t growing as quickly or as strongly as the ones placed under natural lighting, but they were slowly making their way above the soil and toward the light bulbs placed above them.

Inauthentic or not, light is light. Many of us spend the majority of our time also growing under artificial lights, such as those fluorescent beams found in our offices, schools, supermarkets and other indoor locations. Unlike plants though, our progress is much less easy to measure.

Everyone’s ruler for success is different. Some believe you’ve made it when you’ve achieved a salaried position, others when you’ve bought a new home and car, or perhaps by the amount of money resting in your bank account. No matter where you’re at in life, growing in a setting that is authentic to you can make all the difference — bringing joy on the days where no sunlight is to be found and providing a place of respite.

In this issue of Idaho Falls Magazine, we return to the annual theme of East Idaho Home & Garden. Why is this an issue we’ve continued to focus on? Because no matter where you’re at in life, your home (big or small) is one of the places where you spend the most time and is of the most importance. We hope this issue will help you to create an authentic space, even if that happens to be under some artificial lighting.

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