This year looks a little different....we may even be wondering if we will be able to get the plants we want and need. On the other end of the spectrum, we may be thinking about the self-sufficiency that gardening offers.
There's no denying it; in this uncertain time where we don't know what next month, next week--even tomorrow--will bring, there is a certain satisfaction knowing you can walk out your door, pick a tomato, and eat it. All without standing in line 6-10 feet away from other people, talking to the cashier behind plexiglass, and using a bottle of hand sanitizer before you get back into your vehicle. You know where this tomato came from, who touched it, and how it was cared for.
I could go on for pages about the nutritional benefits of harvesting your own produce, but that's not where I want to focus today...I want to think about that beautiful, black, glorious, dirty dirt!
Well...there's a theory out there called the Hygiene Hypothesis. The basic idea of this is that daily exposure to things like dirt, pets, and other everyday germs is actually good for you; it helps build up your tolerance to disease and infection. (If you are interested in some of the more Science-based information, this is a good article)
Adding to this, playing in dirt has the potential to lower your stress and anxiety, improve your digestion, and some even claim it is a natural anti-depressant. Think about it: when you "play" in dirt, you are outside in the fresh air, participating in low-impact activity, and creating something you can feel good about. If that doesn't release a whole bunch of endorphins, I don't know what will!
It's more than food and pretty things!