Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is Dirt the New Prozac? Or, Why Gardening is Good for You

Apparently, a common soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, may relieve depression.

And here I thought I was just getting depressed because I was looking out the window at all the weeds.

Seriously, gardening does make me feel better. I think it's mostly the act of moving one's body around that breaks the mind out of that merry-go-round of obsessive thoughts and grumbling. Works most of the time for me, any way. Sometimes I'm so wrapped up in a train of thought that it doesn't work, but I haven't been that upset in a long time.

It's mid-summer, and it's been oppressively hot (near, and occasionally over, 100) during daylight hours, so the garden's been neglected aside from occasional forays out to pick ripe veggies. We did get a break in the weather today, though -- it was 83 degrees when I got home from work, so I did about 20 minutes of weeding (my limit for myself, so I don't do my out-of-shape knees/back/etc. too much damage), and made more progress than I thought it would. No, didn't remember to take any pics. It's mostly black-eyed susans in bloom right now anyway, with a few smatterings of yarrow.

With any luck I'll be able to get back out there through the weekend and restore a little order. I need to pull out the bean plants and prep those beds for some fall leaf vegetables; I left for vacation in mid-July and forgot to tell DH to pick the beans while I was gone, and they stopped producing. I intend to plant spinach every year, and every midsummer it's so hot I can't contemplate that much work outside. We'll see.

We gave the house a bit of a cleaning last weekend, too, which helps when one is confined inside due to either hot or cold weather. Few things are more annoying than being stuck inside a dirty house. Still have too much clutter, but at least there's less dust and dog hair.

Hm, organization. Can you see a theme here?


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