Even on the hottest muggiest days of the summer, getting my hands deep in the dirt always makes me feel happier, lighter, and more grounded. It turns out there’s science behind this phenomenon and it has everything to do with healthy soil. Maybe you’ve heard of the term “dirt therapy,” but even if not, Woodside Farms is here to help you put a smile on your face and produce in your belly!
It turns out that as you work the soil, you’re breaking apart and inhaling healthy soil bacteria, which aids in the production of serotonin! These are the microscopic workers within the soil that help break down the rocks, minerals, and diverse organic matter found within. According to Oregon State University Nematologist, Kathy Merrifield, “1 teaspoon of rich garden soil can hold up to one billion bacteria, several yards of fungal filaments, several thousand protozoa, and scores of nematodes.” It is known that the health of the soil determines the level of nutrition of the food grown within it and now science is showing the connection between physical contact with soil and additional health benefits.
The soil is full of good bacteria, and coming into contact with it has been shown to help build your immune system and help defend your body from dangerous pathogenic bacteria! Additionally, there are studies that are showing the positive relationship between healthy soil bacteria and improved mood and cognition in chemotherapy patients as well as with individuals experiencing PTSD symptoms.
If you need a healthy dose of dirt therapy in your life, we’re here to help! We’ll be offering volunteer opportunities on the farm every Friday from 9 am-noon starting April 2nd.
If you need a little more dirt in your life, check out our work share program. In exchange for 1 5hr shift per week starting April 27th - October 30th, you’ll receive a free full CSA subscription for all 3 seasons as well as all the dirt therapy you could ever want!