I have always believed in the therapeutic value of gardening and have known for a long time that soil bacteria improve our immune system and increase our wellbeing. As I talked about this in a previous post Americans Discover Food. time spent outside even alleviates the symptoms of attention deficit disorder and just looking at nature speeds our recovery from surgery.
But now it is official – compost gives you a high. The earthy smell of good rich composted soil, or even of compost straight from your pile produces bacteria that increase the serotonin in your brain and make you feel happy. As Pagan Kennedy says in her article How To Get High on Soil,
No wonder God’s first action after creation was to plant a garden and no wonder he calls us to steward creation. He knows that we are happiest when we have our hands (or our noses) in the dirt.