How Gardening Sharpens Your Brain: It's the Bacteria!
Why Gardeners Are So Smart
The bacteria in the garden soil may explain why gardeners are such lovely, smart people and live forever. It may also explain why a walk in nature gives us such an energy boost. There is a natural bacteria called mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) that is found in healthy soil.
How do you benefit from the bacteria?
By working in the soil, this healthy cloud of bacteria swirls around you. By breathing it in, it helps stimulate the growth of brain cells. According to scientists at Sage Colleges in New York, research indicates that M. vaccae may play a role in reducing anxiety and improving the ability to learn new tasks. It is suggested that our children will be better learners if they spend more time in the garden.
About a Special Gardener
Rumor has it that gardeners are happier and live forever. One of the most charming gardeners I know, Mother Gibbens, from Stevenage, England, at 100 years old was still gardening. She told me she had to live so long because there was always something to plan in the garden and something to look forward to.
Other ways to reap benefits
A recent article in a woman's magazine discussed how re-potting plants is a great way to reduce stress. I find this true whenever I play with my bunch of plants - and it may be due to the bacteria in the soil.
About the soil
What's important, however, is to remember that we continue to destroy our soil by using toxic pesticides. We grow massive lawns that require pesticides to kill what we call weeds such as dandelions - which can be eaten in salads, or even made into tea and wine and they grow naturally (tours are given in New York City showing how to forage for wild free food, which includes dandelions - see link below). Healthy soil is not filled with chemicals.
The English Garden
I appreciate the concept of the English garden where the front is used for growing lovely plants, often herbs like lavender and sloe (as Mother Gibbens grew and shared with me. She even made her own sloe gin - delightful!).
In addition to the benefits of a healthy bacteria, a garden provides the many additional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, herbs, spices and trees. It will attract wildlife which will help balance the garden without pesticide.
As we look for healthy fresh food, more urban gardens and farms are popping up. In fact, in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will Allen, the urban farmer, has created a massive urban farm over several acres - and was recognized with a MacArthur award of $500,000. See link below.
Some garden information
For other hubs about gardening see the links below:
Some Gardening Ideas From Hubbers
- 4 Ways to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden
4 Ways to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden If you would like to fill your garden with, and enjoy the beauty of butterflies, there are 4 simple steps to take. Flowers are most important and the more varied...
- Solar-Powered Water Fountains: 5 Benefits
A bubbling outdoor water fountain is a lovely, soothing addition to outdoor living space. Solar-powered water fountains are now available and offer several benefits not available with electrical water...
- How To Amend Clay Soil
Since most of are not blessed with ideal soil, we are sometimes forced to amend clay soil. It is true that you are stuck with the hand that you are dealt so if you are dealt clay, you will need to work...
Foods For Foraging
- 3 Foods to Forage For in the City
Foraging for free food in New York City is not as weird as it sounds. There are often 'edible' tours through parks (where most of our green is located) - with a guide pointing out the endless amount of plants...
Will Allen Did It!
- A MacArthur Fellowship for an Urban Farmer: Will All...
Will Allen, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has decided to make it his mission to bring affordable healthy food to families in city neighborhoods that generally lack quality fresh food. In 1995, he established a...