Let’s Get Dirty



Cold, gray, and damp days have been the norm this spring. It is almost like winter.

I need sunshine. Lots and lots of sunshine. I do not think we have had five consecutive days of sunshine this year.

It is depressing.

The cold, gray, and damp days also means I cannot work in the garden as much as I like.

And there is at least half the problem. I love tinkering around in my garden – planting flowers, tending flowers, weeding. You name it and I love it!




Many people love gardening.

Now scientists know why.

It’s in the dirt.

You see, dirt makes us happy.


According to some new research working or playing in dirt makes humans, adults and children, happy, happy, happy.

Dirt is seems is a free anti-depressant.

Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell the government or they will tax it.

Here’s the scoop.


From Gardening Know How
By Bonnie L. Grant

Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.


thCAQ51XHSNatural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.

Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.



Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their “happy place” and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts’ claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life………

You can read the entire article by clicking this link: Antidepressant Microbes.


Oh how I yearn for some dirt!!!!!!!!
Featured Recipe        Filet of Sole with Bacon and Green Onions



This is a quick, easy, and super delicious dish to make. The bacon is an extra added delight!

This is what you will need for 3 people

¼ cup flour

3-4 sole fillets

4 bacon slices

4 green onions

2-3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Here is what you do:

Wash, dry, and slice the green onion. Set aside. Cut on the diagonal for a prettier presentation.


Pat the fish dry with a paper towel.

Add the salt and pepper to the flour and mix well. Lightly dredge the fish in the flour and shake off excess. Set aside.


Cut the bacon into semi large pieces and fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside in the warm oven.




NOTE: Because I like the way my ceramic skillet crisps bacon I have to pour the bacon grease in that skillet into another skillet large enough to fry the fish. I must find and buy a super large ceramic pan.



Anyway, add the fish to the bacon grease and cook about 2-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Do not crowd the fish. Cook in two batches if necessary.


When cooked through remove the fillets from the pan and place on a baking sheet or a platter and place in the oven set on the “Hold Warm” feature until all filets are cooked.


The filets I used were very thin so they did not need much time to cook through. The following link will help you decide when your fish is cooked through: How to tell when fish is truly cooked.

When all the fish is cooked lower the heat under the bacon grease and add the butter. Let it melt completely.


Add the scallions and the lemon juice and gently stir for a bout 1 minute.



Spoon the butter sauce over the fish and sprinkle on the bacon bits.



Serve with a salad and/or a vegetable.



Bon Appétite

¼ cup flour                          $0.12

sole fillets                            $9.34

4 bacon slices                      $1.28

4 green onions                     $0.24

2-3 tbspn butter                   $0.24

2 tbspn lemon juice              $0.20

Salt & pepper to taste

Total Cost = $11.42
Cost per person = $3.80

Quote of the Day

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

NOTE: Dirt post quote used under US copyright laws Sections 107, “fair use” for educational purposes only.


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6 comments to Let’s Get Dirty

  • An ah ha moment! Now I know why I so enjoy gardening! Although I will say the dirt out here in California smells awful. Iowa dirt smells heavenly. How is it in Ohio?

    • Roberta

      Like magic, isn’t it, Julia? Ohio soil smells just perfect except sometimes right after fertilization. Then for a day or two best not to sniff. LOL

  • I love playing in the dirt but today is cold, windy and rainy and I’ll stay inside and feel a bit gloomy. It’s 7:38am here on Thursday morning and it’s dark enough to need the lights on and it’s going to be like this until Monday. Ugh.

    That’s a gorgeous plate of fish!

    • Roberta

      That’s right… are near winter, Maureen. I feel same way about winter and am so glad we are in spring/summer. Although we have had a rainy cloudy spring; that is still better than winter.

      The fish is delicious too!

  • Very interesting about the anti-depressant microbes in soil.

    I believe that part of the reason for the huge increase in allergies and “isms” in the current crop of children and young adults, together with many of the problems in modern society are because dirt became a dirty word.

    Perhaps other microbes in soil are necessary to build up children’s immune systems.What if playing in dirt is essential for both healthy minds and healthy bodies?

    If those children never get to play in the dirt, how will they get the benefits?

    • Roberta

      You may be on to something, Peter. Dirt as therapy and good health too. IMHO I believe parents try to protect children from reality, as well as dirt, and they never grow up or mature. Sad.