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Showing posts from September, 2010

Dirt and the Brain

The October/November 2010 issue of Organic Gardening has an interesting article in it on page 62. In a piece called “Garden Smarts” it discusses the theory that gardening may increase learning ability, specifically in children.

In the dirt there is a soil organism that is called Mycobacterium vaccae, say that ten times fast. This soil bacterium is believed to decrease anxiety and increase serotonin. It is known that there is a direct relationship between serotonin and learning. If an individual is under stress they do not learn as well. Researchers from Sage College found that mice exposed to M. vaccae performed twice as fast with much less anxiety when forced to navigate a maze and remember information over time. The article is trying to convey not only that gardening is good for you in regards to your diet and physical health but it plays a role in your mental health as well.

Of course this is not necessarily news for anyone who has spent any significant time in their garden patc…

In the Garden

I recently read a quote that said, “If you are going to write about the garden you need to be in the garden.”

So here I am sitting on the rock border that has taken shape over the years by our little strawberry patch. Our beagle, who is rumored to be around 11, though I think he is likely closer to 14 or 15, is napping in the comfortable fall sun at my feet.
The clover and grass is a healthy, tangled, soft forest of green beneath my feet. Sophia has taken up her ceremonial position in the sandbox, creating and destroying empires. Liam is too excited to stick around because Auntie Moe and the boys are here.

The neighbor’s sugar maple is beginning to blush. Her leaves are turning a dark crimson. The apple trees on our lawn are trying to keep pace and have discarded a few select leaves of their own.

The sunflowers, heavy with seed, hang their heads in silent prayer while the corn continues to dry buried deep within a womb of husk. The red cabbage is ripe for the harvest but I will probabl…

The Last Days of Summer

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C-43 B.C.)

We are in the final phase of the summer garden here on Orchard Street. It has been a fantastic year. Though I fell short on some goals, such as my intention to take part in a cooperative garden, I was able to accomplish some really wonderful things this year. My daughter, Sophia, continues to amaze me with her curiosity in the garden, especially the herb garden, and I am really proud of how much she grew as a gardener and a little person this year. Her brother, Liam who is two, really caught the fever this year and was eager to dig in the dirt whenever possible, if the truth be told he probably spent more time in the garden than I did! This was also the first time since we have moved into our home that my wife, Meghann, was able to dig around in her herb garden and it looks beautiful! I can’t wait to see what she adds to it in 2011.

We have rounded out the year by harvesting the …