I have grounded friends who give me well rooted advice. I had a friend of mine tell me it’s OK to have “dirty thoughts” at this time of year if you’re a gardener. This made me laugh because I love the smell of soil. Another friend suggested to me that soil is the stomach of a plant. Early in the year many of us resolve better eating habits. What about our plants? As we shovel snow in the frozen tundra our thoughts turn to the smell of good clean dirt. When we’ve been cooped up inside all winter in dry forced air and a confined space, we discover how much the rich healing texture and smell of soil and sunshine influences how we feel.
I’m convinced that soil, fresh air and foliage are significant contributors to how we feel and our overall health. Don’t take my word for it, I’m not a doctor, just an “entre-manure”. A bag of potting soil this time of year can have big remedial effects for the winter blues. Remember as we progress toward the spring season we do know that there is a direct correlation between the health of your soil and the healthy produce, flowers and herbs you are able to grow in your garden. Studies suggest that soil can be beneficial to our health. I saw a study recently that soil teeming with a wide variety of “life” is more likely to produce nutrient-dense food.
“What we’re missing,” says my friend Justin Morgan of Dairy Doo, “is organic matter and carbon in our soils. We need a blend of carbon, minerals and biology.” Makes sense once you understand that it is the cooperation between organic matter and plants’ roots that is responsible for transferring carbon and nutrients from the soil to the plant and our dinner plates.
Your houseplants have had a long winter too. They have cabin fever, are tired of the dry air and whether in the office or the home have probably collected a little dust on their foliage. Lack of light is already a problem throughout winter so don’t compound the problem with dusty dirty foliage. Using some warm water and a pair of soft cotton gloves, dip your hands gloves and all in the warm water and gently using your fingers wipe (don’t pull or tug) the foliage. This is a quick gentle easy way to clean the foliage and improve photosynthesis.