Many of us in the teaching field, and the kids we work with, have always felt that being in the garden can lift our mood. Is it the sunshine and outdoors? Is it the great exercise that happens in the garden? Is it the connection to the earth? Is it the accomplishment of growing something beautiful and nutritious? Well, yes, it could be all of these! But, in addition, studies have found that bacterium in the soil can actually release serotonin, boosting that “feel good” feeling and lowering anxiety. Dr. Chris Lowery, lead author on a paper from Bristol University, said these studies “leave us wondering if we shouldn’t all be spending more time playing in the dirt.” So go get dirty!

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