The recent thaw this past week has me seriously doubting Wiarton Willie's prediction for another 6 weeks of winter. And I usually don't like doubting myself. But truth be told, I'm excited for the Leafs' run for the playoffs, clocks springing ahead and working outdoors, especially in our garden with our dog.
As you know, dogs love to sniff, explore and eat everything. They roam around the garden in awe of scents, sights, and prospects of where next to dig their bones.
I've always had a special section for herbs and over the years, this section grew larger, eventually taking over the tomatoes/lettuce/cucumbers (salad section) of my garden. The main reason for the expansion is that I love to see my little frenchie make a bee line for the mint. And over the years, I've learned quite a bit regarding therapeutic herbs to treat many ailments.
From my parents' agricultural background, I've always known that "playing" in the dirt strenghtens your immune system - possibly as a result of connecting with the grounding source of Mother Nature. Yet from a scientist's point of view, when we dig in the soil we are benefiting from the dirt's healing components. The only caveat here is the dirt I am referring to is dirt free of herbicides and pesticides. Sure, Miracle Grow was around - and we certainly did make occasional use. But I've long since known the value of composting.
The nutrients derived from the soil over years and years of layering, cultivating and nurturing with composting contains a myriad of healthy microorganisms, bacteria, bugs and more bugs - and most importantly, healing fungal mycelia.
The mycelium of fungi grows just beneath the soil and contains nutrients such as nitrogen, carbon, potassium and phosphorus which transport it the fruiting body so it can produce biomass and grow. Mycelium is important for many forest's ecosystems, it's what nourishes and replenishes the soil.
So as we wait for spring to fully bloom, consider expanding your herbal garden or starting a compost. Allowing yourself and your pets to get down with dirt strenghtens your bond and provides valuable immune support.