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Have health issues? Sit in your soil  RSS feed

 
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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To get this thread back on track.

What we are doing in the microbiology world today is finding out the consequences of the increasingly sterile thinking of the human populace.

If you study the way all aspects of living are going, you will see a trend of sequestering the human from interactions with the environment from the beginning of the Western world industrial age to today.
Farmer's began to create dirt (sterile soil), people then started to live more of their days indoors then they started eating foods prepared in a factory, and on and on.
Today it is hard to find anyone that doesn't rely on electronic devices to the point that they don't remember friends phone numbers, aren't able to do simple math (addition or subtraction) without using a calculator (usually an app on their phone) and they spend as little time outdoors as possible.
They wash away their protective microbiome at least once a day and more and more people are exhibiting germaphobic behaviors, washing or "sanitizing" their hands after any encounter with another's hand or a door knob or anything that might harbor microbes.
While it is good to clean your hands often out in the world, at home you could probably do less of this and be fine.
I suppose the real message is "It is Ok to have a little dirt on your body and hands, most of the time".
Of course if you are preparing food or happen to be an MD (especially a surgeon) you will need to practice really good hygiene at least while at work. (this goes for microbiologist too)
Not trying to protect others from your own microbiome (germs if you will) is simply rude and crude, respect others rights to good health and cover that sneeze or cough and Please, Please, keep sick children at home, sequestered away from others until they are well.

The healthiest people in the western world today seem to be the homeless, they don't have access to perpetual indoor living, they don't have access to showers much and they spend almost all their time outdoors and they are thus exposed to many more microbes than most other people.
Studies have shown this to be an increasing situation, the more money and better things people have, the more often they get sick from things that are considered "common" illnesses.

When humans led less sanitized lives, they were healthier. Things like the Black Death actually did a weeding out, humans became like the bacteria under attack from doses of anti-biotics, the strong survived and multiplied,  making the overall population stronger.

My wife loves the show "The Big Bang Theory"  If you want a great example of how to get sick at the drop of a microbe, act like Sheldon Cooper, I can assure you, your body will have no defense against any microbe that finds you.

I'm not saying we need to all become "Pig Pen" like but we do need to understand that you need your protective bacteria, mites and the other microorganisms that call our bodies home.
The more of these helpers we have, the healthier we become and the less likely we are to catch that cold, flu, or other infectious microbe born illness or disease that we come in contact with.
This doesn't mean that we should not bathe, it just means we don't need to obsess about it in either direction.

Currently microbiologist are working on identifying which bacteria are truly beneficial as opposed to antagonistic or even benign.
This involves DNA work since there are literally millions of look alike bacteria out there.
It is going to be a huge break through, but it will take time to get everyone a positive ID so we can then create therapies that work at peak power.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 4176
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
429
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting purity
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To make sure you get the right fungi and bacteria in your soil so when you do sit in it you are getting better than average exposures, I have a new thread, Bacteria, Fungi and Nematodes started that is going into more detail about these organisms and what they do for us and how they do those wonderful things.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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Location: Pac Northwest
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This makes me wonder if there is a connection between soil microbes and "Grounding"



The theory of Grounding is we are electrical and need to ground ourselves with the earth for better health, but since the invention of rubber we have been insulating ourselves more and more and not getting grounded like we should.

But I wonder if some of the health benefits claimed by Grounding could also be exposure to microbes?

Even if it is not the same thing Bryant is discussing, Grounding also advocates spending time with bare skin in contact with soil. I have long felt this to be something missing in modern life. Contact with soil is important, I feel. Not just for physical health, but I feel it really improves my mental health. I am happier when I have contact with the soil, and so much less happy when I do not.

I really enjoyed reading what you presented here Bryant, thanks for sharing it with us.
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Just wanted to update about my son's corn garden bed, and thank you again for your suggestion on how to make it work!

I ended up mowing the grass as short as I could, and then put about 1 inch of compost and duck bedding over the area. If I had more, I would have added more. Then I put the sacks over everything, and it sat like that for a week due to hot weather and fussy kids. Today, my parents came over, and my mom helped me get the bed ready to go. I wanted to try a three sisters-type bed...which made cutting Xs kind of hard to fathom. So, we took off the sacks. For each "mound," we dug a circle of soil about a shovel head length down and flipped it over dug a circle of soil (pretty much stepped on the shovel over and over to make the outline of a circle, and then) flipped the circle over, so the grass was on the bottom, and the soil on top.

My son came and helped plant four seeds in each circle, and then we put the sacks back on to cover the areas between the circles, and put what woodchips and duck bedding we had left on top of the sacks to hold them down and help smother the grass. We'll add more mulch on the sacks as our ducks create more...and hopefully we'll get a new load of tree trimmings and we can use that, too!
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I put wire fencing on it too keep the cats from pooping on it. It didn't deter the duck, though :D
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One of the circles, surrounded by sacks on all sides
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 4176
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
429
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting purity
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Kola, that bed will be super as time goes on.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
429
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting purity
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hau Devin,  I am very familiar with the practice of "Grounding", it works.  As to if part of the theory of grounding involves the microbiome.
I am not aware of that actually being part of the practice but it certainly occurs if you are practicing grounding as prescribed by the founders of the theory.

Grounding is based on the magnetic field of earth flowing into those organisms in direct contact with the earth mother.
Sitting in the soil is definitely contact with the earth mother. 

So, while practicing grounding you are definitely exposing your body to the microbiome and gathering more bacteria and other microorganisms, thus adding strength to your overall immune system.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 4176
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
429
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting purity
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And now we extrapolate this thread from humans to plants and trees.
Doesn't it seem logical that if the human organism benefits from having a complete, functioning microbiome on the outside and inside, that our plants and trees would also benefit from having the same, complete and functioning microbiome so they are protected from insects and microbes the same way humans can be?

This is the idea of spraying good compost tea on your plants, shrubs and trees, it builds a coating of microbes on the surfaces that then protect the plants the microbes now live on.
The only real difference is that our plants already have their feet in the ground, so if we build the soil, that half is taken care of already.

Redhawk
 
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