There’s something very special about holding a just-harvested tomato in your hands. It’s a satisfying feeling that goes back to our genetic heritage. For generations, people have worked in harmony with sunlight, air, rain and soil to produce food for humanity. Nature truly has been a part of the family.
Earth. It’s Not Just For Plants.
Our interactions with nature might be more entwined with our well-being than we think. Would it surprise you to know that scientists have found that a consistent connection with the natural world is just as necessary to a healthy lifestyle as eating good food?
Studies over the last 50 or so years have offered pretty clear evidence that when we spend a few hours outside each day, something kicks in that can’t kick in when we’re indoors. Our view expands. An expanded view leads to creativity, and creativity leads to a stronger sense of self.
Researchers claim that children, especially those who spend more time outdoors, often have higher test scores. They are also more at ease with themselves and have a higher level of curiosity. Living and moving out in the natural world gives all of us a sense of opportunity and belonging.
It Goes Further
Researchers have started looking in to long-held claims that walking barefoot on the earth is particularly good for us. People who have lived on and with the land for thousands of years (the Native Americans and African tribes among others) have always claimed that being barefoot is best. These indigenous people could not prove that this was true or even know why it was true, but they knew beyond a doubt that it was.
Now that we live in the 21st century, we have the knowledge and the technology to test their claims. Using an instrument that measures frequencies, scientists have found that the earth has a very subtle electric charge which is always emitting energy. That charge, as it turns out, interacts with the human body in just the right way.
When we are in direct skin-to-earth contact for as little as 30 minutes a day, something rather magical happens. Studies show that we can experience improved sleep, reduced pain, decreased muscle tension and lower stress. If we are in direct contact with the earth for as long as two hours a day, it has been shown that blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are impacted in a very positive way.
Touching the Earth
To tap into the benefits of skin to earth contact, being barefoot isn’t the only way. We can swim in lakes, oceans or ponds. We can sit on the ground and lean against a tree. And if we are lucky enough to garden or work outdoors on a farm each day, simply putting our hands into the earth or in contact with growing plants is enough. And we can help you do just that.
Volunteering at Seeds of Hope farm will offer you two solid hours of being outdoors – within reach of soil and plants. With our Green Tomato harvest coming up in July, this is the perfect time to consider changing up your lifestyle and getting back in touch with the earth. Like the vegetables we grow, the farmland itself is a kind of medicine which we can harvest any time we want.
To volunteer at the farm, call or email Randy at 314.614.0412 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read a study on the benefits of connecting to the Earth, click the following link.
This program is funded 77% at $128,051 by federal funds and 23% at $38,249 by nongovernmental sources for a total amount of $166,300. The federal funds are received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division.