Anti-depressant microbes have been found in the soil that are responsible for the contented feeling you get while digging in the dirt. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. It may simulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Gardeners inhale the bacteria and have topical contact with it. The effects are said to last up to three weeks.
My challenge? Replicating this feeling during the long, cold Wisconsin winters.
(Daylily pictured is "Sabine Baur")
"Does Dirt Make You Happy?"
"Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy"