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AHHHHH – The Privilege of Touching the Soil

Touch the Soil News #306

The city of Sacramento recently announced the construction of a new community garden. Now, a community garden may not seem like big news. However, the events and circumstances around this particular community garden appear to expose what might be a cosmic law – the primal need to touch the soil.

From a scientific point of view, humans share a close relationship to the soil. Growing in popularity is a health activity called “Earthing.” The idea is to let your bare feet or hands touch the earth which has a slightly negative charge – in order to re-establish the normal electrical charge that our bodies should be at (

On average, the human body has 3.5 lbs. of beneficial bacteria. It is no secret that one of the primary sources of these healthy microbes comes from – you guessed it – the soil.

Being locked into urban environments is a major contributor to an ailment whose recognition and acknowledgement is growing – NDS or nature deficit syndrome. NDS is complex as it could well be a combination of both physical and psychological imbalance.

Now, back to Sacramento. Most of Sacramento’s community gardens (13 at present and soon to be 14) are managed and subsidized by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Getting the infrastructure necessary for a community garden in a city is not easy. By the time you find the land, get ownership, set it up for gardening plots, build in the appropriate water infrastructure and a few utility structures – it is a “main” event.

The Truitt garden will be the newest member of the Sacramento Community Gardens - operated by the Sacramento City Parks and Recreation Department (photo courtesy of Bill Maynard)

Sacramento City crews have been rushing to construct concrete borders, build raised beds, put in the paths for wheelchair access, build a tool shed and create compost bins. The rush is to get it finished for the 2016 growing seasons.

So here is the kicker – the next closest community garden has a waiting list of 4 years. The new garden will have 25 plots (10 ft. X 10 ft.), for which you must enter a lottery and hope your name is chosen. Three plots are reserved for people with disabilities. If you win the Sacramento Community Garden lotto – you’ll get one of these priceless plots for a mere $25 a year including water. The new garden will be located at on the southwest corner of 19th and Q streets.

AAAAAAAHH – the privilege of touching the soil for body electrical balance, microbial balance, remediating nature deficit syndrome and eventually – being able to raise your own food for more robust overall health.

Following is an unusual documentary that follows the birth and growth of community gardens. In some ways, the impetus for this movement is now gaining new traction in the nation’s municipalities.

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