Is dirt dirty? Is soil soiled?

Our words betray an attitude to the earth. Our modern lives are divorced from rough contact with the ground as our flawless vegetables appear washed and wrapped in plastic. In many cases flown in from abroad so we eat strawberries out of season.

The nutrient and mineral content of modern food is falling with this industrial production, studies putting this at around 50% over 60 years. It makes us unhealthy. We can change this.

There is even more value in growing your own vegetables in that it brings people into contact with the earth.

Soil should not be seen as an inert sponge requiring squirts of artificial fertilisers to maintain plant growth but rather a fantastic microscopic mix of bacteria, fungi, nematodes and viruses.

Most are not only harmless; they are positively beneficial. Our guts contain millions of helpful bacteria that help us digest food and boost our health. There is research into this microbiome to see how contact with soil helps replenish our natural gut bacteria.

Growing organically using mulches, compost or manure favours this.

If we grow our own food, we cut out the factory food miles that spew carbon into our overheating world.

Now is the time to take up gardening. If anyone lacks access to ground, then the town council has allotments. You can apply for them from your local town council website or ringing the office.

If numbers on a waiting list grow, then more allotments may be procured. In this time of a climate and extinction crisis one big step we can take is growing our own food.

The soil is not dirty but rather as living beings we are intimately connected to it and it to us. The earth is good.