“I’m holding a bowl of dirt up to my nose, in hopes of getting high on the fumes of my backyard compost pile.”

That’s Pagan Kennedy’s lede for an Atlantic story on the mind-bending properties of M. vaccae, a compost-dwelling bacteria. We couldn’t really improve on it. But we can condense the dirty details of how to “huff the soil,” as she puts it.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

The Science: M. vaccae increases serotonin and other happiness-making chemicals — it works like an anti-depressant.

The Straight-and-Narrow Technique: Get a serum of the stuff from a doctor.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The DIY Technique: Extract compost from pile. Stir. Inhale.

Go to, hippies.