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Welcome to the Vegan Organic Network (VON) Newsletter!

Support the transition to plant-based agriculture! 

Representatives of some animal agriculture sectors are starting to urge the government to step in with financial support for their struggling industries, due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rather than propping up these damaging industries, it is vital that support is given to help farmers transition to safer, kinder and more sustainable plant-based agriculture. 

Sign Petition

Indian solar scheme a win for farmers and the environment 
 

The initiative will put more money in the pockets of farmers and help reduce the country’s agricultural emissions.

Solar power in India has just had a major boost. The country’s government has announced funding that will enable 2 million farmers to invest in irrigation pumps powered by solar photovoltaic arrays.

These will be connected to the grid, so when they are not needed for the pumps they can help farmers earn a living by selling clean electricity. In many cases, the pumps will replace polluting diesel-powered versions.

Learn More

ARE PERENNIALS THE FUTURE? - PERENNIAL CROPS PT 1

It’s an often unremarked-upon fact that most of the food crops we grow and eat globally are ‘annuals’.
Annual crops complete their lifecycle in one year, as opposed to perennials which live on for several years, (or in some cases millenial).  

Today, annual crops account for roughly 70% of the human population’s food calories and the vast majority of planted croplands worldwide. This is not due to some inherent vigour found only in annuals, nor are annuals more common in nature. It is simply a quirk of plant breeding over the millennia.

To understand this, first we need a little lesson in the history of agriculture.

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PROJECT MANAGER for CHYAN PLEN

New Vegan Organic Farm course  and Performing arts course in Cornwall
Full time job / 40hrs per week / £33,000 p.a. salary
Looking for an energetic champion of health in terms of mental, physical and environment.
Knowledge/ experience  of  marketing /funding and training accreditation essential.
Send CV and profile to office@swampcircus.co.uk

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Long-Lost Ultra-Rare Blue Bee Discovered In Florida

The Calamintha Bee, native to Florida, and long thought lost, this brightly coloured bee has made a surprise appearance and has shocked everyone! The notorious blue bee, which has a habit of bobbing its head back and forth when it's pollinating, was discovered by researchers in the Lake Wales Ridge in central Florida. This rare specimen is not only a wonder to look at, but also has so much unexplored research potential.

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“No Mow May” Campaign Asks Us to Leave the Lawn Alone Until June to Help Save Bees

Not mowing in May results in more flowers and nectar all summer long for struggling pollinators. Wildlife organization urges us to leave lawnmowers locked up until June.
April showers bring May flowers, and if you like food, you should leave those flowers alone.

Read More

 

Growing for seed

My seed business has been certified organic since 2003 and, as such, the organic certifying body inspects my land and my growing and seed-processing activities each year. At my second annual inspection, I remember the inspector telling me that he did not see any reason against using animal manure and that I could source some from an organic farm. This idea jarred with me, however, as my past experience made me realise that there is another way. After all, I had already been working this land successfully for some two decades using stockfree (veganic) methods. 
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Sourcing, sowing and sprouting seed

Is there anything quite as magical and wonderful as sowing seeds in our gardens, our window boxes and our sprouting trays and watching them stretch up, unfurl their leaves and spring into life? Like kind words, compassionate thoughts and right actions, good quality seeds blossom into fruits and flowers which nourish the body, mind and soul, reminding us of the importance of renewal, growth and the cycles of life which permeate our existence.

Learn More

Matthew Appleby's Veganic Gardening Tips for May

  • May - After the last frosts, plant out courgettes and other tender veg.
     
  • Water, feed comfrey tea and hoe off weeds as plants will be growing like crazy and it has been the driest April on record.
     
  • Cleve West's new book Garden of Vegan is out so read that if it rains.
     
  • Garden centres have reopened after seven weeks of coronavirus lockdown so you can now buy seeds (there's a few organic ranges out now eg Mr Fothergill's/Suttons), compost (eg vegan growing media from Fertile Fibre, Happy Compost, Melcourt, Dalefoot) and tools.

Online Vegan Permaculture Design Certificate Course, Summer 2020

Do you seek to live compassionately without the unnecessary exploitation of people, animals and the environment? Are you concerned about climate change, peak oil and future generations? Are you interested in changing how we interact with other species, ecosystems and our human communities? Then this full online permaculture design course led by Graham Burnett, author of The Vegan Book of Permaculture is for you!
 
Learn More

PASTORALISTS SWITCH FROM HERDING TO GROWING CROPS

Samburu County is one of the regions in Kenya most ravaged by recurrent drought, with most of the population living below the poverty line. Climate change has made cattle herding an increasingly unsustainable livelihood option for nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralists, leaving many households in Samburu without access to a daily meal.
In response, the Samburu tribe, working with Sadhana Forest, has embarked on an initiative to plant 18 species of indigenous drought-resistant fruit trees and shrubs. These food-bearing trees are rich in nutrients and, in addition to increasing food security, improve soil quality and water absorption rates, making desertified earth better suited to growing plant food crops.

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Shumei Natural Agriculture Farm UK

Back issues of Growing Green International Magazine now freely available

In the last few weeks there has been a surge in interest in ‘growing your own’ both on social and in mainstream media. In response to this VON has decided to make all of the back issues of Growing Green International Magazine freely available to the public (rather than just members) until the end of June 2020, to help encourage more people to grow fresh fruit and veg during this challenging period. 
Here is link to the back issues: https://veganorganic.net/free-download-of-all-issues-of-growing-green-international/
 
Read More
Chris, an experienced grower of twenty years with a background in woofing, allotments, guerrilla
gardening, community gardening and forest gardening projects is seeking
paid/un-paid work on community farm in the UK and or is looking at
purchasing a small piece of land to live on with aims of setting up
forest garden. Any offers and advice would be kindly appreciated. You can contact him via giants@riseup.net .
Join/Support Vegan Organic Network
  • Vegan Organic Network (VON) are an educational charity, founded in 1996, the only U.K based organisation solely dedicated to veganic farming and growing.
  • VON created the first Stockfree Veganic Standards.
  • We network with farms around the world and support veganic farmers and farmers in transition.
  • Encourage vegan companies to source veganic ingredients for their products.
  • VON are co-organising the international conference on Plant-based organic farming, which will be held in the European Parliament in Brussel’s in October of this year, where we hope to influence government policy makers who will be invited to the conference.

Registered charity no. 1080847  
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Bees Need Dandelions. For downloading and/or printing.

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