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Welcome to the Vegan Organic Network (VON) Newsletter!

Is Documentary 'Kiss The Ground' Just a last Ditch Effort To Keep Meat Relevant? 

Before we get into a few major claims made in Kiss the Ground that are directly at odds with scientific knowledge, I want to preface this entry by saying that I wholeheartedly support regenerative agriculture as a goal and think the documentary did a great job bringing light to the detrimental impact that intensive animal agriculture is having on our planet. 

Where I think the documentary falls short is in three critical areas. I’ve listed these below in short, and then we will go through each together looking at the claims made and where the science lies: (These have also been covered in detail with Environmental Researcher Nicholas Carter (co-author of this article) in episode 104 and 111 on the Plant Proof podcast).

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Metaldehyde to be banned to protect wildlife

In a rather rare bit of good news for wildlife, the government has announced its intention to ban the use of metaldehyde outdoors. Metaldehyde is the active ingredient in slug pellets, and is commonly used as a pesticide against slugs, snails, and other gastropods.

As well as wiping out slugs and snails, metaldehyde is also toxic to terrestrial mammals and birds, and acute poisoning is common in pets (a 10-pound (4.5 kg) dog may show signs of toxicity after eating as little as 1 ounce (28 g) of a typical 3% metaldehyde bait), birds, domestic, and wild animals including hedgehogs. Hedgehog numbers in the UK have fallen by about 50% since the turn of the century, and while research suggests that the amount of metaldehyde a hedgehog would need to consume to be lethal would be very large, there have been cases of dead hedgehogs with very high levels of metaldehyde in their system (presumably consumed via prey items).

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VGQT Harvest Festival Show: Tony Martin is joined by wild food forager Jon Dale, willow weaver Cherry Chung and film maker Piers Warren.

Lentils can feed the world – and save wildlife too

Wildlife could flourish if humans opted for a better diet. Think of humble, healthy lentils as the green choice.

LONDON, 24 September, 2020 – US scientists have worked out (at last) how to feed nine billion people and save wildlife from extinction, both at the same time – thanks to healthy lentils.

The answer is starkly simple: if humans got their protein from lentils, beans and nuts rather than beef, pork and chicken, they could return colossal tracts of grazing land back to the wilderness.

Nearly 40% of the planet’s land surface is now committed to agriculture. And almost 83% of this proportion is used to graze animals, or grow food for animals.

If it was returned to natural habitat, then humankind might be able to prevent the extinction of perhaps a million species now under imminent threat.

The same transition would dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help contain climate change, and perhaps even reduce the risks of new pandemics.

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Choosing the right green manure

Choosing the right green manure can seem very confusing but, with a little time and using a few rules, the options will become clearer. The choice will depend on why you are planting a green manure, how long you require the ground to be covered, what was there before and what you want to plant after, the time of year and the type of soil you have. You can then use the information below to help work out which of our green manures will be best for you.

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Tour of Tolhurst Organic Veganic vegetable farm

Get an inside view of a stockfree organic vegetable farm, buy your squashes and pumpkins from Lin’s VegShed and learn from an experienced grower.

Iain "Tolly" Tolhurst has been growing organic squashes and tons of other veg for the last 30 years. He will give us a tour of the farm with first hand insights into what it takes to be a successful grower. After the tour you can buy your squashes and pumpkins to take home at Lin's VegShed. 

Date And Time

Fri, 30 October 2020  10:30 – 13:30 GMT

Book tickets

Be creative with willow

Cherry Chung, a regular helper on the VON stall and creator of the giant willow VEGAN sign which we use at our events, is running on-line courses.
Cherry was on the Veganic Gardeners' Question Time Harvest Festival last week where she gave a willow weaving demonstration and showed off some of her creations.

Due to the current Covid-19 situation
she is unable to run her regular workshop sessions and is now starting online courses. She is running taster sessions for beginners and more advanced sessions, all the materials are sent through the post. Please contact her if you are interested in her courses or commissions.

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VON Book Shop

Graham Burnett Veganic Gardening Tips for October

The Autumn Garden
Our relationship with the garden is a dance, for this is an ecosystem with which we need to get the beat if we are to interact gracefully and productively.
Right now we are in the slowing down and reflective stage of the dance, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. The harvest has been gathered, the pumpkins carved into grinning Halloween masks and their flesh made into rich and warming soup, and the apples have been picked and stored or pressed into juice and cider. Now it is time to slow down, ready for the quiet of winter...
Yet there are still a few activities to keep us busy before it is quite time to snuggle up by the fire with next year's seed catalogues...
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Veganic Harvest Festival Competition

We would love to taste your pies, see your pictures and hear your stories.
Have you been foraging, farming or gardening or have you been more creative baking pies and making things from nature’s bounty of corn, willow, bark, sticks or leaves?
All the fun you have been having in the outdoors could win you a prize!
We have books to give away: Garden of Vegan by Cleve West, The Vegan Cook and Gardener by Piers Warren and Growing Green by Jenny Hall and Iain Tolhurst.
To enter the competition all you have to do is send your pictures and stories to:
Competition open until 1st November – winners to be announced live on Veganic Gardeners Question Time on November 4th.

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Ethical Consumer Week with Vegan Organic Network

As part of Ethical Consumer Week 2020, VON are teaming up with Ethical Consumer to put on Ethical gardeners question time.
The week will be  explore the role of consumers, businesses, and NGOs in building more resilient communities in the face of Covid-19 and the ecological crisis. The week will explore the underlying issues, a radically reimagined future and actions we can take to support just transitions. We will gain ispiration from those exploring the answers and already creating ripples of change.
Ethical Gardeners question time will be hosted by Veganic Gardener Ellen Mary and panel will include: Growing Green International editor Tony Martin, Veganic farmer Jenny Griggs, Dr Lennarsson and Anna Clayton.

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Veganic Garden Centre Apple and Pumpkin Day

Apple and Pumpkin Day
Hulme Community Veganic Garden Centre in Manchester is having its Autumn celebration with all the usual fun, this time with added social distancing to ensure everyone's safety. Pumpkin carving, apple pressing, live music, craft stalls, hot food and mulled cider, we are also running a fancy dress competition with prizes for best Halloween/seasonally themed outfit.
Sunday 25th October 11am-5pm

VGQT (Veganic Gardeners' Question Time)

Join us for an entertaining evening and some twenty-four-carrot advice from Veganic Farmer Jo Kidd, Permaculture guru Graham Burnett and Tony Martin Growing Green International Editor.

Do you have skills;video, animation, social media or ideas for events?
Would you like to join our team helping to deliver on-line events?
Please get in touch

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