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Welcome to the Vegan Organic Network (VON) Newsletter!

‘Veganic’ is a combination of two words ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’. It’s a guarantee that food is grown in an organic way with only plant based fertilisers, encouraging functional biodiversity so pesticides are not necessary. No chemicals, no GMO and no animal by-products in any part of the chain.

Veganic food is resilient to the largest problems facing humanity i.e. environmental destruction, pollution of the sea and air and soil erosion.

Veganic otherwise we are dependent on animal agriculture, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

In essence, veganic is a logical step beyond organic for those who seek safe food grown in a sustainable manner.

National Food Strategy: Call for Evidence- Animal Rebellion’s Response

The UK’s food and farming systems are in crisis. A transformation of our farming and fishing sectors is essential if we are to address the climate, ecological and societal challenges ahead. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, ecosystem collapse, biodiversity loss, soil, air and water degradation, eutrophication, flooding, deforestation, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, and species extinction. The UK is not on track to meet its climate change targets.

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Association for the Promotion of Biocyclic Vegan Agriculture: “Biocyclic Vegan Farming Has the Potential to be Applied Worldwide”

The German “Förderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganer Anbau e. V.”, Berlin (Association for the Promotion of Biocyclic Vegan Agriculture), is a charity that represents concrete, practical solutions for a future-oriented agriculture. The association promotes the biocyclic vegan idea of farming in German-speaking countries.

We spoke to Anja Bonzheim, a representative of the association, about the advantages and current developments in biocyclic vegan farming and the work of the association.

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Is Vegan Farming the Next Plant-Based Phenomenon?

It’s a crowded CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) market in the Bay Area, with mainstays like Full Belly Farm and Eatwell Farm feeding hundreds of members weekly with their boxes of local, seasonal and organic produce.

But there’s a new contender looking for members, offering something unique, something more than just its cheeky name: Lazy Millennial Farms. The founders of the Salinas-based farm believe it is the only farm in the Bay Area that’s growing crops veganically. That means no animal fertilisers , fish emulsions, blood or bone meal (dried animal bones and blood that is processed from the remains at slaughterhouses) that are relied upon so heavily in organic farming.

 

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The Biotic Pump: How Forests Create Rain

Veganic Farming: Food Without Manure

Researchers analysed the existing literature on vegan organic farming, and assessed its status and challenges in a changing dietary landscape.

In this study, researchers from the UK chose to analyse the available literature on veganic horticulture regarding its current status among other types of agriculture, the foreseeable challenges for intensive veganic farming and the socio-economics related to a potentially large increase in plant-based dieters. 

One report had shown that about 25% of organic German farms had no or very few farmed animals in 2004. The common denominators of such farms were lower labour demands, larger farm sizes, and higher natural soil fertility compared to farmed animal operations. Another researcher had interviewed five veganic farmers in 2014 and found them akin to plant-based eaters – the motives of such farmers to exclude animal inputs are ethical, ecological, and social. 

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Back to Earth

Celebrating 40 years of Tolhurst Organic, this book brings together Iain’s articles from various sources (including the Tolhurst Organic newsletter The Onion Oracle) from 1980 to 2016. The illustrations are lovely, and there is a list of people who sponsored them.

Iain had previously worked on a large conventional dairy farm, which made him decide to go vegetarian and to pursue organic horticulture instead, starting in 1976. It’s not always been an easy ride for Iain – desperation and near financial ruin occasionally feature.

 The first article is ‘Strawberry Success’ from November 1981. Iain had just moved to Moor View Farm, a 5.5 acre plot of land in Cornwall, 800 feet above sea level and exposed to winds, with 70 inches of rain per annum and very acidic soil. Early articles are strawberry-based, the farm being mostly devoted to organic strawberry growing, although other veg crops were grown too, eg carrots, potatoes and brassicas, to provide a crop rotation.

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Vegan World

BBC Radio 4's programme Costing the Earth asks the question:
What would the British countryside look like if we all adopted the vegan diet recommended by many environmental campaigners? Tom Heap hosts a discussion with panellists from the National Farmers Union and the Vegan Society. We also hear from expert witnesses from Oxford University, Aberystwyth University, Harvard Law School and Rothamsted Research.

Listnen on BBC Radio 4

Satish Kumar: the Link Between Soil, Soul And Society

Really best piece of reading I've done for a very long time. This is totally true, our connection with soil and our interdependence on all other natural processes is something we all must learn from a very young age. It's taken me a lifetime of working with soil and wood to understand how it all fits together. And now it looks easy enough to understand, but how many people ever even think about this?
Iain Tolhurst
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Veganic Gardening Tips for December

  • Give your compost heap Christmas treats – greenery, veg waste and paper
  • Wash your greenhouse glass to allow maximum light in
  • Clear damp fallen leaves away from low growing herbs to prevent rot

*We are referring you to Garden Organic's excellent growing know how but please be aware they recommend techniques that are not always veganic in regards to fertility or pest and disease.

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Fruit Walls: Urban Farming in the 1600s

We are being told to eat local and seasonal food, because other crops have been transported over long distances or because they are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses. But it wasn't always like that. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, urban farmers grew Mediterranean fruits and vegetables as far north as England and the Netherlands, using only renewable energy.

These crops were grown surrounded by massive "fruit walls", which stored the heat from the sun and released it at night, creating a microclimate that could increase the temperature by more than 10°C (18°F). Later, greenhouses built against the fruit walls further improved yields from solar energy alone.

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VON T-Shirt

Fair trade and Organic 
Male and female fits
Colours include; orange, pink, purple and black
£15.00 plus p&p

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Treebog at Plan-It Earth in Cornwall, surrounded by hazel planted for biomass harvesting

Currently VON’s policy for those seeking stockfree certification is to disallow the return of humanure to the soil: “Humanure (efficiently composted) and urine from vegan humans, and other detritus from the vegan household, may or may not be used, but is not permitted in commercial growing” .

For some at least, the reasoning behind this is ideological, arguing that it is important to demonstrate the possibility of growing viable crops and maintaining soil fertility without the need for any animal-derived inputs at all.

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The Vegan Organic Network is the only organization in the UK working for vegan food to be grown the veganic way.
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