With northern New England summers being here and gone like a bird at a picked-over blueberry bush, Granite Staters rush outdoors to make the most of the beautiful weather. As more of us have become concerned about where our food comes from, we’ve taken to turning pieces of yard into vegetable gardens.
If you’d like your garden to be clean and cruelty-free (which I’m sure you do) then consider going veganic. Veganic gardening doesn’t use any slaughterhouse byproducts (blood, bone, fish meal, etc) or animal manures. Instead, plant-based nutrients (vegetable compost) and green manure cover crops such as alfalfa are used as the primary growing medium. It may seem like too much trouble at first, but it’s worth the effort for a couple of reasons.
Much of the animal manure available today comes from factory-farmed animals, and research has shown that the pesticide and steroid residues bio-accumulate in the animal’s waste. To spread that on an organic vegetable garden is contrary to common sense. Also, it’s important (and disturbing) to realize that much of the organic produce available at the supermarket are grown in manure that comes from animals that have been fed antibiotics and steroids.
As Ron Khosla, veganic farmer in New Paltz, NY, explains, “Historically -for thousands of years- farmers relied on green manures. No one had cows and chickens and pigs in the cramped concentrations they do now… And the transport of those waste products has only been made possible by use of heavy trucks and cheap oil for transporting it. The Chinese of thousands of years ago, ancient Romans, English (starting in the 1600s), and even the Hudson Valley farmers of the late 1800s all studied, actively wrote about, and relied heavily on what we now call “veganic” techniques.”
To sum up, the only way to know your vegetable garden is 100% “green” is to go veganic. To learn more, check out goveganic.net. Now go and make your garden grow, inch by inch, row by row, with fertile, plant-based ground!