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Old 04-03-2008, 05:31 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,uk.environment.conservation,uk.business.agriculture
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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?


So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?


No. We have a choice?


What would you choose to use to replenish the land?

--

regards
Jill Bowis

Pure bred utility chickens and ducks
Housing; Equipment, Books, Videos, Gifts
Herbaceous; Herb and Alpine nursery
Working Holidays in Scotland
http://www.kintaline.co.uk



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Old 04-03-2008, 05:41 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,uk.environment.conservation,uk.business.agriculture
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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

On Tue, 04 Mar 2008 08:26:40 -0800, Rudy Canoza
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?

So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?


No. We have a choice?


Organic farming virtually requires animal manure. But
if "vegans" suppress animal husbandry, there won't be
any manure.


Horse shit!!! is around in abundance. In fact the world cannot give
it away these days, more than enough to go round. Then we have seaweed
etc In fact we could always go back to what farming is really about.
Farming and working with nature!


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Old 04-03-2008, 05:47 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,uk.environment.conservation,uk.business.agriculture
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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 16:31:48 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?


So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?


No. We have a choice?


What would you choose to use to replenish the land?


Good question although I fear it was not a real question.

Still you can live and learn by reading the following.

The grass on the other side…

The future’s bright, the future’s green with the growing popularity of
vegan organic farming
Food scares, health concerns, pesticide problems, environmental
worries and animal welfare issues have brought farming methods into
the spotlight. Most farmers are dependent on chemicals and animal
by-products – and even those specialising in organic farming use
animal manures and slaughterhouse by-products. This presents a
difficult dilemma for vegans who refuse animal-derived food yet are
still linked to the meat industry by their seemingly innocent
groceries. However, despite popular beliefs, animals aren’t necessary
to agriculture.

The number of farmed animals in the world has quadrupled in the last
50 years, and food production no longer nurtures the land. Both
animals and soil are pushed to their limits to satisfy the West’s
demand for animal products and profits. At present modern agriculture
is far from sustainable and the meat industry directly contributes to
all the major environmental catastrophes:

Rainforests are still being chopped down at an alarming rate either
for grazing or to grow crops to feed to animals.
Crops (mostly grown for animal feed) are doused in pesticides and
fertilisers that leach into waterways and cause massive pollution.
The increased number of animals means more manure, which contributes
to acid rain and river and lake pollution – rendering drinking water
unsafe.

Soil is pushed beyond its fertility limits, is not replenished or
fallowed and becomes prone to erosion.
Oceans are being destroyed by over-fishing, which is devastating
entire marine ecosystems, while coastal fish farms are causing
extensive pollution and wildlife decline.
Growing feed for livestock requires intense use of synthetic
fertilisers and thus causes the release of nitrous oxide into the
atmosphere. Producing feed and heating buildings that house animals
uses fossil fuels, emitting CO2. And the decomposition of liquid
manure releases large amounts of methane as well as forming nitrous
oxide – all of which are contributing significantly to global warming.
Millions of consumers in the West are dying from diseases such as
heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer, caused by eating animal
products, while the world’s poor are dying from diseases of poverty.
Children in the developing world starve next to fields of fodder
destined for export as animal feed, to support the rich, meat-hungry
cultures. Livestock farming is generally inefficient: an area of land
the size of five football pitches will grow enough meat to feed two
people; or maize to feed 10; or grain to feed 24; or soya to feed 61.
If everyone in the world ate the typical US meat-centred diet (where
35% of calories come from animal products), the world could support
only 2.5 billion people. On a vegetarian diet all 6 billion of us
could be fed healthily. The world can feed less than half its present
population on a meat-based diet. In order to feed the world it is
imperative that vegan organic farming becomes widespread.
But it’s not all bad news!

Recent years has seen a growth in awareness and popularity of vegan
organic farming. Vegan-organics is any system of cultivation that
avoids artificial chemicals and sprays, GMOs, livestock manures and
animal remains from slaughterhouses or fish processing etc. Fertility
is maintained by vegetable composts, green manures, crop rotation,
mulches, and any other method that is sustainable, ecologically viable
and not dependent upon animal exploitation. This ensures long-term
fertility, and wholesome food for our and future generations.
Organic growing involves treating the soil, the growing environment,
and the world environment as a resource to be husbanded for future
generations, rather than exploited in the short term. The maxim of
vegan organic growing is to feed the soil and the soil will feed the
plants.

Instead of scattering animal manures and slaughterhouse waste products
on the land the above time-honoured techniques can be used to grow
over 60 different vegetables in the UK climate. Perennial crops
including perennial vegetables like artichokes and asparagus,
perennial soft fruit like strawberries, raspberries and currants and
tree crops like apples, cherries and nuts can also be grown
successfully.

The vegan organic system finally rejects the long-standing reliance on
animal products. It offers a different quality of food that stands
apart from the industrially produced, money-led foodstuffs available
now. Even small scale ‘grow your own’ farming can help promote
awareness of self-sufficiency and give something back to nature –
whether it’s a multi-functional allotment, a small vegetable patch in
your back garden or just a window box containing a few herbs! It’s
easier than you think!


A vision for the future

“If it was up to you there’d be no animals in the fields anymore!”
Vegans often hear this ignorant argument from meat-eaters who like to
see their food as well as eat it. True, farmed animals are bred for
people to eat and as the demand for meat falls, less animals will be
bred. But instead of being the end of the countryside as we know it,
like many imagine, in fact a huge toll of suffering would be
eliminated and wildlife allowed to recover from the pressures of the
animal industry.

The vast majority of farmed animals are kept in indoor units where
they never see the light of day. Those that are outside are only kept
alive for a fraction of their natural lifespans before being
slaughtered for meat – often in the most barbaric manner imaginable.
Modern farmed animals have been bred and mutated over generations to
produce as much meat as possible, and have become a far cry from their
wild ancestors. For example birds are often so obese they can barely
walk and suffer from crippling leg disorders. Dairy cows are bred to
produce so much milk that their udders can become painfully swollen
and infected. Sheep have been genetically manipulated to give birth
earlier in the year, and as a result each year 20 per cent of new born
lambs die within days of birth from sickness, exposure, malnutrition
and disease.

If people ate crops directly we would need far less land for food
production. In the UK, birds, butterflies and wild flowers would even
start to appear. And around the world the ancestors of today’s farm
animals could begin to thrive, as they would once again have space.
For example:

Wild turkeys live in North and Central America. They roost in trees
and roam in woodlands, eating vegetation and insects. An adult bird
can fly up to 50mph.
Chickens are decended from the red jungle fowl (gallus gallus) in
Asia. Wild hens like to move around almost ceaselessly in daylight
hours. Also they lay only 20 eggs a year and need a safe, private
place for laying.
It is believed cattle originally descended from the wild auroch, of
Eurasia and North Africa, a species that did not become extinct until
the 17th century. Banteng are a shy species of wild South East Asian
cattle found in hill forests.
The European Wild Boar is the ancestor of the farmed pig. They live in
forested areas, eating a wide variety of plants and occasionally small
animals and insects. They lived wild in Britain’s woodlands until
hunted to extinction in the 17th century. They can still be found in
countries such as Germany and France.
Most wild sheep and goats live in mountains but some inhabit desert
grasslands, tropical forests or Arctic tundra. Habitat loss, hunting
and resource competition from farmed animals have resulted in most
species being classed by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) as
threatened, endangered or critical.
Going veggie is a big step, going vegan is huge, and going vegan
organic is even larger than that. Although the option of completely
cruelty free food is available to very few of us at the moment, the
ethos of animal free farming is spreading. And, due to the number of
support groups setting up, anyone who wants to try it themselves will
not be alone.

Support Viva! and help us spread the vegan word. Click here to join.

Another organisation that helps is the Vegan Organic Network: “Our
commitment is to peace and justice for people, animals and the
environment in a sustainable balance. To achieve this we must change
our lifestyles and introduce a philosophy which will continue to
maintain our unique planet. VON attempts to come to grips with
politics and ethics in everyday living.”
They provide practical advice on how to start growing your own food,
details of the issues surrounding vegan organic farming and links to
other useful groups. Have a look at their website…
www.veganorganic.net

For more information on the issues raised above see Viva!’s Planet on
a Plate and Feed the World guides. Also read The Silent Ark.


Viva! Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, UK
T: 0117 944 1000 F: 0117 924 4646 E:

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Old 04-03-2008, 05:57 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,uk.environment.conservation,uk.business.agriculture
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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 16:31:48 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?


So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?


No. We have a choice?


What would you choose to use to replenish the land?


Vegan Organics

http://www.veganorganic.net/images/sheet8.pdf

• 1 •
Vegan-Organic Information Sheet #8 (60p)

Green Manures
Growing with concern for people, animals and the environment
Organic growing involves treating the soil, the growing environment
and the world environment as a resource to be preserved for future
generations, rather than exploited in the short term. Veganorganics
means doing this without any animal products at all, which is not
difficult when you know how. All soil fertility ultimately depends on
plants and minerals - these do not have to be passed through
an animal in order to work. Fertility can be maintained by plant-based
composts,green manures, mulches, chipped branch wood, crop rotations
and any other method that is sustainable, ecologically benign and not
dependent upon animal exploitation.

The guidelines below do not attempt to be fully comprehensive. The
extent to which you adhere to any system really depends
on you, your conscience and circumstances.

We can only do our best with our available time and money. The Vegan-
Organic Network has now published comprehensive Stockfree Organic
Standards, which are available to commercial growers and can also be
used as a reference for home growers. Of course, no one person or
organisation knows everything about the subject, so constant
co-operation and updating of ideas and information is needed.
Whilst conventional cultivation relies on synthetic chemicals and
animal products, traditional organic production also generally relies
on animal wastes and byproducts.

Both involve the exploitation of living creatures, and the inefficient
use of land, water and energy resources. Vegan-organic methods
minimise these drawbacks. Many people who are not themselves vegan or
vegetarian are coming to appreciate that animal-free growing is the
most sustainable system: it is the future of organics.

Introduction
Green manures are plants that are grown specifically to benefit the
soil, replacing nutrients, improving soil structure and increasing
organic matter content. All soil fertility cannot be derived from
plantbased compost. Shortages of raw materials and the problem of
removing crops from the garden, combined with losses due to leaching
and oxidation means that there will always be a shortage of compost
available1. To maintain organic matter levels in the soil therefore
gardeners must also rely on extensive use of green manures,
particularly legumes, for nitrogen and deep-rooting green manures for
the recovery of phosphate and potash from the subsoil.

• 2 •
Fertility building with a ley

A ley is an area of your plot taken out of cropping production and
replaced with growing green manures for fertility building.
Some green manures are from the legume family and have the ability to
take up nitrogen from the air, tapping a free source of soil
fertility. Red clover and lucerne are the usual nitrogen-fixing
green manures chosen for the ley, although mixtures including these
and grasses are also widely used.
The green manure ley may grow for several years and has the benefit of
improving soil structure, as the deep roots of a green manure like
clover penetrate and break up the soil and the subsoil and the root
channels remain long after decomposition.

A grower cannot create such a complex and intricate network of
tiny air pores and drainage channels with a fork. A subsequent crop
will be able to take advantage of this improved soil structure.
A simplified rotation that you might like to try on your patch may be:
Plot 1 – Fertility building ley (lucerne or clover sown early spring)
Plot 2 – Potatoes (followed by an overwinter green manure, e.g. cereal
rye)
Plot 3 – Brassicas (undersown with phacelia)
Plot 4 – Legumes / Alliums (followed by an overwinter green manure of
vetch)
Plot 5 – Roots and salads Summer sown green manure between rows of
onion Stéphane Groleau

• 3 •
How does nitrogen fixation work?

Nitrogen-fixation is essential to the cycling of nitrogen out of the
atmosphere and into the environment occupied by living organisms.
There are a group of nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia that
have a special intimate relationship with leguminous host plants:
peas, beans,pulses, peanuts, vetches, lupins, lucerne
and clover.
The rhizobia live in a free state in the soil and exist quite happily
in this way until a legume is planted into the ground close to where
they are living. As the legume seedlings develop, their roots start
to secrete substances into the soil, which attract the rhizobia
nearby. The bacteria eventually enter the roots and stimulate
the formation of swellings, called nodules,inside which the microbes
multiply.
At the same time, the bacteria take on different shapes to such a
degree that they no longer look much like the soil rhizobia from which
they came. For this reason, in the roots they are called
‘bacteroids’ and these now have the ability to fix nitrogen from the
air.
In exchange for a share of the legume’s sugars manufactured by the
leaves and stems of the plants, the bacteroids pass on nitrogen in a
usable form to the host plants and to adjacent plants and leave a
surplus in the soil to be taken up by subsequent vegetables via
rotation.

Carbon-rich green manures for building
humus
Digging in young lush green manures will add immediate nitrogen and
stimulate activity in the soil, but will not generally boost the
organic matter levels. On the other hand, mature, dry and carbonrich
residues like cereals and straw will take longer to break down but
will boost the humus reserves, releasing nitrogen over a longer period
of time. Carbon-rich green manures will decompose faster if
they are chopped, shredded and kept moist before digging in.
Choosing a green manure Green manures increase fertility and get
life back into the soil. Like any organic crops, green manures should
not be Table 1. Different green manures Ley for longer-term fertility
building before heavy feeding crops (e.g. potatoes) in rotation
Red clover, lucerne (pure stand) Grass mixes are not recommended
prior to potatoes Catch crop for maximising nitrogen fixation Crimson
red clover, vetch
Resistance to foot traffic soil damage in crops White clover, trefoil
Paths White clover various types
Undersowing outdoor crops Red clover, lucerne, vetch, cereals
Undersowing greenhouse crops Kent wild white clover, bird’s-foot
trefoil
Overwinter green manures that are winter
killed
Phacelia, buckwheat, mustard
Late autumn sowings Cereals in general, especially rye
Summer weed suppression Phacelia, rye and buckwheat
Reducing wireworm populations Mustard
• 4 •
grown in endless monoculture, as they
have their advantages and disadvantages
for following crops in rotation.
Sowing a green manure by hand
Timing of sowing:
1. At the beginning of the sowing period
(e.g. early May) generate a stale seedbed
prior to sowing and broadcast the
seed at the higher seed rate. The stale
seedbed technique (also known as false
seedbed) exhausts the weed ‘seed bank’
at the surface. The first flush of weeds is
scratched out of the surface by a shallow
cultivation. This will give the green manure
more than a fighting chance against
Table 2. Recommended nitrogen ‘fixers’ by growers
Green
manure
Suitability
dates
Hand
sowing per
metre
squared
Notes
Lucerne April -
July
2 grams Good perennial ley up to 5 years that is
drought resistant. Needs a high pH, welldrained
soil and inoculum to establish. Can
be grown as a pure stand or with nonaggressive
grasses.
Red
clover
April - E
Sept
1 – 2 grams Good perennial ley up to 3 years that can
tolerate wetter conditions. Roots have many
branches and a taproot, high yielding in terms
of green material, rapid recovery after
mowing. Ensure eelworm-free. Can be grown
as a pure stand or with more aggressive
grasses, e.g. ryegrass.
White
clover
April - E
Sept
1 – 2 grams Shallow-rooted, low-growing clover suitable
for paths for up to 9 years. Need stronggrowing
varieties to recover from mowing.
Best established in spring.
Crimson
red
clover
July - E
Sept
1 – 2 grams Annual, best for N fixing between crops and
is usually only grown for 2 – 3 months.
Vetch April - E
Sept
8 – 15 grams Deep-rooted, quickly produces a large weight
of green material especially in early spring.
Suitable for undersowing when it is to be
incorporated the following spring. Does not
recover from constant mowing and should
only be lightly topped once to control the
first flush of weeds.
Kent W
W
Clover
April - E
Sept
1 – 2 grams Low-growing clover suitable for undersowing
greenhouse crops. Trim with shears.
Bird-sfoot
trefoil
April – E
Sept
1 - 2 grams Low-growing suitable for undersowing
greenhouse crops and tolerant of shade. Trim
with shears. Seeds can be expensive.
• 5 •
the weeds.
• Prepare a seedbed two weeks ahead
of sowing the green manure.
• Once the fast emerging weeds appear
(at about 10 days), carefully cultivate the
area on a dry day by scratching it to a
depth of 1cm using a metal rake, taking
care to disturb only the very surface layer
of the soil.
• Allow the weeds to wilt and die and
Table 3. Recommended ‘lifters’ by growers
Green
manure
Suitability
date
Hand
sowing
per metre
squared
Notes
Cocksfoot
grass and
chicory
April –
late Aug
3 grams Strong taprooted species for improving soil
structure and building humus. Nonaggressive
species that can be grown in a ley
with red clover or lucerne.
Ryegrass Sept -Nov 2 grams Aggressive quick growing grass should be
mulched back or dug in before seed heads
appear. Good for foot traffic. Often included
in ley with red clover.
Cereal rye Sept -Nov 23 grams The most winter hardy of cereals, which
will
germinate at 3ºC. Best root system of annual
cereals, can reduce N leaching by two-thirds.
Incorporate in April when the seed head can
be felt at the base of the stem.
Barley Sept -
Nov
15 - 30
grams
Less hardy than cereal rye or winter wheat.
Likes cool and dry conditions. Produces more
biomass than other cereals and seeds are
inexpensive
Oats Sept -Nov 15 - 30
grams
More sensitive than barley, but can tolerate
wider pH, good on all soil types, fibrous
roots.
Buckwheat April - E
Sept
6 grams Good for summer use and grows quickly,
incorporate before it goes to seed. Will grow
on infertile soil, frost-sensitive.
Rape Mar –
Sept
2 grams Superior at mopping up nutrients, frostsensitive,
brassica family and can carry club
root.
Mustard Mar –
Sept
2 grams Frost-sensitive but provides large quantities of
green material in 6 - 8 weeks. Brassica family
and can carry club root, can be used to
suppress wireworm populations in
appropriate rotations, dig in before flowering.
Phacelia April -
August
1 grams Fern-like leaf for weed suppression. Flowers
attractive to beneficial insects especially bees.
Incorporate after 2 months.
• 6 •
then sow the green manure seeds immediately.
• Repeat and prepare a stale seedbed for
a second time if there has been a prolonged
wet period.
2. At the height of the sowing period
(summer), e.g. June and July, broadcast
the seed at the lower seed rate.
3. At the end of the sowing period (late
summer/early autumn), e.g. August and
early September, broadcast the seed at the
higher seed rate.
With all three timings:
• Rake the seed gently into the soil.
• Pat the soil down with a roller, your
feet or the end of the rake.
Overwinter green manures
Wind and water erosion may be prevented
by using green manures, as ‘cover
crops’. Since adverse weather conditions
tend to be in winter, bare soil at this time
is bad practice. The overwinter green
manure roots hold the soil and the top
growth prevents most damage from
splashing and surface run-off.
It must be remembered that the greatest
loss of nutrients is due to leaching and not
removing crops from your vegetable patch.
Vegetable growing makes heavy demands
on the soil and there is no point in building
fertility and then allowing it to wash
away with the winter rains. Green manures
will ‘fix nutrients in carbon’ in the
aerial parts of the plants and, even if the
green manure dies over the winter, the
nutrients are stored until the soil microorganisms
break them down and are unlikely
to be leached.
• The autumn-lifted crops which are
not suitable for undersowing (see below)
can be followed by a green manure once
the soil is cleared. This will typically be
potatoes and onions.
• Depending on the month it may be
possible to sow:
• clover before early September;
• cereals from mid-September to early
November.
Legumes do not fix nitrogen during the
winter months. Therefore, non-legumes
like cereals are more suited to the role of
overwinter cover, as their early growth is
vigorous and they can establish themselves
quickly.
Undersowing green manures
When using overwinter green manures,
clovers and vetches need to be sown by
August to get good establishment. There
is a conflict of land use, as crops may be
growing at this time. One way of getting
Clover by Jenny Hall around this problem, popularised in the
• 7 •
UK by Iain Tolhurst and in the US by
Eliot Coleman2, is the technique of
undersowing. Undersowing is where the
green manure seed is sown underneath
the growing crop. It is getting the best of
both worlds - cropping and soil protection/
increasing fertility. The undersown
green manure provides places for foot
traffic and other compaction damage
when harvesting the vegetables.
Undersowing green manures will, even
in a growing crop, add some nitrogen and
organic matter to the soil. But, as Iain
Tolhurst argues, its real value comes in ensuring
that the soil is covered prior to the
winter period, when so many nutrients will
Table 5. Crops not suitable for undersowing
Potatoes Too dense foliage
Onions Cannot tolerate root competition (see 3.5.7 for strip method)
Carrots Root crops cannot tolerate competition
Parsnips Too dense foliage
Lettuce Growing period too short
Winter salads Cannot tolerate root competition
Spinach, etc. Too dense foliage
Celery Cannot tolerate root competition
Beetroot Growing period too short – cannot tolerate root competition
Radish/turnips Growing period too short – cannot tolerate root
competition
Swede Cannot tolerate root competition
Table 4. Crops suitable for undersowing (adapted from Iain Tolhurst1)
Crop Height Preferred green
manure
Dates green
manure will
germinate &
cover
Optimum
undersowi
ng date
Brassicas 20cm / 8" Red clover April - E Sept July or
later
Leeks When early
leeks are fully
grown
Cereals Sept - Nov Late Oct
Squashes &
courgettes
6 leaves Red clover April - E Sept July
Sweetcorn 25cm / 10" Red clover April - E Sept July
Runner
beans
50cm / 20" Red clover April - E Sept July
Tomatoes 50cm / 20" Kent Wild White
clover / birdsfoot
trefoil
April - E Sept July
Cucumbers 50cm / 20" KWW clover / b
trefoil
April - E Sept July
Melons 6 leaves KWW clover / b
trefoil
April - E Sept July
Aubergine 20cm / 8" KWW clover / b
trefoil
April - E Sept July
• 8 •
be lost from the soil due to leaching. Their
use is also likely to favour the following
crop. Undersowing usually takes place at
the beginning of July.
Technique for undersowing
Eliot Coleman’s3 tips for successful
undersowing include:
• a clean, weed-free seedbed providing
the motivation for regular weeding;
• weed at least three times using a hoe
before undersowing;
• the last hoeing should be the day before
undersowing;
• the crops are then undersown with the
grower holding a container in their hands and
scattering the seeds as evenly as possible.
Mowing the green manure
The good news is that green manures can
generally out-compete the weeds, as long
as they are sown evenly. It may be necessary
to rogue the odd perennial weed.
When managing clover or lucerne it is
necessary to have a regime of mowing.
The first mowing prevents the annual
weeds from going to seed. Subsequent
mowing depends on how quickly the
plants are growing. It is important to
prevent the green manure growing too
long or they may be too much material
for the mower to process and it might lie
on the ground and be difficult to cut.
Frequent mowing will ensure that the
mulched material rapidly assimilates into
the soil and provides the ideal conditions
for earthworm breeding. However, it is
a good idea to let strips of the green manure
flower to encourage natural predators
like hoverflies and lacewings.
Tomatoes undersown with trefoil at Hardwicke
Stéphane Groleau
• 9 •
The equipment needed for mowing
is either a general garden mower; a
strimmer; a scythe or a pair of shears.
Principles of mowing:
• Make sure that the ground conditions
are dry, so that the mower wheels/your
feet do not compact the soil.
• Mow several times a year, making the
last cut of the year in late September or
early October.
• Do not allow the green manure to go
to seed.
• Mow tightly - as close as possible to
the base of the green manure stems to
ensure that the annual weeds are also
killed.
• If large quantities of material are deposited
by the mower, this suggests that
the green manure was too long before
mowing. Ensure that in future you do
not let the ley grow so long and spread
the piles of material evenly with a rake
so that the clumps do not kill the green
manure underneath.
• Do not mow large areas at once. Insects
will migrate to crops when green
manure leys are cut and pests like aphids
may increase because there is so much
raw fertility. It is better to leave areas or
strips for the insects to migrate to.
Digging in a green manure
• The green manure should be chopped
and shredded at ground level several days
before digging in to allow for wilting to
take place. (As rye can be particularly
difficult to kill, the green manure can be
pulled up, laid flat on the soil surface to
wilt and then dug in.)
• A green manure can be incorporated
by inverting the soil using a ‘turfing’ technique.
• Cleanly cut the edge of the turf with
a spade.
• Under cut the green manure turf at a
depth of at least 10cm/4" until it breaks.
• Turn the turf over by hand ensuring
that no greenery is present on the surface.
• Leave for at least two weeks before
trying to create a seedbed with a rake.
• If the green manure regenerates turn
it in again.
Avoiding nitrogen lock-up
How quickly the green manure breaks
down will be affected by soil temperature,
moisture content and the carbon :
nitrogen (C:N) ratio of the green manure.
When green manures are dug into
the soil, soil organic matter is one of the
products of their decomposition. When
a carbon-rich green manure such as a
cereal is turned in, the soil micro-organisms
multiply rapidly to feed on the organic
matter, decomposing it but also
consuming a lot of nitrogen doing so.
This process leaves less available soil nitrogen
(nitrogen lock-up) for subsequent
Vetch by Jenny Hall
• 10 •
crop growth, until breakdown has completed
and the microbes begin to die and
release their nitrogen to the soil.
A general rule of thumb is to leave
the soil for at least two weeks after turning
in the green manure, before attempting
to create a seedbed for another crop.
If you were to turn something in with an
even higher C:N ratio than a green manure,
for example sawdust, this might
cause nitrogen lock-up for several years
and should be avoided.
Weeds and green manures
If you have bare ground then weeds will
generate. Therefore it is a good idea to
have a green manure growing instead.
If you are reclaiming a weed-infested
patch then it is a good idea to dig out all
the weeds with a fork. Forking, which
involves lifting, turning and breaking up
the soil to remove the weeds, is the traditional
way of clearing weed-infested
ground. By loosening the soil and breaking
it into crumbs, it is possible to remove
the tiniest bits of roots. After all
the weed roots are removed then sow a
green manure straight afterwards (especially
if digging prior to the onset of winter)
and the green manure will also have
a cleaning effect.
If you have a green manure ley (see
above) in rotation then you will automatically
be lowering your weed burden.
After a ley break the weed population is
likely to be at its lowest. However, establishing
a ley can be very vulnerable to
dock infestation, because there is the potential
for huge numbers of dock seeds
in the soil to germinate in spring and autumn.
Fortunately, dock seedlings cannot
compete well with grasses at this stage
and so having a clover and grass mix will
reduce the likelihood of early invasion.
Cabbage white butterflies and
undersowing white clover
Stan Finch4 has pioneered research into
the benefits of undersowing for reducing
competing insect problems. Many
researchers have shown that the numbers
of competing insects found on brassica
crop plants are reduced considerably
when the crop is:
• allowed to become weedy,
• intercropped with another plant species,
or
• undersown with a living mulch such
as clover.
Stan Finch carried out laboratory and
field cage tests to determine how
undersowing brassica plants with subterranean
clover (trifolium subterraneum)
affected host plant selection by eight pest
insect species of brassica crops. The pest
species tested we
• Pieris rapae – small white butterfly
Lucerne by Jenny Hall
• 11 •
• Pieris brassicae – large white butterfly
• Delia radicum – cabbage root fly
• Phaedon cochleariae – mustard beetle
• Plutella xylostella – diamond back
moth
• Evergestis forficalis – garden pebble
moth
• Mamestra brassicae – cabbage moth
• Brevicoryne brassicae – cabbage aphid
In all tests (except one in which the brassica
plants were about three times as high
as the clover background) 39-100%
fewer of the competing insects (of all
eight species) were found on the host
plants presented in clover than those presented
on bare soil. The differences were
not accounted for by an increase in natural
predators and therefore, lower
colonisation accounted for fewer pest
species.
However, undersowing with clover
only reduced the small white butterfly
oviposition (laying of eggs) by 40-60%,
which may be insufficient to reduce the
damage to acceptable levels. In these circumstances
fleecing in early spring and
netting in the height of summer need to
be considered. Ensure the netting does
not rest on the plants and also has a narrow
mesh or the cabbage white butterflies
will push their way through. The
long-term solution includes encouraging
natural predators like parasitic wasps by
planting attractant flowers.
------------------------------------------------
1 TOLHURST I (2002) reprinted in
Growing Green International. No 9 page
22.
2 COLEMAN, E (1995) New Organic
Grower. A Master’s Manual of Tools and
Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Chelsea Green publishing.
3 COLEMAN E (1995) New Organic
Grower. A Master’s Manual of Tools and
Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Chelsea Green Publishing.
4 TOLHURST I (2002) Undersowing
Green Manures in Vegetable Crops. In
Growing Green International no.9 page
23 reprinted with kind permission of the
Soil Association.
5 FINCH S & EDMONDS GH (1994)
Undersowing Cabbage Crops with Clover
– Effects on Pest Insects, Ground Beetles and
Crop Yields. IOBC / WPRS Bulletin
17(8) 159 - 167.
• 12 •
The Vegan-Organic Network
The Vegan Organic Network is a registered charity (registered charity
number
1080847), providing education and research in vegan-organic principles
and has an
international network of supporters. VON supporters enjoy a wide
variety of contacts
and can obtain advice on cultivation techniques. The magazine Growing
Green
International is sent to supporters twice a year. For more information
and details of
how to join, please contact:
VON, 58 High Lane, Chorlton, Manchester M21 9DZ
Email:
General enquiries and advice on growing:
Phone: 0845 223 5232
Email:

Website:
www.veganorganic.net
Vegan-Organic information sheets
This is one of several sheets produced on various topics by the
Vegan-Organic Network.
These are aimed mainly at those with allotments, kitchen gardens or
other
small growing areas, although many of the techniques will also apply
to larger-scale
situations. We welcome feedback on this information sheet and any
other related
topics. The information sheets currently available a #1 Propagation
and Fertilisers;
#2 Growing Beans for Drying; #3 Growing on Clay Soils; #4
Vegan-Organic Growing
- The Basics; #5 Fungi - FAQ: #6 Gardening for Wildlife; #7 Growers'
Guide to
Beetles; #8 Green Manures; #9 Chipped Branch-Wood; #10 Composting.
These are available on request. Please send £5.00 per set, or 60p each
(£6 and
75p respectively if outside the UK). The sheets are also available
free on our website.
Issued March 2005. This advice is given as guidance only, with no
responsibility for
any results, due to the nature of the processes involved!
  #35 (permalink)   Report Post  
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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 04 Mar 2008 08:26:40 -0800, Rudy Canoza
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?

So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?
No. We have a choice?

Organic farming virtually requires animal manure. But
if "vegans" suppress animal husbandry, there won't be
any manure.


Horse shit!!! is around in abundance.


There wouldn't be any horses if "vegans" were to
succeed in imposing their benighted regime on the rest
of us.


In fact the world cannot give
it away these days, more than enough to go round. Then we have seaweed
etc


Requires more energy to harvest, transport and convert
into fertilizer than is put back into the soil.


In fact we could always go back to what farming is really about.
Farming and working with nature!


Farming is about farming - nice little tautology.

Farming is about people producing food to feed
themselves - the foods they want to eat, not the foods
some repressive self-styled "visionaries" think they
"ought" to be eating.


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

On Tue, 04 Mar 2008 09:02:34 -0800, Rudy Canoza
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 04 Mar 2008 08:26:40 -0800, Rudy Canoza
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?

So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?
No. We have a choice?
Organic farming virtually requires animal manure. But
if "vegans" suppress animal husbandry, there won't be
any manure.


Horse shit!!! is around in abundance.


There wouldn't be any horses if "vegans" were to
succeed in imposing their benighted regime on the rest
of us.


There will always be horses and other livestock. They just wont have
to endure the suffering to feed fat faces like yours.

In fact the world cannot give
it away these days, more than enough to go round. Then we have seaweed
etc


Requires more energy to harvest, transport and convert
into fertilizer than is put back into the soil.


That's life Jonny. How do you think it gets to the fields anyway? You
think Duck Turpin strolls up on his ass and gets it to dump in a wheat
field!!

In fact we could always go back to what farming is really about.
Farming and working with nature!


Farming is about farming - nice little tautology.

Farming is about people producing food to feed
themselves - the foods they want to eat, not the foods
some repressive self-styled "visionaries" think they
"ought" to be eating.


Farming is about a sustainable future for us and the planet. Stop
twisting it to suit you weird anti began agenda. I'm sure you'll still
be able to live on dunuts if you don't want to look after yourself in
the future.


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

"Jill" wrote in message
...
Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?



So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?


No. We have a choice?


What would you choose to use to replenish the land?

the sensible recycling option would be to use the sewage sludge from the
people eating the food to replace the nutrients taken from the land

Jim Webster


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

Julie wrote:

Horse shit!!! is around in abundance. In fact the world cannot give
it away these days, more than enough to go round.


With plenty of wormers and other substances in which would kill the insect
life in the soil.
Clever one
There are also not enough equines in the right places so you would be
increasing your carbon footprint drastically moving this high bulk low
quality item around the country.

Then we have seaweed

So you are advocating stripping and decimating our marine environment to
produce food for too many people, let alone the colossal transportation
problems and its effect on any carbon footprint.

etc In fact we could always go back to what farming is really about.
Farming and working with nature!


Ahhh that is your method of population control :-- starvation and disease. I
know there had to be some logic somewhere.


--

regards
Jill Bowis

Pure bred utility chickens and ducks
Housing; Equipment, Books, Videos, Gifts
Herbaceous; Herb and Alpine nursery
Working Holidays in Scotland
http://www.kintaline.co.uk


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 16:31:48 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?


So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?

No. We have a choice?


What would you choose to use to replenish the land?


Good question although I fear it was not a real question.


Oh yes it was, it was deadly serious.

snippage of the unsustainable waffle which addresses nothing that exists in
real life, not one solution for 21st Century United Kingdom as it exists
now

--

regards
Jill Bowis

Pure bred utility chickens and ducks
Housing; Equipment, Books, Videos, Gifts
Herbaceous; Herb and Alpine nursery
Working Holidays in Scotland
http://www.kintaline.co.uk


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

Julie wrote:

There will always be horses and other livestock. They just wont have
to endure the suffering to feed fat faces like yours.


There might be horses, but there would be little else.
You do not breed if you do not cull.
Otherwise the country would be overpopulated with starving sheep.
[we have already managed to do that to our deer population]

--

regards
Jill Bowis

Pure bred utility chickens and ducks
Housing; Equipment, Books, Videos, Gifts
Herbaceous; Herb and Alpine nursery
Working Holidays in Scotland
http://www.kintaline.co.uk




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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 17:29:31 -0000, "Jim Webster"
wrote:

"Jill" wrote in message
...
Julie wrote:
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 14:02:13 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:
No Jim that's a blatant lie. When was the last time anyone saw
livestock grazing on a well managed arable farm?



So you agree with all artificial inputs to replenish the land?

No. We have a choice?


What would you choose to use to replenish the land?

the sensible recycling option would be to use the sewage sludge from the
people eating the food to replace the nutrients taken from the land


I agree, and wasn't that done for some time in the past? Although
these days human waste seems to be far more toxic than anything else
on the planet!!! I wonder why!


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate


"Jill" wrote in message
...
Julie wrote:

Horse shit!!! is around in abundance. In fact the world cannot give
it away these days, more than enough to go round.


With plenty of wormers and other substances in which would kill the insect
life in the soil.
Clever one
There are also not enough equines in the right places so you would be
increasing your carbon footprint drastically moving this high bulk low
quality item around the country.


interesting that pete advocates keeping equines as pets.
The one problem with them is that actually their muck only fertilises the
areas they are in. If you haul their muck away, then you have to find
something to replemish the fertility of the area they are grazing

Then we have seaweed

So you are advocating stripping and decimating our marine environment to
produce food for too many people, let alone the colossal transportation
problems and its effect on any carbon footprint.

etc In fact we could always go back to what farming is really about.
Farming and working with nature!


good old fashioned organic rotation, alternating livestock and cropping


Ahhh that is your method of population control :-- starvation and disease.
I know there had to be some logic somewhere.


The interesting bit is what we use in the UK when we can no longer out bid
the Chinese for soya. Ironically they seem happy to pay more to use it for
animal feed than we are to use it for human consumption

Jim Webster


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 17:30:40 -0000, "Jill"
wrote:

Julie wrote:

Horse shit!!! is around in abundance. In fact the world cannot give
it away these days, more than enough to go round.


With plenty of wormers and other substances in which would kill the insect
life in the soil.


Really where does it say that?

Clever one
There are also not enough equines in the right places so you would be
increasing your carbon footprint drastically moving this high bulk low
quality item around the country.


Try and keep up Jill.

snip trolling

If you cant be sensible about it get lost.


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate


"Jill" wrote in message
...
Julie wrote:

There will always be horses and other livestock. They just wont have
to endure the suffering to feed fat faces like yours.


There might be horses, but there would be little else.
You do not breed if you do not cull.
Otherwise the country would be overpopulated with starving sheep.
[we have already managed to do that to our deer population]


oh goodie, so we have all this land being used to feed livestock that
doesn't actually contribute to human nutrition. Effectively using livestock
as a green manure, meaning that you only get a food crop from it perhaps
three years in ten
Far less efficient that what we do now when at least we eat the livestock
Jim Webster


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Default The myth of food production "efficiency" in the "ar" debate

Rudy Canoza wrote:
On Mar 3, 4:00 pm, Buxqi wrote:
On Mar 3, 3:53 pm, Rudy Canoza wrote:

The "vegan" pseudo-argument on "inefficiency" is that
the resources used to produce a given amount of meat
could produce a much greater amount of vegetable food
for direct human consumption, due to the loss of energy
that results from feeding grain and other feeds to
livestock.

Yes. A vegan diet will generally have a smaller ecological
footprint than a meat based one.


Not necessarily. But that isn't really their argument about
efficiency. They're talking about resource use, not environmental
degradation.


There's also the point that some animals - goats, sheep, etc., can
live on land where it wouldn't be possible to grow much that is edible
by humans. You can't grow wheat, or even soy, on high boggy moorland
in the semi-Arctic moorlands of Scotland. Sheep and deer, OTOH,
thrive on the food available to them there.

--
Jette Goldie

http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
http://wolfette.livejournal.com/
("reply to" is spamblocked - use the email addy in sig)


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