Dr. Worm
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

Veganic gardening

I know it seems silly that one would want to go this route, but veganic gardening is a new trend that will only become more popular with time. Why would someone want to garden veganically?

Organic in chemistry terms just means that it is carbon based. Do you remember The Coneheads skit where humans were described as "carbon based life forms?" I know the premise of organic gardening is slightly different with a focus on methods that do not use pesticides and are more environmentally sensitive. That bat guano, chicken manure, or cow manure might not be sourced from a place that uses organic practices. Tricky, I know. What's the source of the blood meal or bone meal? Many are sourced from slaughter houses on factory farms. Sure that blood and bone is organic, but has it been exposed to the elements? The only true way to determine if a nute, fert, or pesticide is organic is from OMRI-(a matter of paying a price for the sticker and adhering to a few guidelines), but that still won't tell you where it was sourced from.

With veganic gardening, one uses fertilizers, amendments, and nutrients, that contain no animal, insect, fish, or sea animal ingredients. Does that sound overwhelming? Not so much. Here's a handy guide for gardening veganically:

Nitrogen for growth-neem meal, neem cake, seaweed, and kelp meal

Phosphorous- rock phosphate

Potassium- green sand has it and other trace elements

Worm castings are okay by veganic standards, even though the manure comes from a living thing. Strange, but it works that way.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 9136
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:59 pm
Location: Amherst, MA USDA Zone 5a

Just becase it's not sourced from animals does not mean it is less harmful in it's origins or in itself. Seaweed contains metals you may not want in your garden, such as mercury and arsenic. ;)

Bugs, poop, and dead animals have been a part of soil biology forever. It's natural. Veganic might be attractive to vegans etc. but that's a political choice. Veganic is not inherently better than what nature itself has been doing. It's a political choice.

Dr. Worm
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

I'm well aware of this. Starting this thread wasn't about sparking political discussion. It was about discussing new approaches on the age old practices of gardening. :D

Gardening in of itself can be viewed as a political choice as well. The gardener is saying with their actions, I don't want to support agribusiness, I want to know exactly what I'm eating and want to do that by growing my own food. :D

Cool Member
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:48 am
Location: West Central NJ, Zone 6B

Well, this is a political discussion. Veganism is political. And, as you say, so is all home gardening. I started gardening because I want to be able to control what I eat, as well as, to a lesser degree, actually have the experience with food production that so many people my age pretend to have (I'm a 21-year-old art student :roll: I'm around way too many people who fancy themselves too much the intellectual).

When I started gardening, I was wondering if there were actually people crazy enough to do vegan gardening. As webmaster said, animal parts are an integral and indelible part of the soil, the earth, and plant production. And it's always worked, has always sustained the planet, and can continue to do so. Just as vegetarianism has always worked, for 4,000+ years since the Indus Valley civilization or something like that, whereas veganism has "worked" with vitamin supplements since hippies had the idea to do it (I know it actually started in the 1920s or so - I guess those were the beatniks?).

I, personally, would prefer to source potassium and phosphorus from the animal "wastes" I end up with in my kitchen, rather than source them from unsustainable and destructive mining practices. Just my personal preference.

john gault
Green Thumb
Posts: 461
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach, Fl. (USDA Hardiness Zone 9a)

Anything can be a political topic, i.e. climate; who would of ever thought that climate science would become political :wink:

So I guess this topic can be also, but I haven't really seen that aspect [politics] show it's here face, thus far. And I don't want to introduce it; just because a topic has devolved into politics doesn't mean we have to bring that aspect here. Just like climate there is a real science behind it.

As for veganism and all the various offshoots I don't really see the point in it. However, some aspects are important, that is how we farm animals -- very important issue, both with respect to feeding/animal-health issues and ethical issues. There are some real concerns in those areas.

The simple fact is people who practice veganism can do so out of the luxury of our modern society - a society that is very dependent on the farming of animals. We are very much animals in a biological sense and our biology makes us dependent on other animals. Some must die for us to live. The same is true for all other animals, some must die for them to survive. The fact that one can live a vegan lifestyle is because of the multitude of foodstuff available thanks to the science of farming. Look at what you grow, it's virtually all non-native. And then there's the globalization factor, but I'm getting too long-winded....

This is not the garden of eden, no such thing. Nature is all about victimizing the weak. As a human I don't like that thought, but when has nature every gave a crap about what I thought :lol:

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Personally, I work on making my garden a closed cycle-- nothing in, nothing out. I waste nothing from the garden, chip up brush, compost everything etc. And I add (next to) nothing to the garden, just the wood chips and compost. I'm vegetarian and no animal products go in my compost pile. I don't live off my 1/3 acre, so things go into my pile that didn't come from my yard, but my (non-garden) produce comes from a local organic farm, CSA. Admittedly, I'm not perfect on the closed loop thing, because I use some seeds besides the ones I save, and I use some potting soil for starting the seeds. I also collect other people's fall leaves for my compost pile, but they are my neighbors', so quite local. Otherwise, it works pretty well. I don't import seaweed (I'm at least 1000 miles from any ocean, if I lived by a coast I'd be glad to use it) or greensand or anything else. Keeps the carbon footprint of my garden minimal, and makes me feel that everything belongs here and that I am part of the earth cycle.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1893
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

looking at your initial post...not sure how bat guano's different from worm castings, in either a bothering-the-amendment's makers way, or how organic the area they're being sourced from is way...

an amendment coming from a plant source doesn't necessarily guarantee anything about where it's being sourced from either...

i guess with somewhat political positions, everyone's kinda got their own priorities (as it should be, i guess)...i personally question whether a mined substance like greensand is more ecologically friendly(or even large-scale humane) than one produced via the internal workings of an animal, provided SOMEthing is known about the source.

i prefer not to use outside amendments as much as possible...when it becomes necessary, though, i prefer to find the most local and known-history thing i can find.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Back when 'organic' gardening was still called 'Indore" proccess, old man Ogden likened vegatative material passing through the gut of a microbe as being about the same as passing through the gut of a herbivore.

If it works for you, then go ahead. But, veganism is political.
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”