Thursday, May 20, 2010

Welcome to the farm!

We are a small scale farm in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, testing out various veganic growing methods, using biochar (which could potentially help a farm become carbon negative!), comfrey and nettle compost teas, alfalfa meal, interplanting nitrogen fixing cover crops in field beds and pathways, and experimenting with chipped branch wood to increase microbial and mycorrhizae activity in the soil, for the benefit of all! We are growing mostly rare and heirloom varieties of salad greens, kale, swiss chard, beans, grains, peas, squash, beets, tomatoes, culinary and medicinal (shouldn't that be one and the same?!) herbs, and more.

By way of introduction to the idea of veganic or livestock-free agriculture, the following gives you an idea in what is permitted as part of "organic" vegetable production in Canada:

"5.5.1 Manure Sources - The operator shall first use all available animal manure produced on the organic operation (on-farm) and then may use manure from other organic operations (off-farm). When manure from organic operations is not available in sufficient quantities, the operator may use manure from non-organic farm operations provided that:

a. the non-organic operation is not a fully caged system where livestock are not able to turn 360 degrees;

b. livestock are not permanently kept in the dark;

c. the source of manure, type of livestock, evaluation of the criteria mentioned in par. 5.5.1 a. and b., and quantity shall be recorded."

(emphasis added)

-from the Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards

So now that we are aware that all those "organic" veggies we buy in the grocery store are permitted to be fertilized with non-organic cow poo from cattle that need only have enough room to do a pirouette, and only enough light (not even sunlight, any light will do!) so as to not be "permanently kept in the dark" what are we to do?!!

Many organic farmers around the world are turning to a new form of organic agriculture in an effort to regain the credibility of sustainable, healing agriculture that "organic" was once meant to represent.

Veganic, or Stock Free agriculture takes farming to a level beyond the basic principles of organic. It involves growing your own fertility on your land through careful crop rotations involving "green manure" cover crops that replenish and nurture the soil without relying on animal inputs such as manures, blood and bone meal, etc. And of course it means absolutely no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

Vital Greens is about growing the cleanest, greenest, greens possible. There is no place for factory livestock waste in sustainable agriculture!!

Well, hopefully this is not too much of a rant for an introductory posting, but I believe it is crucial to learn about how our food is produced, and to take organic production to the next level of lightness and healing on this planet.

So welcome to the Vital Greens farm blog, and stay tuned...

Some early season pics! Good stuff is growing, and the warm days and sweet sun rays of last week have given young plants a boost!


  1. I think you should have a test-field with human manure... Plenty of that around. How good are coffee grinds?

  2. Looking good Christoph... Though I was hoping for some pictures of the manual workers living conditions - have they unionised yet?

  3. I like the naturally pelletized hopping bunny poo.

  4. There are a few wild bunny's that hop about the fields...