An international conference on Veganic Farming & Growing is set to open new opportunities for Vegan Organic Network and its members 

On 10 November VON members met with European representatives of Biocyclic Vegan International association in Greece and Austria, with a view to cooperate and further develop the values and standards of veganic farming and growing.

Axel Anders from the Biocyclic Network Services Berlin Office and Johannes Eisenbach from Biocyclic Vegan Network in Greece and Cyprus joined Jenny Hall, Dan Graham, Cherry Chang, David Graham, Tamara Șchiopu and Iain Tolhurst from Tolhurst Organic, certified veganic growers.

The meeting resulted in a plan to work towards an international conference in late 2019 or early 2020 with the aim to reach a ”coalition of farmers  and consumers working together towards a kinder and more sustainable world” (David Graham, founder of VON).

The conference objectives will be specifically to

  • Reach a higher number of farmers converting to veganic farming
  • Create awareness of the effects of animal farming on the environment and inspire ethical farming
  • Create a world-wide bond between various veganic organisations and groups of farmers
  • To reach a joint and linked food supply chain, including processors, caterers, retailers that feature veganic food products
  • Introduce Veganic standards into mainstream agricultural policies and departments.

The Conference will be held in Europe or UK and will target the key audience who are able to make the changes and achieve the objectives above:

  • Organic and in-conversion farmers and growers from around the world
  • Animal rights organisations
  • Environmental and agricultural journalists, bloggers and media agencies
  • Academics from organic farming and food safety research centres and universities
  • Vegan and Vegetarian societies, Wildlife Trust, Greenpeace
  • International and country representatives of policy making agencies, political parties and party foundations
  • Industry representatives – vegan processors, retailers, restaurateurs and chefs
  • Celebrities who are at the fore-front of the promotion of a safer world for food, water and environment.

There is a work group working on the conference idea and developments and all updates on this milestone event will be posted on social media, website, newsletters and in our Growing Green International magazine.

For questions or suggestions, please contact Tamara Schiopu, VON Development Officer at tschiopu@hotmail.com

Funding appeal for a new VegShed at Tolhurst Organic

Tolhurst Organic are veganic growers based in the UK near Reading. They desparately need to replace their VegShed, where people can buy veganic fruit and veg, with a bigger structure and are appealing for funds. Here’s their crowd funder which ends 15th November 2018.

The Herbal Path Courses (Portugal) 2019

The Herbal Path have announced details of their courses next year. Their website has full details.

VON at Vegfest London 2018

The VON crew and volunteers travelled to Vegfest from all around the country; Cornwall, South Wales, Manchester, Cambridge Essex, Birmingham and London. We set up the VON stall on the Friday evening ready for the weekend’s event.

VegfestUK celebrated its 6th annual vegan festival at Olympia London with a bang, welcoming around 14,500 attendees, 280 exhibition stands and just over 100 talks and presentations over the weekend October 27-28 across 4 exhibition halls at one of the nation’s highest-profile exhibition centres.

A few weeks before the event we produced some new resources:
• a new leaflet, which worked well- explaining the difference between veganic and organic growing and what VON does.
• Tony put together a 24 page A5 brochure ‘Growing Veganically’ written by Jenny Hall, an easy to read guide into the world of growing veganically.
• Cherry designed some new bags and t-shirts, she also designed our stand, which had great impact.
Our Veganic talks area seated about 60 people, a lot of the talks were full to capacity, we had 9 speakers talking about various aspects of veganic growing, the talks were well received from seasoned VONIES and newbies alike.
Shumei sold veganic vegetables from their farm in Yatesbury.
Many of the people we talked with were vegan but had never heard of veganic growing, we attracted about 20 new members, many more went away with information and the knowledge of the difference between organic and Veganic growing.
We networked with many people and recruited new people to help our cause.
All in all, the event was a great success for VON.
Many thanks our speakers, volunteers and Vegfest for inviting us along.
AGM is on 17th November in Manchester, all welcome.

 

 

Vegan Farm Fayre at Tolhurst Organic near Reading, UK

Sunday 17 June, noon-4pm, Tolhurst Organic Walled Garden at Hardwick Estate, Whitchurch-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire, RG8 7RA

“What is a vegan farm? Well, come to our Open Day and learn. We do not have any animals on the farm (apart from our dog, birds and myriads of pollinating insects) and do not use any animal muck to grow our organic veg. We were the first farm in the world to certify with Stockfree Organic Standards in 2003 – an international quality assurance scheme confirming total care for the environment without any animal inputs.”

“We take the seriousness of veganism to a gastronomic height. Our produce is local and seasonal, grown with love and care and from it we intend to cook delicious food: salads, soups, bakes, pastry, ice cream and deserts, to show that vegan food does not have to be boring, expensive, artificial or exotic. Pizzas and licensed bar will be available, too, for all tastes and ages.”

“Trade stalls with vegan food and beverages, vegan skin care products, local crafts, children entertainment and garden walk – all to make your day at the farm as enjoyable as ever.”

“Event programme will also include a Story telling corner for children and a Speakers corner for adults on vegan farming & food and healthy eating.”

“Entry is £4/person. Children come free. This is a cash only event. We regret that there are no cash machines in the vicinity of the farm. The nearest one is 3 miles away in the village of Pangbourne. Car park available in the field, 0.8 miles walking distance, so bring your pushchairs for children. Limited parking available for disabled and elderly. Enquire at gates.”

“Stall holders can apply for a pitch at info@tolhurstorganic.co.uk.”

 

Courses by Feed Avalon

Feed Avalon is a social enterprise dedicated to developing food systems that are socially and economically empowering in order to build food resilience in Glastonbury, Street and the surrounding areas in the UK.

Here’s a list of their up-coming courses. For full details, see www.feedavalon.org.uk

Sat 5 May 2018 – Introduction to Fungi Identification course

Thu 17 May 2018 – Foraging for Food and Medicine

Sat 19 May 2018 – Mycoremediation Workshop and Medicinal Mushrooms Workshop

Wed 30 May 2018 – Wild Food Cooking

Sat 2 Jun 2018 – Foraging for Food and Medicine

Sun 10 Jun 2018 – How to have a great vegan BBQ

 

Open days at The Herbary, Wiltshire

Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August 2018, 11-5pm.

They will be able to answer questions about their system of stockfree organic growing. Organic seed for sale – Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers. See www.beansandherbs.co.uk/open-days

The Herbary, 161 Chapel Street, Horningsham, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7LU.

 

New UK veganic gardening book – The Vegan Cook and Gardener

Published in April 2018 and available at reduced price (£15.95 instead of the published price of £19.95) from our online shop since we are keen to promote veganic gardening books.

Heather Foster wrote this review in VON’s Growing Green International magazine Winter/Spring 2018. Heather is a keen amateur gardener, campaigner against food waste and runs/owns the green kitchen vegan cafe in St Albans UK.

So much information and so many delicious recipes. I was delighted to be asked to review this new book covering two of my passions.

My first impressions were the beautiful photos and copious amounts of information. It is an ideal gift for any gardener, or cook, particularly those starting out on their botanical adventure. For someone new to growing food or veganism, or indeed both, it is easy to read and is straight forward in its approach.

The information is very comprehensive; how to grow crops, dealing with problems, why veganism is good for our health and for the environment. There is advice on good garden husbandry and it all feels achievable. I really like the advice month­to­month as to what jobs can, or should, be achieved; what to sow when, and other tasks that need to be done.

There is lots of information on ingredients of all types – those you can grow and other more exotic items to add to your cooking. I really like the section on herbs and salads, some of my favourite foods and a far cry from iceberg lettuce and tasteless tomatoes. I found it really helpful that recipes include storage notes, such as freezing/bottling as I am an active advocate for preventing food waste.

The recipes use everyday ingredients, nothing complicated, based on the seasonal vegetables and fruits from your plot, just good, simple ways to show off their colours and flavours.

It’s made me re­think some of my cafe dishes and given me great ideas to use vegetables in a different way (parsnip hash browns for example).

The recipes use everyday ingredients, nothing complicated, based on the seasonal vegetables and fruits from your plot, just good, simple ways to show off their colours and flavours. It’s made me re­think some of my cafe dishes and given me great ideas to use vegetables in a different way (parsnip hash browns for example).

I love that it is bang up to date, with information about vegan advocates, events and resources to find out more about veganism; whether you’ve followed a plant based diet for many years or have just started a new way of life.

It’s a stunning book and I can imagine will appeal to everyone with an interest in how to grow food and then how to turn it in to delicious dishes. I have had many gardening books over the years, but I’d happily replace them all with this one.

 

The Herbal Path Course 2018

5 – 13 May 2018. Apprenticeship in Healing Herbs and Medicine Music. Melilotus Herb Farm, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal. www.theherbalpath.net/herbal-path-2018

 

Events report Manchester 2017

The rise and rise of Vegan Events in Manchester continues to grow.

April 1st was not a joke with 4000 people attending the Vegan Festival at Manchester Central; where VON had over 200 people signing our online petition.

With the growth of VON’s Manchester Vegan Fair over the past three years we decided to move to a new bigger venue Oswald Rd Primary School.

About ten days before the event we went into the school and gave workshops to the nine and ten-year olds.The workshops included; information about local vegan organic farms; the effects of animal agriculture, smoothie and energy ball making;  creating signs and bunting for the vegan fair; willow weaving; rides in the rickshaw and circus skills.

We had a great response from the children and raised awareness about the connection to rainforest destruction and eating animals, and highlighted vegan celebrities and sports people. We made the activities fun for the children and encouraged debate about eating animals and showed how being vegan is good for your health and the health of the planet.

Come the day of our event the omens were not looking good; the weather forecast predicted thunder and lightning, trains and metro link had been cancelled and there was a huge event in Manchester to mourn the victims of the Manchester bombing.

Despite all predictions the sun graced our event all day apart from a 20-minute shower. People showed up in their masses and we had some great feedback about the event and the new venue.

The VON stall teamed up with local Stockfree growers: Kindling Trust and Debdale Eco Centre under the same marquee. Visitors were able to learn more about Stockfree growing and buy books, plants and take away free information.

Many thanks to all the volunteers; delivering school workshops, putting up gazebos, picking up litter, directing and helping stall holders, taking money at the gate, making tea and coffee etc.

Please let me know if you would like to help out at any of our up and coming events:email Dan events@veganorganic.net 

Envirolution Platt Fields 2nd June

VON were pleased to help out at the Envirolution event at Platt Fields park with the loan of a couple of our gazebos.

Please let us know if you would like to organize an event (big or small) in your area and help spread the VON message.

One Tribe Festival 3rd-8th August

We have been invited to One Tribe Event (all vegan) 3rd– 8th August, let us know if you would like to help out or join us at the event.