Vegan Organic Network (VON) at Brighton Vegfest 23/24 March

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Vegfest – a wonderful vegan event just across the road from Brighton’s lively seaside front.

Many thanks to the Vegfest team who gave us a warm welcome and provided us with our stall and talks area, we look forward to joining them at London Vegfest in October.

On the VON stall, Shumei had veganic veg from their farm in Yatesbury and other veganic products including chocolate, pasta and rice which came from some of their many farms around the world.

Sarah Wilson from ‘’Roots and All’’ recorded all of Saturdays veganic talks and Tony Martin filmed the weekend talks; these are being edited and will appear in our next newsletter.

A big thanks to all our speakers and volunteers who donated their time and expertise, helping to spread the the veganic message as well as giving practicle advice on growing your own.

Veganic: The super organic way of growing and eating

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We all instinctively know that in order to achieve our full potential and be happy, we need to exercise our bodies and minds. We need fresh air and to have access to safe and healthy food.

I would like to introduce you to the Vegan Organic Network and a new concept in farming.

‘Veganic’ is a combination of two words ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’. It’s a guarantee that the food is grown in an organic way with only plant based fertilizers, encouraging functional biodiversity so pesticides are not necessary. No chemicals, no GMO and no animal by products in any part of the chain.

Veganic: The super organic way of eating

Did you know that more than 99% of the food you eat is grown using either agricultural chemicals or animal products? Yes, including your fruit and vegetables!  Yes, even if it’s organic produce! This is because the fertilisers used in 99% of farms contain agricultural chemicals or fish, blood, bone or manure. This comes as a huge shock to many vegetarians and vegans to learn that they’re consuming animal products – and even a shock for the growing number of flexitarians, which are 33% of the population in the UK. 

Why are animal products used? 
These fertilisers are predominantly slaughter house by-products, used because they are abundant. This is obviously enormously problematic for those of us who don’t want to consume animal products or contribute to animal suffering, and don’t forget this fertiliser also includes all the hormones and antibiotics that the animals are given, which also ends up in our fruit and veg. Over 80% of antibiotics produced goes to livestock ( . Scientists know that Salmonella and E. coli O157 – a strain of E. coli that can cause serious sickness in humans – can spread to salads and vegetables if they are fertilised with contaminated manure.

Here is the good news veganic farms a around the world are now producing super organic food, food that is clean, safe (no dangerous pathogens) and free from any animal inputs, chemicals or antibiotics. Veganic farming empowers small scale farmers around the world to use locally available resources to increase soil fertility and to become economically independent of industrial fertiliser and pesticides. It is also essential to reverse climate change and ensure a sustainable planet and healthy humans!

Thinking of growing your own fruit and veg?

There are various types of veganic farming and gardening, here are three:

Vegan organic farming and growing is achieved through wide crop rotations, systematic mixed cultivation, a careful and diversified tilling of the soil, the planting of hedges and flower strips as well as the creation of habitats within the growing area. It includes arable crop growing and small scale market gardening.

Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.

Permaculture mimics nature’s patterns to create an abundance of natural resources. Incorporating holistic core ethics; Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares.

Where can I buy veganic fruit and veg?

You can buy it at your local veganic farm and in some supermarkets in various cities around the world that label veganic products.

Alternatively support the Vegan Organic Network established in 1996, creators of the UK’s first certified veganic standards. The Vegan Organic Network are working with and supporting farmers and growers in transition to veganic with advice, courses and bursaries to study. They deliver talks and training courses and raise public awareness of how food is grown.

International Veganic Action Conference 2020

The Vegan Organic Network in association with Biocyclic Vegan Agriculture

is organising the world’s first International Veganic Action Conference, bringing together growers, farmers and activists from around the world, with the objective of demonstrating that veganic food is resilient to the largest problems facing humanity, i.e. species extinction, environmental destruction , pollution of the sea and air and soil erosion.

Support Vegan Organic Network for super veganic food and a green,  clean, cruelty free planet.

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Job Seasonal Field Grower April – November 2019

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Job Description 2019
Seasonal Field Grower April – November 2019
This is an excellent opportunity for the right candidate to work and learn about stock free organic principles of field-scale food production at an award winning long-established horticultural farm in South Oxfordshire, UK.
We are situated in a beautiful part of the country, with private access to the River Thames and many miles of lovely walks through the Estate and surrounding area. Pangbourne, our nearest town, is two miles away and has direct train access to other areas. The surrounding countryside is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is rich in wildlife and bio-diversity. For more information about our award winning farm visit our website
The opportunity
One person full time fixed-term position for candidates keen to learn more about organic principles of field-scale food production. Training will also be given to operate irrigation equipment. Opportunities to attend on-site workshops and seminars. 
We attract a lot of interest from people from a wide range of backgrounds who come to see what we are doing here and we are a demonstration farm holding regular seminars and farm walks. Different people turn up to work at odd times so there is a lively atmosphere to the place.
Essential Skills Required
• Practical experience with tractors and machinery
• Simple running repairs/maintenance of equipment
• Team leadership in the field, for planting/hoeing/harvesting operations.
Other requirements
• Flexibility in working hours/days.
• Full UK driving licence
• 2-3 years experience with horticulture is a plus
The main part of the job is to grow field vegetables on our 17 acres using a range of equipment and tractors. You will also be working alongside our team of 3-7 in the walled garden and fields and be expected to lead the team for field operations. You will sometimes be expected to work alone. Two days each week are harvesting and packing vegetables for our own Box Scheme and wholesale customers and you may be asked to help, if available. 
Planting, hoeing, crop tending, mowing/growing green manure and harvesting being the main work, which is varied; it is unusual to be on the same job for more than half a day at a time. 
Local deliveries will be expected on odd occasions, using company vehicle. Operating irrigation equipment, you will be trained to do this, using and maintaining farm machinery.

Work Hours
The job is fixed-term from April to November, with a month probation period. The contract can be negotiated for recurring terms every year from April to November or as a permanent job in the future. 
Hours in general it will be no more than 40 hours per week, but more may be expected during busy periods in the summer. 
Occasional weekend work may be needed during the summer. 
Hourly Wages and Holiday
Rates of pay are higher than minimum wage and are negotiable. Payment will be made monthly, in arrears. 
Holiday entitlement is according to UK Employment Law.
Fringe benefits
Accommodation on site in a three-bedroom shared flat. It is essential that the applicant is prepared to live on site as there are regular tasks during the summer to be seen to.
Vegetables are available free of charge for personal use. 
References from most recent employers/tutors will be sought at offer stage.
Apply by 4 March 2019
Interviews – 18 March 2019 (Only those selected will be contacted. We regret that we do not offer job applications feedback)
Job offer made – 20 March
Job start – 1 April 2019