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How To: Land Based Community Action

This is a call for environmental and animal activists to unite, forming resilient land based communities based on forestry and vegan-organic techniques for self sufficiency. Together, vegans and eco-protectors can expose the damage and misery brought about by the insatiable consumption of domestic animals, spurred on by the European CAP subsidies which only benefit mono-culture and factory farmers - the least deserving spongers of all time.

Whilst 38% of world grain is fed to domestic animals, a billion people starve. "Third world" countries are forced into exporting grains (which feed European stock) in order to repay murderous debts. Profiting are the chemical giants, and, on the commodity markets, transnationals plunder and export third world resources which has fatally stopped any attempts at food security, leaving millions to the mercy of western aid. Peasants have no choice but to farm marginal lands, destroying environmentally sensitive habitats. Vegan-organic growing, and not globalised trade, offers third world people a viable option for reliance.


Domestic animals now outweigh humankind The second population explosion pushes the inevitable environmental collapse closer. Halting the breeding of these poor freaks of nature - the creatures who are at the mercy of scientific manipulation - would return the essential nutrients in their bodies to the soil. These minerals will then be held by trees and plants, reversing global warming and the encroaching deserts, as the forests regrow. Similar arguments stand for taking fossil fuel carbon out of the atmosphere and returning it to the soil. Whatever way you look at it - replanting trees is the future. Livestock is the biggest culprit when it comes to unsustainable tree felling. If British uplands were relieved of their dreary and unstable heather monoculture, the diverse broadleaf forests could be regenerated since trees will grow in the poorest of soils. In the new forests the noble wolf could be reintroduced without persecution, as there would be no livestock to worry.

Animals convert their feed to food inefficiently at 10:1. It's crucial for us to move down the food chain and eat plants at source, where less land is used, less energy expended and less waste produced. In Britain 90% of land is used to feed livestock, yet veganism equals self sufficiency - with no need to import 70% of food, reducing polluting freight and the exploitation of poorer countries. Local food for local people will loosen the supermarkets tight grip.

After fifty years of chemical abuse, a big hurdle for the low impact dwellers is restoring organic matter to the Soil. Those traditional organic growers who advocate the use of Blood, Fish and Bone Meal or manures from the factory farming victims ignore a basic ecological fact - plants alone are producers of food, energy and of humus. Livestock destroy the greatest part of food energy by digestion, metabolism and other life processes. Domestic animals poison rivers, belch methane and render soil inert. Fertilizing' crops organically by animal residues takes up to 4 times as much land as by vegan-organic methods.


When reversing planetary annihilation here are a few top tips:

1. From the site, add as much organic matter as is possible. The fertility of the annual crops can be maintained:

  • using composted materials from land of the equivalent size - crop residues, veg peelings, mown pastures (hay), forest detritus, leaf mould, ramial chipped wood, wild flowers (nettles are rich in iron, copper and calcium, foxgloves in magnesium, fat hen in boron, rosebay willow herb in cobalt). Don't spread uncomposted plant materials as that is asking for pest, disease or fungal problems;
  • using leguminous, nitrogen-fixing green manures e.g. Lucerne before vegetable planting;
  • using bi-cropping techniques e.g. growing a nitrogen fixing clover sward underneath cabbages;
  • using liquid feeds made from comfrey;
  • peat and calcified seaweed are not recommended, because like animal residues they depend on natural resources that will soon run out.

2. There is no reason why human urine and composted faeces should not be used. An important nutrient cycle is broken when they're flushed down the kazi and out to sea. Within one year one person can shit enough nitrogen to maintain 800lb of wheat.

3. Surrounding the annual vegetable crop patch with edible perennial shrubs and trees checks erosion and nutrient leaching. Fast growing coppiced alder trees; lined up with vegetable rows have proved invaluable as a windbreak and are nitrogen fixing.

4. Soil can never be left bare to the mercy of the elements, and should be mulched. Cardboard boxes are a good barrier mulch against weeds, although weed paths can provide invaluable predator belts.

5. Vegan-organic systems set out to create a rich diverse agro-ecosystem, by growing as many different crops as possible. Annual crops are rotated to aid fertility and prevent disease.


6. Don't spray or introduce voracious insect predators: whilst initial crops may be lost, the most sustainable option is creating the habitat for beetles, frogs and hedgehogs. Also planting companion wild flowers attracts the bees, repels pests ~ and adds to the beauty of the site.

7. Minimum digging methods are recommended to maintain soil structure. Digging speeds up the breakdown of beneficial humus, brings weed seeds to the surface and knackers your back. Potato tubers can be grown on top of the soil through straw and hay, but other annual crops, especially those that are weed intolerant - e.g. onions - will need a prepared seed bed. If you are prepared to experiment with perennial plants and eat unusual foods then vegan permaculture is the way forward. Tractors are out as they compact the soil; however, machines run off biodiesel may offer a solution.

8. As the gene base of commercially grown seeds narrows and the threat of mass starvation becomes more imminent, communities must maintain their own seed stocks and use traditional varieties.

9. Eating raw food within minutes of its picking gives you the most vitamins and minerals. Eating 65g of protein a day from unprocessed seasonal fruit, veg, nuts, pulses, grains and seed (avoiding over reliance on imported soya products), give you the best clean, green, guilt free diet around.

10. Vegan-organic growing works well with community spirit and, yes you've guessed - hard graft. It also offers a real alternative to the dole queues. How is it possible to reclaim our land? The insanity of the European Common Agriculture Policy pays greedy farmers to set aside because they produce too much. Set aside does not benefit trees or wildlife - after 6 months Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller is dumped on it (obliterating any sign of life) and aggressive chemical monoculture then continues apace, denying future children the ability to feed themselves. The true lovers of the land must squat prime arable land, because buying land is not an option - the corporate backers and the planning authorities have seen to that. Yet by following the dreams of the Diggers, Ranters and Levellers, the dispossessed will reclaim their survival and culture.

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
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