The permaculture landscaping and veganic farm Rowdy Girl Sanctuary is working on has captured the imagination of the vegan world. Not only are these folks turning a working cattle ranch into a farm sanctuary, they are figuring out how to do it in a way that is self-sustaining and profitable. This will pave the way for other ranchers who ethically would like to do the same but are afraid to lose their only source of income, which is the sale of their cattle.
One of the biggest challenges for any farm animal sanctuary is providing food for the resident animals. That’s where the permaculture landscaping comes in. By planting a large variety of food producing trees, shrubs and other plants the animals will be able to forage for food most of the time.
This will make for much happier animals because they will be challenged and stimulated each day. And much happier ranchers because the enormous cost of feeding all the farm animals will be significantly reduced if not eliminated altogether.
You see, different animals have different eating and foraging habits. Taken all together they Mow/graze, clear brush, eat bugs, till the soil, weed the grass and clean up droppings.
By understanding which animals do what, it’s possible to rotate them thru the pastures so that as a whole they sustain themselves. And in much higher numbers than the property would support otherwise.
Once the permaculture landscaping is thoroughly established all that’s left for the humans to do is move the animals from pasture to pasture at the appropriate time, provide shelter, health care and some supplementary feeding.
The other part of the equation is the care and feeding of the human inhabitants of the ranch. That is where the veganic farm comes into play.
By planting crops for their own consumption and for sale, the sanctuary can take care of everyone and help feed the poor saps stuck in the city, like me. And I’m thinking there is going to be a boom in demand for veganic vegetables once folks understand exactly what they are.
You see, a veganic farm is both vegan AND organic.
That is to say, they use no animal products in the growing of their food. Organic farms can still use bone meal, fish meal and manure (which usually comes from the animal agriculture industry) on their crops. This means that even though organic food is grown without pesticides and such, there is still the issue of antibiotics, hormones and more deadly concerns like salmonella and E.coli that can get into the crops thru the animal derived “soil amendments”. I don’t know about you, but if I had the choice between organic and veganic veggies I’d pick he veganic ones in a heartbeat!
So now do you see why the vegan world is so captivated by and invested in the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary’s success? Yes, the project is very ambitious but when they get it done this place will be something truly special. They will be solving one of the biggest problems a vegan utopia would create. How to care for all the farm animals we are no longer eating and how their former farmers can make a living in a vegan world!