Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

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Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby John Walker » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:50 pm

Garden Organic's new campaign 'I don't dig peat', in which gardeners are being encouraged to sign the 'peat-free promise', and which is being backed by TV gardener Alys Fowler, was launched today (23 June 2011).

Full details: http://www.idontdigpeat.org.uk/
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Nature's Babe » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:12 am

I signed already John, I like to encourage wildlife in my garden, so I feel it would be hypocritical of me to use peat and lose / destroy important habitat for other species. The mastergardener scheme looks a good idea to help new gardeners too, it is still only in a few areas but is expanding.
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Cider Boys » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:14 am

From a personal point of view the more misguided gardeners that sign this pledge the better. Firstly this will be better than enforcing a dictatorial ban and secondly it may bring down the price of peat and leave more and cheaper peat for wise gardeners to use.

I will not be signing the pledge and will advocate the responsible use of sedge peat; I wonder what the true organic gardeners such as Lawrence D Hills, Henry Doubleday, W E Shewell-Cooper would make of Garden Organic (whatever that means) and the false claims of their shameful campaign.

Keep using peat, you know it makes sense.

Barney
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Nature's Babe » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:04 am

With respect, are you saying we gardeners who choose to sign have no sense and are not wise Cider boys? I would say it is wise to have compassion for wildlife, we recognise its ecological value to the economy, and diversity of the planet, the government do too, and are tying to preserve it by phasing out peat. Peat extraction also contributes to emissions and rising temperatures, you probably scoff at global warming too
but that aside, rising water temperatures are causing a decline in plankton in our oceans too, this is an important, no crucial food source in decline.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10781621

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13796479

I would argue I am wise to sign.
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Colin Miles » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:30 am

NB

If you look closely at the links that you have given, the plankton one doesn't really justify the headlines and the second is actually last years recycled grey literature - many of the 27 contributors are not scientists or have any connection with marine biology. http://thegwpf.org/best-of-blogs/3265-ben-pile-a-deep-sea-mystery.html

As I have mentioned before, I live above a peat bog and I don't want it removed, but the question of whether gardeners should be denied the use of peat is another matter. If non-peat alternatives can be found that can achieve the same results as peat, and without causing more environmental damage than peat removal, then fine. I won't be signing this. I will be continuing with my peat and non-peat tests. If enough people could do likewise, then maybe we could raise the standard of all non-peat composts to that of peat. JW?
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby DiG » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:48 am

Warning - controversial question follows!

Why is it not OK for gardeners/horticulturalists to use peat but it is OK for the Government to allow and even to actively encourage the replacement of vast quantities of upland peat with concrete to support wind turbines?

Just asking!
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Nature's Babe » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:35 pm

If they are doing that then I agree with you, give them some feedback perhaps? I have already complained to DEFRA and Garden Organic about the quality of peat free composts and asked them to campaign for an improvement in quality, as until it improves more will stick with peat I am with you on that side of it, Two wrongs never make it right . It needs more voices to press for improvement of the alternatives , how about it?
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Nature's Babe » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:31 pm

A copy of an email I just sent to Defra.

A questtion on our gardening website which I found difficult to defend -

Why is it not OK for gardeners/horticulturalists to use peat but it is OK for the Government to allow and even to actively encourage the replacement of vast quantities of upland peat with concrete to support wind turbines?


don't get me wrong I am in favour of not using peat but I and my fellow gardeners find non peat alternatives not always environmentally friendly, and a poor substitute for the peat alternatives. I will not use peat, but at 70 am reduced to making my own peat free seed and potting compost because the alternatives are poor quality and often include council composted waste and they are not too choosy about what goes into their composts. Fellow gardeners have found glass, composite board which comtains formaldehide, treated wood, and plastic in composts. Also after chemical treatment to rid lawns of weeds, because many councils fine people if grass goes into the main waste, many thoughtless folk dump their treated grass in the council bins for composting., The herbicides used to control lawn weeds is detrimental to plant growth when included in peat free composts. Surely as your policy is working together, it is up to you as well as us not to dig peat and to see that alternatives are environmentally friendly effective and safe? I await your answer to both our questions which I will share with fellow gardeners on the website.
Last edited by Nature's Babe on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby DiG » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:57 pm

As you say NB, two wrongs don't make a right. As far as possible I do use peat free compost but round here it isn't always available and, as others have done, I have also found the quality variable. I do use my own compost wherever it is suitable. I have not yet written to DEFRA or to Garden Organic but it is on my list of things to do.
On the wind turbine question I'm afraid that if anyone questions the greenness of renewables, accusations of nimbyism are always levelled and debate is often closed down. I know we have to consider climate change and carbon emissions but we need to concentrate on finding ways to do this that are efficient and do not do more harm than good.

I have just seen your e-mail as I was previewing my post. Excellent, agree wholeheartedly!

Diane
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Cider Boys » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:56 pm

Nature's Babe wrote:With respect, are you saying we gardeners who choose to sign have no sense and are not wise Cider boys?

I would argue I am wise to sign.


No Nature Babe, of course you may have sense and probably are wise but if you care to re-read my post I merely suggested that those who sign are misguided. It is the irresponsibility of the politically motivated unelected pressure groups that mislead otherwise sensible and wise gardeners. It is also an observation of mine that most advocates of so called "green" issues are in fact rather green themselves - just a fad - that will pass with time and education.

Kind regards

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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby MikA » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Barney,

We need campaigning pressure groups in this country on all sorts of issues. Some we may agree with and some we don't. Witness the suffragettes.

I have read the DEFRA consultation pointed to by Alan Refail's topic
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9784
I also found this on an "organic" website - http://www.organicinthegarden.com/forum ... topic=75.0

The DEFRA consultation recognises the concerns that a lot of us are posting about, e.g. quality of peat free composts etc but it also takes into account the concerns of the industry and other parties.

I have to state that I HATE voluntary agreements with big business.

The current managements may start of with good intentions (or for PR reasons maybe) but within a few years the accountants seek to maximise profits and bonuses and the agreements go out of the window. Small businesses also get squeezed because they are investing relatively more of their turnover in complying.

Campaigning groups are the only way normal people have of counteracting this.

Perhaps Barney, if you are a relatively small Somerset producer you could try getting the campaigners on your side by making the point you are not global big business and do operate environmentally, thereby getting allies to be an exempt provider for exempt users if the phaseout actually happens :?: :!:

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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Nature's Babe » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:48 am

Thank you for that MikA, I wasn't aware Barney produced peat composts, it makes me more sympathetic towards his comments to know that. Change is coming and your last suggestion makes sense
We have wind turbines quite near us, I can see them on the south horizon, in a way they are not unlike the old windmills and I rather like to see them slowly turning on a summer day... when it's hazy they are barely visible, and in winter I am quite pleased to see them moving briskly knowing they are producing clean electricity that leaves our air fresh and clean. I have never heard any of the locals complain about them either and i don't think they bother the local sheep much. That's a thought perhaps a design engineer can invent a wind turbine that would grind our wheat too. :lol:
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby MikA » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:16 am

NB

I am not personally aware that Barney IS a peat producer or any information about him apart from what he posts. I really like the Somerset levels and the way the old peat workings are reclaimed by nature and would rather have a dynamic environment where controlled change is constantly happening than a static patchwork of farmland which by economics would gradually become more intensified and less diverse.

MikA
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Cider Boys » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:28 am

Nature Babe, the mere fact that you cite wind turbines as a contribution to our energy needs proves that the pressure groups have once more misled you. Wind turbines are as useful as a chocolate fireguard in solving our energy needs and the fact that they attract tax payers subsidies is typical of how successive governments have shamefully misled us.

Surely the facts are that we need most electrical energy both when it is very cold and when it is very hot, the very times the wind speed are low and the turbines do not turn. As yet (other than the battery) we have no practical means to store electrical energy therefore turbines are a useless blot on the landscape, a landscape that deserves far better than the mass of steel and concrete of a worthless turbine.

So it is with the peat debate, misguided people being led by so called “green” pressure groups with their political dogma that takes no account of the truth or the facts.

As for global warming, yes I remember when “they” said we were entering a new ice age, I also remember reading how “they” stated that we would all be working less and retiring earlier if we embrace the microchip technology, I more recently remember the government setting up quangoes for the day when “they” said that all our services and manufacturing would fail due to the millennium bug. So I take all this talk about global warming with a little less hysteria than what “they” (whoever “they” are) are trying to encourage the easier led amongst us to accept.

For the record I am a peat user not a peat producer although I rent peat land as grass keep.

For happy gardening with excellent results, use peat, you know it makes sense.

Best wishes

Barney
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Re: Garden Organic launches 'I don't dig peat' campaign

Postby Tony Hague » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:02 am

Cider Boys wrote:As yet (other than the battery) we have no practical means to store electrical energy


Wandering off gardening here, but a minor point order:

Have a look at Dinorwig (1.8GW) and Ffestiniog (360MW) pumped storage facilities. They are what keep your lights on when Eastenders finishes and all the kettles go on. Admittedly they are designed for only ~5 hours of generation, but they are a lot more serious than a battery !
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