Veganic agriculture goes well beyond the question of how to fertilize our fields, and includes the care of the land and the promotion of biodiversity. Veganic farmers and gardeners aim to be comprehensive, by minimizing their involvement in industries that negatively impact animals and the environment, and also working to increase biodiversity and spaces for wildlife on their own land.
It is recommended that veganic farmers plant indigenous flora, and also leave undisturbed vegetation around and across their fields for wildlife. Birds and bats are attracted to the area with nesting boxes, and ponds and hedges are maintained or established to provide habitats for animals. During cultivation and mowing, care is taken to minimize the disturbance to wildlife. In addition to encouraging biodiversity of birds, amphibians, mammals, insects, reptiles, and plants, veganic agriculture also encourages biodiversity of the animals that live within the soil. Many of these initiatives can also be put into action on a smaller scale by backyard gardeners.
Biodiversity is beneficial to the local environment, and can also be a natural form of crop protection. In conventional agriculture, biodiversity is often eliminated by planting large tracts of fields with a single crop, and killing other species with herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, and fungicides. In the absence of biodiversity, the arrival of a single species can significantly affect crop production, and conventional farmers counter this with chemical killing agents that damage the environmental health of the area.
In natural ecosystems with significant biodiversity, the organisms are connected through a food web. The populations of organisms are affected by the presence of other organisms, bringing a greater overall balance. This can also be the case in farms and gardens that provide significant habitat for wildlife. For example, piles of wood and rocks can host grass snakes, and ponds provide a habitat for toads and frogs, all of which feed on slugs. Having flowers is also important, since the pollinators they attract are essential for fruit-bearing plants. And by planting a diversity of crops, this helps ensure a successful season, since the arrival of a competing species, pathogen, or adverse weather condition may only affect a small number of your crops.
For farmers and gardeners who are transitioning to veganic, especially those who are interested in becoming certified, environmental conservation and promotion of biodiversity is one of the key principles of veganic agriculture.