Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby SDC » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:11 am

Gardeners unite here.
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby chownah » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:16 pm

Vegetable gardening and strictly following the first precept (to not kill) seems to me to be a theoretic undertaking and has little bearing on following the first precept while maintaining one's life. Is there anyone out there who strictly follows the first precept in vegetable gardening and who provides their entire food intake?...I doubt it.....probably there is noone posting here who gardens that way and produces even 10 percent of their food intake.
I would add that strictly following the first precept would include not digging or tilling the soil in that one of the reasons this is done is to kill sentient beings which live in the soil and eat the roots of the plants which provide our food.
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:35 pm

marc108 wrote:Ive been giving vegetable gardening a serious crack this year and have realize just how difficult pest control is while adhering to the first precept. Large pests like slugs, snails and worms can easily be picked off but microscopic bugs & eggs that can easily decimate an entire garden seems to be impossible to control without killing? Id be interested to hear from any gardeners that maintain the 1st precept and how they have dealt with pests?


I fail as a gardener, because I prefer to maintain my precepts.

Still, I have nice lettuces and and cucumbers growing in my vegetable garden. A few years ago I was going to have a huge production of cantalupe melons, but a white fungus killed all the plants :( I decided not to use any chemicals, that could kill the fungus, but would also kill many other beings.
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:39 pm

chownah wrote:Vegetable gardening and strictly following the first precept (to not kill) seems to me to be a theoretic undertaking and has little bearing on following the first precept while maintaining one's life. Is there anyone out there who strictly follows the first precept in vegetable gardening and who provides their entire food intake?...I doubt it.....probably there is noone posting here who gardens that way and produces even 10 percent of their food intake.
I would add that strictly following the first precept would include not digging or tilling the soil in that one of the reasons this is done is to kill sentient beings which live in the soil and eat the roots of the plants which provide our food.
chownah


I produce vegetables for fun. If I had to live from it... It would be completely different, I doubt i could keep the 1st precept the same way.
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby RMSmith » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:34 pm

It depends on the pests you're dealing with. I find that a diluted mist of Murphys Oil Soap works well to deter pest. Cut worms can be negated by just placing tin can collars at the base of each plant. Sprinkling a bit of diatomaceous earth onto the beds works well too. Pots of marigolds strewn through the garden. Etc. The only thing I have a major problem with in my garden is the presence of mormon crickets / locusts. Some years they'll show up by the 1,000's. The only thing I can say is attracting a balance of birds works decently on those.
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