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Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept - Dhamma Wheel

Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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marc108
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Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby marc108 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:50 pm

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?
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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SDC
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby SDC » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:03 pm

Marc, this is my first year as well. I haven't run into many issues as of yet, but it is definitely on my mind. I have a good deal of ant hills between my rows that I make sure not to step on or disturb while I’m weeding and loosening the soil. They don’t seem to be doing any damage.

I have already decided that I won't be doing anything to intentionally kill any pests, so hopefully whatever issues I do have can be handled otherwise.

I would also interested in any non-violent solutions.

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daverupa
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby daverupa » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:31 pm

The Dhamma Encyclopedia entry on is interesting for any number of reasons, but here now: just about every instance of "wealthy householder" in the Suttas means some sort of farmer (/merchant), and yet the killing of pests never seems to garner any discussion or advice despite farmers being par for the course c.400 BCE India.

Was pest control nonexistent - aside from chasing crows? Or is this an ethical mountain being made of a moral molehill?

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Cittasanto
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:40 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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marc108
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby marc108 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:46 pm

Citta,

I havent brought any in on purpose, but 2 small toads came into the garden & got too big to leave... they wiped out the entire population of slugs and snails. before the toads, my gf and i would collect snails and slugs every single night and then drop them on the other side of my condo complex. :woohoo:
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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Ben
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:50 pm

Hi marc and SDC

Earth-worms are your allies. They break down rotting vegetation and excrete castings which is rich in nutrients for growing plants.
I don't worry about pests. Some types of vegetables are eaten by pests and others aren't. But then, I don't completely keep my vegetable garden weed free either.
You may wish to investigate permaculture groups in your area as they will be the best source of advice for naturally controlling pests in your geographic and climatic region. Some pests, such as snails can be controlled using a barrier method such as spent coffee grounds. I also cut soft-drink bottles in half and place the wide end over delicate seedlings to also protect against snails and other pests. Pest-birds can be controlled by draping bird-net over trees and vegetables. Companion planting can also be used to reduce the prevalence of some insect pests. I also have to contend with possums, rabbits, sheep and the neighbour's turkeys, so my vegetable garden is surrounded by a chicken-wire fence with an electrified wire. The electrified wire doesn't kill - just discourages entry by way of a shock.
I'll be interested to know how you both go with your gardening and I hope your efforts reward you with a bounteous harvest!
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Hanzze
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:07 am

Where does all that protecting material come from?

All these ideas are nice, but at they end do not make a different. I find gardening very useful, especial for people tend not to see the work and victims till we come to food. And at least one would act much more responsible as normal and much mindfulness and patient is needed to do it well.

I guess there are some cases, one would be able to observe the 1st precept well, and there are cases where one would be not able.

Generally the are very useful to learn and walk on.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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manas
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby manas » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:41 am

The first precept means not to intentionally take the life of any living being, so if we are to walk the Path of Dhamma, there can't be any compromise on that. Even the tiniest aphid is a living, feeling being, wishing life and fearing death. As I understand it, not only should we not kill it, we should handle it with care if removing it, so as not to hurt the creature. And yes, I do like to grow things in my backyard, so I'm not just an 'armchair onlooker'. My philosophy is, grow enough so there's enough left over that the pests can't get to first. But yeah, permaculture is the best way, as Ben wrote there are so many simple and natural ways to protect our food plants that don't require us to intentionally kill anything.

:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:30 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Hanzze
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Location: Cambodia

Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:50 am

Dear Cittasanto,

"not bring them in deliberately" but accept the benefit you would gain from it, if there are more predators of the unwelcome ones... Or what exactly did you mean by it?
I am not sure if we should be happy if things take there ways even if they might benefit us. I guess its better to reflect on the circle we are in.

Collecting the snails and slugs every single night was for sure a good practice of compassion as well as mindfulness. Of cause leave it its ways is good, but then the whole.

I guess deliberately sometimes has many levels but its good to uncover the next.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Sam Vara
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:12 am


jason c
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby jason c » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:38 am

in order to maintain our carcasses we must eat one form of life or another. much killing is required. try and grow food on your own, do not shop at a grocery store. you will soon realize this is true. the carrot you pull from the ground was enjoying its life, but we pull it from the ground and eat it. it was living just the same as the snails in your garden why give less concern to it. take and grow food knowing that it is a necessity for your survival. use the food you ingest to walk the path to enlightenment, take only what you need. appreciate all the hard work that goes into growing the food we consume each day, do not feel we are better because we did not spray the pesticides, be thankful that there are people growing food for our needs. but by all means try for ourselves to grow our own food, it will help us to appreciate the hard work and sacrifice of others.
observe the first precept

metta,
jason

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daverupa
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:20 am

The Jain practice of sustained examination of one's own prolonged starvation-suicide is one attempt to deal with the fact that a human being exists at a cost to life. That the Buddhist practice is so different from the Jain one seems due to the fact that the ideal food structure is one of grains & other grown foods, and with the elimination of animal foodstuffs the problem would revolve around insects; animals (as opposed to insects) as a group come to be prioritized differently under this ethic.

One does what one can, but at a certain level we ought to say that sustained ahimsa makes unintended death-of-insect a wholly minor affair; getting hung up on it (upadana) seems to assuredly miss the forest for the trees.

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Ben
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:00 pm

Well said, Dave!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Hanzze
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:17 pm

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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daverupa
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:52 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:22 pm

EM (Effective Micro-organism) is good for pest & disease control, added benefit is it also discourages rodents.
http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/org_farm ... anism.html
scroll down a little there is a recipe for the pest control. you can also get a drink called EMX which is good for health apparently, I have had this once, however I have heard good things about it regarding both uses.

There was a small scale production of it where I was, but I left before it was finished.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

danieLion
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:50 am

I think passages about nutriment, like MN 9: 9-12, are relevant.

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Hanzze
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Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:51 am

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Vegetable gardening and the 1st precept

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:00 am



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