I think this is the time of year when people start gardening again. We’re in the middle of spring. I mean, I am not an experienced gardener (I currently don’t even have a garden since I live in an appartement complex), but this is the time of the year when I used to start doing things. That’s why I want to share something important today. There’s a product most people unknowingly use when they work in their garden which is not sustainable at all: moor. Today I’ll tell you why we should avoid it.
When I thought of starting a vegetable garden or having a colorful garden in general, I always thought this was sustainable. Growing your own food, what could be better than that? It’s local, in my case organic (I hate pesticides and so I would never use them. I also buy organic seeds) and the labor is always ethical since I’ll do it myself. Same goes with having a colorful garden with lots of green and color. It’s good for biodiversity, helps against flooding and cools the planet. I never though there would be a downside of this proces until I saw a documentary about it on tv. I learned more about *doom music* moor.
Moor? It’s also called turf or peat. Moor is something most people unknowingly use. That’s because it’s inside of the soil you buy at the garden center. At least, I always buy soil when I start gardening in any way. You need it to plant seeds or to move plants. Anyway, inside that bag of soil you buy there is moor. But what is moor, turf or peat? Moor is basically old soil that is located under swamps. When swamps are preserved the soil will slowly turn to moor. Over time a new layer of plants grows and the old layer of plants turns into moor under the ground. It’s basically the substance below well-preserved nature. It’s old plant material. That’s just a simple description because there many different types of moor. Back in the days it was used as a fuel a lot. The older the material, the better it can be used as a fossil fuel. Eventually moor will turn to coal (if you wait long enough). And so, moor is badically a pre-fossil fuel. It’s formed over a very long period of time. And as we know, fossil fuels are non-renewable.
I think you figured it out by now. Moor is basically a non-renewable resource. We’re using it in rapid speed, way faster than it is created. Simply by buying it at garden centers and by using it in our gardens. That’s a problem. But there are more problems sticking to moor. As I said, moor is often stored in well-preserved nature and it’s under the ground. And so what do we humans do when something is stored under the ground? Right, we just ruin the whole area. It’s heart-breaking to see how moor is mined. The whole area is stripped at first. All the biodiversity is ruined. Then the moor is mined, quite deep. What you have left is a dead-zone. Moor is mostly won in Scandinavia right now, at places where nature is still a bit preserved. And the last downside is that when moor is mined, it reacts with oxygen. This creates CO2, which flows into the atmosphere. So, we’re using a non-renewable resource which emits CO2 and meanwhile we’re ruining nature. Sound familar, right?
I do have to warm you a little here. The alternative takes effort. This is a bit of a bummer. Soil for your garden without moor is quite hard to find. But that’s exactly the alternative, soil without moor. These alternatives are mostly coconut fibers or soil made out of leaves. Yes, simple as that. The downside is that this is very hard to find at regular stores. But if you search for in online you’ll definitely find some brands. Also, I haven’t found a brand that is free of moor but does contain feed for the plants. Sometimes this is available but then the feed is manure. As a vegan I avoid using animal products, so this includes manure. If you feel that way too you’ll have to buy coconut fibers or soil made out of leaves and then add the feed yourself. This can be compost. I compost myself at a local worm bin. When the compost is ready you can collect some. It’s very concentrated so you don’t need much. These worm bins where you compost with the whole neighborhood are available at a lot of places in the Netherlands already. If not, you can also collect compost during the national composting day in The Netherlands. If you then collect enough for the whole year you’re good to go.
Did you know about the downside of moor?