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Is Your Garden Fertilizer an Animal Graveyard? Erin Riley on PYP 568

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Today’s episode is for anyone who wants to grow a more self-reliant, earth-friendly home garden.

Even as a vegan, I routinely used garden fertilizers containing animal byproducts like blood meal and bone meal, as well as chicken and cow manures. It honestly didn’t occur to me that there was an issue, which in hindsight is ridiculous.

Erin Riley had the same experience and the same epiphany. The difference is, she took it upon herself to research where these products came from.

Erin discovered that the ingredients in almost all commercially available fertilizers, even the highest quality “organic” ones, are sourced from industrial animal agriculture, via rendering plants.

Aside from the ethical concerns (not just for vegans, but for anyone horrified by the industrial livestock industry), this supply chain poses incomprehensibly serious potential health risks to consumers of the produce grown in these products. Between the pathogens that could easily start another (and much worse) pandemic, and the forever chemicals accumulating in animal tissue (and don’t forget, we’re animals too), the modern fertilizer industry is a ticking time bomb.

We don’t just talk doom and gloom, though. Erin shares with us how to stop using industrial fertilizers, and what you can do instead as a home gardener or small time farmer. We talk about the importance of micronutrients and soil microbes for plant and soil health, and how we can make our own compost and fertilizer teas.

Erin has started a company called Cabbage Hill Fertilizer to create vegan, organic soil amendments and fertilizers using natural plant and mineral ingredients. She’s got a kickstarter coming up on 11 November, 2023, and hopes to have products in garden centers around the US by 2024.


Cabbage Hill Fertilizer Company on Instagram

Pastoral Song, by James Rebanks

The Yes Men impersonate McDonalds and the World Trade Organization – Post Consumer Waste Recycling Program

And here's the video that I keep coming back to this week when I'm scared and angry and outraged and shocked and horrified:

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If you want to hear more by the choir's founder and director, Micah Hendler, here's our conversation on Plant Yourself.

Looking for Transformational Change?

You know how when you discovered plant-based eating, you basically went, “Holy shit, how come the entire healthcare system isn't totally embracing this as one of the most powerful keys to disease prevention and reversal!”?

That's how I feel now about a psychological approach to transformational change called “Memory Reconsolidation.” Few psychologists have heard about it, and when they do hear the radical transformations it can bring about in a very short time, they're often skeptical to the point of disbelief.

But I've added Memory Reconsolidation work to my own coaching, and can attest to its amazing efficacy. So much so, that I'm devoting the next year to mastering it, studying with the best clinicians and teachers in the world, and then introducing it into health coaching through my trainings.

Right now, I want to triple my coaching practice to get more and more opportunities to do this work. And I'm lowering my fees – a lot – to make it easier for people to work with me.

If you're interested in working with me (and willing to commit to a minimum of 2 months), click the link below to open the form in a new browser tab and I'll get back to you within 3 business days.

Yes, I'm interested in Memory Reconsolidation Coaching.

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.

It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

Tip Jar

This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by clicking the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.


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1 comment on “Is Your Garden Fertilizer an Animal Graveyard? Erin Riley on PYP 568

  1. Doug and Shari says:

    We miss you guys ,but at least we get to hear you in interviews. We loved this especially as we are building our new garden. Shari and I wish you the best! Glad you are still podcasting!

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