Managing Weeds

Man hoeing in market garden with long rows or different veggie seedlingsManaging weeds is one of the most time-consuming tasks on our farm. Even in a smaller backyard garden, weeds can quickly get out of control, particularly at this time of year when the warm weather, sun and rain provide perfect growing conditions. On a farm like ours, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate them.

‘Weed’ has become a dirty word but a weed is really just a plant that is growing where we don’t want it to. In fact, weeds are pretty amazing plants! They are the pioneers of the botanical world and are quick to occupy environments that are empty or underutilised. In many cases, weeds can use and exploit micronutrients in the soil that are inaccessible to other plants, including our veggie crops.

Industrial farms use synthetic chemical herbicides to try to control weeds. We farm according to organic principles and understand that we will always share our space with weeds, so we take a more nuanced approach to managing them.

In newly planted market gardens, we spend a lot of time and effort weeding so seedlings can grow and become established. By hoeing the soil, disturbing the weed roots, and leaving them to decompose in place, our veggies can benefit from their former competitors by accessing the nutrients they once held.

As market gardens reach maturity and become less productive, we let the weeds go more and more. They offer many benefits at this stage too, by protecting the soil from moisture loss and erosion, as well as feeding the bees with their flowers. When we’re ready to start the cycle again, we first in let the goats and sheep to have a feast and leave their manure, thereby regenerating and enriching the soil for future crops.

The wild and diverse nature of our farm is intentional and about as different from conventional farms as you can get. Permaculture principles tell us to ‘Use and Value Diversity’ and ‘Integrate, don’t Segregate’. By embracing weeds as part of our integrated system, we reap the many benefits they offer.


Lindsay Burlton
Fair Food Coordinator

In your box on Tuesday 28 March 2023:

In your box on Tuesday 21 March 2023:

Note: We sometimes need to make changes to what we pack in your veg box based on the quantity or quality of produce that we can harvest and source. If you have any questions about what is in your box, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Feature Veg: Leek, Perilla, Red Elk & Mizuna

Leeks are part of the allium family and are related to onions, shallots, chives, and garlic. They have a sweet, mild, onion flavour and are much more versatile than most people think! You can use them in the same way as onions or shallots in most recipes and are great in soups, stews, pastas, risottos, and more! They can also be grilled or roasted on their own to create a delicious side dish. Leeks last up to 2 weeks in the veggie crisper in the fridge and should be cut and washed well before cooking.

Perilla (Perilla frutescens) is a member of the mint family with dramatic dark purple, toothed, heart-shaped leaves. It’s bitter, minty flavour is a wonderful compliment to sweet dishes and salads.

Red Elk and Mizuna are leafy green vegetables that come from the mustard or Brassica family. Similar to rocket, they have small, feathery, pointed leaves and a slightly peppery flavour.



Find out what produce we grow at the farm and check out the recipes, to turn the fruit and vegetables you find in your veg box into delicious, healthy meals.

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