Steam Weeding

Marg Sustainability, Village Life

As a community, we’ve agreed to protect and maintain the health of our members and ecosystems, and manage the land using organic and Permaculture principles. We aim to minimise, and ideally eliminate, the use of poisonous substances and nominate alternatives to the use of poisonous substances on the Community Parcel where possible.

So today, we welcomed Ben Larson of Weedtechnics to the Narara Ecovillage for a second demonstration of how their system can control weeds with the application of saturated steam. The no-chemical approach aligns nicely and we’re checking it out to see if it proves efficient and effective as we spend a lot of time maintaining this beautiful piece of land which has adopted us.

The Weedtechnics mob have been at it for a while and their equipment is well engineered, superheating water at pressure and then delivering it as a low-pressure saturated steam (at 98-100degrees) which is supposed to send the plant into thermal shock.

That it is used worldwide (mainly Australia, NZ, Canada and the USA) by councils here and overseas (for e.g. Leichhardt Council has been using it for more than 20 years and others…), horticultural enterprises, organic farms, water companies, schools, land care groups, contractors, hospitals, and retirement villages (maybe one day ecovillages as well!) speaks volumes.

Ben was hard at it with our weedy swales, grass covered garden paths, garden beds, roads and the heritage steps which should come up nicely after its’ second treatment. It certainly is an impressive bit of equipment and we’ll keep an eye on things to see how effective it is. Here are a couple of pictures from today and we’ll update with some pictures in the coming weeks to show what worked and what didn’t.