Kalene Reeve stands in front of her weed steaming machine that was she purchased from Steam ‘N’ Weeds, the Canadian distributor for Weedtechnics. The specially-developed technology uses saturated team and patented interchangeable hose heads to effectively kill weeds without harming other plants. The process uses only water and is meant to be less harmful than herbicides and pesticides. (Jordyn Thomson - Western News)

Steamed Greens: Battling weeds with the power of steam

OK Falls resident teams up with daughter to eradicate weeds from her farm using steam technology

Hand-picking weeds and harmful herbicides may be a thing of the past thanks to technology that has made its way to Canada.

As both a farmer and mother, Margo Reeve of Okanagan Falls has always been cautious of the food she grows and provides to the community, which is why she jumped at the chance to meet a distributor for Steam ’N’ Weeds at the Pacific Agricultural Show in Abbotsford. The company is the Canadian distributor for Weedtechnics, which uses saturated steam “satusteam” technology.

“In farming there’s many obstacles… and with the weed situation, the more you fertilize, the more the weeds just love that,” said Reeve. “This is something we all deal with and I don’t want to (use herbicides and) put all of these chemicals into the earth (to kill the weeds).”

Reeve chooses to not use herbicides or pesticides on her crops and, as a result, previously relied on hand-picking weeds, a process that took hours and hours out of her day.

Her daughter, Kalene, was also interested in learning more about this steam technology, which was originally developed in Australia, and joined her mother at the agricultural show. It was from there the two decided to order their own weed steaming machine from Steam ’N’ Weeds so that Kalene could start her own business, Steam Out Weeds, and Margo could utilize her services.

“There’s a diesel burner on the machine and it brings the temperature (of the water) up to between 115 and 120 degrees. There are a bunch of different patented head attachments for different uses — like a small kind of shower head that you can use to get around perennials and not damage the other plants, and a big closed hood one that looks like a vacuum attachment,” said Kalene. “The technology turns the water into saturated steam and what it does is hits the weed and bursts all of the chlorophyll cells, so it sends it into a state of shock. Then it will just wither away and die.”

Margo added, “It’s a special technology, so it’s not just like being in your kitchen and boiling water to dump on weeds, but I know that also works.”

Kalene highlighted that because the technology has been specially-developed with patented interchangeable hose heads, it is very accurate in only killing unwanted weeds while not harming other plants.

Kalene said certain weeds will turn bright green as they’re being steamed, and then shortly after they turn black. She said the time it takes for the weeds to die depends on the specimen, but she’s seen it happen in a matter of minutes.

“There was one job we did in Victoria, after we did this huge garden bed because they wanted to wipe out everything, we went back and it was just disintegrating back into the soil,” said Kalene. “Which is great because then the fibre goes back into the soil.”

While Kalene operates Steam Out Weeds out of her home city Victoria, she intends to offer her services to residents in the South Okanagan over the summer when she and her partner return to re-steam her mother’s crops. She explained that while weeds will always continue to grow back, after an area has been steamed then it should remain weed-free for three weeks.

“It prevents the weed from developing seeds and the root structure is shot, so it won’t spread and it won’t come back. I mean we’ll always have weeds, but you can keep them controlled and then each year you’ll have less,” said Kalene.

Kalene explained that she is just getting started with this business but already sees further applications for this service, using the example of cities steaming weeds on public property rather than spraying harmful herbicides. Margo echoed her sentiment of seeing governments and business’ utilize this technology to “lead by example” since it is environmentally-friendly.

For more information about Steam Out Weeds, contact Kalene Reeve at 250-589-9179 or email steamoutweeds@gmail.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Liberal Party candidate acclaimed for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Mary Ann Murphy will be acclaimed at a celebration tonight

Green Party announces candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country

Travis Ashley will challenge incumbent Liberal MP in October’s federal election

Online registration to speed up evacuee processing in Okanagan

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

Civil suit brought against Kelowna RCMP officer after ‘abhorrent’ interrogation

The woman involved in the 2012 interrogation is suing the officer and B.C.’s Minister of Justice

Missing Kelowna man found

Albert Henry Johns had been reported missing on June 14 after last being seen May 31

Locked in for love at the Kelowna BC SPCA

Kelowna celebrities get locked in for love at the BC SPCA

’When thunder roars, go indoors’: How to keep safe before lightning strikes

Each year, an estimated 10 deaths and as many as 164 injuries are lightning-related

Doors opened to the new pediatric oncology room at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

After $90,000 dollars was raised children now have a private place for treatment

VIDEO: After 73 years, siblings separated by adoption reunite in B.C

Donna Smith of Abbotsford and Clayton Myers of Williams Lake are glad they met each other

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

Penticton family honours loved one with acts of kindness, free coffee

The family of Kathy Castle want to ensure she is remembered by the community

Most Read