Riverford Wicked Leeks

Duncan Janaway - White Water Organics

Duncan Janaway

“I was the last of three brothers back from college to work on the family farm,” says Duncan. “So it was up to me to find a new niche, a new opportunity: I chose organics.”

The Janaway family farm runs hundreds of acres of the Hampshire countryside, mainly growing potatoes. Duncan has taken on 90 acres to grow a mix of organic potatoes, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, beans, beetroot and celeriac.

“There are similarities between farming organically and conventionally, particularly when it comes to planting. But you are in the lap of the gods a lot more with the organic approach to pest and disease control, particularly with potato blight,” says Duncan.

“Conventionally we would spray the spuds to make sure they never got blight, but you can’t do that organically, so we have to hope and do what we can.

“I’m still learning. You need to do a lot more planning when farming organically,” says Duncan. “You can’t just stick it all in the ground and hope. The rotations are also very important. We tend to use a three-year rotation of vegetables or potatoes, followed by a grass ley and then cereals.”

“It’s going well, and I’d like to expand. But I think I'll have to buy some more land!”