Meet Denise Latham

Denise Latham has been farming by Maguires Creek at Teven for more than 25 years and has been a stallholder at New Brghton for more than a decade. She is renowned for her lettuce, which is always super fresh and sweet. Unlike most commercially grown varieties, which are grown hydroponically, Denise’s lettuce is grown in the ground, which she says helps produce a better flavour. Denise has a passion for organic farming, growing her produce chemical-free with home made compost. Her garden includes a diversity of plant to attract beneficial insects and birds.

• What do you sell at the markets?

We sell mini cos and fancy lettuce, herbs and edible flowers year round, celery, peas, ginger and turmeric through the cooler months

• How did you come to be a farmer?

We started farming after seeing an advertisement for herb growers. That failed so I canvassed the local restaurants, which led to a request to grow lettuce also.

• What question are you asked most often at the markets?

We’re always asked. ‘How do you grow the best lettuces?’, my answer is do not allow them to wilt through the day. On a very hot day this may mean misting them up to three times.

• What’s is the best thing about the farmers market?

We get to talk to the consumer and get to know what they like to buy.

 • What would you be doing if you weren’t a farmer?

If I had to give up farming, (the recent proposal for an asphalt factory at Teven threatened this, but fortunately people power prevailed!) I would find some way to encourage people, especially children to learn to grow their own food.

• What do you enjoy most about what you do?

If I had to choose the most enjoyable aspect of my day it would be assembling the edible flower punnets and bunches! It brings back childhood memories helping my mum, Kath, who had a nursery and florist business in our front yard, in Leeton.

 • Find Denise Latham at the  New Brighton Farmers Market every Tuesday.

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