LITTLE GARDENER: Emerald's Isla Gilbert, 4, loves gardening and eating straight from her vegetable patch.
LITTLE GARDENER: Emerald's Isla Gilbert, 4, loves gardening and eating straight from her vegetable patch. Kristen Booth

Fresh, straight from the veggie patch

AT THE age of four, Isla Gilbert doesn't need any convincing to eat her vegetables.

Angela Gilbert said her daughter spent at least two hours a day tending to her fruit and veggie patch full of snow peas, cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

"She loves being outdoors and doing it together,” she said.

"I love that she's really keen to eat what she grows, that's probably the best part for me.

"It doesn't actually matter that the snow peas never actually make it into the house, the fact that she eats them outside is fine.”

The Gilbert family didn't have to buy any lettuce or spinach all winter this year, supplying their own salad bases at their home.

"We rarely buy herbs because we grow rosemary, parsley, basil and coriander and they do make a really big difference to the flavours in your cooking,” Mrs Gilbert said.

"I send Isla out with the scissors and tell her what I want - 'I need a handful of parsley or a handful of basil' - and she's recognising those herbs and I think that's important, for them to know the different flavours.”

In this time of drought, Mrs Gilbert said it was the perfect time to teach her daughter tips to conserve water for her garden.

Isla uses watering cans as opposed to a hose, empties water bottles from her family's backpacks directly into the garden instead of pouring it down the sink and also recycles bath and shower water to feed her precious plants.

"It is extremely important to try and save any water that you can when in a drought and even more important to pass these techniques onto our kids,” she said.


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