Great habit start­ing in the gar­den

Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE -

FOUR-YEAR-OLD Isla doesn’t need any con­vinc­ing to eat her veg­eta­bles, pinch­ing them straight from her home-grown vegie patch.

Her mum is also us­ing her daugh­ter’s pas­sion for gar­den­ing to teach her life­time habits and skills, in­clud­ing wa­ter con­ser­va­tion.

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 vegie 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 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.

PHOTO: KRIS­TEN BOOTH

GROW­ING PAS­SION: Emer­ald's Isla Gil­bert, 4, loves gar­den­ing and eat­ing straight from her vegie patch.

PHOTO: KRIS­TEN BOOTH

LIT­TLE GAR­DENER: Four-year-old Isla Gil­bert loves gar­den­ing and eat­ing straight from her veg­etable patch.

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