Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: harvesting
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: All States/Territories
Age Range: 13-18


The school garden was now well established and Jarrah was also growing. He was now the custodian of the knowledge that Adam had taught him. Jarrah observed his young cousin Ricky walking into the garden. Jarrah was shocked to see Ricky start to pull up all the Salt bush!

“Ay Rick what ya doing! You going to take all that?” Jarrah said angrily. “Yeah why not! We need it for our cooking project I want to have enough for the class” Ricky said.

Jarrah replied: “First of all, you have more than enough in your bucket already, you’re just being greedy now. Remember, we only take what we need and not what we greed! By doing this, we ensure this plant continues to thrive and can put out its seeds so that there is plenty for all of us. If you take all that plants now, the next generation that come to the school won’t have a chance to learn about this plant and why it’s important to us.”


The satisfaction of eating straight from the garden is one of life’s best learning experiences, however we need to be respectful and mindful to only harvest what we need to allow the plant to continue to thrive for generations to come.

This activity involves the assessment and mapping of local environments to create a successful and thriving Indigenous plant-use garden.

To understand local perspectives and support these activities, we recommend reaching out to the local Traditional Owners and First Nations peoples community groups who can assist in knowledge sharing and understanding local land, histories and culture. This is an important consideration to ensure that any reconciliation initiatives are being driven in a local, meaningful way.

This learning activity is the last part of a sequence of 6 individual learning activities focused on creating an Indigenous plant-use garden. The order of these learning activities are: resources from the bush, vision, plant list, site assessment, planting and harvesting.


For children to:

  • understand the steps in harvesting and processing plants in an Indigenous plant-use garden
  • follow sustainable practices for harvesting
  • be productive and active outdoors while building social and teamwork skills
  • value Indigenous harvesting practices and the benefits of sharing amongst the community.

Each plant and their plant parts will be ready to harvest at different times and during different seasons. Harvest times is also dependent on local conditions.

Did you know?

Native leaf vegetables like Saltbush, Native Mints and Warrigal Greens are best to harvest once they reach a considerable size and maturity, during Spring through to mid-Autumn.

Did you know?

Mints and Saltbush can be dried and used as a dried herb all year round. Warrigal Greens have oxalic acids and need to be blanched then rinsed before cooking and eating.

Did you know?

The time to pick native root vegetables is when the plant isn’t flowering or the flower is closed. Root vegetables like Murnong (Yam Daisy) and Bulbine Lily will have green shoots above ground in Autumn, Winter and Spring.

Did you know?

Harvesting wood from a tree to produce wood for tools like boomerangs and clap sticks must be done with a local Traditional Owner or First Nations person. There can be distinct cultural protocols involved with these processes. Only a small bit of wood is harvested from each tree.

Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: plant list

First Nations Perspectives

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: resources from the bush

First Nations Perspectives

Love Letters to the Land

Biodiversity|First Nations Perspectives|Food Production|Waste Management

Creating a yarning circle: involving First Nations people

First Nations Perspectives