FRESH herbs are in season, and Ebony Butler is making sure hers are tip-top.
Ebony has been working in the family business, Butler Market Gardens at Heatherton, in Melbourne, alongside brother Rick and father Peter.
Ebony, 27, is studying a herb horticulture course through ACS Distance Education as well as working full-time on the farm.
The farm has been at Heatherton since 1984, with 30 per cent of the a 81ha operation devoted to herbs.
"My sole focus within the business is herbs," Ebony said.
"We grow a wide range of herbs, although I manage our smaller lines, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, dill, lemon thyme, tarragon and marjoram."
The herbs are grown in paddocks, but Ebony is looking at hot-houses for the future.
Butler Market Gardens supplies major supermarkets.
"Even though it has been quite a wet winter this year, we have still been able to meet the demands of our customers. It has not set us back," Ebony said.
"Our farm is in a unique position, with good soil conditions which allow us to produce herbs all year round.
"I love so many aspects of farming herbs being outdoors and watching nature grow."
She said there was a time when she would never have believed she would end up having a career on the farm.
"But I guess it's like my brother, my father, my grandfather and my great-grandmother before them, farming is in my blood, and it's safe to say that I love it," she said.