Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Bush Tucker here we come!

Oh I am so thrilled! I went to the local nursery this morning, 'just to window shop' as I'm not supposed to be buying anything at the moment (LOL, right!). Anyway they had a sad bench filled with Native Plants! Better yet, they were all ones that attract wildlife and their nectar is bush tucker!

Did I mention that I am filling the front garden with Bush Tucker? Part of my reason for that is to restore a small part of my local area to local plantlife, the other reason is to have food out the front which the bogan neighbours would never recognise as a food source...well if it doesn't come in plastic with it's own little sticker...;)

I also found a Midyimberry (found, bought and planted!) It was covered in berries and you know what, they taste like a cross between a blueberry and aniseed! I love them. I write 'was covered' because two of the tots have stripped the plant bare of fruit! That's ok, because it's better that the plant works on it's roots right now rather than it's fruit.

Now what other Native Perth plants can I find?


Leah said...

Mmmm - sounds like a refeshing type berry :)

Em said...

Aren't throw-out tables great? I found another nursery with a big throw out table yesterday - must go back. We are building up our natives too - love to see the birds coming to feed :)

naturewitch said...

I'm so jealous - can't grow much bush tucker here in cold old Canberra 'cos of the frosts! Well done - just tell me when the crops are in and I'll come avisiting (unless it's summer and I can't leave my garden!)

Btw, I tagged you - have a look at my blog to see the rules!


Cwm Goch Chronicles said...

Well done! Bush tucker isn't used enough - i must admit we don't have any yet. I'm pretty sure I saw quandongs available in our local nursery recently so that must be about. What else have you put in?

molly said...

Lara, here's a few for you:

Botanical name: Acacia aneura
Common name: Mulga
Other common name(s):
Description: One of the longer-living Acacias - some specimens are perhaps over 250 years old. Silver leaves, small yellow flowers, to 10m tall.
Use(s): Seeds mixed with water were ground into an edible paste. Also, the injured branches produce a sweet edible sticky substance called "bush lollies" which can either be eaten as is or mixed in water to make a sweet beverage.
Habitat and conditions: Full sun, drought resistant. Prefers sandy soil. Native to all mainland Australian states, occurs in arid areas. Reputedly hardy to -8 deg C.

Botanical name: Acacia colei
Common name: Wattle
Other common name(s):
Description: Tree to 6 m. Silvery leaves.
Use(s): Nutritious and tasty seeds. This plant has been exported to the Sahel semi-arid region of Africa and is looked upon with great promise as a local crop.
Habitat and conditions: Full sun, drought resistant. Sandy soil.

Botanical name: Haemodorum spicatum
Common name: Mardja
Other common name(s): Bloodroot
Description: Perennial stalky herb to 1m. The flowers are deep purple, almost black. The bulbs are red, hence the name.
Use(s): The bulbs were roasted and used as a spice. It also apparently treated dysentery.
Habitat and conditions: Native to Western Australia.
Botanical name: Kunzea pomifera
Common name: Muntries
Other common name(s): Munthari
Description: Prostrate spreading woody shrub with small shiny leaves. The ripe berries are small and purple.
Use(s): The berries are very delicious and taste like apples without the acidity. The can be eaten raw or processed into a jam.
Habitat and conditions: Native to the south and west coast of the continent, including Kangaroo Island. Prefers sandy well-drained soils. Full sun.

Botanical name: Santalum lanceolatum
Common name: Plumbush
Other common name(s): Northern Sandalwood
Description: Shrub or small tree to 7m. Rough grey bark and medium sized grey leaves with small clusters of cream flowers. The red berries are about 1cm in diameter and become dark purple or black when ripe.
Use(s): The sweet-tasting fruit was eaten raw. They are reputed to be slightly narcotic. A boiled infusion of the leaves and bark was consumed as a purgative. A poultice of the roots was applied to treat rheumatism.
Habitat and conditions: Widespread across Australia, throughout the inland as well as in drier coastal regions.

And finally, here is a links page I often visit:


infoaddict said...

Midyimberry is one of my _favourite_ berries, and I'm putting in lots in the hope I can start having them available for sale. I was growing them in Sydney and never got more than a few handsfuls, but what I got was delicious. Blueberry with a slight resinous taste. Yum.

If I do ever have enough for sale, one of my main markets would be the EPIC markets at Canberra ... that's right, naturewitch, I'm in your neck of the woods, and I get frosts. You'll be delighted to know there are _lots_ of bushtucker plants you can grow that will cope with the cold - in fact, there are some that won't grow in the hotter tropical areas :)

My fave of all those is the native pepper - Tasmannia spp (that double "n" is not a typo - that's its official name). It grows naturally in the sub-alpine rainforesty areas of eastern Australia and Tasmania. You eat the leaves, which are herby-peppery, and the berries, which are hotter than "real" pepper and turn foods a fabulous hot (heh) pink.

I was helping to put a school bush tucker garden in recently and threw together a listing of "cool climate bushfoods" - maybe it'll be useful to you? http://blog.eataustralia.info/files/coolclimate2.doc (it's a very plain MS Word file ... I keep meaning to PDF it but haven't yet).

Also, for anyone interested in bushfood, there's a forum I hang around on (non-commercial, privately run, etc, promise!! - there's a couple of Google ads but you can ignore them; I don't run it, I just hang around there) called bushfood.net - lots of info there about what native produce will grow in various regions, lots of nice people to answer questions.

I also second Molly's website recommendation - when I was getting into bush tucker a few years back, that site helped an enormous amount.

TheCrone said...

Thank you for those links Infoaddict!