Bush tucker plants

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sun burn, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Inspired by Grasshopper on Paradisi's thread...

    Let talk about bush tucker plants.

    Do you like eating the bush tucker plants you are growing or are you growing them for idealogical reasons? Which ones are good eating? Which ones look lovely? What other ones do you highly recommend?

    Any other comments about how you feel about them etc.

    Please say your climate as some of us don't know where the small towns are.
     
  2. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Sub tropical
    Macadamia are good,lemon myrtle and aniseed leaf plant are very useful.
    I've tried the native passion fruit and its nice but small(don't think its a real Australian native but it grows wild)
    Native grape is nice to have a few but they get a little hot and give you a bit of a sore throat after a few(probably used in some kind of sauce or condiment would be the way to go).
    Cedar Bay cherry is sweet a lot of pip to fruit (but it grows without any effort)
    Burdekin Plum has a nice taste a bit like a slightly unripe plum,(mate makes wine from them and Davidson plum and loves it)
    Peanuts from the peanut tree are as good as peanuts but a lot less productive (nice tree though)
    My others haven't fruited yet also forgot to add I have a Black Apple | Native Plum – planchonella australis which has a good wrap too.
    Everyone says the native tamarind has a great taste (dried apricots) so I cant wait.
    I had a midyim but lost it last year (no rain) I've heard good reports on those
    Obviously native raspberry is good,and tropical Almond(not truly Australian).
    I grow them for curiosity, experimentation and to attract birds and wildlife.
     
  3. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Thanks grasshopper. When i get on top of my current plans, it looks like i will have to find space for more.

    I've got a davidson plum but i've never tried it. It does not produce a lot of fruit that i've noticed but maybe i can change this.
    I've also got a silver quongdong which produces a blue edible fruit. This is a beautiful tree but i am not inclined to do anything with the fruit. I was told recently that they take 2 years to germinate!
     
  4. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    dianella looks great and has the nicest name
    lomandra has a nice starch
    bunya has a good yield
    kurrajong is a great source if vitimin c
    wombat berries look good
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    It seems to me that - in order to get a decent "bush tucker " meal you need to wack the leg off a wallaby. Does anyone else see this too?
     
  6. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    I'm with you, PP :D
     
  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Yeah i think so too PP. Although the local aborigines like eating the local yams. I have some of those now. They are big ulgy looking vegetables but its a nice vine.

    I went to the flinders island group once (up cape York). In the past the locals main meal was shellfish evidenced by the great mizzen piles though there, the Nat Parks had put signs on a number of bushes that were bush tucker. I think they probably supplemented their shellfish parties with these plants for a few vitamins perhaps.
     
  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    arnt u a vego?
     
  9. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Yeah mate but I would turn I think if it was only bush tucker I think.

    Ethical and respectful use of indigenous species would probably fit into my ideals but a one legged wallaby would be an awkward animal I think.
     
  10. worowa

    worowa Junior Member

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    This thread was about plants, so here's a few I've tried and liked as I travelled oz and lived with and learned from various indigenous mobs. I had a couple of good field books-Tim Low, Les Hiddins, and another I can't remember...anyhow,
    Pigface are delicious.
    Parakeelya-tasty leaves and roots.
    Portulaca-tasty lemon/sorrel flavoured leaves, and seeds super source of omega 3s.
    Warrigal greens-leaves blanched make great spinach.
    Lillipillies-some good varieties around.
    Finger limes-tasty fruit and leaves.
    Palm hearts-delicious, aka millionaires salad.
    Heaps of tasty tubers. Lillies, orchids, yams, kurrajongs...sure, raw some are so so, but so are raw spuds.
    Heaps of delicious nectars-eg Grass trees.
    Lotus-all parts edible and tasty.
    Capers-various species of Capparis-tasty fruits, buds and leaves of some.
    Water chestnuts
    Lots of tasty heath berries-lemonade flavoured my favs.
    Mistletoe berries-yummy, sticky fruits.
    Lots of seeds-which need to be gathered and processed, so hardly anyone bothers, but don't knock it till you try it.
    So many people write off native oz foods because they nibbled a leaf, fruit or root that wasn't instantly gratifying. Some foods need preparation to be at their best (eg. cooking), or harvested at the right time (ripe). And combining foods works wonders-not many one ingredient recipes around.

    Then there are all the edible native fungi, insects, reptiles, birds, mammals.
     
  11. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Not a plant but ants are quite tasty. I had them in india served up in a leaf cup. They taste lemony and salty. The other day a green want walked into my mouth and i realised it tasted the same as those ants i'd eaten in india.
     
  12. Susan Girard

    Susan Girard Junior Member

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    Upper Blue Mountains NSW.
    Not a lot grows up here compared to the tropics, which is probably why our local mobs came for ceremonies and the great views, but settled much lower down the Mountains. Springwood apparently was continuously occupied and whilst Wentworth Falls and Hazelbrook have caves they were not lived in all year round.
    In Katoomba I grow Appleberry, Warragal greens, Lillipilly and I have a Finger lime in the hot house. I tried a drink made from bottle brush nectar steeped in water that was okay; the waxy covering of psyllid insects (called a lerp) and found in Eucalyptus leaves tastes like candle wax or so I think; and I tried making a flour out of Lomandra seeds, but it didn't seem worth it, but then acorn flour isn't worth the effort as far as I'm concerned either. Each year I keep meaning to try Bogon moths when they come to hibernate in the caves up here - they are supposed to be very high in protein and fats, but I never seem to be quiet that hungry....
    : )
     
  13. tropicalexotics

    tropicalexotics Junior Member

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    Yeah totally agree...wallaby and emu is ok and I'm told dugong and turtle are pretty tasty but besides macadamias and bunya nuts australia is pretty much devoid of palatable and nutritious edible plant life..unless you add copious amounts of sugar...there are however quite a few powerful native narcotics and hallucinogens.

    When I was at Hawkesbury ag college a bit over 20 years ago...a good freind of mine was doing some R and D for Victor Cherikoff and his Bush tucker resturant...the only realy decent food I tasted was the witchety grub and bunya nut soup...it was quite delicious...
     
  14. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I am too afriad to eat a live witchety grub.
     
  15. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    The lack of good bush tucker kinda makes me wonder why people are so keen to save the native vegetation. I wonder what it was like before folks started burning and eating all the mega-fauna. It's one thing that makes me think we get a bit over zealous with 'weeds' - perhaps we might be better off letting a bit of exotic and native mix go on for a while and see if we can come to some sort of new balanced system happening. ;)
     
  16. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    Must try those green ants - the buggers have bitten me often enough, be good to return the favour :rofl:
     
  17. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    So I guess the aborigines lived on unpalatable and non-nutritious food for 40,000-some years?

    That is the same mindset that gave us the little gem I heard of a few years ago. When the missionaries arrived at some of the high villages in New Guinea, they assumed that the people living there were mindless savages, because they saw "no evidence of crops, of grains or vegetables." They then proceeded to bring in European vegetables, and forced the people to grow and harvest them. The health of the native villagers has never recovered. Recent studies are now placing the forest gardens that these people had at time of white arrival, as possibly some of the most productive food systems ever seen.

    Because the white man, with all his superior abilities, couldn't realise that plants don't all look, or taste, like what you're used to, when you travel to other parts of the planet.

    In response to your remark, a lot of the native bush foods have been lost to us, because the settlers had no knowledge of what they were, and looked only for grazing for their livestock. The change in grazing animals on this land has caused an immense loss of vegetative diversity, and because the original inhabitants were "savages", no-one thought it worthwhile to record much in the way of their foods and medicines.

    That's "progress" for ya!
     
  18. tropicalexotics

    tropicalexotics Junior Member

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    You cant be serious can you Don..

    I'll list just a few staple foods that are in most peoples everyday diet..you let me know which of them are "native"...

    wheat
    corn or maize
    rice

    potato
    tomato
    lettuce
    onion

    cabbage
    carrot
    bean
    pea
    all other 'edible' vegetables and fruit and nuts besides macca and bunya.

    citrus
    stonefruit
    banana
    all other "edible" fruits

    milk
    cheese
    tea
    coffee

    As for "the introduction of european vegetables" causing the health of the native papuans to never recover....well what totally simplistic hogwash...surely couldnt have been due to the diseases and sexual afflictions introduced by the white man along with his grog and religion and other misguided attempts to "civilize ' them... na..must have been the veges....sheesh.

    I'm totally over this flag waving trend towards native plants and foods that taste like crap and whining about how great things must have been before my forefathers ruined the place......Don, I'll leave all the gumnuts and quandongs to you....I'll just have to be content with my steak and veges and a mango and icecream for dessert...
     
  19. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    had my first beach cherry for the season yesterday
    very nice, sweet, not weird tasting suitable to the average palate
     
  20. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    My point exactly. The country supported a human population base for a long long time - without any of those. So what were the staple foods and medicinal plants of the native inhabitants? Apart from a few bits and pieces, we don't have much of a clue, because it wasn't considered worthwhile recording.

    Look at some of the research work done by Weston A Price in the early part of last century, when there were still a significant number of indigenous peoples living on their original diets to compare with the "modernised" ones.

    Who's "whining about how great things must have been"? I'm simply making the point that there was a lot more "bush-tucker" around back then. The introduction of herds of large, hard-hoofed grazers has changed the vegetation of this country. So has the introduction of other plants and animals.

    Dunno about the gumnuts, but try some of the quandongs with your mango and ice cream - you might like them :D
     

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