Bush Foods – A Native Edible Garden
You have seen then on TV, you have seen them in the shops, and you may have eaten them in a restaurant, what are they, they are Bush Foods. In fact you may have some in your pantry or kitchen cupboard right now, think Macadamia Nuts and hundreds of other Australian Native food plants. And you can grow many in your own garden.
If you are looking for a low maintenance productive garden, then a native Bush Tucker garden is worth considering. With so many edible and easy to grow native plants, every home can grow an interesting selection fruit trees and vegetables.
From leafy greens such as the well known Warrigal greens, to nut trees including Macadamia nut trees and even citrus trees such as Native limes or Microcitrus australis, more varieties are available each year.
Most are well adapted to a range of climates, some are more particular. Macadamia trees will grow and fruit as far south as Melbourne, some of the tropical varieties are more selective.
With bush foods the need for fertilisers is minimal, most require little water once established, and many are regarded as superfoods.
What are Bush Foods ?
Bush Tucker derives its name from the food that was readily available growing naturally in the bush. The local knowledge of which foods were edible was passed down from generation to generation with elders acting as teachers, and over recent years it has been realised what an underused resource naturally growing foods are. Some foods were used for medicinal purposes. Today these foods are used in industry to provide new and interesting flavours and help develop new and unique Australian recipes and cuisine.
The list of Bush Tucker plants available includes : Dorrigo pepper, Candlenut, Cut leaf mint bush, Riberry, Lemon myrtle, Aniseed myrtle, Ginger, Illawarra Plum, Cedar Bay cherry, Blackbean, Moreton bay chestnut, Burdekin plum, Midyim berry Sandpaper fig, Warrigal greens and Bungwall.
Bush Tucker plants or native food plants are increasingly popular both for the variety of taste that can be found, the diversity of plants and with some bush tucker plants now being hybridized production is increased.
Bush Tucker plants are now being used in the food industry as flavoring while some are also becoming available as fresh food such as Midyim or midgen berry, Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata) and Beach Cherry ‘(Eugenia reinwardtiana).
Are all bush foods safe to eat. ?
Some bush foods need to be cooked or prepared in a specific manner to made them edible and safe to eat, others can only be eaten in moderation, so always consult with your supplier before eating any bush foods.
A List of other well known Bush Tucker Foods with the common names are:
- Acid Drop Vine or Melodorum leichhardtii
- Apple Berry or Billardiera scandens.
- Atherton Oak or Athertonoa diversifolia.
- Banana Fig or Ficus pleurocarpa.
- Blue Quandong – Elaecarpus grandis.
- Breynia oblongifolia – Coffee Bush – Edible Fruits
- Bunya Pine or Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya Nuts)
- Burdekin Plum – Pleiogynium solanderi
- Caladenia – White Fingers or Pink Fingers – Edible tubers
- Carpobrotus glaucescens – Pigface Edible fruits and leaves
- Cherry Satinash – Syzygium luehmanii.
- Cheese Fruit or Morinda citrifolia.
- Chocolate Lily or Arthropodium strictum
- Cluster Fig or Ficus racemosa.
- Daintree stainash or Syzygium erythrocalyx.
- Davidsons Plum or Davidsonia puriens
- Eupomatia laurina or Native Guava
- Herbert River Cherry – Antidesma bunius.
- Lemon Aspen – Acronychia acidula.
- Midjinberry – Austromyrtus tenufolium,dulcis
- Millaa Millaa Vine – Elaeagnus triflora
- Mountain Pepper or Tasmannia lanceolata
- Muntries or Kunzea pomifera
- Native Banana – Musa banksii.
- Native limes or Microcitrus australis
- Native Leek or Bulbine bulbosa
- Native Raspberry or Rubus parvifolius
- Peanut Tree or Sterculia quadrifolia
- Red Beech or Dillenia elata.
- Warrigal greens or Tetragonia tetragonioides
- Whitchetty Grub (See Acacia kempeana)
- Wombat Berry or Eustrephus latifolius
- Yam Daisy
Bush Tucker plants are available for sale online from specialist nurseries, growing and care often means trying to mimic the natural environment where these plants originally come from. Good drainage and full sun are often prerequisites, whoever individual species will require little research to be grown successfully.
Bush Tucker Plants For Sale Online In Australia
146 Dignams Crk Rd via Narooma NSW 2546
Tubestock - [50mm forestry tubes and 70mm supertubes] specializing in Bush Tucker Plants , Natives indigenous to the NSW South Coast , Permaculture Plants - Fruits, Nuts & Berries .
DINGO CREEK RAINFOREST NURSERY
Bulga Rd Bobin (via Wingham) NSW 2429
PH (02) 65505167 Fax (02) 65505086
Rainforest Plants, Edible native Plants. Bush Regeneration Plants, Re-afforestation Catalogue available
PROSPERITY WITH NATURE Pty Ltd
PO Box 383 Childers QLD 4660
Prosperity With Nature offers an online permaculture nursery, sustainable living workshops, and permaculture design services. The nursery supplies a variety of plants and specialises in bushfoods, herbs and multi-functional plants.
PO Box 582 Gisborne, Vic Australia 3437 – Tel: 03 5428 2828 Fax: 03 5428 2828
Wattle seed, bush tomatoes, quandongs, lemon myrtle, mountain pepper, macadamias, bunya nuts, warrigul greens, native thyme, riberrys, midyim berries, wild hibiscus, portulaca, muntries, nitre bushes and many more. An informative, online shop stocks a complete range of seeds, food, value added products and books.