Bush tucker frenzy

I think it’s important to incorporate some local fruits and other edibles, as well as other beneficial local plants in the garden. Some of these produce some really pleasant and interesting fruits and berries to eat. Why would one limit yourself to the commercially available varieties, when nature herself offers up such a rich palate of flavours? Some local plants have really good medicinal properties too. So, over the last few years, we’ve been including some native bush tucker in our gardens too. Some by design, some by desire, some by circumstance.

I guess the serious interest in bush tucker started when we did the site analysis and design at Dreamland. At that stage we already had some Midyim Berries battling out an existence along our dry driveway, some Bottle Brushes fighting the school’s Eucalyptus trees for water at the back of the property and there was a big Kangaroo Apple at Dreamland already, but we didn’t even know these “qualified” as bush tucker plants.

Bush - kangaroo apple

Kangaroo apple at Dreamland

Otway Indigenous Nursery

We did the trip to visit Nick Day at Otway Indigenous Nursery, primarily to get local hardy screening plants for the zone between Dreamland’s “secret garden” and the school behind us. From that trip, we brought back two types of She-oaks, Hop Goodenia, Prickly Currant Bush and Running Postman – a fine little Nitrogen producing groundcover which I just love for some or other reason.

Opportunistic odds and ends

Over the following months we acquired the odd bush tucker plant here and there, like Lilly Pillies, Blueberry Ashes and Portugal Laurels from Wombat Gully.

Bush - blueberry ash

Blueberry ash

When we did the trip to Pete the Permie’s Telopia Mountain Nursery in Monbulk to get the bulk of Dreamland’s bare root fruit trees, we also brought back two Macadamia Nut trees, two Native Plums and some Finger Limes.

Bush tucker

Native plum

I have also discovered some of the Bush Tucker range at Bunnings in Torquay, bought about two plants, but then unfortunately they discontinued the range…

High tea

Now, what does a high tea have to do with bush tucker? Well Patricia attended a friend’s birthday high tea at Uforic Café (who by the way make really good coffee and serve up delightfully yummy snacks freshly made on premise) right next to Beach Tree Nursery on the Torquay road. She came back with a nice little sample of what the nursery had of the Bush Tucker range – Redback Australian Ginger, Native Gardenia, a Large Leaved Tamarind and a few more.

Bush - red back ginger

Red-backed ginger

This prompted me to stop at the nursery on the way back from a surf one day, with the excuse of getting a good coffee, and I ended up buying a good part of the bush tucker stock that was available. We ended up in a discussion about a male Tasmanian Pepper (coincidentally I tasted Tasmanian Pepper during my recent PDC course in Tasmania), which ended up with Jane from Beach Tree Nursery sending me a list of all the bush tuckers they could order. A massive order (in our terms anyway) followed, and we ended up with Muntries, Mydyims, Native Guavas, various native Plums, Blue Tongues, Salt Bushes, Myrtles and too many more to list here (they’re all listed on our inventory page.)

Many of these were planted along “Native walk” at Dreamland (which will later get a better name I hope), “Bush tucker alley” at Homeland, or in the “Corner” at Homeland. Others are just scattered around where it made good sense to incorporate them or in little microclimates that would protect them.

Enter the mailman

Well, that’s not the end… I was looking for a supplier of Tagasaste seedlings (more about that in a subsequent post), when I discovered Plant Inspirations online, who not only supply Tagasaste, but also a wide range of native plants – and a large order (in our terms again) was placed for various Tea Trees, including 6 Manuka Tea Trees for their medicinal value.

From Eden Seeds we also ordered Purslane seeds, which have been used to line the bottom terraces next to the “Native walk”. This was quite funny – I ordered the Purslane seeds and Patricia ordered a big bunch of vegetable seeds, two days apart, without knowing of each other’s orders. Fortunately, Eden Seeds saw the same delivery addresses, combined the two orders and saved us the postage on the one order. Now that’s what I call sharp efficient service!

Inventory

I thought it useful to start making a list of which bush trucker plants we have, where they grow, what they’re called, what they can be used for and where we obtained them. This can be found on our Bush Tucker Inventory page, where they are listed alphabetically by English name (which I know is not very scientific).

Some of these are planted at Dreamland, some are located at Homeland. We didn’t design specific “bush tucker” areas, we just integrated them into our various areas, wherever we had good suitable microclimates for their characteristics.

Early days

It is obvious from the photos that it is early days for many of our bush tucker plants. We will see who survives the deadly winter frost and then the harsh dry summer the next year. It seems that most of our plants, once they have survived one of each of these seasons, they settle in for the long run. Good luck bush tuckers, may you all survive and be fruitful!

 

 

 

 

About martin@muchmoremulch.blog (83 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

1 Comment on Bush tucker frenzy

  1. Thank you for saying so. I just can not understand why we have so many blue elderberries growing wild here but no one uses them! People pay good money from elderberry products from other places because they do not realize that our native blue elderberry is just like the black elderberry. My elderberry jelly wins second place at the Jelly and Jam Competition of the Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival annually (except last year! See my article ‘Blue Ribbon’. No, it did not win a blue ribbon.) Afterward, people want to know how I got elderberries, or if I used dried elderberries. No one gets it that they were right out of my garden.

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