Exploring Bushfood: Visiting CERES

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For my design project, I’m considering using bushfood as a way to increase the backyard yield (permaculture design principle #3: obtain a yield). This covers any native flora or fauna used for culinary or medicinal purposes (according to Wikipedia). They are already adapted to soil and weather conditions in Australia, and have the potential to form more connections with the ecosystem (permaculture design principle #8: integrate rather than segregate), which builds in redundancy if any disaster strikes.

I consider it a step towards accepting wisdom from the Wurundjeri wilam clan, who were owners of land in Melbourne pre-European settlement.

As part of that, I had a lovely morning visiting CERES earlier in October and had a look at their nursery.

Check out some goodies below…

CERES has chooks roaming the nursery

CERES has chooks roaming the nursery

Kangaroo apple produces berries that can only be eaten when soft and orange.  I discovered from other reading that the berries are toxic when green, so be careful of that.

Kangaroo apple produces berries that can only be eaten when soft and orange. I discovered from other reading that the berries are toxic when green, so be careful of that.

Muntries produces berries that have taste and texture like dried apples

Muntries produces berries that have taste and texture like dried apples

Mountain pepper provides pepper berries and aromatic leaves

Mountain pepper provides pepper berries and aromatic leaves

I’m keen to visit Hurstbridge nursery, Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative, and Edendale Farm to see what bushfood they have and see if I can use anything in my design.

What about you?  Would you recommend any other nurseries?  Have you had any experiences growing and eating bushfood?

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3 thoughts on “Exploring Bushfood: Visiting CERES

  1. Michaela Pyne

    Thanks Leah, I have just planted five Australian mint bushes, I use the leaves for making my own bush mint tea. Haven’t explored their use in foods yet but I guess it could just be substituted for regular mint.

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    • Oh lovely! Do you make the tea with just the mint leaves or do you add them to black tea? That sounds like a nice and easy start to using what you have in the garden. I have one that has just flowered for the first time and I’ve been rubbing my fingers on the leaves for the fragrance. Beautiful!

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