Exploring Bushfood: Visiting Edendale Farm

Standard

You may have seen my previous post on this topic, Exploring Bushfood: Visiting CERES.

Today I visited Edendale Farm with my family to have a look at the animals and see what they’re doing with edibles.

Edendale Farm sign

Edendale Farm sign

Edendale Farm is in Eltham, 24 kms north of Melbourne’s CBD, and is a community environment farm with a focus on education. It runs with the support of 35 volunteers and it looks like they do a great job. Here are some highlights:

Chooks with funny names

Hello Specky McGee, Speckle, and Mr Fluffy Pants

Hello Specky McGee, Speckle, and Mr Fluffy Pants

An amazing sculpture made with colourful children’s toys

A clever way of making art out of old toys

A clever way of making art out of old toys

Some curiosities in the reception area

It's hard to believe the brown part is an insect

It’s hard to believe the brown part is an insect

A turtle in the tank

A turtle in the tank

An example of a swale being used to grow food

Making use of a swale to grow vegetables

Making use of a swale to grow vegetables

And a vegetable spiral

Check out the gabions with repurposed waste

Check out the gabions with repurposed waste

And what of the indigenous nursery?

Me in front of the indigenous nursery

Me in front of the indigenous nursery

I found just one example of bushfood on display, but it looks like a strong contender.  Interestingly enough, it is a shade plant and produces small, edible berries.

Here is the native raspberry (rubus parvifolius).

Looks like the native raspberry is popular

Looks like the native raspberry is popular

And short summary of the plant

Native raspberry information

Native raspberry information

I’ll do some further research to make sure there are no surprises or anything that might cause an issue, but this would be nice if I could find the right shady spot on my garden for it.

Has anyone tasted this or grown it in their garden?

Given the size, it might even work in a trough-style planter.  Adding this plant would be a way to apply permaculture principle #10: use and value diversity.

That leaves Hurstbridge nursery and Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative in Fairfield on my bushfood nursery wishlist.

Exploring Bushfood: Visiting CERES

Standard

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?