Grow bush foods
Australia is rich in native foods that can be home-grown and used in the kitchen. Tasmanian gardener REES CAMPBELL shares some of her favourites, with growing tips and recipes
Did you know Tasmania has more than 150 edible native plants? The botanical larder of Australian bush food extends to this little island I call home, which has a long history of people living off the land. I’m fifth-generation Tasmanian and passionate about its environmental wonders.
Three years ago I started Murnong Wild Food Garden with my husband, Col, and we now grow more than 115 species. I make a range of preserves, and we eat wild food every day. Occasionally, we host dinner parties of wild food – a truly unique gastronomic experience!
It’s incredibly rewarding to know that we are keeping the state’s horticultural and cultural history alive, and giving value to many plants that have long been overlooked. The next step is to organise nutritional analysis, horticultural development and commercial growing of some of the wild species in our garden.
If you are interested in growing some bush foods yourself, here are my top 10 to get you started. There’s a mixture of fruits, tuberous roots, vegetables and herbs, ranging from the well-known warrigal greens to the much sought-after native mountain pepper.