Aussie Bush Tucker - An Introduction to Common Native Foods of Australia

JP 1983

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Mandy Onderwater

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Very interesting, I love it!
Where I live there are bushlemons, though it is dangerous to get there. Wild boars inhabit the area and apparantly love snacking on them too, alongside the other wildlife. And I see many berries around, but never dare try them as I'm not sure wether they are edible or not. This could greatly assist!
 

JP 1983

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Very interesting, I love it!
Where I live there are bushlemons, though it is dangerous to get there. Wild boars inhabit the area and apparantly love snacking on them too, alongside the other wildlife. And I see many berries around, but never dare try them as I'm not sure wether they are edible or not. This could greatly assist!
We'll get there, Mandy! Bush lemons are all edible (although you'll find they tend to have very thick piths/rinds). You might be lucky enough to find wild finger limes in your area too.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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We'll get there, Mandy! Bush lemons are all edible (although you'll find they tend to have very thick piths/rinds). You might be lucky enough to find wild finger limes in your area too.
I'll have to look up what they look like!
 

Cobbadiggabuddyblooo

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Speaking of finger limes, one of the natural inhabitants of the finger lime Bush is the dreaded Gall Wasp which can be problematic to your citrus trees.
 

HelenCate

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Good article! I'm hoping to harvest my first fruits if the Hares don't like them. I like the idea that they will take over in an area because I have some weeds that could do with the competition.
 

HelenCate

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Love the Lomandra information! I'm definitely getting out there to harvest some seed for baking.
 

JP 1983

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I think I've seen those and have been wondering what they were! :D
This is the kind of response that I'm hoping these articles will provoke. "Hey, I know that plant!"
Love the Lomandra information! I'm definitely getting out there to harvest some seed for baking.
Yeah, getting the kernels out of the husks seems to be the most difficult component of the process. I went out yesterday and picked about 18 or 20 seed spikes growing around Sydney Olympic Park. This resulted in about a kilo of whole seeds, and I passed by a lot (I probably picked less than one percent of what was readily available here). I've been soaking them almost 48 hours now and I'll be trying to crack out the kernels tomorrow. I intend on grinding this batch in a mortar & pestle. If it turns out well, I am gunna invest in a hand mill since I know I'll have a nigh unlimited supply of seeds growing wild around here.
 

JP 1983

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Alright so I couldn't wait until tomorrow. I crushed the husks in a mortar and pestle after soaking for 48 hours - this was effective but a bit messy. I noticed that the inner kernels are so hard they don't even take a dent from the pestle, while the water-softened outer husks are easily crushed into a chunky paste. This lead to an immediate problem: how was I going to sort out the gunky, moist chaff from the kernels?

I ended up dumping the mixture in batches into a large metal bowl. After filling it half way with water, I swirled it into a vortex with my hand and tilted the bowl slightly. Then I stopped stirring, let it calm for about 2-3 seconds, and then carefully tipped the water out. The kernels sink to the bottom and rest during the 2-3 second calm, while the remnants of the husks keep swirling in the water. After repeating this many times, I ended up with a rough mixture of kernels, uncrushed whole seeds which also sink (you can't get them all in the mortar unless you are more dilligent than I was!), and a few larger husk remnants. I will let them dry out and finish sifting thechaff next weekend! Then it's milling and baking time!

I think next time I will try dry crushing them in the mortar and pestle without the pre-soak since it did such a good job and just wind sift the kernels afterwards.

All up I'd estimate about 250 grams of kernels from approximately half a large colander's worth of whole seeds, which took me approximately 20 minutes to collect (plus an extra hour and a half wandering around Sydney Olympic Park plundering other bushfoods - the blueberry lilies are still fruiting!). And no, this is not rice and split peas; this is 100% lomandra!
Lomandra kernels.jpg
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Alright so I couldn't wait until tomorrow. I crushed the husks in a mortar and pestle after soaking for 48 hours - this was effective but a bit messy. I noticed that the inner kernels are so hard they don't even take a dent from the pestle, while the water-softened outer husks are easily crushed into a chunky paste. This lead to an immediate problem: how was I going to sort out the gunky, moist chaff from the kernels?

I ended up dumping the mixture in batches into a large metal bowl. After filling it half way with water, I swirled it into a vortex with my hand and tilted the bowl slightly. Then I stopped stirring, let it calm for about 2-3 seconds, and then carefully tipped the water out. The kernels sink to the bottom and rest during the 2-3 second calm, while the remnants of the husks keep swirling in the water. After repeating this many times, I ended up with a rough mixture of kernels, uncrushed whole seeds which also sink (you can't get them all in the mortar unless you are more dilligent than I was!), and a few larger husk remnants. I will let them dry out and finish sifting thechaff next weekend! Then it's milling and baking time!

I think next time I will try dry crushing them in the mortar and pestle without the pre-soak since it did such a good job and just wind sift the kernels afterwards.

All up I'd estimate about 250 grams of kernels from approximately half a large colander's worth of whole seeds, which took me approximately 20 minutes to collect (plus an extra hour and a half wandering around Sydney Olympic Park plundering other bushfoods - the blueberry lilies are still fruiting!). And no, this is not rice and split peas; this is 100% lomandra!
View attachment 6240
Awesome!
 

JP 1983

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Thank you everyone for your patience. I've been on holidays to the New England region (= Armidale) of NSW and I've got quite a bit of new material coming your way very soon.

To whet your appetities, you can start with Part 6 - Native Raspberries [LINK]

Sadly I haven't touched my lomandra seeds since my last post but I hope to get to that in the next 7 days since I've got a fair bit of free time for the next week.

And to keep the interest levels up:

Part 7 - Native Psyllium/Sago [To come!]
Part 8 - Acacia (Wattles) [To come!]
Part 9 - Banksia and Grevillia [To come!]
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Thank you everyone for your patience. I've been on holidays to the New England region (= Armidale) of NSW and I've got quite a bit of new material coming your way very soon.

To whet your appetities, you can start with Part 6 - Native Raspberries [LINK]

Sadly I haven't touched my lomandra seeds since my last post but I hope to get to that in the next 7 days since I've got a fair bit of free time for the next week.

And to keep the interest levels up:

Part 7 - Native Psyllium/Sago [To come!]
Part 8 - Acacia (Wattles) [To come!]
Part 9 - Banksia and Grevillia [To come!]
Oh yes please!
These are honestly the highlight of my day and I love showing them to my partner as well! :D
 
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