Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

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Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Raymondo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:10 pm

Decided a thread all to itself was called for. This is an area that fascinates me.
In the bushtucker area I've got pigface (Carpobrotus rossii) and yam daisy (Microseris lanceolata) on the go with fruits and roots respectively next summer with any luck. I grow warrigal greens every year. I have seeds for Enchylaena tomentosa which I'll sow in spring. It produces a tasty small berry apparently. I'm keen to try growing Tasmanian mountain pepper. There is a local species but according to some it's not as good as the Tassie species.
In the less common but non-native arena I'm trying out scorzonera as a leaf green. I would like to try skirret but have yet to find a source. I have some seeds for Szechuan pepper so they're going in next spring and also chipilin (Crotalaria longirostrata).
I love trying out new stuff!

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:06 am

Hi Raymondo
I'm interested in this subject too...for the use of Bush Tucker plants in permaculture design. I think it's most important we investigate these locally grown plants to reduce our water usage.

I have a yellow fruited Enchylaena tomentosa growing in the chook run. I also have a saltbush called Rhagodia parabolica the Fragrant Saltbush; again the (red) berries are not terribly tasty but the chooks like them and the plants don't need watering. I have these growing as a hedge in the front garden.

I'm growing more of these this year from some of the berries I've saved.

I have a Quandong Santalum acuminatum that came from a local farmer (they call them wild peaches here) and after trying unsuccessfully to grow them from seed for several years I've found two volunteer plants which will replace the original that was blown down in a wind storm recently. I also have one on the other side of the yard that I purchased from a nearby Quandong Farm.

I grow warrigal greens every year.
I don't know I'd say I grow this...but it comes up like a weed!!

As I mentioned elsewhere I have a few Kangaroo Apple Tree/Shrubs Solanum aviculare but they are very short lived, only lasting about 5 years at the most. I haven't really found a use for the fruit either but the native birds up here love the fruit so maybe it will distract them from my fruit orchard!

I want to investigate more fruiting plants and succulents and would like to find out more about the Mountain Pepper but feel it may be too hot up here in summer.

Bush Tomatoes (Solanum centrale) grow well here so perhaps it's time to give them another go. Also Muntries (Kunzea pomifera).
I'm about to put some more Acacia victoriae seeds in as last years didn't get enough rain to survive in my neglected front garden.

I've got some seeds of a local Lemon Grass Cymbopogon ambiguus too but the only one that germinated died off in the heatwave we had in March. So I'll wait until spring to try them again. Meanwhile I'll investigate it's usefulness.

Any one know of some good suppliers of bush tucker plants/seeds online?

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Raymondo on Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:26 pm

Yes, I think we've neglected these things far too long. I was heartened to hear that an academic is researching native grasses for their potential as cereals. I went off and bought some alpine rice to trial. I haven't been able to find out much about it apart from the fact that it is perennial, always a good thing in my opinion.
Warrigal grrens only self-seed here if the autumn is long enough. Last year it was. This year not so I'll have to resow next spring. I'm envious of your quandongs. Too cold here methinks. Being parasites, do you have to sow the seed with something else for them to latch onto?

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Mad Gnome on Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:24 am

What do you do with your pigface, Ray? No, this is not an insult!

I have 2 Tasmanian Mountain Peppers growing. Planted them 2 years ago. Well, when I say 'growing' I am exaggerating. They don't seem to have grown much in these extreme seasons. 1 of them looks quite sick, actually. I gave them some good soil and compost and a good mulch last week. And some water. Let's hope they'll pick up.

I tried to grow Bush Tomatoes from seeds a few yeas back but failed. I am still interested in growing them. Did you get seeds or seedlings?

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:39 pm

Raymondo wrote:...I'm envious of your quandongs. Too cold here methinks. Being parasites, do you have to sow the seed with something else for them to latch onto?
Where abouts are you Raymondo Question

We get fairly bad frosts here (-10C at worst) but it's more than likely the dry they like...just as well something does!
Heard lots of different points of view about the parasitic side of them. Latest from Malcolm Campbell (on ABC Radio here) was that they can be started alone and only need a host by the end of the first year??

As I said I haven't had much luck growing them from seed...
...but now they are volunteering I don't need to!!! Very Happy

There was a segment on Gardening Oz recently with Josh and Jenny Holder who had an interesting way of germinating the seeds transcript here
It was in Episode 03 - 01/03/2008 this year if you want to either watch it or download it go here

That rice sounds great let us know how it goes (or grows Wink )

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:57 pm

Mad Gnome wrote:
I tried to grow Bush Tomatoes from seeds a few yeas back but failed. I am still interested in growing them. Did you get seeds or seedlings?
Hi Mad Gnome
I've tried Bush Tomatoes from seed without success and yes I grew those from seedling (plants) I got from a 'Bush Tucker' stand at a local show type event quite a few years ago now.
I haven't seen any of these stands for a while...perhaps the novelty of home grown bush tucker plants is wearing off.

I tried growing from some of the seeds I'd saved from those plants but they didn't grow, might try some more from seed this year if I don't find any plants.

Just about given up on 'normal' tomatoes up here...was interesting to hear that the Brookman's (Food Forest in Gawler...had a tour yesterday Wink ) can't grow the big tomatoes anymore either and only grow cherry tomatoes for sale now.

Good luck with those Mountain Peppers, they are supposed to do well in the Adelaide Hills.

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Raymondo on Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:18 pm

Just about given up on 'normal' tomatoes up here
Why is that scarecrow?

We have terrible problems with fruit fly here so I'm building a movable cage in which to grow tommies, caps & chillies, the three things the ff really attack!

I've added my location. -10C is common here in winter but if you experience it there then maybe quandongs would grow here. It's a pretty dry climate hereabouts. Might try sometime. I haven't tried bush tomatoes. Anothet thing on the list!

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Fri May 02, 2008 3:41 pm

Raymondo wrote:
Just about given up on 'normal' tomatoes up here
Why is that scarecrow?

We've been having problems with russet mite here and apparently areas on the Adelaide plains as well. The plants go really well until just after the fruit sets and then they start to die off from the base up. No

Only been happening for the last couple of years but it's really annoying. Still the cherry ones do really well so they make up for it.

I don't make tomato sauce anymore as I prefer plum sauce and plums are much easier to grow here and take far less water to produce a crop. Shocked

Good luck if you try the Quandongs if you get the chance to try them.

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Blossom on Sat May 03, 2008 8:26 am

Found a nice site produce by a school in Qld that planted a bush tucker garden. http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/bushtucker/index.html

I must say the Cedar Bay Cherry looks enticing. Must see if it's available here. Plenty Lemon Myrtle in Tassie.

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Raymondo on Thu May 08, 2008 3:53 am

Mad Gnome, just realised that I didn't answer your question! I don't do anything with the pigface yet. I want to try the fruits next summer. I believe the leaves can also be used in salads, but I haven't tried them yet.

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Mad Gnome on Thu May 08, 2008 4:38 am

Ray, thanks. It's a pretty plant anyway and if it's edible, even better! Will be interesting to hear your verdict. Smile

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Sun May 25, 2008 1:20 pm

I've just received an order from Outback Chef for the following to try and get growing:
Bush Bananas (Leichhardtia australis)
Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale)
Chocolate Lily (Dichopogon strictus)
Muntries/Munthari (Kunzea pomifera)
Nitre Bush (Wild grape) (Nitraria billardierei)
Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)
Mountain Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata)
The last two will take a bit of extra care up here but I'm hoping they'll go OK. I've heard they both do well in the Adelaide hills but they get more rain than us down there. They'll probably live in a pot.

The rest seem quite able to live under my desert conditions according to Tim Low's Wild Food Plants of Australia book. Now all I have to do is get them to germinate. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  The Estate on Sun May 25, 2008 2:27 pm

affraid wow your gunna be famous soon, don't forget your m8's here What a Face

Congrats, I bet your over Blossom's Moon ATM I love you

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Sun May 25, 2008 4:07 pm

The Estate wrote:affraid wow your gunna be famous soon, don't forget your m8's here What a Face

Congrats, I bet your over Blossom's Moon ATM I love you

Sorry!!!!
I think I led you astray there Thee I meant I just got some seeds from them! geek

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Fran on Sun May 25, 2008 4:31 pm

Wattle seed - from Acacia victoriae - roast and grind for biscuits or bread - have you tasted wattleseed pav - you should Very Happy

Davidson's plum - small rainforest tree that needs water - Daleys say you can grow it in a pot - sour but useful for jam or chutney

You will love the lemon myrtle Scarecrow - it is my favourite tree because of it's wonderful foliage. You can prune it to shrub size or let it grow tall - believe they grow it in Tassie so widely grown. Wonderful to use where you require any sort of lemon flavouring. Chuck the leaves into stocks or stews, wrap a fish up with them - make tea. This is the most useful and tasty bush tucker plant I've grown.

Apparently they are using paperbark to wrap fish up in - that sort of thing - imparts a smokey flavour from the oils in it. I mean to investigate because they are easily grown round these parts.

Tried them and I think warrigal greens must be an acquired taste LOL

Great thread Raymondo - will keep an eye on it Very Happy

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Mad Gnome on Mon May 26, 2008 4:50 am

Lemon Myrtle does well in a pot on our balcony. It has grown from a little seedling to a shrub of one metre high and wide. It flowers beautifully and the scent is amazing. I use its leaves quite a bit in cooking.

Thanks for the link, Scarecrow, I will browse the website later.

Davidson Plum is in a pot here, too. But only because I didn't have time to plant it.

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Mon May 26, 2008 10:25 am

Wattle seed - from Acacia victoriae - roast and grind for biscuits or bread - have you tasted wattleseed pav - you should Very Happy
I'll have to chase up a recipe for that one Fran sounds yummy! I planted a few victoriae seeds a while back and lots have sprouted up. They are a bit prickly though and I was planning on using the plants as barrier plants! Shocked

You will love the lemon myrtle Scarecrow
I had one before but that was back when the garden was young and didn't have the micro-climates it has now. So I know what you mean about them.

Tried them and I think warrigal greens must be an acquired taste LOL
Have to agree with you there, the oxalic acid content of them varies as well. That probably accounts for the taste. We usually have silverbeet growing and use that! The chooks like the warrigal greens though.

Davidson Plum is in a pot here, too. But only because I didn't have time to plant it.
Haven't tried a Davidson plum yet Mad Gnome but I have an un-named Lillypilly in a pot that I'm not game enough to plant out yet, it's growing so well in the shade house I'd hate the frosts to get it outside. Wink

I think I need to be brave with that one and plant it out this spring!....maybe Wink

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Raymondo on Tue May 27, 2008 9:54 am

Hadn't thought of a lemon myrtle in a pot, duh! I look after a curry leaf tree that way, dragging it in over winter, so one more pot won't hurt!

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Mad Gnome on Tue May 27, 2008 10:06 am

*LOL* I bought it three years ago as tiny seedling with the idea of planting it out once it's big enough and can handle light frost. But now it's such a beautiful shrub that I hesitate to sacrifice it to Father Frost. It may survive, but I don't know. Maybe I'll try to get another one or take cuttings and plant out those.

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Re: Bush tucker and other uncommon edibles

Post  Scarecrow on Tue May 27, 2008 10:40 am

Mad Gnome wrote: Maybe I'll try to get another one or take cuttings and plant out those.
I usually take cuttings of ???frost sensitive plants....just in case! Wink

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