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Home distillation Units
Beechworth Aromatherapy offer a range of stills and oil separators suitable for small operations.
With a still this size, you can maximise your returns on your essential oil crop by monitoring the fluctuations of oils during the growing year. This can increase your yield per hectare by knowing the optimum time to harvest.
If you have a large area of plants you are planning to harvest you can carry out random sampling across your paddock to give an indicative estimate of yield for the whole paddock. This is quite important as soil nutrient and water levels can fluctuate across a crop which in turn can have profound effect on oil yields.
The gentle vapour distillation technique used by this still produces a soft scented oil compared to the mass produced oils obtained by high pressure and intense dry steam. There is no danger of pressure build-up to the multiple tube condenser. All units are fitted with a temperature gauge.
Units range from 35 litre (4.5 kg biomass capacity) - $1300 to 410 litre (80kg biomass capacity) - $2750. All units are food grade stainless steel with pumps and hoses. Oil separators come in pyrex or stainless steel - from $240 to $350.
PO Box X241
Beechworth Vic 3747
Ph: 03 5728 2421
The second product is from a small firm here in Maleny. Maleny Dreamtime make a range of `healing teas with the essence of the Australian wilderness'. Their Echinacea and Lemon Myrtle blend has been selling very well during these last few chilly months. They also make Echinacea and Tangy Iron Bark (Eucalyptus staigeriana), Echinacea and Strawberry Gum and Echinacea and Native licorice blends - my favorite's the Tangy Ironbark. The teas are aimed at the growing healthy market who prefer to fight bugs with natural remedies than pills; I don't get colds myself but I certainly enjoyed the tea!
PO Box 671
A cuppa Lemon myrtle...
Here are two tea products utilising Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora). The first, from Bushfoods of Australia, is a'straight'drinking tea using superior black tea leaf mixed with Lemon myrtle.Very refreshing it is, too - probably my favourite tea mix. The firm have also brought out a straight Lemon myrtle tea and I believe they have a Lemon myrtle soda as well.
Bushfoods of Australia
PO Box 55 Bangalow NSW 2479
Ph: 02 6687 1005
(go to www.hitkey.net.au/~bushfood to subscribe)
Anyone tried immature Acacia seed pods as a vegetable rather like String Beans? Any record of this being done, species used?
For anyone having an interest in Bloodroots, I have a free seed offer on my Bloodroot, H. spicatum, page. conditions apply.
Robert P. Nederpelt
With reference to Acacia seed pods eaten green: Acacia longifolia var. sophorae (coastal wattle) is the only one I know of
and have tried steamed but didn't think much of it. Evidence of its use by aboriginal communities is minimal but does show it was used.The seed once roasted has a taste much like peanut butter, however, once roasted it doesn't stay edible for much more than three months because of its oil content I believe.
Muntari Wild Food Plants Of Australia
Does anyone know if Acacia shirleyi seed/gum is edible or has a use? Other info on edibility/uses of other western Queensland acacias would be appreciated.
No I have no record of Acacia shirleyi ever being used either as food or Medicinal purposes by Aboriginal people. Sorry I couldn't help you there.
In 1987, Prof Roberto Coronel from the University of the Philippines collected some Cedar Bay Cherry seed in Queensland, and has grown it on quite well in the Philippines. He says: "The shrub is very ornamental, produces fruits within three years from seeds, and the fruits are attractively coloured and quite delicious. The seeds however are quite big. Are there new selections with smaller seeds?"
Has anyone any information on this?
Regards David Noel
I have been trying to source Australian Musa banksii, (Native Banana). I am led to believe that it is illegal to retail these fellas. My question is - do you know as to whether there is any truth in this and/or can anyone locate this species?.
Any advice greatly appreciated Andrew
Is anyone out there using nonda fruit (Parinari nonda)? Can anyone tell me what products are made from it, and what the `standard' market price is for nonda fruit? I have contacts who say they have an abundance of nonda fruit, and are willing to send samples to those interested. Apparently the dried fruit are made into a drink by Aborigines. Any assistance would be great. Thanks,
I had always understood that it is the crushed seeds that are made into a drink. The fruit themselves are very dry, bland and starchy. I have never heard of anyone suggesting that they had any commercial potential.
I think we're getting a bit confused here between the Nonda Plum of North Australia (Parinari nonda) and Tahitian Noni, better known to us as Cheesefruit (Morinda citrifolia). Lenore
I think there may be a little confusion with common names here. Nonda is the Nonda Plum (Parinari nonda) in the Family Chrysobalanaceae, whereas Noni is another name for the Cheesefruit (Morinda citrifolia) in the family Rubiaceae, which is the plant they make the fruit juice from in Tahiti. Apart from a similarity in common name, there is no similarity in the trees or the fruit whatsoever.
I just wondered if any one has heard of any use for the wild olive - Olea africana. Our place seems to have them in abundance and they are ripening madly at present.I have had it suggested to me they make good root stock for the Olea Europaea but are of little use directly.
Also I have seen several references to the use of lantana as a food but none have mentioned what part of the plant and how. Has anyone any experience with this. At the moment we are clearing the lantana in the bush area of the property, and replanting with various bush food species - Syzygiums, Tasmannia, Eupomatia Laurina, etc - it will be interesting to compare growth rates/yields etc of those planted in the open compared to those planted in more `natural' conditions.
Havent heard of Olea africana, ours here in SEQ is Olea paniculata, a lovely rainforest tree. The fruit can suposedly be treated to the same leaching process as commercial Olea europaea. As to Eupomatia laurina they grow in the deep shade of the riparian rainforest. Under the high humidity canopy, they grow into quite large straggly shrubs, it takes about 6 months for the fruit to ripen so i usually miss mine, I must watch it more consistently. The ripe fruit of lantana can be eaten, in
my rainforest the lantana provides a humidity barier for the rainforest, and a nursery for the small rainforest trees. It also protects the young trees from frost, and can then be thoutfully removed once they are established.
Re Olea africana: Africa's first qualified Herbal medicine practicioner, Dr Franie La Roux recently told me how they use the tips to produce a tincture to treat high blood pressure.
Has God smiled on Devil's apple berries?
Gold Coast, Aus. - a chance observation of a friend rubbing the juice of Devil's Appleberries to heal eye cancer in cattle, has led to the development of a cream which, Dr. Bill Cham says, can cure skin cancers.
A biochemist, Dr. Cham isolated from devil's apple berries an active ingredient, solasodine glycoside, and he found it in abundance in the kangaroo apple plant found growing throughout eastern Australia.
Growing the plant initially in his own backyard, Dr. Cham said while the ingredient works well on surface skin cancers, he sought an effective base for the cream which would allow it to penetrate the skin and attack the whole cancer.
"Having established a natural oil emulsion that would do that, I then used that same base to develop a skin care range to treat other skin diseases and to restore damaged skin," he said.
"It was a matter of using that new base as a vehicle to supply known treatments and restorative substances to a wider range of skin cancer areas."
Dr. Cham said the range of products so far developed, and marketed under Curaderm, has proved successful in treatment of skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, cold sores and dermatitis.
"The alkaloid solasodine on its own does not appear to be antineoplastic," he said.
"The solasodine has to be conjugated to specific sugars in order to possess the anticancer properties. "Solamargine, a naturally occurring solasodine triglycoside, binds to endogenous endocytic lectins, which are endogenous sugar receptors in tumors. This interaction initiates a chain of events which results in internalization of solarmargine with delivery of solasodine to the target cell."
Dr. Cham said his company, Curacel International, has already achieved marketing success with Curaderm in Europe and Indonesia.
Once approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is received, the company plans an extensive marketing campaign, both in the U.S. and Australia. Plans for Canada are unknown at this time.
Meanwhile, more and more doctors are prescribing Curaderm for skin lesions, he said.
Curacel also produces a range of moisturizers, cleansers, and perfumes at its Brisbane factory and laboratory.
Dr. Cham said sales of the product range will fund further vital research into internal cancers.
"I feel there are great prospects for using solasodine glycoside against bowel, lung and lymphatic cancers," he said.
As a follow-up to the Native Foods Seminar held at Muresk, WA in April 2000 an email discussion group has been created to share information and ideas about bushfoods and the development of the industry in WA.
If you would like to join the group, just go to the sign-up page at
A website devoted to WA native foods and the industry within WA is near completion.
Hi Sammy, Just thought I'd add some information on wild oranges (bumble bumble trees).It seems col (last mag) may have eaten the fruit not fully ripe. We have done that and swore that we would never eat them again, they were so bad. But having tried a ripe fruit they are beautiful, the taste a cross between paw paw and mango.
The trees do vary in taste with some more creamier, but they are quite edible.
The trick is to make sure they are 100% ripe, this is when the fruit are soft and browned slightly in colour, alos the ants and birds will probably beat you to them. Wendy Phelps
Longreach Bush Tucker
P.O. Box 51
Longreach Qld 4730
Lemon Myrtle Bearnaise
Traditionally a bearnaise sauce is made with a vinegar-based reduction flavoured with shallots, tarragon and chervil, enriched with egg yolks and butter. A simple substitution of lemon myrtle for tarragon gives a stunning result. Lemon myrtle béarnaise is divine with seafood, eye fillet, asparagus spears, egg dishes, chicken, or over steamed vegetables.
MAKES 3 CUPS (750 ML)
1/2 cup (125 ml) Lemon Myrtle Vinegar (good white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar may be substituted)
2-3 chopped shallots
1 tablespoon ground lemon myrtle, or fresh lemon myrtle leaf
1/2 teaspoon pepperberries, crushed, or 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
5 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups (310 g) unsalted butter, melted salt to taste
pinch of mountain pepper or white pepper
Place the vinegar, shallots, lemon myrtle and crushed pepperberries in a heavy based stainless-steel saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil until the volume reduces by about a half.
Pour into a stainless-steel bowl and allow the liquid to cool to tepid. Place the bowl over a saucepan half filled with water on a gentle simmer, and using a balloon whisk, add the egg yolks. Whisk constantly until the yolks thicken. The mixture should become thick but also light and fluffy. Add the butter gradually, whisking continuously until completely incorporated. Season with salt and mountain pepper. If the egg mixture becomes too thick, the temperature is too high, so turn the heat down, add a few drops of water, and whisk. If the egg mixture is frothy but not thickening, the temperature needs to be increased.
Black Olive and Pepperberry Tapenade
A native dish of the Provencal region of France, tapenade is easily made here from luscious fat black olives, and given a local touch by the addition of mountain pepperberries. Serve it on slices of toasted crusty bread, on sandwiches (it is particularly good with ham, tomatoes, bocconcini or goat's cheese), and tossed through pasta. Use as a dip, and for something really decadent, serve it with poached eggs for breakfast.
MAKES 2 CUPS (500gm)
1 1/2 cups (350 g) large black olives
10 mountain pepperberries (fresh or frozen)
75g anchovy fillets in oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Mountain Pepperberry Oil
Pit the olives and place with the mountain pepperberries, anchovies and garlic in a food processor and process, slowly adding the oil until a smooth paste is formed. This should take only about 5 minutes.
Crispy fried garfish with spicy eggplant and Illawarra plum salsa
medium to large eggplant
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Slice and cube (1cm) eggplant, scatter with salt and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. Fry in a shallow pan with hot oil until soft. Stand for 10 minutes. Repeat frying until dark. Cool on kitchen paper then place into a mixing bowl.
Combine and mix well all the dressing ingredients. Add to the eggplant/plum mix. Toss all ingredients 30 minutes before serving. Allow 2 to 3 cleaned garfish per person. Dip each fish into flour and shallow fry in vegetable oil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp and cooked through. Lift out, drain briefly on kitchen paper and place on a plate. Dollop the salsa on top of the fish and drizzle over it some of the salsa liquid. Serve with a crispy green salad.
For enquiries about the wholesale supply of Australian native foods, phone or fax Byron Bay Native Produce on (02)6687 1087.
Recipe by Shaun White, chef at Wild About Food, Bangalow
Corned Silverside with Wattleseed and Mustard Sauce
Most families have at least one member with a special recipe for corned silverside which they will either share .with you with evangelistic zeal or will guard with their ljfe. Our family has Kevin, who makes the best corned silverside ever. We've dragged the recipe out of him and added our own slant with the sauce and accompanying mayonnaise. Hope your family enjoys it too.
TO SERVE 6
2 kg silverside 2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon marjoram 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/2 tablespoon golden syrup
Wattleseed and Mustard Sauce
2 teaspoons ground wattleseed 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
2 teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons mustard powder
2/3 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt
Pepperberry and Wild Thyme Mayonnaise
Place all ingredients, including the meat, in a large stock pot, cover with water, and stir to mix. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with lid and cook for at least 2 3/4 hours. Keep the lid on the stock pot throughout the cooking.
Remove the meat and serve. The corned silverside may be made in advance and later sliced into portions and reheated.
To make the sauce, place the wattleseed and the milk in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
In a clean saucepan, melt the butter and make a roux with the flour. Cook out the flour, without browning, for 2-3 minutes.
Slowly add the hot flavoured milk (with the wattleseed grounds), whisking constantly until the sauce comes to the boil. Reduce the heat and add the sugar, mustard powder, vinegar and salt, and simmer for a further ro minutes, stirring occasionally.
Boil some small potatoes in their jackets, steam some cabbage and cook whole baby onions and carrots in the cooking stock (and any other vegetables that you fancy).
Slice the corned silverside and apply lashings of hot sauce and Pepperberry and Wild Thyme Mayonnaise. The leftovers make a great sandwich filling the next day.
Bill Milne, Boonooroo, Qld
Reprinted from `Aussie Bee', Issue 11
Retired commercial queen bee breeder, Bill Milne, gives us a glimpse of how stingless bee stocks might be developed in the future...
Much has heen discovered about stingless bees (Trigona) in recent years but one thing is certain - there is much more to be discovered! I am sure that industries will develop using Trigonia for honey, propolis or pollination.
This brings to light many other aspects to be considered. In all things, whether birds, animals or insects. there is genetic variation within the species. Some traits are good: some are bad.
Trigonia is no exception. I have noticed quite a difference in structure and temperament from one Trigonia carbonaria to another.
Apis mellofera (commercial honey bees) have been selected and bred for their best characteristics involving some rather technical methods. Established hives of Trigonia could not be requeened because of the difficulty in finding the queen. However, at swarming time when the hives are split there is no reason why the queen cells in the new hives could not he destroyed and replaced with cells from a selected hive.
To this end I think Trigona hives could he started fairly small and built up. The usual cause of a hive dying after splitting is starvation. This can he rectified by feeding with a sugar syrup which the bees readily accept.
The only problem is pollen supply, and I am sure this could he overcome. I once tried feeding a pollen substitute to Trigonia carbonaria. It was a failure - they threw it out! With Austroplebeia australis, though. the substitute was stored. However, I think pure pollen of selected types gathered by pollen traps on Apis hives would he accepted.
Pollen can also he taken from a strong hive and given to a weak one. However, care should he taken that there is not too much broken surface. Brood can also he transferred. It is better to transfer material from one hive to another than to let one hive dwindle and die.
(from his book `Tukka')
A species of Santalum not known for its fragrant wood but preferred for its abundant fruit is the red quandong, or desert peach (Santalum acuminatum).
The tree is spectacular in Spring, when the fruit ripens. From September to October the ripening fruits range in colour from bright green through to yellow and orange and finally to brilliant scarlet. A tree can hold the full range of colours at one time, giving the appearance of a Christmas tree covered in baubles.
Red quandongs have a higher vitamin C content than oranges and can be eaten raw. The flesh has a leathery texture and a tart, yet tangy flavour.
Sun dried fruit will store for up to 30 years.
The red quandong kernel is 70 per cent oil and can be eaten raw. It is a high source of protein and very palatable when roasted.
By Elizabeth Gordon Mills
Really? What if we suddenly changed the name of a rose to "mildew"? Would we still have the same reaction to the scent of a rose? Why is it that the perfume companies choose the names of their newly released perfumes so carefully? Just think - "Beautiful", "Paris", "Obsession" etc. These names unlock subconscious associations such as excitement and passion within the potential customer which then causes them to buy the product. The name of a product is all-important in its market perception, and consequent success in the marketplace.
What is wrong with "quandong"? Let's not tiptoe around the problem. it sounds like "condom", and is very frequently heard this way. "You grow a what tree?" people say incredulously, then reddening, say "oh, I thought you said ". It is not enough to justify the continued use of the name by merely using this as an opportunity to educate people about quandongs. The associations and confusion in their minds have already been set up. Years ago, the word condom was not in everyday usage like it is today. We cannot do anything about this. We have to decide if we are serious about developing the quandong (still have to use it at the moment) into Australia's premier native fruit - one which can take its place amongst our traditional fruits and be a successful export product. (Please do not think that I am casting aspersions on condoms or their usefulness!).
Barbara Randell's article in the last newsletter suggested that we explore the possibility of changing the name "quandong" to a more marketable name. I would like to continue this discussion further by looking at the history of some other fruits which have had their names changed for reasons of market acceptability.
Probably the most famous and successful name change has been the kiwifruit, which was originally known as the chinese gooseberry. The following has been taken from an article, "The question of popular names" by Ross Ferguson, in the book "Kiwifruit: Science and Management" (Eds 1.1. Warrington and G.e. Weston, Publ. Ray Richards). "Chinese Gooseberry" remained the name in common usage in New Zealand until the fruit began to be exported to the United States in 1959. "Chinese Gooseberry was then considered unsuitable, not because of an American suspicion of all things
Chinese, but because any association with the European gooseberry seemed a positive handicap. Gooseberries were looked upon as common fruits with little appeal. Furthermore, the name "gooseberry" suggested a fruit produced close to the ground, and any such fruit was almost certain to be excluded by the US Department of Agriculture quarantine officers.
The Auckland firm, Turners and Growers first suggested the alternative name "melonette", but it was pointed out by by the importer that different fruits entering the US were subject to varying rates of duty. Thus there were good commercial reasons for avoiding any associations with melons and the use of the word "berry". The importer considered that a good maori name, phonetic and short, would be suitable. Turners and Growers then proposed the name "kiwifruit". Many potential customers would have been aware of the flightless bird known as the kiwi, endemic to New Zealand, and also that after World War II, New Zealand servicemen were known as "Kiwis". This new name was promoted in the US and other developing markets. By 1969, only 10 years later, "kiwifruit" was well established in the US, and local growers in California were soon using the new name. Even processed products from China now carry the label "kiwifruit". This illustrates that a successful name change can occur in a relatively short period of time. Another name change has been the "tamarillo" which was preciously known as the "tree tomato", for similar reason, to avoid confusion with tomatoes.
What name should we choose? We should obviously avoid the use of any of the words "peach", "apricot" or "apple" for the reason outlined above. Other aboriginal names I have come across are: "mangata", "gurtie", and "wolgol". Of these, "mangata" has the most appeal, as it is easy to say, and cannot be confused with anything else. My own preference is to use the botanical name "Santalum". This is also easy to say, and is a true name for the plant! There are many other common fruits, vegetables and spices which either use the botanical name of have a name which is derived from it.
It is true that in some of the above examples, the botanical name was actually adapted from the common name, but the argument still holds that the two are related. This could easily be the case for the name Santalum. Another suggestion (Ben Lethbridge) has been to utilise the same derivation as the word Sandalwood, which is a corruption of the word Santalum. The quandong could be called the "Sandalfruit" (ie Santalum which produces useable as opposed to the name "Sandalwood" (ie the Santalum which produces useful wood). The only objection that I have heard for sandalfruit is that it may be confused with the summer shoes that you wear on your feet - sandals. This does not worry me unduly. Certainly not as much as the confusion with condoms!
I would like to propose that AQIA institute a working committee to look into the process of changing the name of the quandong to a more marketable name. Anyone with feedback on the above thoughts can contact me on (08) 8332 6451, 0413 110 047, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to me at 7 Lentara Court, Magill SA 5072.