Back Issue Home || Kit Home || Search

Issue 15 - Spring 2000

Backhousia anisata - Aniseed myrtle

Tall tree to 25 metres high always seen much smaller in cultivation.

Leaves are lanceolate, to 9cm, with strong aniseed perfume.

Bears white flowers, about 1cm diameter, with prominent anthers, in summer.

Distribution: rainforests of NSW.

Climate: Floyd (1979) occurs in riverine rainforest on the better alluvial soils along streams and in warm temperate rainforest on the poorer soils

of ridges.

N. & H. Nicholson (1994) state that it occurs in "a few places in the Nambucca and Bellinger valleys... mainly in lowland sub-tropical rainforest gullies". It is said to be "tolerant of full sun and light frosts."

Harvesting Backhousia anisata

Pick when leaf at branch tip is the same size and colour of the 4th leaf down. Leaf should be firm not floppy. Plants of Aniseed Myrtle should be 2-3 years old. Check for insect nests under the leaf. Discard Psillid and bumps on leaf of Aniseed [Leaf Harvester] Myrtle. Do not cut back the plant to much. Cut back too half the size of plant and last seasons wood leaving at least 1-2 sets of leaves on branch. For regrowth fertilise plants after picking and water thoroughly.

Plantation Layout

Plantation layout is determined by a number of factors.

Choice of management tools (labour,ride on mowers, tractors, spray equipment, harvest techniques & time available etc.).

Fertiliser Regime

"The use of legumes as ground covers, and green manure crops to provide nitrogen has received a fair amount of interest in recent years. In subtropical orchards, no perennial legume has performed well enough to become an established practice."(Fruit Growing in Warm Climates p 37)

"Growing organic matter on site is effective...... There is usually an urge to grow legumes as green manure crops. Experience has shown that larger bulks can be achieved through growing some of the grass species, including forage sorghums and pasture species. In this situation the fibrous root systems provide fuller penetration of the soil, add greater organic matter directly through roots and finish up with more friable and aerated structure than

that provided by the tap-root system developed by legumes..... where nitrogen can be economically added through ... fowl manure, the value of legumes to supply a little nitrogen is overshadowed by the greater organic-matter benefits derived from grasses." (Fruit Growing in Warm Climates p 42.)

Fertiliser Regime

Basically, plan your nutrition from annual soil test samples taken as per the laboratory's instructions and consult with experienced advisers.

Leaf nutrient analysis may also be a useful tool . Bear in mind that the optimal nutritional requirements for most crops has not been determined.

General Fertiliser Regime

100 g of Organic fowl manure per plant at 8 week intervals.

Foliar spray of equal amounts of diluted fish emulsion/Kelp at 4 week intervals.

Fish emulsion diluted at 5ml per litre of water as pest control and fertiliser at 4 week intervals.

140 ml of an organic pelletted fertiliser for a 2 year old tree, adding 140 ml for each addition year of growth.

Irrigation

With the use of T-tape systems a daily watering of the plantation to minimise root penetration of the tape, is recommended. A regime of T-Tape maintenance should be

considered. i.e.. use of acid to clean lines.

However it can be expected that a legitimate environmentally sustainable level of irrigation of the plants can be as little as 1 litre per plant per week. Where the plant

beds are heavily mulched to retain soil moister. This may be further enhanced by the use of "Envy" anti transpirant/frost guard during extended hot dry periods.

Pests & Disease

The most common infestations of B. anistata appear to be psyllids, scale insects, webbing caterpillars and sooty mould. Other noted symptoms include patches, brown spots, red spots which may be either secondary infections from insect attack, or symptoms associated with mineral deficiencies or toxicities.

Psillid (Tiroza ugenia), Pink wax scale (Ceroplastes rubens), soft brown scale (Coccus hesperidum) all effect B.anisata.

Fish emulsion diluted at 5ml per litre of water as pest control applied when necessary and or as a fertiliser at 4 week intervals.

It is crucial to apply spray just before hatching of psillid eggs on the new shoots before the larvae cause indentations.

Pest: Psillid (Tiroza ugenia) - This small insect is sometimes referred to as the 'pimple psillid'. The first stage nymphs move about for a time but soon settle, usually under the leaves, and begin sucking sap from the leaves. This feeding causes the plant to develop oval lumps on the upper surface of the leaves and corresponding depressions on the lower surface, with the now scale-like insect inside. The new growth can be completely covered with lumps.

Control: This is difficult because by the time the damage is noticed it is too late to spray. Next year, watch for the formation of new growth and spray with white oil to

manufacturers recommendations or fish emulsion at 5% dilution when the tiny insects are spotted.

Pest: Pink Wax Scale (Ceroplastes rubens) -

These scales are found on the midribs of leaves and on young twigs. They produce large quantities of honeydew, and plant health declines if the infestation is heavy.

The adults are covered with a hard, pink or greyish-pink wax about 3 mm long. It attacks all citrus, umbrella trees, custard apple, avocados, mangos, ficus spp., lillypillies, Pittosporum spp, and others.

Control: Mature scale are very difficult to kill. Spray before the young scales have grown to about 1 mm long. spray with White oil.

Pest: Soft Brown Scale (Coccus hesperidum) -

the adults of this scale are about 4 mm across, oval in shape, very flat and pale yellowish brown. They characteristically cluster in small dense colonies on isolated branches and twigs and don't usually spread over the whole plant.

Control: Because of their habit of clustering in isolated colonies, control can frequently be obtained by cutting off the affected branch and burning.

Sooty mould: These are fungi and grow on the 'honeydew' which is produced by insects such as scale and psillids. Wherever the honeydew falls sooty moulds can grow. They do no direst damage to the plant but may cause a reduction of photosynthesis if very thick or extensive or they remain for too long.

Control: Sooty moulds can only be reduced if the insects producing the honeydew are controlled. Once these insects are gone and the honeydew supply stops, the sooty mould can no longer grow actively. Any already on the plant will gradually dry out and flake off. This can be assisted by hosing.

Caterpillars - Manually remove caterpillars and squash them if infestation is minor. If caterpillars are in large numbers spray will with "Dipel" (a biological control) - a disease of caterpillars. Birds which eat the dying caterpillars will be unaffected.

Further research is needed to clarify the infestation problems associated with this species.

Hygiene

Tools should be sterilised frequently - 70% methylated spirits to 30% water.

Control weeds along fence lines etc. (Weeds can carry diseases).

Keep all diseased plant materials or other materials which may carry pathogens away from plantation.

Inspect plants frequently. Destroy all diseased plants by burning or removal from property.

All natural soils must be assumed to be contaminated with plant pathogens. As much as possible make sure that soil cannot be splashed onto leaves.

Keep plantation area clean: each day remove all wastes, tools etc. Never leave plant wastes or tools lying around the plants.

It is preferable to complete one job at a time when working around plants, so as to minimise the transfer of disease, fungi, insect pests - e.g. when weeding only do weeding do not handle or prune plants. When

pruning plants only prune plants do not do weeding at the same time (so as not to transfer earth borne disease to the plantation).

Wash hands regularly when handling plants to reduce the spread of fungi, insect pests or disease.

When pruning (sterilise pruning shears or seceteurs regularly. Do not put cutting tools on the ground.

Keep all cutting tools sharp.

Do not walk in plant beds this may transfer weed seeds around plantation.

Disinfect all containers that are reused in the plantation with sodium hypochlorite (bleach) solution (5mls/litre) for 5 minutes.

Keep lawn areas between rows and around the plantation regularly mowed to reduce the spread of weed seed throughout the plantation.

From Andrew Pengelley's Forium - www.nhaa.org.au

Backhousia myrtifolia

Myrtaceae

Common names: Myrtle leaf, scrub ironwood

Description:

Medium sized evergreen tree with opposite, ovate /lanceolate leaves and white stellate flowers arranged in cymes.

Distribution:

The tree is found in sheltered gullies and alongside watercourses, it is very common in eastern Australia.

Part used

Dried leaf

Constituents

Essential oil - alkenebenzene derivatives including emelicin and trans-isoemelicin. Tannins

Actions

Carminative, astringent, sedative, anaesthetic, corrective, platelet inhibitor

Indications

Dyspepsia, heartburn, colic, diarrhoea, irritable bowel, nervous tension & irritability

Toxicology

Emelicin, a chemical component of the essential oil, is mildly genotoxic in rat hepatocytes, however it is not hepatocarcinogenic. Long term use of the herb during pregnancy is discouraged.

Preparations and dosage

Infusion

F.E. 1:3, 1-3mls

Thoughts on the Industry

Brian King, Muntari Wild Food

I would like to add some thoughts on our industry.

When anyone is onto something that they believe is ‘hot’, then it is natural to expect a certain level of selfinterest to manifest itself along the traditional lines of “it’s MY loaf of bread and NO you cannot have any”. If this runs unchecked, then where is the perspective in regard to the bigger picture? Such as feeding the masses or having a job or an occupation to come back to next Monday?

The jump from a few dozen food bearing trees and shrubs scattered around in the bottom paddock, to a sustainable industry, is far greater than the simple dream or self interest allows. If we take the blinkers off, we might see those who would steal this loaf from under the nose, heaven forbid. So, the oscil- lation between head-down and head-up now sees a number of list subscribers sharing their limited, but very valuable, knowledge. For example, say a comment is made whereby a particular fruiting tree likes morning shade and a bit of dew, is proven at harvest time to have a 20% better yield of a higher

quality fiuit - this is strategic information that is of real value longer term.

Any agri/horti activity takes a naturally long time to improve as it takes a few seasons to see the results of any management or practice changes. As manipulators of crop performance, mankind has achieved such a result that what took 200 hundred farm workers to accomplish in a season, less than a dozen are required now. Along with this are the cropping densities now utilised. Improved breeding, planting, fertilisers and pest management sees Australian farmers‘needing’ to export around 75% of their handy work as they produce four times as much as we need domestically.

I had spent 9 years researching native food plants (muntries and wattle in particular) before I decided to go into our agri business, Muntari Wild Food Plants, and have been trading for 6 years. In that time little has changed in my

enthusiasm for the potential of the industry. My opinions however, have.

Some of us have had experience with the ‘ANBIC’ promise and it’s eventual failure and do not wish to see that kind of fiasco repeated again.

There are many factors and market niches that make up what we call “the Bushfoods Industry” and that’s the great thing about it I guess, people from all walks of life can become involved with it. However, this can also work against the industry, what with wildly different prices for the same product, unreliable supply and food safety aspects still not completely convincing main stream markets. We need to be very aware of just how young the industry is and give it all the help we can. No one has all the answers just yet and it is a leap of faith to invest hard dollars and plenty of time for some native food crops. We certainly need grower groups and associations at regional levels to give strong local support that will then give a solid foundation on which to build. We also require government to get serious and realise the potential of this industry and not just wander around‘ the periphery. I know there is research funding, RO & RIRDC involvement etc, but a few hundred thousand dollars

here and there for an industry that RIRDC estimates should be valued around $100 million per year within 5 years? Who is setting the agenda for Bushfoods in this country? Do you want to know? Do you need to know? Do you want to have a say? How will you be able to voice your opinions? What safety or quality procedures do you need to follow? If you are a member of an association eg: the Quandong Association, questions like the above could be answered and your opinions no doubt heard.

Govemment will usually listen to a collective well organised group more readily than any individual.

Marketing produce is generally easier and the experience of a collective can be tapped into when required. Research dollars may be more readily available also.

I would like to see the following:

a) Regional grower groups .

Why? Local shared site knowledge readily accessible. Growers with mixed plantings can be a member of one or more associations.

b) Associations for each fruit group

Why? Each fruit etc has it’s own set of problems and I doubt a national body could fill the requirements of all sector’s problems in an effective way.

c) National body

Why? Focal point for research $ and marketing which this industry requires and I doubt if govemment will like the hassle of dealing with smaller associations when it comes tofiinding projects.

I strongly believe that for this industry to be both economically and ethically sustainable there needs to be both decisive and timely action on all levels of management, be it production marketing or research.

Failure to respond to any of these things will see our fledgling industry

offshore quicker than you may think possible. Israel already is very keen on the quandong and Africa and the US on wattleseed.

Cheers for now

Brian King, Muntari Wild Food

From the Papers...

The following is al synopsis of an aricle in Acres Australia, Sept 2000.

Dorrigo pepper the new ‘Plant Medicine’

A unique method of extracting polygodial from Tasmannia stipitata (Dorrigo pepper) has led to the development of a new natural insecticide.

Mixing the product with white oil at a concentration of 0.03 percent increases the efficacy of white oil by as much as 5 times, which means greater control with less white oil and fewer sprayings.

Bioactive Compounds, a member of the Australian Native Foods group, developed the product, called ‘Plant Medicine’, which is effective against a broad range of insects, including aphids.

RO and Brisbane firm Plantchem (Drs Merv and Elwyn Hegarty) were used as consultants in developing the product with the University of Western Sydney and the University of Queensland were also involved in testing the chemical and phannocological activity of a wide range of native plants.

Brian Millgate, Managing Director of Australian Native Foods, says there is massive scope for industries based on native plants but bemoans the lack of resources available.

Ironically, the product maybe on sale overseas before we see it here in Australia because of policy imposed by the National Registration Authority, which according to Mr Millgate, ‘impose unrealistic and unreasonable financial constraints on non-synthetic-based pesticides and herbicides.’

The Australian Native Foods group currently has 220 hectares of T stipitata at Dorrigo in NSW and is establishing a nursery to sell the plants.

The University of New England has been commissioned by the group to study the agronomy and management of the plant. This will be available in book form.

‘Plant Medicine’ is a natural, plant-derived product, thus ideally suited to integrated pest management systems and organic growers.

From the Bushfoods list'

Highlights from the bushfood discussion group - this is no longer active.

Wattle - Prickly wattle

Hi all - trying to find out if W. Qld's Prickly wattle is the same as Prickly moses - anyone know its real name - and if it's edible? I heard a radio report of farmers in W. Qld buying camels to eat out their prickly wattle - meanwhile requests are coming from overseas for supply of seed - orders we can't meet! Strange times we live in... Sammy

Prickly Moses here in WA is known to a couple of species but primarily Acacia pulchella which has several subspeices - food ??

Thought readers might like to know the following common names as are applied in WA to the following species of Acacia.`Prickly wattle' = Acacia nyssophylla, `Western Prickly Moses ' = Acacia pulchella var. glaberrima and also = Acacia pulchella var.pulchella. 'Dainty Prickly Moses' = Acacia pulchella var.goadbyi

`Prickly Moses' = Acacia ulicifolia. `Prickly Moses'= Acacia verticillata The `Prickly Moses' that Cribb refers to in his `Wild Food in Australia' is that of Acacia farnesiana. He suggests that the dark brown pods have hard grey seeds embedded in a pithy substance, and records that the Aborigines ate the pods after roasting. In other States the same terms could be applied to different species, so I cannot urge you strongly enough to take care.

Regards to all

Chris Jones

Dear all,

I am wondering whether seeds of any of the following Acacia species are sought after by the Acacia seed market (or are potentially marketable)?

Acacia aulococarpa

Acacia elongata var. elongata

Acacia falcata

Acacia implexa

Acacia leiocalyx

Acacia melanoxylon

thanks,

Tein McDonald

G'day Sammy,

My name is Mark Lucas.I currently have about 200 Acacia victoriae trees growing under drip irrigation here in the Riverland, SA. I plan to plant approx 400 more this spring. I harvested a small crop this year, about 50 kg but there is still a small amount of vegetable matter, including sticks and leaves in amongst it. Do you have any more info on the "Debris Seperator" that I remember you mentioning somewhere?

Also Sammy, could you help me out with some prices here? I would like to know how much I could expect to recieve per kg for raw wattle seed and how much per kg of roasted, ground and packaged wattle seed at todays prices. I have some bakery's,cafes and cake shops waiting for my product, but I am unsure what to charge as the price seems to vary so much.

Thanks Sammy,

Regards, Mark Lucas

Hi Mark and all -

wattle seed price does vary rather greatly - I have paid from $14/kg to $23/kg for raw and around $40/kg roasted and I think these are good prices. There is growing demand for seed so I imagine prices will remain stable or even rise. As for the Greening Aust designed 'seperator'- I have their actual drawings for construction so if you'd like to send me 3-4 stamps, I'll copy and post it.

Sammy

Coffee substitute!

Hi,

Can anyone tell me which species was considered to be a substitute for coffee?

Was it Acacia seed? If so which one? Does anyone have any available?

Thanks

Mr Sandro Bombardieri

Dear all,

Does anyone have a great recipe for wattle coffee, with or without a cappucino maker? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Helen Coleman

The Dept of Primary Industries Queensland has a fact sheet on coffee processing (but not the processing of coffee substitutes mentioned here) in the home at: www.dpi.qld.gov.au/dpinotes/hortic/tropfruit/h00044.html (link no longer works) .This fact sheet is one of the DPI Notes series of fact sheets on DPI's web site.

The DPI Notes (about 1280 in number) are also available on the Prime Notes CD-ROM (version 9, March 2000) which also has the advisory fact sheets from 17 other key State and Commonwealth agencies and organisations involved with primary industries and natural resource management. Contact the DPI on 1800 816 541.

Allen Hibberd

Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus - was a colonial substitute for coffee.

"Grass Roots" magazine had a good article on preparing it some years ago.

Lenore

Helen

I am not sure if this is what you want. We boil a cup of water in the microwave. When boiled we add a heaped teaspoon of roasted wattleseed.

Put back in the microwave and boil for 1 minute. Pour into a cup through

a strainer. There is your coffee.

Use the seed later and add to bread, biscuits or ???

Anyhow that is what we do for a drink. If you want it stronger do one of two things. Use a stronger roast or add more of the wattleseed.

Jenni

Hi Everyone,

Have another easy way to make a wattleseed brew.

Use a manual coffee plunger. Put one heaped teaspoon of ground/roasted wattleseed into the plunger fill with water & let stand for 10 seconds, then plunge a couple of times, it's that easy! A good coffee plunger can be purchased for around $20-$25 and will hold around 3-4 cups. They are perfect for the job as the grounds are filtered as you pour and the strength of the flavour can be varied depending on how many times you plunge. Hope this helps

Brian King

Muntari Wild Food Plants Of Australia

Kangaroo apple

Have had a request for Kangaroo apple plants (Solanum lacinitum?) - does

anyone know anything of these?

Sammy

Dear Sammy,

Your enquiry reminded me of an article that Alanna Moore wrote for the ARBIA Journal No.6, 1988.Titled "Bushtucker for the fowls" She did some reading because of the obvious hormonal effects that the berries had on her rainforest free-range bronze turkeys. They turned the cocks into sterile broodies! Needless to say she keeps the plants out of enclosures so there is no further concentration problems.

She quotes from Tim Low's book "Cures from the canopy" etc. Apparently Russian and Hungarian scientists developed a highly successful steroid industry based on two closely related Australian rainforest plants in the 1970's- Solanum aviculare and laciniatum. Apparently they developed vast plantations of the same for this industry.

New Chum

Hello

I am a new bush tucker enthusiast, and have decided to start by planting finger lime and lemon aspen. I was wondering if anyone out there has any marketing forecasts they would like to share with me. Or perhaps is there someone else out there that would like to pool resources, when they arrive that is. I'll be growing up near Gympie, and I was planning on starting with just 50 Rainforrest Pearl Finger Lime plants, (unless I get an overwhelming response to this email an decide to plant more). I have done some investigation mainly on the finger lime, and it will take 3 years before any fruit will be available. But I was hoping that if anyone knew any reason why this WOULDNT be a good idea I'd really appreciate the comments.

As for the Lemon Aspen I havent (as yet) been able to get a hold on much

information - any suggestions would be appreciated.

Look forward to your responses

Suej

Good-day Sue, don't narrow your options too much. We have 9 types of

Acronychia between NSW and us(Mary Valley) I use oblongifolia, and

wilcoxiana, oblongifolia being my overall preference so far. I have 4

of the nine growing wild on my place at Conondale. See your local

landcare as to what they have available, but don't expect a real quick

crop though. Not much is known on the results of Acronychia in

cultivation. Perhaps some information will come in from our friends in

NSW. There is also a tremendous amount of variation between individual

trees, trees 50 meters apart on my place fruit about 5 weeks apart.

John King "Rainforest Liqueurs"

Witjuti grubs

I have been contacted by a chap who is able to harvest wijuti grubs -

anyone want some? I believe the going price is $2-3 each plus p & p -

Sammy

Riberry etc

Hi all

I have about 6000 tubes of Syzygium leuhmanii, and S.wilsonii for sale for a

good price, for those interested. I am also selling tubes of other native species. As for Syzygium wilsonii - all I know is it has a white fruit and it is a good bee pollen producer, which may be used in drinks.

Eloise.

Dear Eloise

I wander if this is any help to you. I live in the Boonah Shire and have some bushfoods growing. We offer people and groups to come and look at the trees and we treat you to morning or afternoon tea or lunch. You are most welcome to come and visit, take photos or just look. Our phone number is 0754646667 or fax 0754646645.

Jenni Weekes.

Finger lime

Hello All

I am passionate about the finger lime If you have any i would be interested in hearing from you. We have a market if there is anyone out there with the fruit. we will pay top dollar for any A grade fruit. Also are making progress on a line to utilise the B grade fruit. We are collecting any information we can on the finger lime which will be available to all on-line at www.fingerlimes.com very shortly. As a new industry, we believe that the only way to produce A grade fruit, in a commercial quantity, is to pool information on the topic. this is the idea behind the website. It is still under construction, but should be on-line with in the next few weeks.

If you have finger limes or will in the future, large or small amounts, please contact us at the_australian_finger_lime_co@hotmail.com, via bushfoods chat or by phone on(02)6677 0030

Sincerely, Sophie Martin & Lee McKenna

Sophie

We have some finger limes growing and they have done really well. In fact we have been picking since May and will be until September. Perhaps you could send us some more info on what you are doing, how many you are looking for, or other info on your venture. We would love to hear it.

Jenni Weekes.

Quandong

Hi Sammy,

I'm out in Dubbo NSW and have just purchased a small block to start growing

some Bush Foods. I would appreciate a copy of the mentioned sheets. Also =

I have some Quandong seeds but cannot get them to germinate any suggestions.

thanks

Mike

Hi Michael,

I'm only new to the bushfoods scene, but I have been playing around with growing various types of bushfoods. With Quandongs, I found it best if you crack the shell (as suggested by Dr Margaret Sedgley) then dust with a fungicide and grow in a germination chamber (with bottom heat) until germinated. Once germinated I find planting out with Kikuyu is sufficient for the roots to parasitise. I have about 20 plants gorwn this way and they all seem to be going pretty well (mind you they are only a couple of years old so I have a bit more waiting before they start yielding fruit). Don't through away the seed you have already tried to germinate as they can sometimes take a year to 2 years to germinate without cracking the shell.

Hope this helps.

Ray

Medicinals:

Greetings,

I wonder if anyone on the list is into bushfoods more from the medicinal aspect rather than as food crops or culinary spices - either interms of growing, harvesting, or research. I'd just be interested to know what ones are considered most worthwhile from the medical angle.

thanks

Andrew

Hi Andrew - I know some Indigenous groups have published their own books on bush medicine - unfortunately I don't have any more details. I also know a group of people in the Palm Island group (off Townsville) are collecting local seeds and will be planting a bushtucker & bush medicine plot with the long term aim of providing traditional medicines for their people & perhaps harvesting to raise funds for ongoing projects such as that one. If you want to contact someone direct regarding this group - let me know and I will try and chase a contact for you. - Deb.

Hi -

there are a number of books in print covering traditional medicines - am happy to send the full list (of those I can find!) to anyone who is interested.

They are mainly from the centre and the north.

There is also a very good group headed by Andrew Pengelly - the Native Herb Forum - I have mislaid their web address but will search it out and get it to you all tomorrow. cheers

Sammy

Suggest you try Mediherb at Warwick. They provide useful information to prospective growers. Regards,

Jacquie Bodger AgriInfonet

Rural Market Development

DPI - Queensland

Tel: 07 3239 3307

Fax: 07 3221 3896

Wild Tobacco

Hello,

Living in the Byron Shire of NSW, we have some Wild Tobacco growing which my husband always wants to get rid of amongst the trees I've planted for wind break and shade. The ripe fruits are orange and reasonably tasty like Gooseberries. These tree/shrubs have blue flowers, I don't know what species they are. Winifred Bower

Hello

About native tobacco, the Flora of Southeast Queensland said in 1986 that there were 94 native and 31 naturalised species of Solanum in Australia - probably more now. There are also other related "wild tobacco" species (different names) in the same family (Solanaceae) some of them also used traditionally for smoking etc. Many of the Solanaceae here and overseas have records of medicinal uses and some are toxic. The records of Australian traditional use of native plants for food and medicine are increasing but often hard to find unless you are in the area, so if your group can share some of the knowledge it's building up about native plants, particularly ones used for food, it will be welcome. The one we usually call "wild" tobacco in Queensland is Solanum mauritianum (as mentioned by John King) which came in from Mauritius or elsewhere many years ago and it (along with much more recent Solanum arrivals such as the prickly devil's fig and giant devil's fig) grow very fast into tall woody shrubs. Although this "wild tobacco" has been popular as a temporary cover crop in bush regeneration, we find the many birds that come to feed on it drop undigested seeds, including those of weedy species like Chinese elm which aren't already on the property, so it's been a bit of a mixed blessing for us. Just as a caution, there are also conflicting reports of how toxic this plant is to livestock (and it was declared a noxious weed in Queensland) but there's also at least one oldish report from South Africa that eating the fruits over there had proved fatal to a human - what birds and animals can eat OK is not always safe for human food. Haven't searched further, but I wouldn't eat our local "wild tobacco" fruits of the same species, and don't suppose you or anyone else who knows about plants would either, but there's always the possibility someone might take a chance with them.

Regards.

Elwyn Hegarty

Pouteria obovata

Hi Robert at staff@herb.com is looking for leaf of Pouteria obovata - please contact him direct if you have some.

Sammy

DIVERSIFICATION OPTIONS WITH BUSH TUCKER INDUSTRY WORKSHOPS

The development of a stronger bush tucker industry in south and western Queensland is the focus of a series of informative workshops next month.

The Department of Primary Industries, with assistance from Sally Scott from the Maranoa Development Association, Jill Keen from the Tambo Shire Council and Jenny Campbell from the Chinchilla Shire Council, will conduct the bush tucker workshops.

The workshops will be held in Chinchilla, Roma and Tambo on the October 29, 30 and 31 respectively.

Longreach-based DPI rural partnerships development officer, David Arnold, said the bush tucker industry was growing in prominence throughout Australia and the world.

"There are a number of primary producers already actively engaged in harvesting product from the wild, with substantial quantities being collected," he said.

Mr Arnold said the workshop series had three main aims. These are:

1. To seek information on the industry for current and potential participants, such as market trends, industry size and demand/value/supply chain structure;

2. To collectively assess the interest amongst current and potential industry participants in potential mutually-beneficial needs and future developments, such as the feasibility of regionally-based cooperative arrangements with a view to developing value-adding opportunities; and

3. To provide an opportunity for current and potential participants in this exciting new industry to meet and interact.

Mr Arnold said from the discussions DPI staff has had with several industry participants, there was evidence to suggest that there was willingness amongst some to try and form more cooperative type structures.

"This means there may be possibilities for a group or entity to explore the opportunities to developing more value-adding opportunities in the regional areas where the product is grown and harvested," he said.

The workshops will each consist of presentations by a number of guest speakers followed by a session to identify future directions.

Workshop speakers will include Ann Sanderson, whose family harvests desert limes on their property at Tambo; Dr Rob Fletcher from the University of Queensland, Gatton; and Wendy Phelps from Longreach Bush Tucker.

The key speaker for this workshop series will be Juleigh Robins, of Robins Australian Foods in Melbourne.

Mr Arnold said the achievements of Mrs Robins and her husband, Ian, had been an integral part of the development of the Australian native food industry.

"Juleigh acts as one of the four advisers on the Bush Food Advisory Panel, which provides advice on the direction and value of wild food industry research to the Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)," he said.

"Complementing Mrs Robins as a guest speaker will be Ann Sanderson who will speak about how she and her husband Peter got started, the different processes they used to harvest and sort, and the problems and opportunities for the region.

"Ann and her husband Peter have been actively engaged in wild harvesting for seven years, recently using e-commerce to sell part of their produce".

The third speaker at the workshops will be Dr Rob Fletcher who has been assisting members of the Australian native food industry for many years.

The final speaker is Wendy Phelps from Longreach Bush Tucker, who with her husband, David, has been active in wild harvesting, plantation, research and the promotion and distribution of bush foods for the last seven years.

The workshop details are as follows:

* Sunday, October 29 - Chinchilla Shire Supper Room, 12.30pm - 4.30pm;

* Monday, October 30 - Club Hotel, Roma , 9.30 am - 1.00pm; and

* Tuesday, October 31 - Tambo Shire Supper Room , 9.00 am - 1:00pm.

Further information: David Arnold, DPI Longreach (07) 4658 4401

Public affairs officer: Louisa McKerrow, DPI Longreach (07) 4658 4413

Department of Primary Industries Public Affairs

PO Box 519, Longreach Q 4730

Ph 07 4658 4400, Fax 07 4658 4433

Products

Beau-utiful!!!

Organic Macadamia Nut and Davidson plum swirl.

I came across this one by accident and I’m so glad I did. If, like me, you’re partial to peanut butter but find that it brings out adolescent zits, this is the spread for you! The nutty, macadamia paste is beautifully set off by the swirls

of slightly tart Davo jam.

Organic Macadamia Nut and Davidson Plum Swirl is made by Corndale Organic Bushfoods, 805 Corndale Rd, Corndale, NSW, Phi 0266 882 288.

And some more good eating...

not strictly a product, but I was delighted to see that a new restaurant has been launched in Brisbane. Mr Wayne Coolwell has opened ‘Eva’s Place’, an

Aboriginal owned, managed and serviced restaurant in the city. It seats 60 people inside and 20 people outside in the enclosed courtyard. Wayne is keen to use native food products, so if you would like to let him know what

you have, write to him at: Eva’s Place, 500 Boundary St,

Spring Hill, Qld 4000 or email Elizabeth Gerrard

Diemen(One of) the best things to happen to Native Pepper...

Diemen Pepper have brought out a range of Native Pepper (Tasmania lanceolata) products which should, if there’s anty justice, take the world by storm, I have now used their exciting Tapas Oil in a salad dressing and as a dribble over sea-food and what can I say? Try it! The product is made in Tasmania with virgin olive oil steeped in Native pepper and beautifully packaged in a 250ml bottle.

Contact: Dieman Pepper

21 Bay Rd, New Town,

Tasmania 7008.

email: cd_read@tasie.net.au

Do you have a product or service? Let the magazine know!


Recipes

Bunya Nut Semolina Croquettes

Serves: 20 croquettes

INGREDIENTS:

600ml milk 25g butter

Salt and pepper 25g grated parmesan

3 egg yolks 200g semolina

Egg and breadcrumbs Fat for frying

200g ground Bunya nuts

Instructions:

Put milk and butter into a pan, When the milk is boiling, stir in the semolina and Bunya nuts and cool slowly for about 10 minutes.

Add egg yolks, cheese and seasoning. Continue cooking, stirring for a few minutes longer.

You can now spread the mixture on a tray to a thickness of 1 cm and when cold cut into rounds, or you can roll it into barrel shapes. OR do as we do and place into a piping bag without a nozzle when still warm and then pipe onto a floured tray. Roll and cut into desired lengths. When cool, roll lightly in flour, then dip into egg wash and breadcrumbs

Deep-fry or pan-fry in oil until golden brown.

COMMENTS:

This is a nice dish to have instead of potato or just on its own.

The following is from Prickles (Iafe (South Fremantle). Prickles is the only restaurant in West-

ern Australia to specialise in authentic Australian cuisine.

WATTLESEED ICE CREAM

l cup Wattleseed essence

2 teaspoons Wattleseeds

2 teaspoons Brandy

'1 200ml Cream

600ml Milk

500g Brown sugar

8 egg yolks

Heat sugar, cream and milk (do not boil)

Add liquid to egg yolks whisking instantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.

Reheat the mix and add the remaining ingredients

Churn in ice cream machine

Makes 2 litres

 

Munthari Berry Sauce

500ml good quality meat stock

50g Butter, Pinch of seasoning

150g Munthari Berries (whole)

Splash of Bitters

1 small brown onion (diced)

2 Spring onions (sliced thinly)

Splash of lemon juice

Pinch of Lemon myrtle (ground)

Heat butter in a pan and fry brown onion until soft. Add stock and other ingredients except spring onion. Reduce on medium heat until the liquid has halved in volume.

Add spring onions, stir and spoon over game meats.

Lemon Aspen Curd Tartlet (serves 10)

Crumb mixture

30 gm sugar

30 gm breadcrumbs

1 1/4 gm ground cardamom seed

Lemon curd filling

2 lemons - rind grated

30 ml lemon aspen juice

200 gm sugar

3 eggs - well beaten

250 gm unsalted butter

Meringue

6 egg whites - stiffly beaten ti.

225 gm sugar

Make crumble mix in abowl. Dust over the bottom of pastry shell while shell is still warm. Make lemon curd in top of a double saucepan. Add lemon rind, juice, sugar, eggs & butter. Set over hot, not boiling, water. Stir with wooden spoon over low heat until mixture is consistency of thick cream sauce. Pour into shallow 22cm cake tin & put into freezer for 15 mins. When lemon curd is firmly set, put it into pastry case. Use rubber spatula to scrape out of pan & pat it evenly into case. Slowly beat sugar into egg whites.

Continue beating until whites are stiff. Fill piping bag fitted with #8 or #9 tube, with the meringue. Pipe out large scallop shapes to cover the lemon curd completely. Sprinkle meringue with castor sugar & bake pie for 10-15 mins until meringue is delicate golden brown. Cool pie & place in refrigerator to chill for 1 hr before service.

The following is from Blue Gum Fine Foods

Baked Wattleseed Bread & Butter Pudding (serves 8)

1200 gm baked egg custard

6 thin slices of buttered bread

60 gm sultanas

10 gm wattleseed

30 gm castor sugar

Remove crusts from buttered bread slices & cut into 4 triangles. Arrange on bottom of pie plate with slices neatly overlapping. Sprinkle over the sultanas & wattleseed & cover with the rest of the bread slices. Pour half the custard over the bread & allow to stand for 30 mins to prevent the bread from floating to the surface. Add the rest of the custard, dredge with castor sugar & sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake & serve as baked egg custard.

Meal Suggestions

And here are some meal suggestions - use your favorite recipe for the base dish and then add your bushfoods! Menu ideas from Cherikoff the Rare Spice Co.

Soups

Sydney rock oyster soup with yam, ginger and lemon aspen juice

Thick butternut pumpkin soup garnished with mountain pepper BBQ sauce* and sour cream

Bush tomato soup with basil sour cream . '

Dundee’s crocodile soup made hot and sour with native pepperberries and wild limes

Chicken or Fish soup (or clam chowder) with lemon aspen juice, soy and ginger

Miso vegetable soup with lemon myrtle (hot or cold)

Rich red bean gumbo (with mountain pepper and akudjura)

Australian tom yum soup (Thai-style soup with sweet corn and rainforest lime splash)

Beetroot and cabbage borsch with mountain pepper and aniseed myrtle

Chicken soup with bush berries (munthari) and wild mushrooms

Hot and spicy lentil soup (with our native peppers and akudjura)

Vegetarian, prawn or chicken laksa (Indonesian spicy soup) with lemon myrtle pasta

Butternut pumpkin, macadamia and bunya nut soup

Paperbark smoked sweet potato soup with crispy kangaroo prosciutto*

Duck, orange and wattle soup

Lamb, barley (or rainforest herb pasta) and wild mint Scotch broth

Chicken consommé with outback (akudjura and cheese) (or native mint) dumplings

Kangaroo consommé with a wonton of paperbark smoked kumara

Honey, rhubarb (or beetroot) and wild rosella soup (served with yoghurt) (hot or cold)

Sweet rainforest (lemon aspen) chilli soup (hot or cold)

Main dishes

Chicken pieces with mushrooms in a macadamia nut cream

Beef, vegetable and riberry casserole

Roasted pork with sweet Kakadu plum and soy

Kangaroo sausages and peaches in a native pepperberry jus

Fine sliced vegetables tossed through short rainforest herb fettuccine

flavoured with macadamia nut oil

King prawns, capsicum and Spanish onion stirfry in a sweet lemon aspen glaze

Lemon myrtle fettuccine tossed with oyster mushrooms, emu prosciutto

warrigal greens and sour cream and topped with coriander

Rainforest herb fettuccine with stir-fried mixed vegetables and roasted macadamia nut pieces


Early Collectors - Banks

We have much to give thanks for in the person of Sir Joseph Banks, not just for the work he himself did in the colony but also for his continued support of botanical collectors, artists and others well after his return to England.

Banks and Daniel Solander did much to make the voyage of the Endeavour (1768-1771) a scientific as well as cartographic affair and an enormous collection was returned to England from this voyage. It was Banks' enthusiastic application to the task which prompted Cooks to give Botany Bay its rather strange name.

Interestingly, Banks' journal entries during the voyage were far from glowing;

"...a soil so barren and at the same time entirely void of the helps derived from cultivation...we could but now and then procure a dish of bad greens for our own table."

Solander spent years sorting and classifying the collection and this period softened Banks' memories somewhat;

"...the grass was long and luxurient, and there were some eatable Vegetables, particularly a sort of Wild Spinage; the country was well supplied with Water; there was abundance of timber and fuel..."

Banks was made the Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew and, in 1788, President of the Royal Society. From this position of influence, he was able to keep botanical science alive in Australia.

He maintained constant correspondance with succeeding Governors of the Colony and was rewarded with shiploads of specimens and live plants.

This system was obviously too ad hoc for his liking and he undertook the employ of collectors, pressuring ship's captains to erect 'plant cabins' on the deck and making his feelings known when specimens died enroute.

Perhaps Banks' most prolific collector was George Caley, a bad tempered man, rash and often ill-mannered and quick to fall out with almost anyone. However, Caley was also a keen oberserver, a tireless collector and possibly one of the first to unravel the complexities of the Eucalyptis species by use of their Aboriginal names.

Caley, who stayed in the Colony for ten years, had clashes with Governer King, Governer Bligh, the Reverand Samual Marsden, and would likely have clashed with Lachlan Macquarie had he not returned home on the ship that brought the new Governer.

During this time, Banks had also sent botanist Robert Brown and botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer to Australia to survey and paint our flora and it was this addition to the 'collection team' which was Caley's undoing.

Brown and Bauer returned to England, leaving their collection in Caley's care. In 1807, Caley had the opportunity to return home with the plants when Governer King left the Colony. He refused, unwilling to share a voyage with the outgoing Governer. Banks finally snapped,

".. I have not, therefore, any longer occassion for your services...I am willing to settle 30 a year upon you for your life and to release you from all services beyond what you voluntarily which to perform.."

It appears that Caley did not receive this letter for he continued to work diligently until 1808 when, not having heard from his employer for three years, he opined,

"What fatique I have undergone...I shall content myself by thinking that I have I have erected a line of beacons as a guide for future botanists..."

Caley finally returned home to England, having sent literally thousands of plants to his patron without the credit and fanfare he had hoped for.

It may or may not have been consolation to him to know that the new botanical collector - Allan Cunningham - also clashed with the then Governer, Macquarie.

This tiff, over a horse, a house or possibly just a little respect, led Macquarie to complain to Banks,

"I leave it to you to judge how far I have merited such a return from this Unbred, Illiterate Man..."

With remarkable patience, Banks, by now ill and rather infirm, came between the antagonists to avoid a total ruction. Cunningham, of course, went on to validify Banks' support.

References:

People and plants in Australia, edited by D.J. and S.G.M. Carr, Academic Press, 1981


The DOOR to new rural industry development

It is usually impossible for primary producers to authenticate the claims of entrepreneurs encouraging investment in new rural industries. Especially difficult to check are the claims of potential windfall profits to be made from crops or animals not previously grown in an area.

To reduce the "anticipointment" often associated with attempts at new rural industries, an exciting new approach called "Do Our Own Marketing Research" has been developed as a result of collaboration between primary producers, new crop entrepreneurs and academics.

The New Crops Program in the School of Land and Food at the University of Queensland Gatton College was commissioned by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in 1993 to find a way to improve the selection process by which primary producers chose new crops to grow.

"DOOR Marketing" has arisen as part of this new approach *or primary producers to consider whether new rural enterprise proposals are worth pursuing.

Primary producers are being attracted to new rural industry schemes because of the ever-increasing costs and the fierce export market competition in many oftheir current enterprises.

Anyone who views the current rural financial situation as critical is being tempted to embark upon a new crop, animal or aquaculture enterprise. They often do so without the preliminary consideration they would normally give high cost new investments.

"DOOR Marketing" has developed from the "Do Our Own Research" concept which arose within the nursery industry in the Redlands area of outer Brisbane to provide encouragement and guidance to nursery operators so they could carry out their own research. DOOR is now being used by primary producers to solve problems, Australia-wide.

The new approach, DOOR Marketing has been developed to answer the most basic question asked about any proposed new enterprise: "Why produce a product ifit cannot be sold?"

Information about potential new rural industries is often limited and of varying usefulness for primary producers. DOOR Marketing assists primary producers in the evaluation of what information is needed, how it may be sourced and encourages them to commence the process.

Experience so far has indicated that DOOR Marketing can readily identify new crop proposals that do not warrant investment by producers. Primary producers are encouraged to then commence more intense marketing and business plans with professional assistance for those proposals which remain viable.

DOOR Marketing has been developed as a manual for individual use and as a two day course for farmer groups. It has been trialled with groups of primary producers at Gatton, Lismore, Gympie and Kingaroy, extending further afield over the next few weeks.

Further information can be obtained from Dr Rob Fletcher, School of Land and Food The University of Queensland Gatton College, 4345 Phone: (07) 5460 1311 or(07) 5460 1301; After hours: (07) 5465 4121 Fax. (07) 5460 1112; Email: r. fletcher@mailbox. uq.edu. au


POTTING MIXES for Bush Foods Tools

by Chris Jones

 

There are a number of different potting mixes on the market, however it is essential when buying a commercial product to ensure that the mix you buy will be suitable for growing Australian natives.

It should have at last two or more different materials in its composition. Typically it will contain composted and aged sawdust and/or pinebark mulch as the main component, peat and coarse sand. (Note that raw sawdust and fresh pine bark are often toxic to plant roots.) A general mix could also consist of pine bark, shavings, compost, styrofoam or perlite, sand and peat moss. Gravel is also used on occasions. A good mix should have an aeration rate of 21% of its volume, and record a pH level around 5-6.5. A potting mix composition will affect its behaviour towards water and air, its wettability, colour and temperature, and can be indicated by the look and `feel' of the mix. A good potting mix when squeezed in the hand, should feel like a squeezed out sponge. Its colour should be dark brown to black indicating a moderate amount of humus or decomposed organic matter present. Really black, reddish or pale coloured potting mix indicate a poor composition, too high or too low in nutrients, and insufficient composting or ageing. White crusting will indicate salt and potting mix with a salinity problem should not be used.

If you are using a commercial potting mix without soil in its composition, for your tubestock or potted plants, then you will also need to add nitrogen to the potting mix before use, or start a liquid feeding program once the plants are potted, and often both may be necessary. For natives, the use of slow release fertilizers containing little or no phosphorus, such as low-P Osmocote(, liquid food such as P. Nitrosol( or slow release Nutricote (. Fertilizers can be soluble, slow release and mixed, or organic. We have used successfully low-P Osmocote(, Thrive( in established seedlings, and Fish emulsion to tubestock over their growing periods, and have also applied Blood and Bone to the intended planting out site, a week prior to planting. In non-wetting soils water saving crystals have also been applied at the time of planting with exceptional results. If growing bush tucker in large pots or tubs, where the contents are infrequently changed, the potting mix should contain a high proportion of mineral materials to reduce shrinkage of the potting mix.

Making Your Own Potting Mix

If you want to go truly organic, you could make your own potting mix. Here are some guidelines suggested by RO (1985) for general potting mixes (all plants):

* Use hammer-milled pine bark and/or composted sawdust as the main ingredient. Detoxify the bark by stacking it moist in an uncovered heap fro at least 6 weeks. Compost sawdust for about 12 weeks. Add urea at the rate of 2kg/m( and superphosphate at 0.2kg/m(. Inoculate the heap with old composted sawdust or garden compost at 5% by volume. Turn the heap each 1 to 2 weeks.

* Other organic materials could include rice hulls, peanut shells, peat moss, brown coal, crushed coke, grape marc, mushroom compost, composted stable manure, and composted garden wastes low in soil.

* Use coarse sand or crushed rock with a low lime content. Particle sizes should be similar.

* Generally soils aren't used, although a sandy loam (less than 10% of the total volume) could be added if the mix is mainly for large tub plants.

* Poultry manure shouldn't be used for native plants, but could be used for ornamentals and exotics provided it is no more that 5% of the total volume.

* Polystyrene foam is useful but blows everywhere!

* Perlite, vermiculite and peat are useful in propagation mixes.

* For cacti and succulents a higher proportion of sand should be used.

* Carnivorous plants should have a high proportion of fibrous peat, some vermiculite and sphagnum peat moss.

* Vary the proportions of the components until the air-filled porosity of the mix is in the right range.

* Adjust the pH to the desired range by a 1:1 mixture of dolomite and agricultural lime if too acid, or sulphur if not acid enough.

* Decide on the type of fertilizers to be used.

Liquid feeding - prepare your own

While commercial liquid feeding preparations are available, sometimes it may be necessary to prepare your own.

Nitrogen only - Ammonium nitrate at 4g/10L or

Nitrogen and sulphur - Ammonium sulphate at 6g/10L

Nitrogen and calcium - Calcium nitrate at 11g/10L

Nitrogen and potassium - Ammonium nitrate at 3g/10L plus potassium nitrate at 2g/10L

or Ammonium nitrate at 4g/10L plus potassium sulphate at 2g/10L

or Ammonium sulphate at 6g/10L plus potassium sulphate at 2g/10L

Precautions when using potting mixes

Potting mixes because of their very composition, contain high levels of micro-organisms, many of which are capable of causing diseases, not only to plants but to people. To reduce the risks involved it is suggested that rubber boots, overalls and face masks be worn when mixing materials, and that after handling potting mixes that hands be thoroughly washed.

Some general guidelines

* Use clean tools and tubes - disinfect them before use by immersing for 5-10 minutes in a bleach solution (125ml domestic bleach of 4.5% strength diluted to 1L). Wear gloves when handling bleach.

* Use a clean surface for all potting operations - wipe the area with bleach beforehand.

* Never re-use old potting mix from pots in which plants have died.

* If you consistently lose plants from the same commercial potting mix brand, change brands.

References: Handreck,K. (1985) Potting Mixes and the Care of Plants Growing in Them. RO Soil Series.


Pest Control

The following is taken from the excellent newsletter from the Booran Park
Permaculture Club All round insecticide
4 onions, 4 chillies, 1 cup soapflakes, 2 cloves garlic.

Put ingredients in a bucket and cover with water. Let it soak overnight. Strain off the liquid and store it in a jar in a dark place for further use. Mix the concentrate with 5 litres of water. This only kills on contact with all insects (including the good ones), so use in extreme circumstances only. There is no
residue.
Black spot
l litre skim milk, 1 litre soapy water

Mix the ingredients and spray every fortnight. (I am using this on my immature Davidson plum - Ed) .
The following are from a variety of souces:
Edible companion plants:
Coriander or anise - repels spider mites and some aphids.
Garlic and chives - these repel a vast range of baddies.
Sweet basil - once again, this plant seems to repel a wide range of pests.
Stinging nettle -It is claimed Stinging nettle aids in general resistance of neighbouring plants, increases the essentail oil content and encourages humus formation.
The plant can also be used in fertiliser tea and I am rather partial to nettle soup!


Australian Native Produce Industries

Fact sheets
ANPI, Box 1 63 Paringa SA 5340. email: plants@anpi.com.au
Ph. 61 0(8) 8595 8008 Fax. 61 0(8) 8595 8099
Wild Orange (Capparis mitchelii)Capparis
Description
Small rounded tree or bushy shrub (5 to 8 m) with dense crown. Juvenile foliage usually prickly, sometimes carrying through to mature foliage. Dark green foliage, fleshy fruit 20 to 50 mm in diameter. Attractive, large white flowers at any time of the year, flowers wither after opening for one full day.
Natural Occurrence, Climate and Soil Conditions
Occurs naturally in 100 to 300mm rainfall areas (confined to watercourses at lower end of range) of temperate SA, Vic, NSW Qld and NT, generally on heavier textured soils.
Culinary Uses
Fruit is ripe when some brown colour develops on the skin, and may be eaten raw or used in desserts (eg. mousse, gelati and icecream etc) and cordials. Peak fruit ripening tends to be in mid to late summer. Current use of this crop is largely experimental.
Cultivation Comments Attractive multi-purpose tree for hot, low rainfall areas. Rarely seen under cultivation. Slow initial growth rate (Ito 3 years), then more rapid. A highly regarded stock fodder tree where it occurs naturally. Tolerant of frost, drought, periods of waterlogging, and lime soil
GlaucaDesert Lime (Citrus glauca)
Description
Evergreen, upright prickly shrub to small single stemmed tree (2 to 8 m) with rounded crown. Grey-green foliage, fruits yellow-green 2 cm in diameter, often seedless.
Natural Occurrence, Climate and Soil Conditions
Widespread occurrence in nature, growing naturally in the 200 to 500 mm rainfall areas of temperate SA, NSW and Qld, on broad range of soil types. Small white flowers in spring.
Culinary Uses
Fruits ripen in mid to late summer (10 to 12 weeks after flowering). Fruits are used in chutneys, jams, marmalades, sweet and savoury sauces, desserts, ice creams and refreshing drinks. There is rapidly growing interest in this plant for gourmet applications.
Cultivation Comments
A very hardy arid and semi-arid zone fruit producing species. Closely related to commercial Citrus. Can be grafted onto a range of Citrus and Microcitrus rootstocks. Slow initial growth (unless grafted to vigorous rootstock). On its own roots (seedling), it is moderately tolerant of frost, drought and lime soil conditions (or according to particular rootstock). Responds well to pruning and shaping. Seeds sometimes parasitised by gall wasp. An interesting garden and tub plant.
Estimated Yield and Gross Return
For estimating purposes, under irrigation, at a spacing of 4 x 4 m (625 per ha), an average yield of 2.0 kg can be expected in the fifth season after planting. At a farm gate value of $8 per kg, a gross return of $10,000 per ha could be achieved. Wider spacings should be used under dryland conditions, and a lower yield (quality and quantity) should be expected. Budded selections, available this Spring, promise earlier fruiting and higher yields.


Somewhat Useful Page...

 

One of my favorite things - a compilation of bits and pieces from wherever they can be found...the Ed.
All right - I've spent too many hours with a heavy, industrial strength sieve sorting Ribberies - this year I wlll have a wok-shaped sieve hanging at a good sitting height. You could probably have a series of them hanging on under another with ever decreasing hole size... If you can find any old fans being thrown out, the wok-shaped screen makes an excellent, light sieve (usual hole diameter 7-I0mm).

Still battling with with wattle seed cleaning? Here’s an inclined metal tray with high lips which guides the seed and debris over a reversed vacuum cleaner pipe (or any blower you have) that blows away the ‘chaff’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s one l rather like - a multi-story worm starter for those gardens without enough woims (or areas in your garden that are wormless). Get a an old P\/C pipe (as wide as possible) and drill holes in it, Bury it in the ground no more than a metre deep, then start adding compost l material. Give it a week or so and then introduce a few worms. Go easy on onion and citrus material as they aren't fond of these I collect lucerne hay sweepings from my local local stock and station which seems to give my compost a bit of a gee-up.

From the Editor

Aromats - Essential, Sensual and Sublime

Thoughts On the'Industry body'

Native Food Production in SA

Report from WA

Quandong Q&A

A little pepper tale

Essential Oil Isolates from Backhousia

Feature - Diploglottis

Down on the farm

Sell before you sow, Part II

Organic Notes

Comment - Larry Geno

How do you say that?

Bushfoods go French

Aromats

Bird/Butterfly Bushfoods

Some thoughts on the industry - Brian King

From the papers

From the 'List'

Backhousia anisata

Diversification Workshop

Products

Recipes

Early collectors - Banks

More on DOOR

Potting Mixes for Bushfoods

Pest control

ANPI Fact Sheets

Somewhat useful page


Get up-to-date info at Bushfoods magazine online