Bush tucker for backyards

Before we got interested in growing our own food, we planted over a hundred Australian natives around our garden borders. Grevilleas are our favourite, and I’m pretty sure you could fill an entire backyard with all the different varieties.

Last year we attended a session on bush tucker at Kumbartcho by Jan Sked, and realized that if we had chosen a little better we could have added more bush tucker plants in our garden. It’s really important to correctly identify any plant you wish to eat or cook with because many natives have poisonous berries and leaves.

Here are some Australian plants that are edible and suitable for a suburban backyard.

If you are interested in exploring native food cooking, grab a copy of the self-published “Go Native – Wild Food Cookbook” by Jan Sked (email: jansked@powerup.com.au). Here are some of the better cookbooks as recommended by Jan Sked:

Taste test: Jammin’ in the rainforest

Rainforest Jam

While up on the Fraser Coast, we purchased some local nuts and a few petite jars of rainforest spreads. Here’s the results of our taste test:

1. Lemon Myrtle Honey (left)- This one was a thick lemon syrupy honey. We could clearly taste the tang of the Lemon Myrtle, with a base of Eucalyptus honey. One way to identify a Lemon Myrtle tree is to crush some of its leaves, and it gives off a similar lovely sweet smell of lemons!

2. Davidson’s Plum Jam (middle) – The labels describes a “tart plum flavour, followed by a delightful tang.” We found it similar to normal plum jam and its mild taste was the most agreeable of the three. Davidson’s plum trees only grow in very limited regions of the Australian Rainforest.

3. Riberry Jam (Lillipilli Jam) (right) – The last one had a distinct taste that neither of us liked. The label says it is similar to “boysenberry and ginger”, so if you like these flavours perhaps this is the one for you. Riberries are only found in Australian rainforests on the east coast

We tried the spreads with mini pikelets for breakfast. If you would like to purchase and try any of these bush foods for yourself, visit Lemon Myrtle Refreshed’s website.