Many garden projects and programs are keen to include a greater number and variety of bush food plants in garden projects – whether in kitchen, yard, community or market gardens, or landcare and landscaping projects.
The bush food industry is growing, generating business opportunities and new sustainable livelihoods for Aboriginal people. This growth is also highlighting the need for new industry protocols to help ensure that Traditional Owners of special bush foods knowledge are appropriately involved in the ongoing development of the industry. A number of groups are currently working on these issues. Many bush foods can be readily accessed through nurseries and there is a lot of good information in the public domain. Access to some bush food species however can be constrained by a range of factors - including limited seed stock, fragmentation and isolation of suppliers, and sometimes cultural restraints on access.
We’re developing a ‘working list’ of useful Bush Foods references, resources and links for different areas of Australia. Early days, but some of the best links and resources we’ve found so far are listed under Bush Food links. Check them out – they include:
The Desert Knowledge CRC – Bush Products project. This site details the Hands Across the Desert project that explores each link of the bush tomato value chain. A great range of fact and information sheets about specific bush foods are online, and ‘Coming soon’ is a comprehensive database of bush food and associated publications.
The CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems – Australian Native Foods page, has good research and project information along with links to recent industry group developments.
IAD Press – Bush Foods and Medicines. IAD Press is an Indigenous Publisher based at the Institute for Aboriginal Development (IAD) in Alice Springs. This link lists key bush food publications from many of the Central Australian language groups. Great resources.
The Australian Bushfood and Native Medicine Forum. This site has a really good, discussion forum as well as very useful bushfood links pages that include listings of relevant commercial sites and suppliers.
The Australian Bushfoods Magazine. This site provides access to a range of articles and information, in addition to useful links and is home to a number of online bushfoods databases that include ones that help you search for bush food products and producers, and another that you can search to identify plants that are ‘fruiting’ by month.