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Issue 17, Autumn 2001

Highlights from the bushfood discussion group on the net

Questions and Answers

G'day all

I have a query regarding wattle seed. I am interested to know whether the seed from two tasmanian native acacia's is edible. The two are - Acacia dealbata & Acacia mearnsii (A. mollissima). Any info on these species would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx, bye (Duncan Cooke)

I have a few questions -

1) I'm planning to plant Acacia victoriae, Prostanthera incisa, Tasmannia stipitata and Svz_ygiurn luehmannii in an area with average annual rainfall of I I 00mm with drip irrigation installed. Does anyone have information on the overall water requirements from drip irrigation to establish these species ?

2) Does anyone have information on the prices paid currently for Acacia retinodes seed ? Does this species hold much promise commercially ? Are there any indications of the use and the market value for its timber ?

3) Can anyone tell me what current prices are being paid for (a) dried leaf (b) berries of Tasmannia stipitata and (c) any indications of projected prices for the oil to be mixed with white oil as an insecticide ? Regards, Andrew Murdoch

Hi Anthony and list.

In answer to a couple of your questions about A. retinodes, yes it is comercially viable and the

price can vary just as in other native foods. If you sell at farm gate price you should not expect much more than $8 to $9 per kilo but that is actually quite good. If you value add then you may get $20-$25 per kilo but your intended market(s) will be the real acid test so my advise is to knock on a few doors and see if you can sell it first. We have plantings of this and other Acacia species and would rate this second on the ladder to A.victoriae. As to planting A.victoriae in I I 00mm and irrigating, I would suggest you would not need to irrigate very often as our experience with this species shows it survives and produces well with less than 400mm annual rainfall. It is a dryland species so you need to emulate the natural habitat rather than force it to perform too far out of it's climatic range. The timber of A.retinodes is quite straight and at first appearances, looks good for fence post material but it's density is quite low so perhaps someone else out there in cyberspace can tell us if it is of any commercial use.

Hope all goes well with your plantings


Brian King, Muntari wild Food Plants Of Australia

Is any body interested in any Acronychia vestida fruit, about 10 kgs at $8 kg?

The fruit is freshly frozen and also still I currently being picked. contact Kris Kupsch on

(02) 6677-1466

Hi -

We are using bush foods in our hampers and would be interested in herbs/spices that are small/ light weight. our current supply is in jars which is not ideal - and any unusual items particularly chemical free or organic.

Sue, Mt Colah www.gfu.com.au

Potting mixes

Can anyone share their ideas on good potting mixes xes for bushfoods? I've got lots of plants needing potting up - haven't got anywhere to plant them yet!

David Williams


I just use coco-peat 90%/ perlite 10%. There is little nutrient in this medium but it allows me to play with different brews.

Works for me.



I produce potting mixes which are all biodynamically done. I have ones which are low in phosphorus for some of the Australian natives and can make ones specifically for your needs. If you are interested either email me at leslez@webone.com.au or call 026 236 8085.

Regards Lez Patten

G'day David,

I do a lot of propagating of native plants up here in the Burdekin. My mix is 4 parts peat moss, 4 parts sand, and 1 part vermiculite or perlite. Throw in a couple of handfuls of osmacote and things grow beautifully. The same mix (minus the fert) will also work for seed germination. Happy potting.

Peter Alden, Greening Australia (Qld), Ayr

Green ants!

A company in North Queensland will be processing green ants. These are used to marinate dishes such as barramundi, which is currently processed by this company in Cairns.

Contact: Max Panachini Panachini Gourmet Foods Tel: 0740 578220


Jacquie Bodger, DPI, Qld, Ph 07 3239 3307

e-mail bodgerj@dpi.q1d.gov.au

Nutritional values for bushfoods

Not everyone may know of this very useful reference:

Brand Miller J, James KW & Maggiore P M A (1993). Tables of Composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

Various libraries have it. It summarises large sets of results of nutritional analyses of a wide range of Australian bushfoods, in text and spreadsheets. It shows how much protein, fat, carbohydrate, dietary fibre etc. were in one or often several samples, how many kilojoules (energy value) and also the values for some major elements including sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and for some species the minor elements copper, lead and cadmium etc.

Best regards, Mery & Elwyn Hegarty, Plantchem Pty Ltd.

Davidsonia Group

At the Sept Davidsonia Industry Association meeting Maria Matthes from the NSW NPWS brought us up to date with licensing for the collection of NSW Davidsonia species from the wild. A draft plan has been put together with guidelines for collection.

This document comprises of a set of guidelines which, if followed during wild-harvest, will minimise (and monitor) the impact of this action so as to not significantly affect the threatened species.

Since the meeting the guidelines have been reviewed and the final draft will be available very soon.

These guidelines will be attached to a section 91 Licence application and referred to throughout the application.

A Section 95 certificate will be issued rather than a Section 91 Licence. A Section 95 certificate is issued where there is not likely to be a detrimental effect on the species or habitat.

The licensing for wild plums is seen as an interim measure and will only be available for the next 3-5 years by which time it is expected that there will be enough cultivated plants in production to meet the markets needs.

Any complaints made to NPWS must be followed up. If a person is found wild-harvesting Davidson Plums and has no cov‑

erage in the form of a section 95 certificate then they will be prosecuted under the threatened species conservation act.

Current schedules to the threatened species conservation act are available in PDF form at www.npws.nsw.gov.au/wildlife/ tscsOO.htm.

Licences will also be required for people wishing to collect material from any of the listed plants on the schedule. Diploglottis campbellii - small leaved tamarind is included. Maria is now working on guidelines for the collection of propagation material from the scheduled species occurring in Northern NSW which will also be available soon.

If you have any inquirys or require a licence contact Maria Matthes

NPWS Locked bag 914

Coffs Harbour 2450

or email maria.matthes@npws.nws.gov.au

For information on the Davidsonia group, contact Daryl at -

davoplum @ webmongrel.com. Membership is $25 and our address is PO box 770 Burringbar 2483. We have an electronic newsletter.


Lemon Aspen

Lynn Graham is currently harvesting Lemon aspen. If you're buying, contact her direct on 07 5442 5059 or email:

Igraham@powerup.com.au Regards, Sammy