At a well-attended March meeting Aunty Julie McHale gave an interesting and lively presentation on Bush Tucker plants.
Julie had various specimens of indigenous plants and explained how the local Dja Dja Warrung people and other groups used them. These specimens were passed around so that we could handle, smell and taste, with the proviso that many of the fruits contain little or no fructose and are, therefore, quite sour! Some smells and tastes were not fully appreciated by several members who felt that their chances of surviving off bush tucker might be rather slim!!
An impressive list of plants constitute bush tucker including trees, ferns and fungus, shrubs and the tubers of orchids and daisies. Leaves, flowers, fruits, nuts, seeds, pods, gum, roots and bark are harvested not only for eating but for making medicine, soap, rope, weapons, tools etc.
Julie spoke of the importance of the Murnong or Yam Daisy to local people. This plant was purposely planted, harvested and traded. The very large tuber system of the Murnong was eaten raw when the plant was flowering because it was sweet. When not in flower the tubers were cooked on the fire or pounded into little cakes and cooked on hot rocks. These cakes would last for many months and were a food staple for the “mob”.