James Brigden came to our club with not only a wealth of knowledge but with some examples of bush tucker plants grown in his own gardens. James and his wife, Dianne, own a 38 acre farm in St. Albans, NSW. Since 2002 they have developed a nursery and series of gardens on their farm with a special interest in native bush tucker. The 11 acre lake has been utilised to help them create a patch of rainforest which is beneficial to many of the plants they grow. Apparently the most tasty bush tucker comes form Northern NSW or Southern Queensland so watch out for frost or hot, dry weather if you want to grow some in your garden. James crushed any fantasy we had about native plants needing no care at all, the yummy ones like water to help them produce the best fruit.
He discussed plants from native ginger (ginger beer anyone?) to macadamia nut trees; sandpaper fig to cinnamon myrtle and gave everyone the opportunity to taste the increasingly popular (and delicious) finger limes. And just as we all had our appetites whetted with his description of a blue lilly pilly strudel, he pointed us to the back of the room where he’d prepared lemon myrtle tea and bush dukkah with oil and vinegar infused with his native bush tucker.