Learn about bushfood benefits

The benefits of bushfoods in both a garden setting and in the kitchen will be the focus of a special workshop called Bushfoods and Restoration Ecology, being presented by bushfoods expert Peter Hardwick in late March.

Peter will share insights into the rich heritage of Aboriginal ethno-ecology and ways to integrate bushfoods and native plants into productive landscapes and ecological restoration.

“Good food is at the heart of bushfood permaculture. Local native species conservation takes on a new and more immediate meaning. Some bushfoods are amazingly productive, with the added advantage of being packed with intense, wild flavours. It’s just the beginning of a rediscovery process,” Peter said.

Peter Hardwick began his pioneering work three decades ago and established Australia’s first specialist bushfoods nursery in Byron Bay in the 1980s. He’s researched local bushfoods, worked with Bundjalung Elders and communities, identified desirable strains for the fledgling bushfood industry, and designed and consulted on numerous projects and properties engaged in ecological restoration, commercial bushfoods and permaculture.

For the past 15 years, Djanbung Gardens has hosted the annual Bushfoods and Restoration Ecology course with Peter. Peter has worked closely with Djanbung founder Robyn Francis in the bushfood plantings throughout the gardens, and they often combine creative ideas for developing bushfood cuisine, conserves and other products.

The course includes an introduction to Aboriginal cultural ecology and ethnobotany, ecological restoration as productive ecosystems, domestic and commercial bushfood production, garden to table tips and tasters, and the general integration of native plants in permaculture design. The course concludes with a bushfood banquet cooked by Robyn Francis.

The workshop is on at Djanbung Gardens from March 23-26 with the bushfood banquet on Friday, March 26. Bookings are essential. Phone 6689 1755.

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