It’s time to plant bush food!

Nov 27, 2018

Emma Lupin of GULP showcases a selection of tropical bush fruits

If you are thinking of revamping your garden and choosing some new plants before the wet season kicks in, why not choose bush food plants and create an edible green space for you and your family or neighbours to share?

Emma Lupin from GULP, (Growing and Understanding local produce in the NT) champions growing bush food plants but says they’re not all instant winners on the taste front. “There are many edible native fruits and flowers that have some form of nutrition and won’t kill you, but a lot taste pretty bad,” says Emma, “There are some amazing ones, loved by native animals including birds, mammals and humans.”

The Green Plum!

The variety is huge, however, and it makes sense to grow plants that are native to our landscape and to learn more about them and their tastes before we add them to our smoothies. Emma lives in the bush and encourages everyone to be adventurous and curious. Her own favourite bush food is green plum (Buchanania Obovata)- Anarcardaceae.

Arguably, this fruit is one of the tastiest bush fruits in the Top End. It is a medium tree with smaller rounder fruit than the Kakadu plum (Terminalia) and also found in woodland. The fruit ripens around October and are ready through until December, they have a really distinct taste and belong to the mango family. It is known as Yankumwani in Tiwi, Elu in Malak, Kerewey in Matngala, Munydjutj in Yolngu. The Yongul often use a stone to crush the fruit into a paste to feed to older and younger people with less teeth.

Last year Emma took the GULP project to look into the potential of this great fruit on a homeland in East Arnhem Land.

Top 10 Top End Native Edibles

To see Emma’s complete list of Top Ten Top End Native Edible plants in order of her preference head to her website

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