June update 2022

Producers' Plants On Campus

A few months ago, the Producers weeded and cleared out the garden beds on campus to make room for new plants to grow. 

Seeds and seedlings were planted along this garden bed including a range of fruits and vegetables in hopes of bringing a bit of greenery and fresh produce to the university.

As you can see, over these few months, our seedlings have grown a lot. Some are even on their way to fruit!

Here are our berry plants. Our raspberry and blackberry plants have grown a fair bit!

We also have a herb section planted in the beds with rosemary and others like oregano and mint growing! As these bushes grow they can easily be harvested and act as a perfect accompaniment or centrepiece to a meal.

This chilli plant has started to produce chillies. You can actually see how they turn from a pale green to a bright red as they ripen which is super cool. I hope you can handle spice as this is sure to keep you warm this winter!

Lastly, this is our green house which we constructed a couple of months ago. The green house allows for seeds to grow. It enables warmth and humidity to be controlled which is beneficial for plants that are just beginning to sprout and need some protection. The plastic covering protects it from any pests and the fluctuating temperatures while still allowing sun to enter energising our plants!

Overall it has been a great month for our plants, with some fruiting already. We can't wait to see what next month brings! 

Botanic Gardens’ Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour

In early June, the Producers together with Walama went on the Botanic Gardens’ Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour. 

It was a fine day, sunny with clear blue skies - in other words, perfect for such a tour that required lots of walking outdoors. We met our guide at 11 in front of the Garden Shop and thus our tour began. 

For an hour, we traipsed around the Botanic Gardens.

Our First Nations guide introduced us to a variety of native plants that included different types of trees, fruits and grasses, some of which will be talked more about below.

a root vegetable our guide ripped out from the ground

Every now and then, our guide explained the properties of the native plants we stopped in front of. One helped alleviate arthritis, another acted as an insect repellent, and many fruits were very high in nutrients such as antioxidants. There were many other unique properties as well but it’d take forever to talk about them so I’ll just leave it here. 

He also picked some fruits for us to try (yes, straight from the plants in front of us!) such as native raspberry, native finger lime, and Davidson’s plum; we found most of the fruit to be much more sour than the typical berries one would find at a supermarket. He also plucked some herbs such as native thyme which was a lot stronger than regular thyme. In short, we found that native plants had a much more robust flavour. 

Our guide also peeled off bark from the melaleuca tree (pictured below) which could be used as a bandage. An interesting story he told us was that someone tried to burn down the tree (hence, the left side of the tree is black).

Our guide also broached Indigenous culture. For instance, the lomandra grass plant (which snakes liked to coil around and utilise as a nest!) was used to weave baskets and bracelets. Even scarier, this is the plant our local councils like to plant everywhere! Unfortunately, we didn’t take a photo of it but just search it up and you’ll know you’ve seen them everywhere. He also told us stories such as the meaning behind the Pineapple Cycad’s colloquial name: “Idiot’s pineapple”.

After a very informative and entertaining hour on native plants, our tour ended. We made our way to the waterfront and sat on our grass to eat our lunch. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos of the gorgeous views because we were just too busy admiring said views and soaking in the laid back atmosphere and talking with one another. But just picture sunlit gardens and shining clear blue waters. Ultimately, this was the perfect way to end our time at the Botanic Gardens.