GROWING GOODIES: Bethany Kennedy and Lachlan Stover hang out in the bush tucker garden.
GROWING GOODIES: Bethany Kennedy and Lachlan Stover hang out in the bush tucker garden. Ebony Graveur

Bush tucker garden tells kindy kids of land's roots

ALREADY boasting a thriving vegetable garden, the staff and children at Lowood and District Community Kindergarten have added to their edible plant collection.

The planting of native plums, ginger and berries has marked the beginning of the kindergarten's bush tucker garden.

Specialising in cultural education, not-for-profit organisation Spirit of the Valley Events provided background information to complement the children's experience in the garden.

Group president Idell Wadley hosted the garden's launch, exploring the nutritional benefits of native Australian flora and bringing plenty of dishes to prove how delicious it can be.

"I was invited here today to cook a bush tucker morning tea,” she said.

"So I came and gave a bit of an educational talk on bush tucker.”

Ms Idell talked to the children, parents and staff about how easy it was to incorporate bush tucker into general cooking.

"It's so easy to fuse the foods you already eat with bush tucker,” she said.

"You don't have to have a 40,000-year-old heritage to understand it.”

Ms Idell said the variety of bush tucker was vast.

"You can pretty much get a bush tucker version of any other fruit or vegetable that exists, even down to yams,” she said.

"And we have a lot of our own spices, our own herbs, our own fruits.”

Ms Idell said bush tucker was generally higher in nutrition than western food, perhaps due to the suitability of Australia's growing environment.

"It's very common when you've got blueberries from Alaska,” she said.

"It's so hard for them to grow that they pump everything they have into the fruit.”

The bush tucker garden is one component of a reconciliation action plan designed to educate kindy kids on indigenous history.

Kindergarten director Carlie Phipps said the kindy liked to stay connected to the Aboriginal elders in the area.

"We just needed the children to understand we weren't the first people on this land, that the Aboriginal people were,” she said.

Once the plants are ready to harvest, the lesson will continue with cooking.

"We would like to do some cooking experience with the children to bring in again that culture.

"They can take those skills home and use some bush tucker themselves.”


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