Today we headed off across the city for an Aboriginal Plant Uses excursion.
It was very well presented.
We learned about native stingless bees.
Did you know that they make a spiral comb? Google them. They are beautiful.
Each child got a chance to taste the honey from the stingless bees.
My favourite plant of the day was the lemon myrtle.
Our guide gave each child a little piece of leaf to scrunch and sniff.
We bought our little piece of leaf home with us and it still smells beautiful.
The plant we were really looking forward to seeing was the stinging tree but it was pretty underwhelming.
The garden doesn’t grow the bushy version I’m more familiar with… for obvious reasons.
Supposedly these cunjevoi plants (below), which tend to grow nearby, are the antidote for the stinging tree sting.
It’s certainly not the remedy I would choose as the sap of the plant itself is an extreme irritant and part of the reason it’s considered toxic.
The soap tree (Red Ash) was another nifty plant.
When you crush the leaves and rub them together with water, they lather up like soap.
They can also be tossed into a water source, to deoxygenate the water supply in order to stun the fish and bring them floating to the surface of the water.
I think even I could manage this sort of fishing.
One of the uses of the King Orchard was as a fixative for the ochre in rock and body painting.
Or you could just eat the stem if you prepared it in the right way.
I think the prettiest tree was the hoop pine.
Aborigines used the resin from the hoop pine as a kind of glue.
The sandpaper tree would be a handy tree to have in the backyard.
No, it’s not the bark that can be used for sandpaper but the leaves.
And yes, they really feel like sandpaper.
There were all sorts of interesting trees to look at as we walked around the Aboriginal Plant Trail with our guide.
The most popular part of the excursion was tasting different foods.
This plant is the native ginger.
It doesn’t look anything like what I would expect.
It’s quite a lovely looking plant.
This is the Davidson Plum.
It looked just like a standard plum as far as I could tell.
Brayden lined up to taste a chunk of this plum.
Do you think he’ll be going back for seconds?
I think not.
It’s very sour.
But he did go back to try the jam.
Lots of sugar saved this plum.
Initially my boys were adamant that they would not try any of the bush foods
but the experience loosened them up and they tried several different things.
The boys were so taken with the lilly pilly berry that we’ve sourced a jar of lilly pilly jam to enjoy at home.
I think it’ll taste wonderful with some nice warm damper.
This was a wonderful excursion and we had a lovely day,
made even nicer by a pleasant picnic by the pond
with new friends and old.