Endings n New Berries Discoveries.

Ok guys sorry haven’t blogged for awhile I had to drop everything n head north as a sista ov mine was dying but I was lucky enough to just arrive in time to say my good byes n hold her hand as she physically passed once the machine was turned off n I was very glad to be there for her family at that time, so big luv to my sista n I thank you for all the food knowledge you passed to me x.

Ok so whilst up in the tropics again I did manage some foraging mostly purslane (Portulaca oleracea) coconuts and wild passion fruits (Passiflora foetida) to the delight of my friends which loved the foraged food experience.  I spent a couple weeks with friends in Melbourne before coming back to trouwunna n Jess n I managed to foraged more purslane several different species of mint for fresh mint tea, heaps of fat hen (Chenopodium album) and a few others I can’t think of of the top of my head rite now. It was very very dry in Melbourne so it was hard going there wasn’t much around at all but we managed to get something most outings.

Now I am back in trouwunna n before I rushed off I had made yellow plum leathers my favorite leathers see below.
Yellow plum fruit leathers

Now to the new berries, how exiting I love things that are new to me. Whilst visiting my grandfather before I left the state I noticed the mohonia or Oregon grapes (Mahonia aquifolium) were ripe on the two bushes my grandmother had in the garden, I have known about these for years but never been in the rite place at the rite time for them so I managed to pick a small bowl full that I took back to were I was staying and I cooked them up like any other jam but it set really hard like a tough candy so I don’t have pic’s of this I can’t get it out of the jar but I have picture of the gorgeous fruits. I really like the flavor of these wish they were more abundant here.

Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) The next new berry for me is the mirror bush berry (Coprosma repens) I have know about these for awhile to, actually I have known about all three for awhile but just never got around to experimenting with them, the mirror berries are one of those plants were I’m having to go every second day and collect the ripe berries as they are in many cluster along the tip of the end of the branches n ripen at different stages but that’s ok because I’m parked at my friends place just two blocks up the road n so far I have managed the short walk every other day to pick them, I am putting the ones I pick in the freezer until I have enough to play with, exiting…..

Mirror bush berries (Coprosma repens)

Lastly the prickly pyracanthus berries (Pyracantus sp.) also known as firethorn, I tickled off the ripe berries placed them in a pot covered with water and simmered until tender I then mashed them so the flesh separated from the seeds you don’t want to eat the seeds as these contains amounts of arsenic like other Rosaceae species such as apples it isn’t a huge concern unless consumed in large amounts but I think it will be less bitter as well so it is a taste thing as well. Once mashed I strained them by pushing the pulp through a stainless steel strainer I put this seedless pulp back in the pot added salt, pepper, chilly flakes, garlic, vinegar and a small amount of cornflour to thicken the liquid I then boiled rapidly then bottled. The flavor is tart n appley with a hint of bitterness which isn’t unpleasant, I really like it it is similar to hawthorns (Crataegus sp.) n they are in the same family n they have a similar method of preparation, the pyracanthus berries are more tart and not quite as mealy as hawthorns they are definitely worth a try I will be using them in the future as they are a prolific fruiter and everywhere here in trouwunna/Tasmania.
Firethorn berries (Pyracanthus sp.) n sauce.

I’m sitting here writing this blog enjoying a fresh lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) tea with birch twigs n trouwunna tea tree honey or Manuka honey if you are kiwi. I have a new found appreciation for the good old lemon balm after studying up on her a bit more she is a very powerful medicinal plant so I intend to partake in more of her healing benefits into the future I have never really loved lemon balm she isn’t my favorite lemon flavored plant lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) n lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) are and I took her for granted but no more I have sincerely apologized n respect her now as she deserves. I’m sure she healed the cold sore in the corner of my eye n I got my friend Nat to use a cold lemon balm tea on her face n lips when they were red n inflamed n she said it really helped her.

The birch twigs are lovely they remind me of fall in my home town as most of the fall trees there were birches it has a slight sweetness that reminds me of maple syrup also and I assume it would be more similar to birch syrup of which my first attempt was a big fat fail anyway you should try it it is as easy as picking up fallen branches, breaking them up adding to water and simmering for a couple of minutes in a pot.

Well that’s it for now I am not mobile once again so not sure when I will get to do any real major foraging until I fix this van or get towed to somewhere else for a change in habitat but until then cheers n enjoy 🙂


New Focus

Ok guys there is a blog coming after this but I just needed to express how I’m feeling and to let you all know I have made a personal decision to not share any more knowledge on Australian native foods. This is something I have been struggling with for quite some time now, the struggle for me is I do not want to be responsible for people using the knowledge I share here to disrespect the beautiful cultures to whom it belongs too n I don’t want people bashing through the bush disrespectfully just taking whatever they want with no gratitude n respect for the cultures, people n land.
I do not trust that we as none indigenous people even understand the real meaning of respect with rare exceptions, in saying this I do not wish to disrespect anyone but I believe our understanding of respect is a very twisted version that we use in a form that suits our egocentric, materialistic greedy lives/society. The whole colonization n occupation of this country is based on the criminal act of attempted genocide, steeling n lying.

This is an illegally occupied country sovereignty was never ceded and every person that benefits from this great land n are privileged enough to call it “home” is a part of this use n abuse in their own way, our illegal occupation, raping n pillaging ov this lands natural resources for our own use in blissful or purposeful ignorance to the plight of the first people of this land are the continuation of the pain n suffering the first people experience every day of their lives.

When I say natural resources I also include in this intellectual property, we do not have a god given rite to any of their knowledge to use how ever n when ever we want for our own benefit monetary or otherwise n fuck (excuse the language) the cultures, people n land which it comes from, this is sacred n precious knowledge n it is theirs it is the lands, the land gave it to them they are not separate from it something we could never understand, people cant even seem to grasp the concept of women’s business n men’s business n even if you don’t understand the numerous details which change from culture to culture with in this land it is pretty explanatory isn’t it, WOMEN’S business n MEN’S, think about it. (n I will not go into this with people here, it is time we all took the initiative to learn n find out for ourselves how to be respectful n how to behave appropriately)

My understanding of my own people is not at all flattering n is probably slightly confronting to those wallowing in their blissful ignorance or denial, we came here n stole everything from them, we tried to wipe them from existence, it is a SHAME we will forever pay for until we are genuinely SORRY also a concept I don’t think we really grasp again we are only sorry when it suits us to be, we aren’t so sorry that everything changes because you are so effected by seeing the truth of responsibility.
All our understandings are perverted by our greedy Sickening money base systems n society that we have created, our white privilege blind us to the shameful world record topping average death rates n shocking health, suicide n incarceration statistics of this countries first peoples.

And I say sick because I do believe it is a sickness, white privilege is a sickness n the society we have created is sick n degenerate, we are the savages. I have look deep inside myself n my people/”culture” to reveal all these truths, it was a hard, painful ego destroying journey not yet ended by far but it has changed my life, the truth the brutal truth sets you free, it acts upon you once fully seen n felt your only option is to turn your back n try to pretend like it all isn’t happening n spend the rest of your days trying to delude n convince yourself that you have nothing to do with any of it, it wont work because you know deep down inside that is not the truth, there is this niggling feeling in the pit of your stomach every time you see or here about these shocking things we have done n are still doing whilst living the GOOD life n it will haunt you to the your very last breath if you have any conscious at all.

So that said I’m sorry to the people here to gain that particular knowledge or who just have a general interest in it, I will not be apart of it, I have to live with my actions n at the end of the day n of my life know I was true of heart n that it ends with me, my ancestral family ignorance ends with me, I pay it back every moment of every day in remorse, love, respect n joy, that is all that matters to me.

Thanks for listening if you did.

Cheers P.