News and Events

Botanical Buzz - Bush Tucker (Finger Limes)

Friday, June 19, 2015

What is about wild foods that get people so excited?  Memories of Les Hiddins sporting a trendy, unique and perhaps eccentric bush hat as he tramped through the swampy backwaters of the Gulf Country comes to mind.  You may even remember the television show; “The Bush Tucker Man”.

In a world where supply of nutritious food is always short with tragic results, any (re)discovery of some secret cache right under our noses is . . . . well food for thought.

In our garden we are growing a range of bush tucker from local Quandongs to Lemon Myrtle, and the widespread Lilly Pilly.  However we are excited that we managed to acquire a few Desert Limes (Citrus glauca) to add to our collection.

Said to be “selected from the best varieties, enjoyed by Indigenous Australians . . . producing sweet tangy fruit,” our Desert Limes are a proud possession.  These ones are grafted onto another citrus rootstock for extra vigour and hardiness. 

The wild Lime grows in our western region naturally and used to be called Eremocitrus glauca.  With common names like Desert Lemon, Native Cumquat, the plant can grow to the seven metres and is usually found in a clump all growing together producing grape-sized, lemon-like fruit tasting of, you guessed it, lime.

What do you do with this bush food?  Marmalade is one option or on a hot summer day, simply pop one of the fruits into a cold drink for “An Australian twist on a Mexican tradition”, which is suggested by one of the suppliers.

Bush food may not feed the modern family all by itself.  Nevertheless, in the never-ending search for new ways to put food on the table it’s comforting to know that there is no leaf unturned.