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Gawi guulyangarri ngalawayu-dane ngununy

Come here children sit for food

Badal-ya (food)

Badala let's eat. Let's everyone eat Bada-la-libiyla.

Every human being needs to eat, Darug iyura lived in a world where every need was provided from their specific environment.  All forms of nutrition were available from the country Nura, the rivers provided fish and the land provided the source of meat, the women collected the fruits, nuts, and berries.

Widala let's drink. Let's everyone drink Wida-la-libyila

The Iyura selected food which was available and ate it for nutritional purposes. There was no refrigeration or storage containers. Local knowledge of which plants were edible, palatable, or delicious, as well as the best time for harvest, harvest and preparation methods, were passed down by word of mouth to the next generation. Some plants or their fruits are less toxic at cetain times.  Although, shells could be used to warm water over a fire, the Iyura generally did not boil water, so their cooking methods were different from those used by the convicts and settlers.  

Captain Cook, in order to protect his crew from scurvy, searched for suitable greens on landing at Botany Bay. Warrigal Greens (Tetragonia tetragonoides) was collected by Joseph Banks and taken back to England.  Many kinds of greens were popular with 18th and 19th century Europeans, and European settlers tried and used many Australian greens.  Few of these are used today, most Australians would regard them as useless weeds, whilst a human being lost in the Australian bush might find their use life saving.

Some greens were used as spices or flavourings. Wild fruits were collected and eaten either fresh, pickled, or made into jams and chutneys. Trial and error was used to determine edibility, although Indigenous knowledge studied and observed.

The modern industry makes use of plants in different ways from those of the Darug Iyura: eg flavour instead of nutrition always seems to take precedants above and beyond the basic survival needs of the modern family unit.

The past decade has witnessed a boom growth in the native jam making industry, being led by Indigenous peoples.  Bushtucker plants are used now for jams, chutney and jellies, flavourings (eg. Lemon Myrtle), spices (eg. Mountain Pepper), drinks, sauces, colours (eg. Davidson's plum)  Nevertheless only one native plant, the Macadamia nut, has been well established in horticulture, and even then most of the early work was done by Americans. Some Americans even refer to it as the Hawaiian Nut, since it has been grown extensively there!  Included with macadamia nut game meat is now being exported.

Experts will be invited to add knowledge of all that is edible in the Australian Bush.  Keep watching. Naalabiyui ni Dalang