I am experiencing difficulty locating resources on bush tucker in Yirrganydji Country, specifically the water needs of plant-based bush tucker. Please utilize this forum to share resources on bush tucker.
Great question! Dawul Wuru currently don’t grow any bush tucker, it is a future goal for them, so we don’t have any information for you in that regard. I’d recommend researching different types of bush tucker which can be grown in Far North Queensland, and making some assumptions based on that. For example, you could suggest different plants which could be grown and identify their water needs.
Am I right in assuming that the bush tucker nursery will definitely be located in Dungarra, Redden Island, near Cairns (NOT in Port Douglas)? There was a video on the EWB website, where everyone was at Dungarra, and it was annoucned that this was a “potential” place for a ranger base. Furthermore, the ranger base will be at the Hub, and the nursery will be at the Hub too. So, can I assume that the nursery will be in Dungarra?
Secondly, if Dawul Wuru currently don’t grow any bush tucker, why are there pictures of bush tucker at the bottom of the design area 4 webpage, that are labelled “bush tucker at dungarra”? Doesn’t this mean that they are currently growing bush tucker?
Thirdly, what water source are they using to grow all those bush tucker plants that are displayed in those photos? Are they watering them with municipal (mains) water? Maybe with a combination of rainwater and municipal water? Or are these plants not watered at all – meaning that they are just growing based on the natural rainfall that falls at the Dungarra location, without any human aid?
Lastly, it is hard to tell the size of the trees that are producing the bush tucker in the photos. The document you sent to Adam says that bush tucker producing trees can grow from 10-45 metres tall. This was surprising. The photo makes it look as if bush tucker is obtained from small bushes (small, like a strawberry plant for eg.).
This will have an impact on the height of the nursery, if you want big trees growing inside of it.
Q: Am I right in assuming that the bush tucker nursery will definitely be located in Dungarra, Redden Island, near Cairns (NOT in Port Douglas)?
A: No, Dungarra has been identified as one of three potential sites for the hub (alongside Wangetti and Taylor Point), so it will not definitely be located there. You can explore all three sites in our interactive series and learn a bit more about each place. For the purposes of your project, you are welcome to choose one of these three sites as a location and base your design proposal on that. There are benefits and drawbacks to this approach, for example if you were to choose one site which doesn’t end up being the hub, will your design be flexible enough to be implemented in another location? However choosing a specific location means that you can narrow in and think more practically about your proposal’s design and implementation.
Q: Secondly, if Dawul Wuru currently don’t grow any bush tucker, why are there pictures of bush tucker at the bottom of the design area 4 webpage, that are labelled “bush tucker at dungarra”? Doesn’t this mean that they are currently growing bush tucker?
A: The bush tucker on Dungarra is growing wildly. Bush tucker grew, and continues to grow, naturally without human intervention before First Nations people started cultivating it thousands of years ago. Bush tucker still grows naturally today which is why Dawul Wuru have expressed an interest in bush tucker gardening – so that people can benefit from it more widely due to scale and accessibility if they were to cultivate it. Only relying on naturally growing plants limits the reach as there has been a decline in naturally occuring bush tucker in recent years, likely due to expanding urban areas and the effects of climate change. A nursery space would enable Dawul Wuru to cultivate bush tucker and native plants on a small scale for community use and local revegetation, as well as being used to teach others about bush tucker and bush tucker gardening.
Q: Thirdly, what water source are they using to grow all those bush tucker plants that are displayed in those photos?
A: As mentioned above, these plants are naturally growing so they rely on rainwater without human intervention.
Q: How big were the trees that produced the bush tucker that are in the photos on the EWB website?
A: The size of the trees varied considerably, from 1.5m tall to up to 20m+. Regarding your concerns about the height of the plants, the idea behind this project is not to uproot the existing plants located in Dungarra and replant them, nor to only recreate the plants which exist there. Rather, based on the information you can gather from your own research (including resources such as the guide linked above) you should make recommendations on which species might be appropriate to grow in a bush tucker nursery, and identify how big the nursery may be. As you can see in the document I linked earlier, not all bush tucker plants are tall trees – it is up to you to make recommendations about which plants would be most appropriate. While the plants on Dungarra are a good starting point in terms of what can grow, they are not the only bush tucker plants which should be considered.
Thanks for answering my questions!
For my project, I should research the economic situation of Dawul Wuru. Therefore, I think I need to know what the maximum amount of money they are willing to spend upront on a rainwater harvesting system is. Approximately, what their budget is? I’d like to know this information so that my designed solution does not go over that limit.
Great question, and one of the more challenging things to navigate through the EWB Challenge.
There is no set budget for the projects – rather it is up to you to determine what is a reasonable and appropriate budget for your design solution. You will have to determine this based on the value it delivers, and depending on who the stakeholders are who would need to fund that project (including who pays for any ongoing maintenance if required, etc.). You can justify a larger budget, for example, if you can demonstrate value for money such as high initial upfront costs but the solution lasts 10-20 years with minimal maintenance.
We have put together a document FAQs – Big Tricky Questions (found in our Resources) which helps to navigate some of the thinking about budgets and value that your design could provide, and how to justify this in your final report.
Does Dawul Wuru have any plans to sell bush tucker that they produce from a future nursery/s for a profit? Besides the purposes specified on EWB’s website such as: educating other people about bush tucker, and revegetating local areas. There is no mention of selling bush tucker for a profit.
While it hasn’t been highlighted in the project brief, as their initial motivations for the bush tucker are education and revegetation, Dawul Wuru would definitely be interested in income generation through a bush tucker nursery or similar. For example, if they were able to sell plants for people to grow themselves, it would also help contribute to the purpose of education and revegetation, while also having the bonus of providing income to the organisation.
So, yes, that is something that they would be interested in pursuing!
While bush tucker refers to any food native to Australia, including plants and animals, we’ve defined bush tucker as food from native plants in the project opportunities (4.1 and 4.2) under the Caring for the Land design area. Generally, native plants can be found in different habitats, including the coastal area.
In this case, food sources (oysters, fish, abalone, etc.) from the marine environment will likely fall under the Caring for the Sea design area.
You may want to check out the existing discussion about bush tuckers here. Alternatively, you may quickly search ‘bush tucker’ using the search bar provided on the Discussion Forum page.
EWB Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them, their cultures and their land; to Elders both past and present; and to emerging leaders. We recognise that the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people never ceded sovereignty of what we call Australia.