Working bee to assist progress of Jigamy’s cultural bush food garden

GROWING FOOD, KNOWLEDGE: A working bee will be held at Jigamy Farm's cultural bush foods garden this week.
GROWING FOOD, KNOWLEDGE: A working bee will be held at Jigamy Farm's cultural bush foods garden this week.

A planned working bee will help improve a bush tucker garden that provides a place for people to learn about and connect over growing food.  

Earlier this year, the Twofold Aboriginal Corporation received a $7000 Mumbulla Foundation grant to establish the garden at Jigamy Farm. 

“We wanted to start reintroducing bush tucker not only for health benefit reasons, but also for the social aspect of gathering people around food,” the corporation’s program manager Alison Simpson said. 

She said the garden involved learning about sustainable foods and what they could be used for.

“It’s about educating and reviving cultural knowledge attached to that,” she said. 

“We wanted to have a community bush tucker garden to get people out of their house and plant; to see, to learn.” 

It is a place for children from preschool to high school to learn, and the community response so far had been “quite positive”, Ms Simpson said.

She said they had locals working in the garden who were not necessarily seen at other times, which meant they had been engaging new members of the community. 

There are also plans for the future.

“If we are able to get enough produce we may start our own line of jam,” Ms Simpson said. 

So far there are yams, warrigal greens and mountain pepper growing in the garden, which complimented the lilly pilly and native cherries that grow around the property.

Nathan Lygon works in the bushfoods garden.

Nathan Lygon works in the bushfoods garden.

But there will also be new plants dug in soon, with the organisers looking at what grows well in the local area. 

Project officer for Twofolds’ Jigamy Bushfoods Garden Project Dan Bakker said the progress on the garden had been exceptional, saying it had been online for the Giiyong Festival in September and had been visited by Indigenous Australian historian Bruce Pascoe as well as Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis. 

“It’s been one of the most interesting projects I’ve managed,” Mr Bakker said.

The working bee is open to the public and will be held on Friday, November 16 and will run from 10am-1pm at Jigamy Farm, 4381 Princes Hwy. 

It is to assist with the maintenance and ongoing development of the Twofold communal vegetable garden as well as the preparation of the cultural bush foods garden. 

Workers are encouraged to bring gloves. 

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