PHOTO: Desert Garden Produce farmer and co-owner, Max Emery with new bush tomato plants ready for planting
Farmers Max and Ruth Emery of Desert Garden Produce, and Lorraine and John Liddle of Palmer River Produce in King’s Canyon, were still harvesting their crops into last week and have sold every plant.
King’s Canyon is one of the hottest places in Central Australia, located 320 kilometres South West of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The local bush tomato (Solanum Centrale) is a species native to Central Australia and one that’s been familiar to local Aboriginal people for thousands of years. It is well suited to the land’s harsh conditions, where many other types of vegetation cannot thrive.
With funds raised from the Bush Tomato appeal, the Foundation was able to supply the farmers with plants, seedlings, organic fertiliser and arid land horticulture advice. Farmers Lorraine and John also received much-needed equipment, a rotary hoe and water tanks, to help prepare their land for planting bush tomatoes last Spring.
Bush food projects like this, operated by Indigenous enterprises, are successful economic models that are growing with consumer demand for authentic Australian bush food.
The Foundation could assist more Aboriginal farmers to grow and sell their crops commercially, however a lack of funds limits how many farmers we can help each year.
Ambassador to our Bush Tomato appeal, Aboriginal chef Clayton Donovan has said:
“Indigenous farmers are custodians of the land and bush foods are an important part of their culture. Outback Spirit Foundation has great integrity and are really out there working with the indigenous farmers and communities to help their bush food farms. It’s important to support these farms in rural areas to push forward the bush food journey and keep native foods thriving.”
You can join us in helping grow more Indigenous-led bush food farming enterprises by making a tax-deductable donation today to the Outback Spirit Foundation. [HYPERLINK WHERE UNDELINED - TO http://www.outbackspirit.org/donate ]
PHOTO: Outback Spirit Foundation Executive Director Chris Mara (Left) and Trustee Ron Newchurch (Right) visiting bush food farmer Max Emery (Centre) at Desert Garden Produce in Central Australia.
Foundation Executive Director, Chris Mara said, “Demand for bush tomatoes remains firm and there’s great opportunities for more growers to supply the market. We are progressing existing and new plantings further north in Katherine, Northern Territory, and in South Australia for the next season.
“Our on-going work with Aboriginal Enterprise Nunga Produce in South Australia (SA) and Coles has seen them enter into new contracts to supply Coles SA stores, with greater volumes of four lines of fresh produce. There’s a commitment to double the volumes over the next year. This will see employment grow for Nunga as well as expanding their farms.
“Outback Spirit Foundation’s focus over the next 12 months will also include scaling up a Wattle Seed plantation, because that project is already costed and is scalable across large parts of Australia. We have specialists prepared to provide their expertise, we just need the funds to progress this great bush food project.”
Everyone here is committed to scaling up more Aboriginal-led bush food farms across Australia, especially in rural and remote communities where opportunities for meaningful employment to Care for Country is limited. With your support, this can happen.
With 30 June coming up fast, your support today will help grow more Aboriginal-led bush food farms over the next 12 months and can maximise your tax deduction this financial year.
If you would like further information about the Foundation, visit our Projects page [ LINK TO PROJECTS http://www.outbackspirit.org/projects ] or contact Chris Mara.[ LINK TO CONTACT PAGE http://www.outbackspirit.org/contact]
Outback Spirit Foundation Chairman, Peter Dalton.
P.S. In supporting Outback Spirit Foundation’s mission to grow more Indigenous enterprises to supply the native 'bush' foods market, locally and nationally, more Aboriginal communities can Care for Country and earn independent incomes. I hope you can join us today by making a one-off or monthly donation to help make this possible. Thank you.