A great starting point Rivermint is a very beginner friendly plant to grow. It’s happy in a pot, or in the ground (be aware it will spread like English mint). It can cope with full sun or full shade, however it will need regular watering, it naturally grows by rivers after all. It likes growing conditions similar to European Peppermint or Spearmint and appreciates a regular trim. Pop one on your kitchen windowsill as a starter bushfood.
Also known as Native Oregano and Native round-leaf mint, this is a quick growing addition to any bushfood addicts garden. It prefers a sunny spot with well-drained soil, watch out for root rot. This is a great plant for beginners because it’s not a fussy grower and the leaves and stems can easily be added to cooking, they also dry easily for storage. The strong earthy flavours pair well with a wide range of savoury foods. It has beautiful purple flowers in spring that offers a delicate delicious addition to salads and desserts.
Originating in Tasmania the Mountain Pepper plant is a delightful addition to any Australian garden. With a little bit of space, in the ground or a pot, this can grow to quite an attractive shrub, with delightful flowers in Spring. Both the leaves and berries can be added to meals for a peppery spice. The Mountain Pepper bush is happy with frost, but keep it shaded from hot sun in Summer, it prefers a bit of a chilly mountain atmosphere.
Traditionally a seaside plant, Warrigal Greens have huge potential in the bushfood fan’s garden. They are incredibly easy to grow and propagate yourself, start with it in a pot because it has the potential to take over. With a bit of watering and regular trimming you’ll find yourself with a lush plot of greens which can easily replace spinach in your cooking. These greens make a great base for pesto and are a flexible addition to any meal. Just make sure to give them a quick blanch before eating, the fur on the leaves can be a touch unpleasant if raw.
If you’re looking for a bright lemon flavour then look no further, Native Lemongrass is an excellent herb for the bushfood novice. This plant is robust, like many native grasses, and with a bit of watering can grow into a lush plant. Harvest the leaves year round to add to teas, desserts or curries. You can also freeze or dry the leaves if you’d like to save them, or share with friends! The aromatic lemon scents will easily find their way into your day to day cooking.
These 5 plants are a great place to start, and are (seasonally) available at Saltbush Kitchen or your local nursery.
Bring more of Australia into your garden this Spring.