Australian Native Food Harvest by Julie Weatherhead
A guide for the passionate cook and gardener
They taste great, have amazing health benefits, and grow beautifully in our backyards – so why aren’t we growing and consuming more native Australian edible plants? Julie Weatherhead, an environmental scientist and ecologist from West Gippsland, Victoria, hopes to change that.
In her book released in Sept 2016, Australian Native Food Harvest: A Guide for the Passionate Cook and Gardener, she provides practical advice for growing, harvesting, and using Australian native plants in the garden and kitchen, whilst exploring Australia’s lost opportunities to fully appreciate the wealth of traditional knowledge in relation to the uses of its native plants.
This book has won the 2017 National Gourmand Cookbook Award for Food Heritage and is shortlisted for the international award to be announced in May in China.
Australian Native Food Harvest is inspired by Julie’s experiences in growing and using Australian native plants over 20 years at her farm, Peppermint Ridge, in Victoria. These experiences have enabled her to identify the tastiest native food plants that will thrive in native and cool climates.
Drawing on her education in permaculture and her own experience developing native food gardens, Julie provides inspiration and useful tips to help you design your own attractive, sustainable native garden that can provide habitat for native wildlife, featuring plants that can survive without much maintenance and taste great in the kitchen.
The book showcases her selection of 30 plants suitable for sub-tropical, temperate and cool climate regions that she knows will thrive – and a further 11 for those with larger spaces, extra habitat species have also been included for those wanting to increase habitat in their home gardens. The tastes of these selected plants are quite unique and the health benefits are astounding.
Over 50 easy-to-follow recipes featuring native Australian flavours to use at home are included in the book as well. The recipes are a culmination of years of experimenting with the flavours and textures of the plants and demonstrate how easy it is to incorporate them into your diet everyday.
The recipes are also tested many times over in the old schoolhouse café at Peppermint Ridge Farm and are accessible for all cooks.
Australian Native Food Harvest: A Guide for the Passionate Cook and Gardener by Julie Weatherhead is published by Peppermint Ridge Farm (Vic; Sep 2016; pb; 192pp) and available for A$34.95 direct from peppermintridgefarm.com.au and from selected bookshops
About Peppermint Ridge Farm
The Farm has an an online shop selling the dried leaves as spices and teas as well as a nursery stocking all of the plants featured in the book.
The schoolhouse café is open every second Sunday for the ‘Tour and Taste’ experience – a guided tour of the native food garden followed by lunch when guests taste unique delicious dishes.
More about Peppermint Ridge Farm here »
About the author
Julie Weatherhead runs the Living Classroom at Peppermint Ridge Farm, the Cornucopia Living Heritage Centre and the Cornucopia Consulting Group with husband Anthony Hooper.
She is an Environmental Scientist and Ecologist who has researched and developed the use of ecosystems to enhance organic vegetable gardening. Julie and Anthony have led workshops at Peppermint Ridge since 1996, teaching others about bush food, organic vegetable gardening and sustainable land management.
With her family, Julie also runs the Ridge Café at Peppermint Ridge Farm, holding regular lunches and dinners featuring native Australian flavours.
Her inspiration for writing this book stems from her personal discovery of Australia’s wonderful range of native foods. She aims to inform and motivate the reader to create their own native food kitchen gardens, in spaces ranging from tiny balconies to large open yards.
Australian Native Food Harvest: A Guide for the Passionate Cook and Gardener is Julie’s second book.
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