Native Oz Bushfoods Cultural Tour

Native Oz Bushfoods Cultural Tour

Posted by Jess Cartwright

Wow! What a day it was for our Uniquely Australian team members who were lucky enough to be a part of the Native Oz Bushfoods Cultural Tour.

We travelled inland where we were warmly greeted by our lovely tour guides for the day, Doug and Tracey Goebel. They introduced themselves and their land, presented a Welcome to Country, and allowed us all take part in a smoking ceremony which cleansed us of any bad spirits before embarking on the day ahead. And what a beautiful day it was, warm and sunny, no clouds in the sky and a lovely breeze; classic Aussie weather!

Tracey and Doug then showed us around their garden filled with all sorts of native plants. We saw, smelled, and tasted a huge variety of edible plants and fruit such as aniseed myrtle which tastes like liquorice! However, the clear favourite was the desert lime – these were the perfect maturity to be eaten right off the tree, skin and all! The pleasant sweet citrus taste made it the ideal refreshment when we were half-way through our tour; some people even went back for seconds!

After making our way through the garden, the group was left absolutely astonished not only by how knowledgeable Doug and Tracey are, but by all of this untapped potential just sitting in our own backyard, being continually overlooked and unacknowledged. Doug and Tracey also explained how some of our native flora is becoming endangered, which elicited an emotional and saddened response in us all. Despite this, we can rest assured knowing Native Oz Bushfoods is doing everything in their power to restore and regenerate these rare plant species. We also discussed how we are on the cusp of a huge boom in the native foods industry, and most of us were surprised at why our native Aussie plants haven’t already taken over the world!

Doug and Tracey put on a lovely morning tea for all tour members which included some lemon myrtle iced tea (yum), freshly baked scones (even yummier), and Native Oz Bushfoods hand-made jams (the yummiest!). The Native Oz Bushfoods had also whipped up some delicious Kakadu plum centred cupcakes for our Uniquely Australian foods team. Believe it or not, the food was not even the best part of our morning tea- the company and the conversations were. We gained more insight into Doug and Tracey’s family history, personal history, and business history, which left us all in awe of them and their business. It was immensely clear that storytelling plays a huge part in their culture, and we were fortunate enough to hear plenty of their stories during our visit. It felt like they were old friends of ours, which fostered deep conversation as well as light-hearted laughs to be shared with them.

We then all jumped in our cars and drove down the road where they showed us a beautiful secluded waterfall/creek area. Doug and Tracey believed this location was where ‘Women’s business’ took place, as Doug got the ‘heebie jeebies’ being in the area.

Our day came to a close by Doug and Tracey inviting us into their shop. Even there, they were telling us stories about their business and their products, showing us Indigenous artefacts they have found or been given, and educating us on the most random of topics (eg. emu eggs!). Again, this left us in admiration of their knowledge, openness, and their strong ties to Indigenous culture. Tracey was handing out samples of all their different products and, by the end of it, I think we ended up trying pretty much everything in the store; jams, spices, salts, sauces- the works! Obviously, this made it extremely tempting to buy everything in the store, and a few of us needed more hands to carry all the items we purchased. We rounded the day off with a group photo as a token to reflect on such a memorable day. Thank you to Native Oz Bushfoods for immersing us into your culture in this once-in-a-lifetime experience- your products are 10/10, your philosophy is 10/10, and you, as people, are 10/10!

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