Bushfoods & Bush Medicine

Ligaya Garden is in Gawler, on Kaurna Country, and we forage for bushfoods and medicines as locally as possible. We like to stick within a one hour drive of our place – there’s enough here for everyone!

Most of our bushfood knowledge and experience with comes from our times with our Ngarrindjeri family and friends way down South on the Coorong, I’m indebted to Uncles Neville Gollan, George and Tom Trevorrow for sharing their knowledge freely on many a walk and chat around the campfire. Sadly, those Uncles are all gone now/ They taught me how to look at the bush and all of its interconnections and that it isn’t just a collection of plants and animals or even ecosystems but a continuum extending through time.

What I do know about the local plants from a Kaurna perspective was shared with me by Aunties Cherie Watkins and Veronica Brodie. Another great source of knowledge and inspiration has been our friend and ecologist extraordinaire Joan Gibbs, who taught me how to see the bush more clearly.

To their knowledge, I can add to information that I’ve followed up on, academically, by looking at both old writings from explorers, priests, anthropologists and their ilk.

The Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna names included for some of the plants are by no means comprehensive, they’re just what we’ve learned in my excursions and from doing a little reading here and there. It goes without saying that such rich cultural groups have many, many other words and names for vital parts of their tradition and culture. I’ll certainly add more as we learn them.

We’re always learning about our botanic community, taking new pics and meeting folks who know a lot more than we do, so keep checking your favourite plants on these pages. There’s always more to come!

Flowering times are approximate. Plants don’t take a lot of notice of calendars and the changes in our climate are mixing things up a bit. The times we’ve given are from our own local experience.

You can learn more about other useful, imported, wild plants here on our ‘Wild foods & medicines‘ and ‘Other useful plants‘ pages.

Note: It can be illegal to harvest from the wild without the appropriate permit or licence. Different councils, however, have different rules and regulations on the matter, so check with them before you go out.