Home Australia | OceaniaAustralia Bush tucker hits the high streets of Orange NSW

Bush tucker hits the high streets of Orange NSW

by Diana Streak
Gerald Power shows his range of Indigenous foods and ingredients

Gerald Power is a man with a mission. To spread the joy of food inspired by native ingredients through his Indigenous Cultural Adventures organisation in Orange way beyond central NSW.


A generous dollop of rich red bush tomato relish on freshly made damper was the first thing I sampled from Gerald Power’s carefully laid out table of goodies. It was a hot morning in Orange, the culinary capital of central west NSW, and the cicadas were blaring their approval after recent rains had triggered a breeding frenzy.

We are at the Orange community garden where Gerald’s Indigenous Cultural Adventures hosts workshops and tastings for both the uninitiated and ardent fans who have been following his extraordinary journey from troubled youth to entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Indigenous Cultural Adventures offers bush trails visiting sacred traditional sites, camping under the stars and cooking food over a fire while sharing stories of times gone by. But at the heart of Gerald’s endeavour is food and at the heart of that is his nanna, whose delicious culinary fare was his inspiration.

Next up is lemon myrtle marmalade, a golden blend, the tangy tasting deliciousness. European Australians may grow lemon myrtle as a sturdy hedge, never knowing they have a food source around their carefully manicured lawn, tasty and full of vitamin C.

Cornucopia of delights

Gerald gestures to the fresh-water mussel shells cradling roasted wattle seed, lemon myrtle leaves, mountain pepper berry, macadamia nuts and old man salt bush leaves for our tasting pleasure and packets for purchase. There is a bit of discussion as we vie over the merchandise but Gerald assures us he can deliver extras to our next port of call.

Jars of Nana’s Home Made Bush Tucka Tomato Relish and Nana’s Home Made Lemon Myrtle Marmalade are snapped up, with their labels charmingly askew and the hand written ‘best before’ dates exploding with a genuineness not found at exclusive boutique producers. The serving suggestions are straight from Nana’s lips “Serve on any cold meat sandwiches, roast chicken, lamb and beef. Great with kangaroo. Spread over toast, damper, pancakes and Johnny cakes.”

Growing in the garden

The community garden boast Warrigal greens, an Indigenous vegetable staple found across the eastern seaboard, and Midyim berry, which is high in vitamin C. “The leaves can be used to make a Midyim berry tea and the berries are wonderful in a fruit salads and for making a cocktail drink,” says Gerald.

Like many Indigenous plants, river mint has healing qualities white Australians are only just starting to appreciate. It’s used for healing cuts and relieving headaches, and also acts as a natural mosquito repellent. “We also used it in salad and it’s great as a salad dressing with macadamia oil. And a refreshing pepper mint drink.”

As more and more Australians embrace Gerald’s culinary creations, I am sure those boisterous cicadas will be cheering him on. TTW

Photos © Zora Regulic. Diana Streak travelled with assistance from NSW Central West and Country Food Trails. More at Visit Central NSW.

See also

The secrets of the trees, seen through Raymond Timbery’s eyes
Good vibes with didjeridus, the voice of Aboriginal Australia
Feeling Australia’s ancient heartbeat
Getting in touch with Australia’s First People

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