Saline Bush Food Project
Creating a paddock to plate food supply chain to restore degraded land.
An innovative industry development project at Badgebup, eastern Katanning, will open it’s gates to the public for the first time this October, for the Saline Bush Foods Spring Field Day.
Starting almost by accident five years ago, project host farmer David Thompson began supplying shoots from plants growing naturally in the salt affected areas of his farm to a handful of gourmet chefs.
“I found out a Perth restaurant which I was supplying mutton to was importing saltbush from South Australia,” said Mr Thompson. “I basically said that I have some at my farm, and will just pop some in for him with the next delivery of meat. It grew very quickly from there.”
It became apparent that there was potential for a real industry to develop, utilising plants that grow naturally on degraded salt land. “It was a way to bring value back to degraded land, to turn an economic benefit for the farmer, contribute to food security and hopefully help see an improvement in health of land that has been damaged by salinity.” explains Mr Thompson.
However, it also became apparent that in order to make a viable industry and a real on-farm impact, there were a number of hurdles that needed to be overcome.
The Spring Field Day will show attendees the three different growing systems that are being refined for saltbush, samphire, pigface and ice-plant – the original wild harvest sites, plus also planted stands of the edible species and a full shadehouse horticultural system, being irrigated with saline groundwater pumped from the rising water table right there on the farm.
Date: 15th Oct, 2020
Time: 10:00 am till 3:00 pm
Location: Nyabing Rd, Badgebup
Tickets: Contact Ella on email or phone – 9821 4327