Expanding cultural knowledge while learning about the health benefits of native flora has inspired the planting of a new Bush Tucker Garden, at Modbury, by leading South Australian retirement living and home care service provider, ECH.

To mark National Reconciliation Week, the garden will be formally opened on
1 June with a tour of its edible natives and bush foods by Bunganditj woman Leanne Williams. This will be followed by an indigenous inspired afternoon tea for ECH residents and clients.

ECH Chief Executive Claire Scapinello says the Bush Tucker Garden project is part of the organisation’s ongoing reconciliation and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

“The idea for the Bush Tucker Garden came from our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group, as a way that ECH can engage our clients and team members in our reconciliation journey, and for people to grow their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in a multisensory way.

“At ECH, we are a proud and inclusive organisation which encourages residents and clients to embrace cultural diversity and social connections not only through this project at our ECH Encore Apartments, but in all we do.

“The garden has a large range of ornamental plants, fruit trees and native plantings, so we encourage residents and clients to take advantage of this opportunity,” Ms Scapinello says.

The Bush Tucker Garden plants were selected by ECH Connections Lead and Horticulturist Mel Sanders and ECH Peer Connector Trevor Martin and sourced from Belair State Flora, Coromandel Native Nursery and Karkoo Oakbank.

Ms Williams, who has a Diploma in Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management has been presenting workshops to a range of community groups and at UniSA as a guest lecturer in bush food plants and promoting their edible and medicinal properties.

“Bush food has sustained generations of Aboriginal peoples, and this event represents a rich and vibrant history in the culture of this land,” Ms Williams says.

“The Bush Tucker Garden is a testament that ECH is committed to expanding our cultural knowledge and highlighting the significance and versatile qualities of native botanicals.

“It’s a great to be part of this project; it means I can get to share my culture to the community and the residents of Encore have access to ongoing supplementary flavours they can add to their culinary dishes at all times.”

Posted: May 31, 2023