At a Taste of Paradise Farm, we grow a range of bush food, as we have found this is beneficial to our young people, particularly those of Aboriginal heritage. It is important for us to use the means we have available to support young people as they make links with their culture, and by growing native foods, we are helping them to connect in a real way with the things Aboriginal people have harvested for thousands of years. At the farm we appreciate the significance and importance of Bunya nuts to Aboriginal people.
Bunya trees are only one of the native foods we have begun to grow on the farm. The fruit of the Bunya tree are Bunya nuts. They are a delicacy and there is a revival of Bunya nuts at the moment. My limited experience is that they taste vaguely like pine nuts, but they are very big, and each Bunya cone may have 70 of these large nuts within them. Here is a picture of some of the Bunya nuts I’ve was able to harvest from a neighbouring farm. Each Bunya cone can weigh up to 5 kg or more and in the past, someone was occasionally killed when a Bunya cone dropped on their head!
So, we have planted Bunya trees on the farm, with the hope that they will continue to grow in popularity and as the trees mature and begin to fruit, they will then be a crop that can help to support the farm and future generations. The trees can take 20-25 years to come to maturity and begin to produce fruit. Obviously, safety is a key concern, so we have planted them in an area of the farm where there is no foot traffic, vehicles or farm machinery parked as many years ago I saw a photo in the local paper of a car in the town of Berry with its roof caved in, because someone had unknowingly parked their car under a Bunya tree.
We found this great website that has some information about Bunya nuts, how they are harvested and cooked.