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Horticulture students learn about bushfood with Quandong seeds

18 November 2021

Our Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management students have been given the rare opportunity to germinate Quandong seeds after being provided with 500 native seeds from Noongar man and owner of Leeman-based bush food provider, In The Wild, Tim Gilbertson earlier this term.

There is limited knowledge on the best way to grow Quandongs with the students given the task of experimenting with different growing techniques over the past month.

These ranged from heating the seeds to scarifying the seeds with a grinder to soaking the seeds in water before planting the seeds. The data collected by our students will help discover the best method of growing the native fruit.

Tim visited the students last week with Dale Tilbrook, owner of Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery which uses Tim's fruit to make jams and other products, to talk about bush foods and the rapidly growing industry.

Tim said there are a lot of opportunities available for people who knew about bush foods and was happy to provide the students with the opportunity to learn and experiment with propagating the seeds.

"I want to look after our country, and to best do that you have to make it valuable and the bush food in doing that; if it's valuable people will not want to knock it down," he said.

"The industry is really growing; I think it will be like the crayfish industry and how that boomed, it will happen."

The students have planted the seeds at Midland campus, Joondalup Kendrew campus, their own homes and at Whiteman Park with the aim to have the seeds sprout over the coming weeks.

Applications are now open to study one of our horticulture and conservation courses for 2022.