Last week’s University of Sydney IA Watson Grains Research Centre Summer Crop Field Day brought scientists and producers together for a day which encompassed reviews of current research, new technologies and future programs.

A research project engaging the wider North Western Gomeroi community and drawing on the community’s knowledge of ancient, traditional foods is well underway at the at the Narrabri centre.

The native grains project led by Dr Angela Pattison is exploring the development of native grains production with the aim of establishing native grains enterprises.

The project has been underwritten by Gomeroi community members’ wealth of knowledge.

One of those involved in the project, Gomeroi woman Kerrie Saunders, Moree, prepared samples of lemon myrtle and purslane muffins and native grain and vegie pizza made from ‘old man saltbush’ roasted seeds, with topping of bush tomato seasoning and wild foraged greens.

“There is a lot of interest in native foods,” said Ms Saunders who runs a Facebook page called Yinarr-Ma, which showcases a range of local bush tucker and conducts popular bush tucker tours in Moree.

“You have to know what to look for and be able to identify it,” she said.

“There is a huge range of foods, all healthy and proven.”

Native food plants and medicines have sustained the Gomeroi people for thousands of years and the native grains project is capturing interest in research, commercial and wider community circles.

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