Latarnie McDonald and Rodney Carter are trying to make kangaroo grass a viable crop. Picture: Tom Melville

Latarnie McDonald and Rodney Carter are trying to make kangaroo grass a viable crop. Picture: Tom Melville

Would you eat Kangaroo Grass bread?

Podcast: Indigenous agriculture uses ancient knowledge and native plants to farm with the land, not against it

Sustainability
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Voice of Real Australia brings you people, places and perspectives from beyond the big cities. This week -- Indigenous agriculture: Can native crops heal our country?

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Imagine for breakfast having Kakadu plum jam on freshly toasted kangaroo grass bread, a hot pot of wattle seed coffee steeping on the kitchen table. Is it that hard to picture?

Before wheat was wheat, it was a grass. It was introduced to Australia, and every year it struggles against our fickle climate.

But we do have native grasses that First Nations Australians have cultivated for years, like kangaroo grass. Over millennia its grain was ground to make dough for damper. It's a hardy, resilient grass found all over the country.

Latarnie McDonald and Rodney Carter are trying to make kangaroo grass a viable crop. Picture: Tom Melville

Latarnie McDonald and Rodney Carter are trying to make kangaroo grass a viable crop. Picture: Tom Melville

There are experiments taking place around the country, led by First Nations people, to test the viability of native plants as a sustainable, desirable and profitable crop.

With land degradation and climate change front of mind, there's a growing movement toward more regenerative and sustainable farming.

Kangaroo grass being cultivated in Dja Dja Warrung country in Central Victoria. Picture: Tom Melville

Kangaroo grass being cultivated in Dja Dja Warrung country in Central Victoria. Picture: Tom Melville

But the challenge is ensuring cultural intellectual property is respected and that First Nations people play a central role in the native foods industry. This has not been the case in the past, with the macadamia nut being a marked example.

For this podcast we visited with people on the forefront of Indigenous agriculture.

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The story Would you eat Kangaroo Grass bread? first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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