Last week, prior to the official 'planting' of Tom Nicholson's book Monument for the flooding of Royal Park, I sought confirmation (thank you BG) about the edible plants once eaten around here, the western central Victorian district formerly inhabited by the Dja Dja wurrung, Watha wurrung and other tribal groups.
Volcanoes were still active in western Victoria as recently as 10,000 years ago. Their lava was basalt, a molten material that flows easily, creates plains, then breaks down quickly to produce a fertile soil. When the white settlers arrived in western Victoria, the volcanic ground was abundant with an edible yam daisy, a tuber known as murnong. Above ground the murnong/yam daisy appears somewhat like the dandelion plant, with a drooping yellow flower.
Women gathering murnong and other food,
as sketched by squatter Henry Godfrey, on November 1, 1843.
Drawing from the artist's sketchbook,
La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.
( from here )
This image of the Actor of Looking is from last week's edition of our local newspaper The (Daylesford) Advocate.
19 May 2009
GIANT turnips have sprouted in Springmount paddocks, providing hearty meals for the sheep.
Springmount farmer Rod Taylor said he had three paddocks with turnips as big as 28cm by 20cm thick.
"Anybody I've told doesn't believe it until you pull them out of the bag,'' Mr Taylor said.
"My wife tells people we've got turnips as big as Rod's head.''
The turnips were keeping his 66 sheep going because the grass in the paddocks had suffered due to the hot weather and no rain, he said.
"The sheep wander into the paddocks when they want a good feed of turnips and then wander away to eat grass again,'' Mr Taylor said.
He said the over-sized turnips had been grown without water or fertilizer, and they had been a month late sowing them.
Mr Taylor and his wife Margaret have been at the property for 25 years and grew the turnips with fowl manure, lime and by deep ripping the soil, he said.
He said the company where he had first purchased the seeds in Ballarat was shocked by the size of them.
"They said I've seen some turnips but that is ridiculous," Mr Taylor said.