For upwards of 40,000 years, Aborigines have used the land and resources at their disposal, including the plants. According to Beth Gott, at least half of food eaten by Aborigines came from plants – fruits, grains, greens and roots.
Australian native plants have many common uses beyond food too. Grasses and sedges make baskets, mats and nets; tree bark makes buckets, dishes, even canoes; the gum from the eponymous eucalyptus trees aids burns and ailments; native mints act as remedies for colds and coughs.
Europeans were introduced to Australia’s native plants in the 1700s, first through illustrations then samples and specimens. And as the Australian population and culture changed, so too did the landscape, bringing about the destruction of many native species.
Luckily though, conservation efforts and greater awareness have helped combat this. Now, many species once in danger of eradication are being cultivated.
Our Native Grasses box available in January 2018 and can be pre-ordered now (and is covered by the long day care approved funding).
For more educational ideas for your classroom and home visit www.backyardinabox.com.au and view our resources all covered by the long day care funding (which expires on the 30th of June 2017).