Kangaroo Island UniSA bushfoods online workshop followed by cute pygmy possums

The tiny Kangaroo Island pygmy-possum is truly a wonder of nature. Photo Topa Petit
The tiny Kangaroo Island pygmy-possum is truly a wonder of nature. Photo Topa Petit

The online Zoom workshops facilitated by the University of South Australia's associate professor Topa Petit have gathered crowds behind Kangaroo Island computer screens.

And now three remain in the popular winter series.

"On July 15, Joan Gibbs treated us with a feast of bushfoods that occur on the Island, and to their botanical and Aboriginal associations," prof Petit said.

"We benefit from the knowledge of Honorary Dr Uncle Dookie O'Loughlin. He told me once that Acacia pycnantha (golden wattle) gum is great to keep the children quiet, because their teeth get stuck to it!

"Joan told us it is important to respect traditional intellectual property.

"She mentioned leaves, berries, roots, seeds, gums, nectar - many accompaniments for fish and meat. It not only Aboriginal people who used these plants, but also early Europeans. Sea celery features prominently in Baudin's journal!

"It is unfortunate that amazing plants like the yam daisy are disappearing from parts of their range. There are some on the coastal reserve marked for the proposed golf course."

"Joan and I hope that bushfood knowledge will encourage people to plant locally native plants in their gardens and look at, and eat, them with new appreciation. It's great information to add value to ecotourism tours and interpretation."

The 8th winter workshop will take place Wednesday, July 29 at 5pm on Zoom.

Prof Topa Petit, wildlife ecologist, will be presenting The Pygmy-Possums of Kangaroo Island.

The free workshop open to all will cover identification, biology, and ecology of pygmy-possums. Zoom meeting ID: 958-5391-5604. Password: 0123.

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