For four years a team of passionate Landcarers have been working away in eastern Katanning developing a paddock-to-plate supply chain using saline bush foods.

“Salinity is a major issue facing southern Australian agriculture,” says Katanning Landcare Officer Ella Maesepp, “and finding ways to produce viable food crops from salt-affected land, whilst improving its environmental condition can be a game changer.”

The project brought together the expertise of host farm Moojepin Foods, gourmet food marketer Wagoga, Chatfields Engineering, Charlotte Creek Horticultural, soil scientists from Terra Perma, and Katanning Landcare. After intensive work developing three growing systems – Wild Harvest, Plantation and Shadehouse, growing both consumer awareness and a nation-wide customer base, and establishing a new Packing Facility, the Saline Bush Foods project are delighted to release their Industry Overview Manual.

“The Manual is compilation of years of research, mistakes, successes and product development, all captured into one overview document.” explains Mrs Maesepp. “We hope it will help other landholders with salinity on their property to make an informed choice as to whether the saline bush foods industry may be right for them.”

Supported by the Australian Governments National Landcare Program Smart Farming Partnerships, the Saline Bush Foods project developed four product lines – samphire, saltbush, pigface (karkalla) and ice-plant – growing them on saline land or irrigated with saline groundwater. The products have been enthusiastically received by the restaurant and hospitality industry, including top restaurants such as Sydney’s “Quay” and “Fleur” in Perth, as well as venues in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne.

On the 24th March 2022, landholders who are considering taking the next step into production will be able to attend a training day held at the Katanning project site, David & Sue Thompsons Badgebup property Moojepin.

“At this event, we’ll delve deep into the details of how to set-up and run these growing systems. The entire project team will be there to work closely with keen landholders, as we look toward sustainably and incrementally growing the saline foods industry,” said Mrs Maesepp.

Copies of the Saline Bush Foods Industry Overview Manual are available, free of charge, from Katanning Landcare on 9821 4327 or Applications for the training course are now open, closing 17th March 2022.