Welcome to the Swan Valley's Bush Tucker and Beyond Trail, a unique and fascinating discovery of traditional bush tucker in the region.
The Swan Valley has a rich tradition as a food bowl.
Before European settlement, the alluvial soil lining the meandering course of the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River) was covered in long thin white yams (diascorea hastifolia) cultivated by Noongar people.
Known as Warrine patches, a huge garden was located in the Swan Valley at the site of All Saints Church. A remnant of a warrine garden can still be seen at Walyunga National Park.
In the streams and tributaries joining the Derbal Yerrigan, the Yanget (Bulrushes) grew. These were burnt to the waterline in Boonooroo (hot season) in preparation for the Djeran (autumn) harvest, when the fibrous root masses were gathered, roasted, peeled, pounded and made into carbohydrate-rich cakes baked in the ashes.
Wetj noorook (emu eggs) were collected at this time too and Kar (milkmaids) and Bohn (bloodroot) grew in the sandier soils. Edible wattles yielded fine seeds that were roasted and ground and the flour was mixed with water and baked in ashes. Berries grew in the foothills above Bells Rapids, and yonga (kangaroo), Wetj (emu), Karda (goanna), Djildjit (fish) and Djerap Kep-ak (waterbirds) were plentiful.
This was a land providing substantial seasonal food sources for Wadjuk people.
Today you can still search for these foods, but the great harvests are no longer there, instead flourishing with European viticulture and market gardens.
This trail recommends points of interest in the natural environment. Walk the trails at Walyunga, where up to 600 Aboriginal people would gather for ceremony in Djeran. Visit Maalinup, an Aboriginal owned and operated enterprise where you can taste and buy bush food products. Explore other businesses which have embraced bush food ingredients as part of their everyday offering.
Download your Bush Tucker and Beyond Trail map today and prepare to get acquainted with traditional bush tucker from the Swan Valley.