Over the last year-and-a-half the Kimberley Community Seedbank (KCS) has been working with the Bardi Jawi Oorany, Nyul Nyul and Karajarri Rangers to develop products to promote and support the work they undertake protecting and managing country.
The Karajarri Rangers (together with KCS) have created native seed packets of two species, Lirrirngkin and Ngalingmarr. They have been chosen because they are culturally interesting, have sufficient seed reserves for sustainable harvest and are easy to collect.
The seed packets are available from EK and are intended for anyone who is interested in growing native plants, learning about traditional knowledge and supporting the important work of the rangers.
The Lirrirngkin seed packets can be purchased from the Environs Kimberley. The seed packets are a trial product and, if they prove successful, more will be developed to take to the marketplace in 2019.
Lirrirngkin, or Soap Wattle (Acacia colei) is a fast growing Acacia that has nitrogen-fixing properties, a pretty yellow flower and slivery green leaves. The green pods can be moistened with water to create a soapy lather, hence the common name. The seeds, once cleaned and processed appropriately, are edible. They can be added to baked goods (such as bread and biscuits), sprinkled as a topping on salads or in cereals, and in ice creams and crackers. Nutritionally, wattle seeds are relatively high in protein, carbohydrates and fats. Traditionally, Aboriginal people would collect, roast and grind the seeds into a paste, shape the paste into a cake or damper and cook it in the coals.
Ngalingmarr or Corkbark/Dragon Tree (Sesbania formosa) is another fast growing legume. It can grow into a medium to tall tree (up to 15 metres) and has large, fragrant, attractive white flowers. The young leaves and flowers are edible either raw or cooked. These trees grow in swampy areas and stand out in sparse landscapes, indicating freshwater swamps and soaks.