It is great to see both Bluetongue and Boylesg engaging in a topic that I think often ends up in the too hard basket. Good to see Bluetongue has been responsible (finding out the legal responsibilities and being transparent with regards to posting overseas). Further more it's also great to see someone as keen as Boylesg post his opinions on the forum (though you could take a deep breath once in awhile….. just teasing
). The fact that both have enquired on the 'rights and wrongs' certainly changes my assumption of people haphazardly posting plant material without any care.
I hope this following story provides some incite as to what can happen. Back in the early 90's after living on small island of Europe for a year I sent some Sturt desert peas seeds to a friend on the island, I though what a joke, they probably won't grow, as I've had no success myself until recently and the island is covered in snow for 3-4 months of the year so what chance would they have of ever becoming a weed or growing for that matter . At this point it's worth pointing out that the seeds are sold at any Australiana gift shop at most airports around Australia. Four months latter I received mail from my friends with photos of the plants grow throughout their garden in full flower (can you imagine how frustrating it was when I could not even get them to grow here)
. They died in the winter but the seeds germinated and grow in profusion the next summer
. At that point I rang and suggested that maybe it would be an idea to kill them. They already had done so with the same concerns. 14 years latter and there are no more plants coming up (they did though for the next 2 years). My point is it’s a hard call to identify what has weed potential. Have a look at this South African site and see how many Ozzies are in the list.
(I was surprised to see E. Camaldulensis considering Landcare groups are planting these guys along river and creeks due to poor natural recruitment)
On the flip side I believe that a lot of our bushtucker food will unlikely be accepted by the general public (or at best very very slowly) without overseas interest and development. Too many people I know have tried bushtucker food, claimed they like it, only to then ditch it once they found out it was bushtucker (sorry readers I believe we are a minority) . I once read in a book ('Going Native') that suggested that the public turned its nose up at Bushtucker at the turn of the century (1800s-1900s). It was perceived that native food was for peasants and that cultured people ate chicken and lamb with the traditional vegies
Sadly many people tend to look over our own products and assume the foreign option is better. My question is to develop some of our bush tucker beyond the boutique level do we need to have an overseas phase to promote it as acceptable to the wider community? Additionally I believe there are some opportunities for out bushtucker food to be utilised by people in harsh climates that are subjected to famine etc (there's a whole other story).
I think there are a whole lot of grey areas when you try and marry the two points together. I think it's great that both Bluetongue and Boylesg have opened up the can for discussion and both have pointed out there efforts to identify what legal responsibilities there are and been open with their opinions.
I hope that more people post there opinions etc on this issue, but for that to happen I think people need to feel like they can without emotions running away in sequential postings. I hope people can be mindful of this and allow a healthy discussion to follow
Where do I stand, well I would love to here more thoughts on the issue