THE ACACIA family, with its enormous diversity of species and forms, cover the length and breadth of the Australian continent.
Since European settlement, Acacias have come to be commonly known as wattles. ‘Wattle’ is an old Anglo-Saxon word that relates to the ‘wattle-and-daub’ housing construction method used by early English settlers.
Branches and saplings from the favoured Acacias were cut and woven onto wooden frames to create panels called ‘wattles’. Mud and dung was then ‘daubed’ onto the ‘wattle’ panels to fill the gaps.
Acacias were the ideal building material due to their flexible branches and wide availability. A hut could be built in a day and dried out that night by burning a fire inside.
Australia’s indigenous people have used many species of Acacias in their diet for thousands of years, but only now is it starting to find its way into western cooking.
The main varieties used as a food source are: Ac. victoriae (Prickly Acacia); Ac. sophorae (Coastal Wattle); Ac. retinodes (Wirilda); Ac. coriacea (Dogwood); Ac. murrayana (Colony Wattle); and Ac. aneura (Mulga).
In their natural habitats these species are plentiful, and because of this, they have been mainly harvested in the wild.
The most sought-after wattle seed is the Ac. retinodes (Wirilda), which is now being planted in large commercial plots for the bush food industry.
The seeds of the Acacias have very hard husks and when they fall to the ground will last for up to 20 years in their natural environment, usually only germinating after bushfires.
Because this hard outer casing also protects the seed during long periods of dormancy on the ground, Wattle seed has provided indigenous Australians with a rich source of protein and carbohydrate in times of drought.
Roasted ground Wattle seed has a diverse number of uses in the kitchen, from baking to thickening of sauces and casseroles, to ice cream.
By dark-roasting Wattle seed, the most delightful aroma of nutty, fresh-roasted coffee is released and can be used as a beverage or as an addition to chocolate or desserts.
Wattle seeds are very nutritious and high in fibre (more than 30 per cent.) They contain potassium, calcium, iron and zinc in fairly high concentrations and have a low glycemic index. This makes them suitable for diabetics, providing a steady stream of sugars that do not produce spikes in blood glucose levels. Most vitamins are present except for C, B12 and riboflavin.
A uniquely Australian native spice that has an aroma and flavour reminiscent of a distinct fusion of coffee, chocolate and hazelnut. It makes a very pleasant caffeine-free coffee substitute.
Tinderbox Wattle seed is a fine-ground, extra-dark roast to provide maximum flavour and dispersion in your cooking.
Gubinge (Terminalia ferdinandiana) the Nyul Nyul language name for the Kimberley version of the Kakadu Plum. In the west Kimberley, the Bardi people call it Madoorr.
The tree is slender and grows up to 14m in height. The bark is creamy-grey and flaky, with deciduous pale green leaves. In Spring it blooms with perfumed, small creamy-white flowers before it fruits later in the wet season.
The indigenous people of Australia’s North West have valued the small, yellow-green fruit of the Gubinge for millennia as a year-round source of vitamin C. In the wet season the fresh fruit is a food staple; while it is also dried and mixed with water to drink during the dry season. The bark and gum are also used in bush medicines, for skin disorders and infections including wounds, sores and boils.
This fruit is a potent, natural source of vitamin C and is cultivated in the wild of Australia’s north west. These small bush plums are being heralded as ‘Australian superfood’ , largely due to the vitamin C content, the highest concentration per gram of any plant on Earth - up to 100 times more than oranges.
It also contains high levels of vitamin E, potassium, anti-oxidants and folate.
In line with the indigenous tradition of eating both seed and fruit, the entire Gubinge fruit is dehydrated at 40°C. It is then milled into a powder, making it a true whole food.
The taste of the gubinge fruit has been described as a combination of cooked apple, pear and citrus fruits with a delicate floral aroma.
Fruits harvested in the wild have been shown to have higher levels of vitamin C compared to orchard varieties, possibly because the harsher conditions trigger protection mechanisms that force the tree to produce more vitamin C and other nutrients for its own defences.
Numinous Natives - Wattle and Gubinge
This new wholesome treat from Tinderbox celebrates Australian super-botanicals. Balingup-grown wattle seed combines with Vitamin C-packed Gubinge (kakadu plum) and other organic favourites for an unusual yet very yummy treat.
Contains certified organic ingredients: activated almonds, cocoa solids, fig, medjool date, coconut oil, gubinge*, black wattle seed* (gubinge is wildcrafted by the indigenous Nyul Nyul community; wattle seed is sustainably cultivated in the south west of WA). All Tinderbox treats are hand made in temperatures not exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
THE ENIGMATIC presence of the luminous moon is a constant reminder of the infinitely cyclical and reoccurring rhythms that preside over Nature and all living things in a profoundly spiritual way.
This stoical beacon of light that has a deep connection to all of earth’s waters illuminates our emotions and the shadowy depths of our subconscious, bringing them to the surface of our awareness.
The visible effect of the moon’s recurrent motion on plant life presents the perfect analogy of the birth/death cycle to which we must all reconcile.
Each moon phase resonates with both physical and metaphysical significance to reveal different themes in our life and offers a guide to planning activities, projects and gardening. Following the Lunar cycle as part of our spiritual practice can deepen our connection with Nature as we meaningfully live in this embodiment between heaven and earth.
New Moon: new beginnings, fresh start
This phase represents the very beginning of the planting cycle, when the seed sends forth its tender shoot while still underground.
It’s time to begin new projects and regimes. This is a tentative moment with the outcome in doubt. We feel subjective during this phase, wanting to leave our mark upon the world.
The best time to sow or transplant leafy and flowering annuals.
Crescent Moon: Intention, hopes, wishes
In this phase the moon is waxing, halfway between new and first quarter moon. In the planting cycle this is when the young plant has to contend with the surrounding environment, which can sometimes seem difficult and hostile.
The lunar gravity pulls water up and causes the seeds to swell and burst. During this phase, we tend to charge forward with new ideas and impulses, even in the face of resistance. Our primary mission is to actualise new forms into an objective and concrete existence.
First Quarter Moon: Challenges, decisions, action
In this phase, the moon is waxing and square to the sun. This represents the time in the planting cycle when the plant puts out its leaves and branches, a time of great growth.
During this phase, we wilfully build new structures for society and ourselves; we characteristically exert the most effort to achieve our goals of bringing new forms into reality, even in the face of resistance.
The best time to sow or transplant fruiting and flowering annuals. Prune to encourage growth and carry out grafting and budding.
Second Quarter Moon: Adjust, refine, edit
The Moon is now waxing with a forward momentum halfway between the first quarter and full moon. This represents the moment in the planting cycle when the bud begins to form, carrying with it the promise of the flower.
During this phase, we are likely to have a passion for the building and perfecting of new forms and structures.
It is generally a good time for planting, especially two days before the full moon. The types of crops that prefer the second quarter are annuals that produce above ground, but their seeds form inside the fruit.
Full Moon - Harvest: Signed, sealed complete
In this phase the lunar energies are peaking now fourteen days into the cycle. This corresponds to the time in the planting cycle for the flower to emerge.
It is harvest time, possibly for projects begun at a new moon months beforehand. Emotions may peak during this phase and we are more objective and very aware of the effect of our work on others. We are operating out of the mode of visible clarity rather than blind faith. We are open to the influence of those around us and are aware of the influence that we have on them as well.
The best time to sow or plant out root crops and all fruiting and decorative perennials, including fruit trees.
Disseminating Moon: Gratitude, sharing, enthusiasm
In this phase, the moon is waning and halfway between the full and last quarter moon. In the planting cycle this corresponds to the first appearance of the plant’s fruit.
This is a good time for our energies and thoughts to turn inwards, and to use what we have learned and bide our time. The gravitation pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil, but the moonlight is decreasing, putting energy into the roots.
This is a favourable time for planting root herbs and it is also good for perennials, biennials, bulbs and transplanting because of the active root growth.
Last Quarter Moon: Release, let go, forgive
In this phase the moon is waning and square to the sun. In the planting cycle, this phase represents the beginning of the end of the cycle, when the plant is harvested and the parts remaining start to wither and die back into the ground, while what is left of the fruit also begins to prepare its seeds for planting.
It’s not a good time to go after anything new but a good time to fine-tune things and work with what we have to make it better.
No sowing or planting during this phase, rather attend to the soil; weeding, mulching, making compost, applying solid fertilisers and digging or ploughing, prune if necessary to restrain growth.
Balsamic Moon: Surrender, rest, healing
The waning Moon has reached its last phase, halfway between last quarter and new moon. This is the time of the maturation of the seed while the rest of the plant dies away. All of the plant’s energy becomes concentrated in the seed preparing for the next cycle.
It is also called the dark moon, because it sheds so little light and is a resting period and time of release, to let go of attachments both material and emotional. Symbolically, this suggests the inner world is more important than the outer world at this point in the cycle.
In the garden it is certainly no time for planting or sowing, but it is ideal for cultivation, pruning, soil conditioning, eradicating pests and weeds.
Tinderbox has released its 2017 Calendar - Spiritual Beings Being Human - and this year includes all quarters of the moon so that you can be guided by the planting cycles in your garden and be more in tune with your spiritual needs. This limited edition is only at tinderbox.com.au or in our Balingup store. Click Here for purchasing details.