As consumers we need to treat our soils and our farmers with much greater respect.
First Nation people of this country are slowly, and belatedly, receiving some of the recognition they deserve – not just as stewards of the land, but as farmers who actively managed resources and created a system of agriculture which served them well, generation after generation, for millennia.
As recent Australians, we don’t need to lose 200 years of history, but we do need to learn from mistakes made and change our approach to food. We need to value our food, our resources, our farmers and our health better. The growth of regenerative agriculture offers exciting ways to not only deal with climate change, but to actively help heal the land.
Leanganook (Mount Alexander) from our garden
We also need to graciously accept the wisdom of Indigenous culture. We need to honour the patient and generous offers to share their knowledge. This is an ancient land, our soils are some of the oldest and, apart from Antarctica, we live on the driest continent in the world. Time to create a shared, truly Australian food culture, one better suited to available resources.
Let’s keep the best of our current systems, think beyond the next election cycle and embrace a new approach. One where flour made from Kangaroo Grass, Wattle Seed biscuits and Bush Tomato casserole are as well-known and loved as lamingtons, meat pies and lamb chops. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of industrial agricultural systems that keep animals in appalling conditions, disconnect us from our food sources and take away our rightful heritage to seeds.