Our trip into the country

If you follow us on Instagram, you would know that my husband and I travelled into outback Australia country in January to discover, learn and experience Kakadu Plum growing and harvesting first hand. Let's just say, this experience was mind-blowing! Here is a little insight of our trip alongside Bruno and Marion from the Nyul Nyul community. 

The air is warm and humid. Being January, it is the wet season - the time of rain. Over Christmas the road leading into Nyul Nyul country was closed due to torrential rain. Marion joked that a boat was needed to get to the country, no cars could travel. But for the communities along the Dampier Peninsula, this was a welcome sign. 

The trees are green and lush yet the ground is red and dry; a striking contrast to the sustainability and ecosystem of this area. We see trees that have only been 'half' burnt and others that are higher burnt. This is the difference between cold and hot burning, Marion tells us. "Cold burning prepares the land for the season. Trees will rejuvenate after a cold burn as opposed to a hot burn that basically kills the trees. We need to cold burn to prevent fire damage, one of the biggest problems to the land."

No sooner do we arrive we are taken into the country by Marion and Bruno along with Marion's grandchildren and Bruno's brother. Not only are we blessed to be with Marion and Bruno, but their family as well. A true honour. 

Whilst driving through Bruno shows us the vast number of Kakadu Plum trees. It is a wild orchard, literally. There are hundreds of trees. He tells us that they stretch out into his country for hundreds of kilometres. We park the car near a river where we are then shown a collection of native bush foods. From wild native lemongrass to saltbush, to wild passionfruit to edible flowers, the land is filled with natural and wild produce. "Everything here has a purpose," says Marion. While trying to swatch and flick away the flies {the worst time of year for the flies we are told} we are tasting something new as we walk through the bush.

kakadu plum

As we travel further into the land we are stopped by a family of wild donkeys. How cute they were in the way they walked, travelled and huddled together. To our surprise, we are told the land is filled with them.  

We drive further into the country and then back again, to only stop at random to pick some plums off a tree that is full of them. "I just want to go and pick" says Marion, who literally orders Bruno to stop his car. Bags over the neck, esky in toe, some young climbers up the trees (Marion's granddaughters) the plums are getting picked. Pure, humble, totally natural wild harvesting. This is what it is all about. 

Kakadu Plum

Returning to camp, we witness the biggest lamb ribs ever being placed onto a bush barbecue. There is no doubt how much this country means to both Bruno and Marion. When Bruno shares his land with us, he shares a peace of his soul and heart. They both belong here. 

Rugged up in our tent, surrounded by nothing but the sounds of the birds and wild animals and the view of the starry night, we know we are in the right place. the journey here, and home, has cemented our roots to this land and country. We all belong here. 

 

 

#theplumpower crew