Two of the World’s oldest cultivated trees have been identified as a key future food species for Australia.
Over a million dollars has been invested by farmers and research institutions across Australia in recent years to devise technology to unlock the potential of the Carob bean tree, brought to our country by early settlers. Meanwhile advanced propagation techniques have enabled the commercial production of Jujube (also known as Chinese date) for which growing local markets exist.
The Food Forest has teamed with PIRSA (Primary Industry & Regions SA), Carobs Australia and Perry’s Nursery to present a public workshop on Thursday 4 Sept (9.45am-4pm) for landholders, food industry personnel, chefs and keen fruit growers to hear the latest information from world experts and discuss industry prospects.
Both species grow in relatively low rainfall areas, are tolerant of saline water and require very modest chill hours, so can dodge the effects of global warming which is already upsetting the flowering of many tree crops in Southern Australia, causing crop failures in cherries, pistachios and some stone fruit species.
Carob beans contain over 50% natural sugars and a range of anti-oxidants making them a healthy source of basic nutrition whilst the jujube is an important ingredient in Chinese medicine as well as being a key fresh and dried fruit throughout Asia and the Middle East
The event is to be held in the Learning Centre at The Food Forest, near Gawler, where participants will be able to inspect a mature carob orchard, sample carob products and see jujubes and other climate-change-ready tree species grown in a certified-organic system.