Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Salt bush harvest

I’ve been watching an old man salt bush in my street for a while now. It must be the most prolific producer of seed that I have seen and this weekend just gone it was ripe enough to pick. Obviously I was not the only one who had been watching as I had to scare off a ringneck parrot who was happily tucking in.
Old-man Saltbush Atriplex nummularia is a great permaculture plant for central Australia. It Grows and self seeds easily, is a great source of fodder for animals, can gow big enough to make effective wind breaks, can be harvested for mulching and stabilising areas (especially salty areas) and of course food for ring neck parrots!

One plant established itself on my front verge last summer from what must have been wind blown seed and its now waist high and I clip it regularly for the rabbits.

Harvesting saltbush is pretty straightforward. Just put something underneath the branches then scrunch the dry seeds which will easily fall off. It took me less than 20 minutes to harvest 2 large plastic bags full of seed. I have transferred them to a plastic hessian bag for further drying and I’ll then place them in the freezer to kill all the bugs that I have picked up in the process.I don’t know that I will be able to separate leaves from seeds very well because they are both papery and light.

Given the positive outlook for rain in the next year, direct sowing of the saltbush should be a huge success


  1. OMG L&G are getting big!
    How time flies...

    Love, Maarten and Judy!

  2. Cute kids Chris! Looking forward to giving the saltbush a go out here, the goats and rabbits will thank you ;-)