First Nations Led Native Food System Gets Stronger in 2022

First Nations Led Native Food System Gets Stronger in 2022

Corey Grech at Carriageworks Farmers Markets on Gadigal Country

Corey Grech at Carriageworks Farmers Markets on Gadigal Country

What a huge year. Thank you all so much for your love and support. We could not have achieved what we did this year without you.

Next year there will be lots more ways for you to get involved. Join us as we take Native Foodways to the next level and strengthen the First Nations led native food system even more.

Here are some highlights from 2022 in numbers:

1 Employee - We brought on board our first employee, Gamilaraay and Wonnarua cook and foodmaker, Corey Grech. Woo hoo! We couldn’t be happier that Corey has joined Native Foodways. He is now leading us in the native foodmaking and cooking space as our Director of Native Foods and Kitchens. Shout out to the awesome Cassidy Watts and Nyree Davison who have jumped in for shifts and who we hope to be able to work with more in the future.

2 Days of Native Food Festivals - We organised and ran a Native Food Market Hall as part of The Great Graze Food Festival run by The Streets of Barangaroo. This was a fun collaboration with eight other First Nations farmers and foodmakers. Big shout out to Native Botanical Brewery, Blak Cede, Bush to Bowl, Sobah, Warndu, The Unexpected Guest, Chocolate on Purpose, and My Dilly Bag.

15 Market Stalls - We have been running regular market stalls at Carriageworks on Gadigal Country this year. Head down to Redfern on any Saturday morning to pick up fresh native produce, tasty dried native herbs and spices or prepared native condiments and treats. image.pngimage.png

250+ Kilos of fresh native foods - We hand-harvested, in partnership with Bush to Bowl and Blak Cede, over 250 kilos of native foods including Finger Lime, Warrigal Greens, Native Ginger, Lemon Myrtle, Rivermint, and Cinnamon Myrtle. 300+ Jars of prepared native condiments - We worked with top chefs to develop unique native products such as our Finger Lime Marmalade. These were a big hit! We can’t wait to produce our second batch after our upcoming Finger Lime harvest.

2,000+ hot meals and drinks - We drove up to Bundjalung Country to provide food relief and hugs to people affected by the horrendous floods. Big thanks to the 50+ donors who made this possible, including Herbert Smith Freehills who provided a huge boost in funding. Here is a little news article about it.

12,000+ native food seedlings - In collaboration with the amazing team at Waminda and Blak Cede, we grew over 12,000 native food plants from seed in the Native Plant Nurseries we're building on Dharwal and Yuin Country.

50,000+ dollars worth of native foods shared - We sold over $50,000 worth of native foods from 15 First Nations native foodmakers and farmers representing over 20 First Nations Communities. We sold their products online through our website, direct to businesses through our relationships, and direct to customers through our market stalls and regular food boxes.

Beyond the numbers, we have also been working in the background with governments, philanthropists, investors, and corporations to raise serious investment in the native food industry. We hope to be able to announce some meaningful investments and powerful partnerships next year. Big shout out to the Gum Tree Foundation, Sustainable Table Foundation, Lend Lease, and Herbert Smith Freehills who have already provided significant support to help us work towards a native food system that is more regenerative, culturally respectful, and beneficial to First Peoples.

And thanks again to you! Because of you, there are more First Nations people participating in, benefiting from, and leading the native food industry. We hope you'll stay with us on this exciting journey. 2023 is going to be a big one and we'd love for you to be involved and amongst it. We're going to need all the support we can get.

  1. This is just the beginning. Here are a few things we’re working on and hoping to launch in the coming months. Our first retail shop in the centre of the Sydney CBD on Gadigal Country. This is super exciting and we’ll need volunteers to help us get this shop up and running. Please get in touch (reply to this email) if you can help out! Big shout and thanks to Lend Lease for supporting us to get this space (especially Cath Brokenborough, Melissa Haigh, and Liz Potter).
  2. Our first eatery with hot and prepared food and a catering offering. Yep, you’re going to be able to come visit us and taste our fresh and hot native foods prepared by our First Nations foodmakers led by Corey Grech. We’re going to need lots of daily visitors and catering orders to make this a success. We’ll share more about this and how you can get involved as soon as we can. We're going to need to raise some funds to get this one off the ground.
  3. Our second native food farming workshop. Keep an ear out for this as we look to organise an exciting masterclass on Wiradjuri Country that looks at some viable native food farming models with and for First Nations communities.

Please get in touch if you have any feedback or ideas about anything we're up to. We love to collaborate with everyone interested in playing a part in this meaningful movement to centre First Nations ways of knowing, doing, and being in the native food system.

All the best and see you next year! The Native Foodways Team - Carla, Crista, Jason, Corey, Lachlan, Damien, and Mickey

Ps. Tomorrow is the summer solstice and we are approaching the end of Parra'dowee (the warm and wet time of the Dharawal Calendar). This is a time when the eels prepare to journey down the rivers and out into the oceans where they will participate in their mysterious spawning rituals.

Photo captions 1. Carla McGrath at The Great Graze at Barangaroo on Gadigal Country. 2. Corey Grech running the Native Foodways Stall at Carriageworks on Gadigal Country 3. All the native food stall holders at the Great Graze at Barangaroo on Gadigal Country. 4. Lachaln McDaniel, Nyree Davison, and Uncle Shane Phillips on Bundjalung Country. 5. The Native Foodways Crew and friends on Bundjalung Country. 6. Monica Mckenzie and Suzie Grech on Bundjalung Country. 7. A orchard of Macadamias at Winderong Farm on Dharawal Country. 8. Michelle Moloney from Waminda potting up Lomandra on Yuin Country. 9. Donya Whaddy from Waminda drying Lemon Myrtle harvested from Castle Creek on Yuin Country. 10. Packaged up Cinnamon Myrtle harvested from Winderong on Dharawal Country.