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Byron Shire
August 11, 2022

Playing with fire

Latest News

Tweed Council refuse aged care facility Tweed Heads

The proposed aged care facility at Caloola Drive Tweed Heads (DA20/0712) was refused at the Tweed Shire Council meeting last Thursday.

Other News

Evans Head, Iron Gates DA public planning meeting coming

The current development application (DA) for the flood and bushfire-prone site of the Evans Head, Iron Gates development will go before the Northern Rivers Planning Panel (NRPP) on 30 August.

Richmond Tweed Regional Library Mobile Library is on the road

Following the destruction of the previous trailer in this year’s unprecedented floods, a replacement trailer for the Richmond Tweed Regional Mobile Library has arrived – it's been polished and loaded with brand-new books and is on the road.

Santos garden

I walked into the open gate at the Santos community garden space with my three-year-old and was asked very...

Singing songs of sorrow and resilience

Tucked away in a Mullumbimby music studio, a group of local musicians have been pouring their hearts out through song.

Israel Junkets

According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute report federal parliamentarians received 139 sponsored trips of which 25 went to...

Powerhouse six

Bearfoot is a powerhouse sextet that knows how to dig in and get a crowd bouncing, then brings them...

Rebecca Barnes knows native bushfoods

Victoria Cosford

It’s my latest obsession; native thyme infused vinegar. Herby, a little sweet – it’s a knockout – a gutsy dimension added to my most-nightly salads. And the strawberry gum, a generous scatter into a recent raspberry muffin mix, added a thrilling new layer. These are merely two of the native bushfoods Rebecca Barnes has been growing, promoting and educating about for over twenty years in her business Playing With Fire; part of what she poetically describes as ‘this huge, ignored, unknown world’.

It certainly was like that when she started out, although the industry has made strides since then. The fact that McDonald’s offer a wattleseed coffee is evidence that native foods have finally entered the mainstream, and cooking shows like Master Chef, which regularly feature them, are furthering the cause. Even so, while we have come a long way from the days when Davidson’s plum and lemon myrtle constituted our sum knowledge of the bounteous pantry of native foods surrounding us, factors like supply and cost of ingredients remain deterrents. Rebecca says that the former remains an issue and that, ‘climate change is starting to impact the availability of some lines.’ She says, ‘we definitely need more growers that are serious about supply into the future.’ The supply issues affect price, she continues, ‘as do the low volumes inhibiting development of machinery and more efficient systems.’ All her products are still made and processed by hand, so, by way of example she says, ‘we just finished doing a food service order of 130kg of Davidson’s plum – all diced by hand!’.

Meanwhile, what a rich store for us to draw on! Wattleseed, peppermint and strawberry gums, bunya nuts, rosellas, karkalla, aniseed myrtle, Dorrigo pepper, warragal greens. We need Rebecca to start her own TV cooking show so we can learn more about incorporating these glorious ingredients into our day-to-day cooking. For now, we’re lucky to have her at the farmers’ markets! 

Join us for Welcome to Country, 9am Tuesday 5 July at New Brighton Farmers Market, and 9am Friday 8 July at Mullum Farmers Market.

You will find Playing with Fire every Tuesday at New Brighton Farmers Market from 8–11am and every Friday from 7–11am 


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Evans Head, Iron Gates DA public planning meeting coming

The current development application (DA) for the flood and bushfire-prone site of the Evans Head, Iron Gates development will go before the Northern Rivers Planning Panel (NRPP) on 30 August.

Council acknowledges desire for house relocations, buybacks and land swaps

Last night Lismore Council looked at House Relocations, Land swaps and Buy Backs when Councillor Adam Guise’s moved a motion that “Council acknowledges flood impacted ratepayers' desire for house relocations, buybacks and land swaps."

Bruns underground car park reconsidered 

Byron Council’s decision to approve a controversial mixed-use development in Brunswick Heads that would include the town’s first underground car park could be overturned at this week’s meeting, with a group of councillors moving a rescission motion.

Good news for the Sepik people

The proposed Frieda mine Papua New Guinea with its huge tailings dam, would be built on the Frieda River at the headwaters of the Sepik River – an earthquake-prone area – creating the risk of repeating one of the worst environmental disasters.