Galangal Alpinia galanga.
Arno King



Galangal, also known as Greater Galangal, Thai Galangal, Thai Ginger, Laos and Lengkuas, is the root, or more correctly the rhizome, of a large ginger plant (Alpinia galanga) and is a basic spice in Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian cooking. You will know this aromatic flavouring, for it is an essential ingredient in many famous dishes including Thai green and red curries.

Native to South East Asia, Greater Galangal belongs to the ginger family and is of course related to many popular garden plants such as Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata) and our
native Blue Ginger (Alpinia coerulea). Like these plants, it grows into a clump consisting of many stems of alternate leaves 1.5-2m tall and 1-2m wide. The stems are very upright and the leaves rounded.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Nine
Alpinia galanga.
The rhizomes can be tracked down at the local greengrocer.
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Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus).

Claire Bickle



Most people can name or recognise only a few of the cultivars of this versatile vegetable such as ‘Telegraph’ (‘Long Green’), ’Lebanese’ or ‘White’. It’s quite amazing that there are many hundreds more to chose from when embarking on the Cucumber growing journey. Seed Savers Exchange in the USA lists some 250 cultivars alone.

Topics looked at are:

  • Culture
  • Pollination of Flowers
  • Cultivars
  • Pests/diseases
  • To the table – health attributes

A recipe for Grada's Cucumber Salad is also presented. Available for download.

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Nine
Cucumber vine with flower and fruit. PP
Cucumber foliage.
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Narajilla  a crop from the Andes.

Barbara Beerling




Late last year while at a subtropical fruit club meeting, I noticed an unusual fruit on the table. Always willing to experiment and take seeds home to grow in pots, I decided to sow the seeds to see what would come up. To my surprise, the seeds of the Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) germinated. Intrigued by what I saw growing, I decided to do a bit of research and found a wonderful book titled ‘Lost Crops of the Incas’.

The Spanish name Naranjilla (pronounced naar-aan-hee-ya) means ‘little orange’ and refers to its bright orange fruit which are the size of a golf ball when fully ripe. With many seeds, and a sweet and sour flavour, Naranjilla is believed to be indigenous to, and is most abundant in, Peru, Ecuador and southern Colombia (where it is known as lolo), and found at an elevation of between 1000-2500m above sea level.

Barbara looks also at:

  • Propagation
  • Harvesting
  • Uses for the fruit

A recipe for Naranjilla Slice is also provided and available here.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Nine
Naranjilla Slice.
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The Native Pepper Vine (Piper hederaceum).

By the Queensland Bushfood Association
Graeme White
Recipe + Image Peter Wolfe


The black pepper that we are familiar with is the dried fruits of the vine Piper nigrum, a native of Southern India.

Australia has a few spices of its own which are now gaining a wider appreciation for their unique aromatic flavours. As far as peppery spices go, the one that is becoming increasingly popular is the Mountain Pepper Berry (Tasmannia lanceolata) which originates from the cooler climates of Tasmania and the Southern Highlands. Australia’s tropical and subtropical rainforests, however, also hold a few spicy surprises.

Of the nine or so members of the family Piperaceae that are native to Australia, the Native Pepper Vine (Piper hederaceum) is the one with the greatest potential as a culinary spice.

The recipe for Pepper & Bunya Swags can be obtained here.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Nine
Pepper & Bunya Swags.
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