Useful Survival Products, Unusual Foods, Wood & Protective Charms from Northern Australia and the World Tropics.
About the Book
'A wealth of information on natural resources for the serious outdoors person.'
As a child growing up in the Victorian countryside, taking a walk with dogs and friends on the weekends, it seemed natural to pick up a stout gumtree stick and arm oneself against the poisonous serpents one sometimes encountered, to be used as a sword against imaginary, unseen threatening foes, or merely to swipe the heads off unsuspecting everlasting daisies. The selection of this implement is an act that I believe reverberates back through time, to the beginnings of man’s ascent to civilisation. The brandishing of a piece of wood, to be used as a weapon or tool, is fundamental to human reality on this planet. As a child I wondered at the production of leather articles from the skins of animals, the glorious dyes the matriarchs of the family produced in our sad old T shirts, and the herbs that were rubbed on our cuts and insect bites to stop the bleeding and stinging. We made ‘cubbies and shacks in the bush, produced little fires and cooked our jam sandwiches skewered onto green forked sticks. A broken shoe was tied back together with a piece of bush string, Wattle gum was chewed instead of chewing gum, and saponin containing leaves used to wash our dirty hands.
This was my reality as a child, and it set me on a pathway of resisting the claustrophobic entrapments of our modern age, in search of a more natural and fulfilling connection to our world. Since then, after extensive travels on this continent, I have relocated to the exciting tropical forests of Northern Australia, and continue the search for those plants that are of benefit to mankind. This search is raw and grounding, a holistic pathway to a more connected life on our beautiful planet. And so, I present here those tropical plants that I have found to historically have benefitted man in so many wondrous ways.
‘An excellent guide to the multitude of products that plants provide us with to enhance the quality of our lives.’ —Thomas Bauer, PhD, FRGs.
A wealth of informed resources for the serious outdoors person, woodworkers, craftspeople, hikers, campers, and survivalists and an education tool for children’s camps and activities, military training programmes, and extreme expedition adventure.
About the Author
Born in Mentone, Melbourne in 1959 and growing up in country Victoria; my family’s interest in the living landscape, botany and horticulture helped shape my future as a keen bush-walker and conservationist. An enthusiastic artist, I won an art scholarship in 1977; but disillusioned with sophisticated society, opted for a practical skill and completed a carpentry apprenticeship, building timber homes in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges on Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Having worked and travelled Australia extensively for many years, as a gardener, landscaper, ranger, carpenter and boat builder, I have gained considerable knowledge of natural landscape, a practical understanding of the diverse uses of plants, and have a continued interest growing and researching plants, at beautiful Mission Beach, Djiru country, in the Wet Tropics of Queensland.