There is a sense of mystique surrounding the inaugural Quandong Festival at Quorn, north of Port Augusta.
The intrigue stems from the fact that it will not be quandong season when the festival is staged on August 6, but the plant and other native food will be promoted front and centre.
The festival will bring a celebration of native food on Nukunu and Adnyamathanha land to Quorn in the heart of the Flinders Ranges.
"The festival is a celebration of native Australian foods from all around Australia with family activities, gardening workshops, conversations with industry leaders, native Australian food dinners and showcasing the festival's namesake, the quandong in the great quandong pie competition," said the festival's creative director, Rebecca Sullivan.
Supported by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal Future Drought Fund and South Australian Arid Lands and curated by Warndu, the festival will feature Australian native food growers, harvesters, cooks, educators and enthusiasts including Costa from ABC's Gardening Australia, River Cottage Australia's Paul West and renowned author Bruce Pascoe to celebrate with educational workshops, food stalls, culinary experiences and family activities.
A spokeswoman was asked whether quandong pie would be featured at the festival, but she said it was not quite quandong season which was in summer.
But later she said there would be a quandong pie competition at the festival: https://www.
"This is the protein food of the future," she said.
"It grows everywhere, probably in your backyard."
Flinders Ranges Council Mayor Greg Flint said he was excited for Quorn to host "this important festival to celebrate native bush foods".
"The festival will bring together people from around Australia who have that passion for growing and using native food," he said.
"We want to learn from them how better to market and include this food into our businesses and community and in turn share the passion that this community has for native food.
"The Flinders Ranges is iconic with native food such as the quandong and we want to build on this solid foundation and encourage more people to look at growing this important native food.
"We are excited to have some amazing key speakers, chefs and personalities attend to support this event and it will be an economic and tourism boost for the area."
Festival creative director Rebecca Sullivan, of Warndu, said the "spirit of reconciliation and a celebration of regenerative agriculture are key to Australia's food industry and how it adapts to a changing climate".
"The festival ventures well beyond quandongs. It is a celebration of all native Australian plants and food," she said.
"We are bringing the leaders and thinkers at the helm of the nation's native food and sustainability industries together while we continue as a community to curate a culture for the integration of ancient food to people living in the region, Australia and beyond."
Native food expert, author and educator Bruce Pascoe. of Tasmania, and wattle seed grower and harvester and wholesaler Angus Jones headline the festival's farming education series, focusing on sharing regenerative practice.
Mr Pascoe says the festival is an important and unique event for central Australia.
"Australia can come together across the table, but you can't eat our food if you cannot swallow our history," he said.
Activities will include:
Stalls are now open to applicants focused on native Australian foods and sustainable agrarian practice.
Interested parties should contact Rebecca Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org
As editor, I am responsible for 11 mastheads around the state. I have more than 45 years' experience in newspapers and digital platforms. I am lucky to have an enthusiastic and dedicated team of journalists working with me.
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