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Indigenous landowners have found a new way to make a living out of bush tucker. Gubinge (Gabiny) is a West Kimberley name for a tree more broadly known as the Kakadu Plum. And the small green fruit has been an important bush food for northern Australian Indigenous people for millenia.

With more than 100-times the vitamin C of levels of an orange, the Gubinge, (Gabiny) has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world.

For many years Gubinge (Gabiny) extract has been used as a health food supplement, especially on the North American market. But a new cooperative of Indigenous landholders has formed to try to develop the industry further.

Indigenous Harvest Australia is made up of seven extended Kimberley families who want to make a living while carrying out their traditional harvest. Pat Torres from Mayi Harvests is the chairwoman and has been picking Gubinge (Gabiny) for as long as she can remember.

Pat describes how all the kids would pile into the car and drive out to the nearest Gubinge (Gabiny) trees. She says the fruit would be eaten straight off the tree until their bellies were full to bursting. Then, whatever else could be picked would be taken home to be stewed up and eaten with custard.

The new cooperative hopes to keep the cultural and community importance of Gubinge (Gabiny) alive while developing an industry that can provide an income to local families. A contract to supply the little fruit for a gourmet food manufacturer will see West Kimberley Gubinge (Gabiny) in products like sweet chilli sauce on supermarket shelves throughout Australia.

Ben Collins joined Pat, Valerie and Marion in the shade of a Gubinge (Gabiny) tree to try juice and jam. The juice is like a cross between pear and apple with an incredible Gubinge (Gabiny) zing of vitamin C. It's the perfect refreshment for a hot Kimberley day.


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