Leonie brushtail bush foods digging stinging nettle for lunch

Recently, I spent a morning with Leonie from Brushtail Bush foods. A Boolarra farm growing and suppling native Australian herbs to restaurants and wholesales, fresh and dried.

Walking around her property, which she farms with her partner Terry, there are rambling paddocks of Strawberry gum, native thyme, beds of rive mint and pepper berry. Living outside of town, Leonie and Terry live largely off what they produce and grow around them.

On this day, Leonie shared her recipe for yogurt bread with stinging nettle.

Stinging nettles, Urtica dioica, have stinging hairs on them called trichomes, which will irritate your skin if you touch them. I know I still have an itchy finger from this morning. You need to wear gloves when handling them and soak the stems in a bowl of boiling water before use. The boil water removing the stinging chemicals from the plant.

The soaking liquid can be used as a tea with honey. Leonie uses it in a hot bath. It is said to be useful for inflammation or skin ailments. Stinging nettles are known as the “cure-all” weed.

Yogurt bread with stinging nettle


500 g of self-raising flour

one teaspoon of salt

500g of Greek yogurt

extra flour for dusting

one bunch of Stan needles

Use gloves when handling because if you don’t, you will get stung.

  1. Remove the leaves from stinging nettle and soak them in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes. Strain then chop finely
  2. Combine flour, salt, and yogurt with blanch stinging nettles. Mix to form a dough.
  3. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into approximately 10 balls. Roll each ball of dough into a flat into a 1 cm thick disk.
  4. Placed on a tray cover with a damp tea towel to stop them from drying out.
  5. Heat a lightly greased griddle pan (or you can use a sandwich press) and cook until golden and risen.


Walk amongst the weeds

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Acknowledgment of country

Hello, I’m Jaci Hicken, from the lands of the Brataualung clan, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I would like to acknowledge all of us here today to cook together and share a meal.

I love sharing my dream of growing the food this country has to offer and share it with you.

The traditional place that we come together today is on the lands Gunaikurnai people

And I’d like to pay my respects to our elders past, present, emerging leaders, along with all the young people in our community.

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