In recent years, we at REF have been enjoying the enthusiasm and deep knowledge of Chris Joyce. A horticulturist these days, he is passionate about the environment especially around the Moreton Bay Region. And he knows his stuff – animal, vegetable or mineral! On the weekend I spent some time with Chris at the Green Army Project site. We were taking some water quality readings of the drains. All of a sudden he stops, smiles and exclaims “Warrigal Green” as he runs his hands delicately through the leaves of a stand of ground cover.
“Tetragonia tetragonioides” he quips, “Bush Tucker! Tastes like English Spinach. You have to blanch them for a few minutes to remove the acid which is toxic! “he pauses, “They are often the first plants to colonise a disturbed area.”
He looks over to the left where a vine is growing at the base of the tree. He looks at it and then grabs a small piece to take with him. No doubt he will identify and the next time he sees it he will not only know what it is but he will also know something about its ecology.
You learn something new, every time you head out to the wetlands with Chris. I reckon the Green Army team recruits and our Eco-path project are in good hands.