Real World Gardenr Spice It Up with Bush Tomatoes

June 8th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Ian Hemphill from Herbies Spices

Bush tomato-photo Ian Hemphill

Have you ever heard of a bush tomato?
Bush+Tomato+Flower.jpgIf you haven’t, you wouldn’t be considered silly if you thought it was a version of those tomatoes that seem to spring up in your compost heap or throughout the garden wherever you deposited your compost.
But in fact, you couldn’t be further from the truth..well almost, because the bush tomato is still in the Solanaceae family like the regular tomato.

So what’s so different about it?

Should you consider growing your own bush tomato, Solanum centrale is the botanical cultivar of the only type of bush tomato that you should use-the others are toxic.
The bush tomato looks like a very small slightly stunted grey-green chilli plant with a purple flower, very much like the flower of an eggplant.

photo Ian Hemphill

Bush tomatoes grow to about 30cm high and fruit for 4-5 years.
The tomatoes dry in the bush in their natural environment but I'm not sure that could be said of those plants grown in other areas.
Bush raisin, Akudjera, all those different names, and from the sounds of it, it’s a very versatile addition to sweet and savoury dishes-anzac biscuits, chicken dishes, and risottos to name just a few.
Like all Australian spices, the flavours are strong and should only be used in small amoungs.
By the way, I’ll post the risotto recipe on my website

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