Chef Mark Andrew did not picture his retirement from restaurant duties being spent removing spikey thorns from his fingers as he toiled picking bush tomatoes for his home made relishes. The small fruit, also known as desert raisins have a strong flavour, similar to caramelised sun dried tomatoes.

When I saw Mark, he was sweating under the hot Australian sun, and was quick to point out that the work was labour intensive, with it taking 20 minutes to pick the fruit from a thorny plant and a further 30 hour process to make the relish.

Mark and partner Vickie Shina are quickly gaining recognition in the fledgling but thriving industry of Australian bush food. The energetic pair run Marvick Native Farms, a 45 hectare property backing on to the Moore River at Red Gully in country Western Australia, and are among only a handful of commercial growers of Australian Bush Limes.

Native Limes, Acacia, Quondongs and Wild Hibiscus are grown and form the basis of their prized relishes and marmalades, which are keenly sought by gourmet outlets in Australia, with interest now being shown from other countries.

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