World Food

Aokuso and Keisha represented our
Samoan communities, Tha represented our
Burmese communities and Luul and Nimo
represented our Somalian communities.
They all brought their extended families
and communities to the garden, building
a relationship with each other, harvesting
food and learning from the plants.
Brimbank City Council respectfully
acknowledges and recognises the Wurundjeri
and Bunurong Peoples as the Traditional
Owners of this land and waterways and pays
respect to their Elders, past, present and future.

The World Food Garden project brought
together peoples from Somalia, Samoa and
Myanmar to share their stories of food and
plants in a community garden. Together
we sourced and cultivated garden beds to
grow foods from each region as a way to
learn and grow together.
Together we laughed and learnt,
experimented and got dirty hands.
Our gardening style included both rows of plants and a
wild type of forest planting, more similar to the tropical
forests that many of our plants grow in.
We found that some plants were similar
and some were specific to a region.
Tracing the plants movement over the
globe through time was interesting,
as many ‘traditional’ plants may have
originated elsewhere.

Banana was one plant that could be found in all regions,
Asia, Africa and Oceania. Everyone uses the banana in a
different way and has banana species specific
to their regions.
We could only plant the bananas once it got hot enough
and luckily these days there are a lot of dwarf cool bananas
perfect for the cool temperatures found in Melbourne.
Bananas are considered a herb because they have no
wood and their fruit is a berry. We planted them as a
way to create a canopy with smaller plants and kumara,
sweet potaotes, taro and yams underneath.

Samoa & Bananas
The popular varieties of bananas found in
Samoa are Giant and Dwarf Cavendish (Fa'i
Palagi), Bluggoe (Fa'i Pata), Mysore (Fa'i Misi
Luki') & Fe'i Bananas (Fa'i Soa'a).
Traditional recipes include Sua fa'i (mashed
& the boiled banana with 'saiko'). Pani keke
lapokopoko (Round pancakes with bananas).
Fa'i fa'alifo (boiled Bananas + coconut
cream). Fa'i kau (baked in the oven or
underground, 'umu'). Keke fa'i (Banana cake).
Fa’i fa’alifo
• 4 average sized peeled green Cavendish bananas
• 1 cup of coconut cream
• ¼ cup water
• 1 small onion sliced
• Salt to taste
• Water to steam bananas
• Peel all bananas with a butter knife piercing either
end of the banana skin and bringing the knife down
(longwise) being careful not to damage the white flesh
of the banana. Inch your way around the banana until
the white flesh of the banana is exposed and free of the
skin. Place bananas in shallow cold water to wash in -
wash thoroughly as a darkish skin develops when the
skinless banana is exposed to the air.
• Place the bananas in a medium saucepan and put
enough water just to cover them. Cover and boil for
10 minutes. Pour all the hot water out leaving only the
bananas in the pot.
• While waiting for the bananas to cook, in a medium
bowl pour the coconut cream and water and mix in the
onions and salt to taste. Traditionally we stir the onions
in with one hand cr
ushing the onions in the process to
help release the onion-ness into the solution.
• Pour the mixture onto the steamed bananas. Let boil for
5 minutes then remove the pot onto a cooling
rack and wait. Make sure you pour the sauce to
completely cover all bananas to savour the taste of
each bite you take.

Myanmar peoples often use banana
as a dessert and have special recipes
for the banana flowers.
Myanmar & Bananas
Banana Flower Salad
• 1 lime, cut in half
• 1 banana blossom
• 1 small green papaya, peeled, deseeded then shaved or
• 1 carrot, shredded
• 120 g(4½ oz/1½ cups) bean sprouts
• 2 tsp shaved palm sugar
• 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
• 40 g(1½ oz/¼ cup) roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots
• Small handful of mint, shredded
• Small handful of Vietnamese mint, shredded
• Lime and garlic dressing
• 3 tsp shaved palm sugar
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 2 tbsp vegan fish sauce
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• Peel away the outer purple leaves from the banana
blossom, until you get to the pale heart. Shred the
blossom heart finely and immediately place in the bowl
of lime water. Leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
• Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl,
add 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water and stir until the sugar has
dissolved. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the papaya, carrot and
sprouts. Add the soaked and drained banana blossom
and toss with the palm sugar
. Set aside for 15 minutes
for the mixture to wilt slightly.
• Add the chilli, half the peanuts and half the fried
shallots. Add all the mint. Drizzle with the dressing and
toss gently to combine.
• Pile onto a serving plate, scatter with the remaining
peanuts and fried shallots and ser
ve straight away.

Somalia & bananas
In Somalia, bananas are a main food with
most meals including rice and spaghetti.
The local variety has a strong smell.
Somali Banana Fritters (Kutumbow Moos)
• 1 cup milk
• 1 egg
• 2 bananas, mashed
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ cup sugar
• pinch of salt
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon cardamom
• Vegetable oil for frying
• Powdered sugar for sprinkling
• Place all the ingredients except for the oil and
powdered sugar in a bowl and mix into a thick batter
with mixer.
• Batter should be thick and sticky. Add more flour if it is
unny. Let batter sit while heating oil.
• Pour vegetable oil into a heavy pan or pot, to a depth of
at least 1 inch and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Dip the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden
chopstick into the oil. If the oil starts steadily bubbling,
then the oil is hot enough for fr
• Drop spoonfuls of dough into the heated oil. Large
dough spoonfuls may not cook through very well.
• Let dough cook until light brown, flipping once if they
do not flip themselves.
• Remove fritters from oil with a slotted spoon and drain
on a plate or cooling rack lined with double-thickness
of paper towels.
• Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar for serving.

The other especially important plant in Samoa is the
Taro. The tuber of the plant is eaten. It has a brown
skin but is pink, white or purple like flesh. Taro has a
starchy texture and is kind of gluey when cooked.
Oceania Foods- Taro
Talo’ - Formal pronouciation, ‘Kalo’ - Informal (Taro)
In Samoan, a word for earth is ‘Le lalolagi’ which
translates as ‘to look at the sky’.
In Melbourne, taro is not commonly found
in nurseries, but rather shared amongst the
community. Our elder, Aokuso has been
keeping a crop of taro going for years and
hopes to grow a taro forest in Melbourne for
his community.
Taro recipes include Kalo fa'alifu' (Boiled Taro
with Coconut cream), 'Fa'ausi' (mashed taro
+ caramelised sugar), Fried into chips, Kalo
kau (Baked in oven or underground, 'umu')
and Palusami' - A dish that uses Taro Leaves
(boiled) + coconut cream + corned beef
Taro originated in the Bay of Bengal region South-East
Asia. It was carried by early Polynesians throughout
Oceanic regions. Taro are mainly grown in moist areas
and there are many types of Taro. We have six different
types of taro growing in our World Food Garden.

Asian Plants
We planted a variety of Asian greens,
Sentok, Blue Corn, Herbs such as
Vietnamese mint, basils, lemongrass,
Kang kong, rosella, many varieties of
chilli, daikon radish, shiso and Kaffir lime.
Sentok is also known as a type of
eggplant. It has a bitter, peppery taste
and prickly stems. It loves a sunny, well
drained spot. Grows to 60-120cm tall and
is native to South-East Asia.
In Burmese “asa uhyin” means food garden.
Kang kong is water spinach and is widely
grown in South-East Asia. It likes humid
hot weather and water bogged soils and is
an important green in the summer months.

Berta cuntada (Food Garden)
In Somali ‘Berta cuntada’ means food garden.
Important Somali Plants include maize, coriander seed,
leafy greens. We planted a number of crops of coriander
with the aim to collect lots of coriander seed.

How to make Compost
Compost is made of a combination of greens and browns.
Green things include fruit and vegetable scraps and grass
clippings. Don’t use too much meat or citrus peel.
Browns include dried leaves, cardboard, newspaper and hay.
Greens and browns need to be combined
together to make a mix that is not too
wet or too dry. Once we have mixed
together our browns and greens, we
need to keep it moist and aerated for a
few months by turning it, either with
a fork or a compost spinner. … This
creates the perfect home for creatures to
break down the compost and turn it into
delicious soil for your garden!

Our World Food Garden
The World Food Garden saw a lot of
beautiful moments such as the sharing of
intercultural knowledge, sharing about
foods and plants and encouraging each
other to get involved. We also learnt
about gardening, soil and compost. Once
we had worked out a great watering
roster and the hot weather kicked in, our
mainly tropical plants really started to

Brimbank City Council
9249 4000
PO Box 70, Sunshine, VIC 3020
Hearing or speech impaired?
• TTY dial
133 677
• Speak & Listen
1300 555 727
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03 9249 4000
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Brimbank City Council
9249 4000
PO Box 70, Sunshine, VIC 3020
Hearing or speech impaired?
• TTY dial
133 677
• Speak & Listen
1300 555 727
, then enter
03 9249 4000
Find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Use Brimby, the online virtual assistant
Brimbank City Council
9249 4000
PO Box 70, Sunshine, VIC 3020
Hearing or speech impaired?
• TTY dial
133 677
• Speak & Listen
1300 555 727
, then enter
03 9249 4000
Find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Use Brimby, the online virtual assistant
The World Food Gardens project was devised and
funded by Brimbank City Council and delivered at
Westvale Community Centre, in partnership with
Sustain: The Australian Food Network