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High schoolers bottle bush tucker for profit after receiving Global Garden grant

Maggie Williams holds tray of scones with jam and cream
Maggie Williams helped devise the recipe for the Davidson plum jam being produced and sold by the students.

ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull

Entrepreneurial high schoolers are using bush tucker to create jams, sauces and preserves that are being sold across northern New South Wales.

The hospitality students from Banora Point High School obtained a grant from the Global Garden scheme earlier this year and decided they wanted to use it to create a long-lasting project.

About 12 per cent of the student population is Indigenous, so hospitality and food technology teacher Shelley Naughton said they were inspired to create a range of products using native bush foods.

"We wanted to create something that would be self-sustaining, so we decided we would look at what can be grown and Indigenous plants, herbs and spices," Ms Naughton said.

The range was named Aurora Jahla — Aurora is the Indigenous word for the community of schools in the Tweed Shire and Jahla means 'plentiful food'.

The products include pear and wattle seed jam, Davidson plum jam, bush tomato sauce and finger lime curd.

Aurora Jahla food range
The Aurora Jahla range includes pear and wattle seed jam, Davidson plum jam, bush tomato sauce and finger lime curd.

ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull

"I think the kids got a lot of pride out of seeing kilos and kilos of fruits and vegetables being turned into products," Ms Naughton said.

"It's also been good for their tasting palates, working out whether it's a good flavour to be working with to perfect our recipes."

Gubbi Gubbi 13-year-old Maggie Williams said her favourite product was the Davidson plum jam.

"It's not too sweet and strong, and it has a special taste to it," Maggie said.

"And it was hard to perfect."

The first batch of Aurora Jahla has almost sold out, and the next lot will be sold at the school and in Tweed Shire cafes.

The money raised from sales of the product go back into the school.