February 17, 2020
Members and friends of the Bunya Mountains Natural History Association have been busily breaking up bunya cones to pop the nuts into the freezer.
The association’s museum at Dandabah – ‘Cedarvale’ and ‘Hillview’ – relies on the sale of the nuts, plus donations from visitors, to help pay for public liability insurance and other running expenses to keep the museums open.
“The nuts have to be frozen so that they will keep, as the trees do not bear fruit every year,” association member Ron Sampson said.
“Of course, we do not – and cannot – pick up nuts in the National Park. All cones are sourced from private properties and are donated to us by the owners.
“We then pack them in 500g bags for sale to the public.
“As there is generally only a good crop every three years, it is a busy time for members to get them into the freezers.
“This year the cones seem to be falling rapidly and contain a considerable amount of immature nuts, probably as a result of the exceptional long dry spell.
“Our group is a small voluntary group of like minded people, most who do not live up in the mountains, but wish to preserve the plants, animals and history of the area and promote it to the public.
“Should you wish to join us, we generally meet bi-monthly, publish a small newsletter and are rostered, where possible, to open the museum every Saturday.”