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Quorn to celebrate native food at this weekend’s Kurti Festival

Melissa Smith

The Southern Flinders town of Quorn will transform into a bustling hub as the Kurti Festival kicks off for a magnificent action-packed weekend.

Growers, bushfood experts, market stalls, entertainment, and competitions are in store over the two-day event on October 21 & 22. The star of the show will be the native Kurti, also known as Quandong, which still plays a vital role in Quorn’s culinary tradition.

The region around Quorn, upon which the Nukunu people live, was bursting at the seams with the prized Quandong and other native foods. It was here in Quorn that Brian Powell started the first Quandong orchard in the 1970s at his property “Endilloe”, and with his wife Fay, pioneered the Quondong industry.

Revolving around honouring the Nukunu culture with an emphasis on food, award-winning, South Australian Guest Chef, Andrew Fielke will share the flavours of the outback with cooking demonstrations and native ingredient tastings. A Sunday Lamb Roast will pale in comparison to the feast Andrew will be cooking up this Sunday with his specially curated, four-course Quandong Lunch at Emily’s Bistro.

The festival is a gardener’s delight as garden talks and presentations will include topics about native bees of the Flinders, composting and worm farming, creating a cultivar, on-farm bush food production, water-wise gardening, sandalwood propagation, and Nukunu cultural knowledge.

Special Guests Sophie Thomson & Andrew Fielke

A highlight for green thumbs is in store with ABC’s Gardening Australia presenter Sophie Thomson hosting and facilitating a range of speakers, including Travis Thomas and Patricia Slattery, to discuss and explore the art and science of selecting, growing, harvesting, and processing native food plants in low rainfall regions.

A guided tour with well-known author and native foods expert Neville Bonney, to a local Kurti (Quandong) plantation will be available too with The Pithi Kawi Walking trail featuring the Quorn Bush Food Garden.

There’ll be no shortage of food to consume on your visit to the quaint town of Quorn. Market stalls will be open all weekend with an array of mouthwatering options from Barramundi Burgers to Belgian Waffles, Kangaroo Yiros’ and of course Quandong Pies. You can wash it all down with some delicious Flinders Gin at their Botanical Immersion – A Native Flavours Gin Journey , which will introduce you to their story and unique flavours. Guided by the Master Distiller and owner, Alby Trotta, you’ll delve into the distillation process, and the crucial role of native botanicals, while experiencing the taste of Flinders Gin’s distinctive local brand. A couple of gins might be a great idea to entice your inner singer, which might find you heading down to the corner of First and Seventh St where a lineup of buskers will take the street stage to share their talent. If you’d rather leave the entertainment to the professionals, head to the Town Square for a jam-packed line-up of speakers and music from artists such as Station Blues, Mick and Bruno, Jasmine Kimber, and Desert Voices.

Range of Flinders Gin

And what’s a festival in a country town without a Great Country Cook Off? With incredible accommodation prizes up for grabs from iconic Flinders Ranges businesses including Wilpena Pound, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, Willow Springs, and Cradock Hotel, there’ll be ovens working overload pumping out prize-winning ‘Quornish’ Pasties and Quandong Pies.

The Kurti Festival is a unique weekend of Australian native food, celebration, and fun for the whole family to enjoy while embracing Quorn’s cultural tapestry!

Quorn Kurti Festival
October 21-22
For more details click here.







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