Traditionally, it was the women who collected the plant foods and thus the women who held most of the knowledge about plant locations and seasonal availability. Various plants required different procedures to render them palatable or safe for eating. Preparing Washing tended to remove poisonous elements and the bitter taste of some of the vegetables. The vegetables would be placed in a dilly bag and hung in running water, which would percolate through the sieve or dilly bag, leaching out the dangerous elements. Grinding was necessary, for example with seeds and involved the rather straight forward movement of a small flattened and rounded stone pressed with the hands onto a flat stone slab, on which a little water was occasionally sprinkled. The seeds were broken up between the stones and mashed into a dough. Breads were then cooked in the coals from a fire or under the ground. Pounding was carried out using a stick or a stone and it was alternated with roasting of the vegetable. This tended to remove the acrid taste of some of the roots which, unless prepared in this way, would be unpalatable. Straining of certain vegetable plants was achieved by using a dilly bag or a bundle of fine grass. Sometimes even a hole in the sand was used and the water drained away. Grating of certain vegetables was often necessary, perhaps prior to washing them. Graters could be made from pieces of rough bark or very rough grasses.
Other common plant food for Indigenous people on the NSW North Coast included yams (Dioscorea transversa), figs (Ficus platypoda), pig face (Carpobrotus glaucesens), geebung (Persoonia falcata), black nightshade berry (Solanum nigrum), native guava (Eupomatia laurina), mistletoe (Amyema spp.), eureka or bush lemon (citrus limon)