About Bellingen Seedsavers

We are a group of like-minded growers of edible and useful heritage plant varieties in the Bellingen area of northeast New South Wales, Australia.

Our climate varies from frost-free coastal areas to inland river valleys and highlands with frosts. Bellingen has an average annual rainfall of 1507ml.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Seed packing at Gillian's for the Autumn plant fair - Coming Event


Grow your own food. We share locally adapted, open-pollinated, non-hybrid seeds, plants & knowledge for edible gardening

Diary Dates


Seed packing at Gillian's for the Autumn plant fair

Saturday February 29th, 10:00am-12:00pm

Bellingen Seed Savers will distribute seeds and plants at the Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair. In preparation, we will gather to pack seeds, and share  morning tea and plant knowledge. Gillian's garden is in Fernmount.
Coming? RSVP to obtain the address and so we know who’s attending, even if you already know how to get there.
Organiser: Leela O'Callaghan gardenvisits@bellingenseedsavers.com or phone 0417 536 490

Seed & Plant Swaps

Are you looking for particular seeds or plants? Do you have an abundance of something to give away?
Email in to news@bellingenseedsavers.com for your search or offer to be put in the newsletter in this section.

Can you help? Please contact the person directly.

Lost and found

Have you lost a chair?
Did you attend Nick's garden tour in November?

We may be able to help as someone left a chair at Nick's. Please send an email to news@bellingenseedsavers.com to arrange reclaiming your chair.
When donating or sharing seeds, please email in the seed information so we know what we have (click the link, the email has the questions ready to fill out)
Email: seeds@bellingenseedsavers.com

Or fill in this PDF form. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill this out digitally. Remember to save each seed info as a separately named file!
Or print it out and fill it in by hand.  

Monday, 10 February 2020

Shunyam's garden in Bundagen

Twenty two of us made the journey to Bundagen. It was a clear day and the sun had some bight as we toured Shunyam's beautiful garden.

Shunyam grows a huge variety and quantity of food. The food comes from three main sources: a large vegetable garden largely under shade cloth, an aquaponics area and many fruiting shrubs and trees.
Shunyam uses exclusion methods to keep pests from beating her to the harvest. Examples included a hoop house for veggies, a bird netting enclosure for her blueberries, insect netting for soft fruits and an upcycled bath tub plus wire netting for growing sweet potatoes rat free! Despite her ingenuity, Shunyam is still finding a determined brush turkey to be a real challenge.
The aquaculture system was very interesting, with two different systems used for plant growing. There were two beds with clay balls that were flood irrigated then allowed to drain. Between these was a bed that had plants on a floating platform with their roots permanently in water.
I think Shunyam's favourite fruits must be mangoes, of which she has several varieties. One which is all eaten by Christmas and another that may not be ripe until almost winter. She also had many avocados with the aim of having ripe avos year round, so perhaps these are her favourites. To overcome poor drainage, more recent avocado plantings are on top of a pile of crusher dust.

Shunyam also had many stone fruit varieties and a few olive trees, plus grapes, mulberries, jaboticabas, passionfruit, pawpaws, persimmons, figs, pomegranates, pineapples, two coconuts and many other things. 
After the fabulous tour we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch, there were so many good things to eat.

Thanks to Shunyam for sharing her garden with us.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

What's flowering and fruiting in late December in the Bellinger Rv Valley?



Crepe Myrtle (Tuscan Red)

Bismarck Palm with Furcrea in foreground

Edible (tastes like Lemon Sorrel) Cranberry Hibiscus

Flowers on Star Fruit


Wax Jambu

Golden Grumichama

Black Grumichama



Brazil Cherry
 or Pitanga or Surinam Cherry


Black self-seeded Passionfruit

Immature Kwai Muk fruit

White Penta


Strongly Perfumed Brunsfeldia

 The local peach below has been grown in this valley for some decades and is well adapted to our climate. It fruited in midsummer.

Local Dwarf White Peach
Local Dwarf White Peach is picked when it looks green but starts to soften.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Garden Visit to Leonie's garden in Repton


Friday, December 20th

Set in a rainforest setting Leonie has developed a comprehensive  orchard and an extremely productive vegetable garden.

We also had our usual light lunch/ afternoon tea. Note the homemade blue cheese made by a member.

Leonie described her garden. She has only been back living in her home for a year.

Leonie has a number of large protected vegetable beds to shelter her plants from birds and chooks.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Garden Visit to Nick's food forest in Repton

Diary Dates

Nick's food forest in Repton

A warm Saturday for us in Repton began a little smokey, but eventually a welcome seabreeze lifted the atmosphere.
Nick started us off with an outline of his garden challenges and endeavours, describing how he manages water collection & dispersal. We saw two stainless steel water tanks and Nick uses a small tank as his first flush diversion. Water from this tank is then used for watering food crops. The garden has definite drier and wetter zones and little watering takes place apart from watering in new plants and utilisation of grey water. An old tank has been converted into a pond that overflows to provide water into the wetter part of the garden.
Having identified the various microclimates, he plants with quick growing top covers & successional understories. Nick starts his shade canopy with weedy plants such as wild tobacco bush and Senna. This is followed by quick growing natives such as bleeding heart and then by the plants from the food forest such as pigeon peas, macadamias and fruiting plants including the yellow jaboticaba which confused many a fruit loving seed saver.
Soil amelioration techniques were also discussed. The grass was smothered with sweet potato which kept the soil covered. Organic matter was then increased by adding chipped tree mulch, and chopping and dropping the plants mentioned previously mentioned. Nick is an avid composter and worm lover.

 To finish off, we all trooped back up to the verandah for a well earned lunch. 
Thanks to Nick and family for a lovely day


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