About Bellingen Seedsavers

We are a group of like-minded growers of 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.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Winter Solstice gathering at David's garden in Gleniffer.

The road to David's garden

Beautiful Gleniffer, NSW - the view from from David's gate.


Bellingen Seedsavers take morning tea

As always a shared tea takes place before or after we wander through a garden. Obviously our winter day was very mild at noon.

Muffins and Chick Pea fritters

Savoury Muffins


This view from David's gate is of the surrounding escarpment of the Dorrigo Plateau.

Seedsavers take a garden walk.

Past the Mandarin tree

Past the Comfrey (left) and Nasturtium (right)



Under trees

Past the Sweet Potato groundcover,

Under the tall Custard Apple.

Mandarins are ornamental as well as delicious.


Lemons




David explains.
Every garden visit we share our local growing knowledge. We always learn more. Growing local is preferable if it saves burning carbon.

Star Fruit or Carambola



Star Fruit (Carambola) Crumble
Carambolas are so productive. Here is one way to use the fruit. Another member dries the slices.

The Winter Solstice Fire.

David likes to add a little ceremony and ritual to life. Why not!




Bellingen Seedsavers ceremonial fire for Winter Solstice


David made sure we participated in the 'Ceremony of Burning The Summer Hat'.

Rows of Comfrey edge David's gardens
 Comfrey is excellent for enriching the soil because it drags up deep nutrients that can activate soil improvement.


This is the biggest Lemon Verbena bush I have seen. It grows in part shade.

Pineapple near bellingen
Pineapple

Large fruit on Pomelo
The pomelo, Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis Wikipedia


David's Pomelo is bearing plenty of fruit.




Dipsacus (Teasel)

David is growing Teasel for medicinal reasons, to treat a Lyme like disease. He uses a tincture made from the root.



David believes this is a Yellow Mangosteen still surviving our warm temperate zone winter although it looks a little unhappy.








Sunday, 11 June 2017

PINEAPPLE, MANGO & COCONUT BANANA BREAD




PINEAPPLE, MANGO &

COCONUT BANANA BREAD

Adapted from Coles Magazine by Rae
Prep 20 mins I Cook 1-1 ¼ hr I Makes 1 Loaf
1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
1 cup (220g) brown sugar
½ cup (40g) shredded coconut
450g can crushed pineapple
½ cup (125ml) buttermilk
150g melted butter
2 large eggs
2 large (or 3 medium) ripe bananas, mashed
400g finely chopped frozen mango

Method


·   Preheat oven to 180°C
·   Mix flour, brown sugar and coconut in a bowl
·   Drain pineapple in a sieve, pressing out liquid
·   Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and mashed banana in a bowl
·   Add to flour mixture
·   Stir to combine
·   Pour mix into a greased and lined 10cm x 22cm loaf pan
·   Smooth the surface
·   Bake at 180°C for 1-1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean
·   Cool in the pan for 5 mins, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely



Saturday, 10 June 2017

Award winning short film on how to be self sufficient


Depending on climate, a healthy forest creates topsoil at a net rate of about 1mm per hundred years.

BSS Feature Article

Nick Radford is a multi disciplinary environmental designer of housing, landscapes and waste water systems and member of Bellingen Seed Savers. A recent article of Nick's was published in the Bellingen Courier Sun:

"You can measure the viability of a society by looking at their soil. When archaeologists study extinct societies such as Easter Island, they have a rule of thumb – topsoil loss roughly equals environmental degradation, and environmental degradation roughly equals societal decline.
Organic matter is a dark, rather mysterious substance that is the essential ingredient in brown topsoil. Unlike subsoil, organic matter is chemically balanced, well drained yet moisture conserving, and is responsible for virtually all of the fertility in soil. Organic matter is created by dead plants, animals and micro organisms, laid down at the floor of forests and swamps. Depending on climate, a healthy forest creates topsoil at a net rate of about 1mm per hundred years."
Read the full article at the link below:  Organic matter can save the humans

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Garden Visit to a Repton Oasis

Saturday May 27, 10am
Three years ago, Shann and her family were lucky enough to make the move from Canberra to the delightful hamlet of Repton. A bushland setting opens out on valley views of farmland and circling Osprey. Terraced paths wend down the slope, through palms and frangipani to a pond and banana grove full of potential.
Shann has inherited an established garden mix of natives and exotics.



Views from Shann's balcony looking south


Chilis grow well at Shann's

Ctenanthe setosa


Alstromeria (Peruvian Lily

Pink Alstomeria makes an attractive groundcover on a slope in Shann's garden.


Camellias at the front entrance.



Crotons add colour to shady areas

Begonia in pot


Foliage and path seen from Shann's balcony








This sweet melon is available in local shops
Rae once again demonstrated how to incorporate fresh fruit into cake.
Georgie's Beetroot salad also has beetroot leaves.
Shann demonstrated how to stylishly use cook potato and capsicum.





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