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, 10 December 2019

Proposed Garden Visit to Leonie's garden in Repton


Saturday December 20th, 12pm-3pm

Leonie would like to invite us to a social seedsavers xmas lunch, at her beautiful Repton home. She is a dynamic lady, living there between travels for many years. She'll try to tell you she has a modest productive garden, but I've discovered she's been holding out on us for too long!

You will need to bring a chair if you would like something to sit on other than the ground!

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

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

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Observing the pollinators with Debbie: A garden Visit

We had to cap this event at 20 participants and thankfully most people who had booked in turned up, because we had a few people who missed out. Apologies to the people who wanted to come but were unable to book in, but it is rare that we need to cap our numbers.

After a catchup and quick chat, Debbie ran us through some of the material from the Wild pollinator count. Based on her professional experience as an entomologist, Debbie was able to supplement the resources from the wild pollinator count with her own pearls of wisdom. Some people had brought insects along for identification and Debbie obliged with not only species, but also gender and what they had eaten for breakfast.

After our introduction as to what was required, we were set free in what was a pollinators paradise. The most common pollinators spotted were stingless bees, thanks at least in part to a hive on the end of the verandah.

As well as a wide variety of native plants to attract pollinators Debbie had a nice food growing area. I got the impression that she loves figs and eggplants.
After a lovely walk in the sun, it was time to retire to the shady verandah for lunch and a bit more conversation.

Thank you to Debbie for sharing her garden and knowledge with us.

For anyone who was unable to attend, Debbie gave me the confidence to say give the wild pollinator count a go. There is still time this week and the requirements are not that daunting. There are excellent resources available online (click here).

Friday, 18 October 2019

It's Black Sapote Harvest Time.

Best quality Black Sapote. Juicy and seedless. Yum.

Here is a delicious recipe for a Chocolate Sapote Mousse and more, plus more information from Suwannerose.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Here's an intriguing thought!

Fran's Fermented Elderflower Soda

Elderberry flower heads
Pick two or three elderflower heads and remove flowers from stems. 

Put six cups of unchlorinated water into a two litre jar. 

Add a heaped tablespoon of honey and stir to dissolve. 

Stir in the elderflowers. 

To speed up the fermenting process you can add a pinch of yeast or some whey from the top of plain yoghurt. 

Put the jar (with no lid) on a kitchen bench so you can give it a quick stir whenever you walk past. 

Place a cloth over the top to keep bugs out. 

Within two to six days, depending on temperature, the mixture will start to bubble. 

Once it has a bit of fizz strain the flowers off and put the soda in
the fridge. 

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Flowering and Fruiting Oct 10 (Spring) on Coffs Coast

 Mid or late Spring, in this Coffs Coast, NSW, subtropical climate zone, and we there is an abundance of flowers and fruit.

Heritage Rose

Louisiana Iris





New shoots of Stevia

Red Russian Kale

Lipstick Bromeliad

Lychee Flowers

Black Mulberry

Persimmon Flowers

White Peach

White Mulberry


Gulf Gold Japanese Plum

Black Sapote

New leaves on Amla

Natal Plum

Brazil (Surinam) Cherry

Illawarra Flame Tree flower buds

New leaves on Grape

Macadamia Nut

Pecan Nut Flowers

Kiwi Fruit Flowers

Flowers and immature Jaboticaba fruit



New Banana leaves with Dorrigo Tree Waratah

Retention Pond

Cranberry Hibiscus flower

Cordyline flower

Pear flower

Louisiana Iris

Arum Lilies

Wendy's Wish Salvia

Louisiana Iris

Miniature Zygocactus

Orange Browallia

Blueberry and variegated Hibiscus


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