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.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Bellingen Environment Centre Spring Plant Fair Stall Pics

After all that seedpacking and labelling we send into our community thousands of saved seeds suitable for our local climate becuase the seeds come from local plants. It is always a pleasure to work on our Seedsavers stall.


We had many seed varieties and perennials edible plants as well.





Member Debbie demonstrates folding a paper pot. See video on previous post.

Member Nick was there, in the gazebo alongside, to talk about permaculture principles.

We will visit Nick's garden soon.



Folding a paper seedling plant pot.


How to fold recycled newspaper seedling pots.

BSS member Debbie makes it look simple.






Friday, 8 September 2017

Russian dacha vegetable gardens

"If you were to visit a typical Russian dacha you're likely to be greeted with a welcoming dish called okroshka (below centre), a refreshing cold soup made from home grown cucumber, radish, spring onion, fresh dill and parsley all swimming in kvas (a home made rye bread drink) with sour cream or kefir."
Read the article:

In 2011 the dacha gardens of Russia produced 40% of the nation's food.





Thursday, 31 August 2017

Foodtank: Study Reveals Organic Farming Is Financially Sustainable Around the World

Organic Market
"Through a literature survey and data analysis, the study appraised the financial performance of 55 crops grown in 14 countries on five continents. The data included in the review spanned 40 years of production, representing a long-term analysis of the financial sustainability of organic farming.

According to the authors, many factors can affect the profitability of organic farming, including crop yields; labor costs; price premiums for organic products; potential for reduced income during a transition period from conventional to organic production; and potential cost savings from the reduced use of nonrenewable resources and purchased inputs. The cost-benefit analyses incorporated all of these factors, and the authors concluded that organic agriculture is more profitable than conventional agriculture."

The full Foodtank article:

Study Reveals Organic Farming Is Financially Sustainable Around the World

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bellingen Seedsavers visit to Mullumbimby Community Garden


Joel (on left) guided us around the extensive community garden

A view over the garden


Bamboo scaffold for climbing beans




A built bamboo bench

A useful bamboo structure


Homemade Bee Hives

A bee house for solo bees


A simple chicken house

The community vegetable beds
Part of the 'Food For All' area.


Composting Bins

Collecting Food Scraps

Making Compost Tea with a small pump to aerate the tea.

Dwarf Cavendish Banana

A Permaculture principle

A Poly House in Construction

Setting up for Aquaponics.

Loofah









Bellingen Seedsavers Visit Rasa's Garden in the Byron Hinterland



We visited Rasa's garden at Goonengerry in July and discovered her superb food forest of five acres. We especially enjoyed her emphasis on growing edible perennial vegetables in her garden. Abundant flowers attracted beneficial insects and created not only a useful garden but an attractive one.

Here is a link to her local seedsavers facebook Page which has lots of useful information.

"Gardening...is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes!" says Rasa.  Check us out on Facebook 

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This iris was growing beautifully on a well drained slope in full sun.

We think this is Iris lazica / WINTER IRIS




Rasa grows a selection of yams and finds them a very useful vegetable. African Yellow Yams are contained on a wire mesh trellis.

Butterbur (Petasites)grows well
 Rasa makes tempura with the emerging shoots.  References refer to a level of toxicity.


A large Chili

Ethiopian Cabbage

Ethiopian Cabbage pops up in a few places after escaping from the vegetable garden. Rasa is happy with her plant volunteers. The plant we sampled had a mild flavour.


Seedsavers in the Food Forest

The edible white pulp of the Mountain Paw Paw

Rasa says she scatters the seeds and has good germination.


 Paw Paw (Del Monte)
Paw Paw
A Dragon Fruit reaches up towards a Del Monte Paw Paw (Papaya)


A Male Fruit Fly Trap
Rasa is very diligent about collecting fallen fruit. She has a special recipe for her Male Queensland Fruit Fly Traps. Here is  a recipe for found online.

This recipe is not specific to Male Fruit Fly.

1L hot water
1/2 tblspn Cloudy Ammonia (available at supermarkets in the cleaning section)
1/2 tspn Vanilla Essence
100gm Sugar
1 tspn Dishwashing Liquid
1 tspn Vegemite
Dissolve the sugar and Vegemite in the hot water.  Allow to cool before adding in remaining ingredients and mixing.  Makes enough for approx. 3 - 5 traps.

Here are some more links re baits and controlling fruitfly.


A mauve Salvia



Rasa's Pineapple Garden

Rasa sells plants as well.
 Rasa enjoys eating raw Plantain.


Strawberry Bed

Tahitian Spinach is a type of Taro

Taro

Yam


Can you detect the large Yam tuber pushing through the soil at the base of the black post?


Rasa grows Lotus for food. This how the bed looks in winter.



"Gardening...is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes!"




Bellingen Seedsavers Excursion to Djangbung Gardens

Djangbung Gardens is located just out of Nimbin NSW.  Bellingen Seedsavers travelled north in July to discover new plants and new ideas.










Eel and Fish Pond: The clay soil holds water


Ready to start the 90 minute tour.


Food producing Lotus Pond in Winter


Resident Tawny Frogmouths



Peach Palm (Bactris gasipaes)




Branch from large White Mulberry provides summer shade



Chicken House






Construction bamboo and edible bamboos abound


Permaculture educator Robyn Francis is proud of her edible bamboo.



Bamboo is converted to biochar annually




When visitors arrive, a low fence of bamboo and mesh is used to pen geese and ducks in the citrus orchard.


A 'hot' compost pile near the chicken shed.


Bedding from the chicken yard is composted conveniently alongside the chicken yard.



A large Magnolia flowers near the cafe.


Polly Pig

Polly Pig works the soil in these fenced gardens. This bed has over-wintering Jerusalem Artichoke plants

It takes Polly Pig a day to dig one of these beds. The lone dead stem marks an overwintering Jerusalem Artichoke.



Polly's urine is captured and her manure collected from a cement floored pen.


A simple plastic bin filled with sawdust is regularly emptied and the sawdust composted

Human urine is collected as well.


A type of Pomelo fruits well.







Shiitake


Shiitake inoculated logs



Shiitake Mushrooms are a successful crop.




A 20m timber stand along one boundary

A stand of timber provides material for mushroom logs and construction.


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