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.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bellingen Seed Savers Visit to Carole's Garden, May 2011



Carole has a netted garden split into two sections. In one section the netting goes to ground level to keep the small birds out. The other area is netted sufficiently to protect from larger birds and fruit bats.


In the foreground you can see Carole's compost heaps, some covered to protect from rain and to conserve heat.


The Taro plant at the corner of the garden (bottom right) is thriving. This was the first day without rain after a week of showers.






Here are more compost heaps at various stages of development. Carole says that her self-seeded avocado (in the background) is really shading her garden too much so she keeps pruning out the top. This avocado has prospered in contrast to grafted avocados that have succumbed to root rot.









  
An old bath filled with Water Chestnuts is an ideal way to keep control of a plant that can become invasive and also makes harvesting a 'breeze'.
 

The garden that is fully netted has a variety of healthy chilis.


Aren't these chilis decorative? They also look super hot.


Nestled against the warmth of a north facing wall of Carole's house are these healthy pineapples. They look as decorative as any of the bromeliads.
The view from Carole's verandah where we enjoyed our usual afternoon tea feast. We especially enjoyed Lynda's slice made from sweet potato and polenta. Our gardens are flush with sweet potato at the moment so this a useful way to use this sweet vegetable.


Elaine had brought along a branch of her Clove Basil in full seed. This is a useful place to post Elaine's recipe for her delicious punch flavoured with Clove Basil.

HERB TEA PUNCH


Ingredients:


Berries of the Forest (or a similar cordial)
Lemon Grass
Lemon Myrtle leaves
Clove Basil leaves/seeds
Rosella fruit (Cranberry Hibiscus leaves might substitute)
Garden Mint and Peppermint
Orange rind.

Place a tablespoon of each of the above ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan or glass basin. ( Snip them a little with your kitchen scissors, to release more flavour.)

Cover with a litre or more of boiling water, stir for a minute and cover with lid, to prevent loss of flavours from evaporation.
Infuse until almost cold
Strain, pour over iceblocks into Punchbowl.  Chill.

The strained Herbs may be used a second or third time to extract the flavours and constituents.  Add to the punchbowl. Keep covered in the refridgerator.

When ready to serve, add a bottle of sugar free, preservative free, juice of your choice and a bottle of mineral or soda water. Stir to blend  and pour the PUNCH into glasses over some icecubes.

Elaine used sugar-free cranberry juice but advises that pomegranate, apple or blackcurrant juice also blend well.

Homer added wine to his 'erb teas. ENJOY.







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