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.

Friday 8 July 2011

Bellingen Seed Savers Visit David's Delightful Garden

David suggested we visit his small acreage to advise him on garden plantings and layout. As we suspected David had little need for our advice but we thoroughly enjoyed his sustainable plantings that are rapidly meeting his goal of developing a small but productive Eden.

David's productive garden commences at the top of his gently sloping block

David has made great use of bamboo and drapes bird netting over his 'chook pen'.
Unfortunately the hawks have been active.

His 'chook pen' serves as a trellis for his recently planted broad beans His hens have a magnificent view of the escarpment. While the south of the NSW suffered from snow and wind storms on this day, the Gleniffer Valley near Bellingen had a clear blue sky and 19 degree Celsius temperatures

Irene calls us to order and we share our Seed savers philosophy with jounalist visitor Uta. We endeavour to grow seeds and then to ensure they are distributed throughout our membership. Heritage seeds from acclimatised vegetables and fruits will always be growing somewhere in our district. If seed companies attempt to patent the seeds of common food plants and to introduce genetically modified plants we will still have seed stock available to share. Of course, our acclimatised plants grow best in our district.

Ute's photograph of our happy group appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate

Our seed table is a treasury of locally grown seed, some grown for many generations in this district. The very hot rocoto tree chilis in the bags were taken for chili jams, seeds and to be dried for chili powder. The powder is used in cooking and for medicinal capsules to relieve arthritis. Great idea Jeff.

Jicama (Yam Bean) is new to most of us but Nell says to harvest the tuber as soon as the flowers fade. The tuber or root has more of a mild bean taste. This plant was left to grow for seed and the tuber was huge. These Jicama dipping sticks were the result. Nell says she uses her Jicama and her Yacon to provide the crunch in stir fries as an alternative to 'hard to peel' water chestnuts.

Beryl's lemon butter tarts, made only from organic ingredients (lemons, sugar, butter) were popular at afternoon tea along with Jicama sticks, mandarin cake, banana cake and various slices made from local ingredients. Despite appearances, however, we gather not for the food but to share our seeds, our values and friendship. It works for us. Come along to the next meeting if you live locally and share your seeds or plants.

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