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.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Jude and Michel Fanton visit Bellingen Seedsavers

Once again we visited David's large garden which he most generously allowed as the venue for a Jude and Michel Fanton Seedsavers Workshop. Jude and Michel founded the international seedsavers movement which is headquartered in Byron Bay, NSW.

One activity involved finding the most perfect pea pod to save for seed.

Under the shade of the trees, on an unusually hot spring day, Jude and Michel explained many of the mysteries of seedsaving.

The workshop finished with the group learning how to clean seeds using various sieves.

We all brought along seeds and plants for a 'show and tell' session. As usual, Nell was a fount of knowledge. Here she is describing the excellent properties of a Fijian Taro that she has grown for many years. We also learned that the shoots from Arrowroot (Canna edulis) can be eaten when prepared like asparagus.

Nell mixes the cooked Taro with coconut milk to make a tasty dip or spread.

Much of the food brought along to share was grown by members of our Bellingen Seedsavers Club. Lemons, peanuts, mandarins, paw paw, grated green paw paw and bean shoots were just some of the home grown edibles used in cakes, salads and dips.

Peter brought along his pickled walnuts and they were indeed exceptional. Here they are served with crackers and cheese. His large tree is around ten metres high.

The chilacayote (Cucurbita ficifolia) the melon-like fruit, was new to many of us. Like a pie melon, this fruit is probably best used as a zucchini when small, according to our experienced members. The flesh was white and slightly sweet. You need never starve with 'killer chayotes' in the trees. Just watch your head if you allow them to grow high into the trees.

Colourful nasturtium flowers decorated this salad.

Nell  made this salad with grated green paw paw and sprouts with a lemon-juice and honey dressing.

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