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.

Saturday 5 May 2012

Susan, Em and Sahara's garden

Here is Susan's description of what we were to expect:

"We built a passive solar house made from local timber and recycled materials and moved in a just over year ago. There was nothing here but a hill/paddock. We factored in a permaculture design making best use of the sustainable practices in terms of water management, septic system choices, solar power and planting. Our dream was to combine beauty and function, to try and be as sustainable as we can within reason and to teach our child the full cycle of growth."

From the access road the garden is mostly hidden. Click on a pic to see the slideplay.

 We gathered on the spacious front lawn and the extensive deck. Herbs were planted in small plots around the house, handy for the kitchen.

The table was quickly loaded.


 Susan's produce filled the central bowl.

The compost bins were sited in the vegetable garden near the fowl yard.

Susan found it necessary to edge each vegetable bed after heavy rain washed the topsoil off the terrace.

Orange Cosmos added colour and attracted bees and other beneficial insects to the garden.

The stand alone outdoor sink was handily placed near the chooks and potting shed.

Seedsavers gathered to watch John and Allan demonstrate the making of Preparation 500, a biodynamic supplement.


A small amount of biodynamic preparation is vigorously swirled in the water for an hour before being sprinkled on the garden with a brush. Seedsavers are interested in many approaches to to increasing soil fertility and food production.


 Irene watches her organisation come to fruition.

 Artichokes thrive in our climate.

A young guava grows with fennel and yellow cosmos.

A young banana thrives with red flowering amaranthus.

Susan is hoping this young vanilla bean will thrive in this sheltered, sunny  position and survive the coming winter.


These young pullets did not mind the visitors. Some chickens were allowed to free range outside the fenced vegetable garden.

 Paw Paw growing in a herb bed near the house.

Cherry tomatoes love growing up through a wire tunnel.

A passionfruit spreads behind a bank of raspberries.

The fruit were large, juicy and ripe for picking.

One observer wondered what all the excitement was about.

Small hot chilis will keep this small family well supplied.

This bed of young carrots will produce a bumper crop.

A bed of greens with a sage plant

The seed table was a busy with collectors gathering dwarf Persimmon, sprouting Saba nuts, large white guava and candlenut. There were also hot chilis, Melastoma affine, Chinese Celery, Cosmos, Red Russian Kale seedlings and Mother of Herb cuttings.

Note the information sheets designed to share the details of the seeds.

Graham shared his years of knowledge.

Recipes based on the harvest of this month, limes and pumpkin, will be posted soon.

Susan and Em have certainly achieved their goal of combining beauty and food production. What a memorable house and garden!

P.S. Michael and Jodi added a healthy baby boy to their garden while we were gathering. Congratulations.

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