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.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Seed packing at Gillians, August 17

When seed packing it's always a pleasure to discover some interesting additions to our range of seeds, like the Peruvian Polenta Corn that is used for tortillas and the African cucurbits. 

We are going to have our best ever range of saved seeds for the September 14th Spring Plant Fair in Bellingen. 

 We always have plenty of growing news, as well as other news, to share; and of course we always bring plenty of finger food to share as well.

Packing New Guinea Bean.
 Seed Saver Fiona produced a huge crop of New Guinea Beans this year. It is well worth growing in our climate.

"From time to time I'm asked, 'What can I grow in the vegie patch that's a bit different?' Well this is definitely different."

"This is a New Guinea Bean (Lagenaria siceraria), which ironically is neither from New Guinea - it's actually from Africa - and it's not even a bean! It's actually a climbing edible gourd or squash - a member of the cucurbit family."

"If you let them grow as big as they want to, they'll get to a metre plus long and five kilograms. However, if you want to eat them as a vegetable, you harvest them anywhere from around 30 to 60 centimetres long."

"Their flesh, if you eat it raw, tastes like a cross between zucchini and cucumber - nicer than raw zucchini. They can be cooked for all sorts of things - we made a delicious cake out of it - better than any carrot cake you've tasted!"

"The thing I love about the New Guinea Bean is that it's so vigorous. Last year, it actually covered the whole of one of my arbours and created a great amount of shade. I was late getting it in this year, so it's not going to get quite as big, but I can still get some beautiful beans off it before the frost nibbles at the foliage and causes it to die off for me."

"If you live in the tropics and you have trouble growing normal beans because of fungal diseases, this will absolutely love the conditions. So, if you like things unusual, give a New Guinea Bean a shot in your vegie patch!"   From ABC Plant Profile 

Cleaning seed

Packed seeds ready for labelling
On Sunday, August 25th, we will be labelling seeds at John and Carol's after a shared lunch and a garden tour at their Fernmount Food Forest. The visit is open to all interested in sharing seeds and growing them for food production.

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