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.

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Requests & News &Swaps




Facebook moderator

Fiona has been moderating our SeedSavers Chatter Facebook page, but has abandoned Facebook and hence can no longer look after the chatterers.

The task is fairly simple for a regular Facebooker:
  • Approve new member requests after checking the applicant is local to the Bellingen Seed Savers area.
  • Rarely, maybe only once or twice a year, removing wildly off topic posts and sending a warning to the offending poster.

If we cannot find someone to moderate the Facebook group, it will have to be closed.

If you are interested, please send an email to news@bellingenseedsavers.com

Topics for conversation

Phil Dudman is coming to give a presentation to the Bellingen Seed Savers.
If you aren't familiar with Phil, he is:
  • the author of Down-to-Earth Garden Design;
  • a talk back radio host for gardening advice on ABC local radio - Northern NSW for over 20 years;
  • the horticultural editor of ABC Gardening Australia magazine;
  • an occasional TV presenter and
  • the person who gave us an excellent presentation on pruning your fruit trees in December 2017.
We are looking for a list of topics to give Phil for his visit in late winter or early spring.

Please email Leela gardenvisits@bellingenseedsavers.com with your suggestions.

Seed & Plant Swaps

Steven is looking for Dandelion and Brahmi seeds, if you can help him out please email by clicking here.

Are you looking for particular seeds or plants? Do you have an abundance of something to give away?

Email in to news@bellingenseedsavers.com for your search or offer to be put in the newsletter in this section.

Garden Visit: Fernmount visit - here comes the sun


Fernmount visit - here comes the sun

Well it was just like the good old days; a luxuriously sunny and tranquil morning for our gathering. Many happy faces and tempting yummies brought by all, I might confess to a little gluttony that morning!
Adrian and Amanda have built a beautiful house, installed an impressive plunge pool and deck, all graced by a youthful and vibrant food forest. We took a look at the flow of the landscape and subsequent plantings around grey water and watersheds.
Surrounded by an abundance of bananas, happy chickens and Millie's 'art studio' down the back, what a place for a kid to grow up!
Adrian was generous with cuttings and other goodies were shared. The day was a pure and simple joy for me, after the logistical roller coaster that has been the last 12 months 🙂 Thank you to all who participated and the generous hosts!

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Lowanna visit - Fortune favours the brave

Well the day held some wobbly but manageable weather, our optimism paid off! It was a bit of an adventure down the driveway, but a hospitable welcome awaited our cheerful group.traight into a cuppa, nibbles and chatting, then, spotting a dryish moment, we took a waltz around the garden. There was an established, integrated chook run/orchard and new netted vege patch underway. Our hosts have extensive alternative health knowledge, so lots of interesting and unusual herbals are mixed into the rambling gardens. We were impressed by the frost-protected banana/papaya tower and a reo/plastic hothouse. 

Under construction is another mud brick guest accommodation, for others to come and enjoy the beauty and ambiance of Lowanna.

Back undercover for a fabulous lunch, well timed with yet another downpour.

Then Andrew 'twisted our arms' for a bush walk down to their beautiful river. The intrepid jumped in and the rest of us fended off the friendly leeches 🤣
Then the day concluded, with some cheeky patches of blue sky, as we assembled back into our car pools and carefully negotiated our way back to the main road.

Thanks Andrew and Judy - we will definitely have to revisit this one!

Friday 18 March 2022

Seed packing at Chris's

The deluge cleared and the seed packing day at Chris's in Raleigh produced over 800 bags locally grown seed just in time for this year's Bellingen Autumn plant fair. Eleven busy bees cleaned, sorted, and bagged a diverse range of seeds ready for autumn-winter-spring sowing.

Jeff from Boambee brought a basket load of Blue Lake climbing beans, San Marzano & Camp Joy tomatoes, and Cherry Belle radish. Jeff & Tara from Coffs supplied bags of snow peas, including the renowned Bohemian sugar pea which has yielded well for many gardeners over the past two years.How lucky we are, to be in this blessed pocket of the country, at this time...

Ten other gardeners from Dorrigo, Bello, Valla Beach, Southwest Rocks, and Glenreagh supplied various beans, herbs, salad veg and leafy greens.

New seed savers: Annie from Bonville learned the art of cleaning brassicas and Helen from Woolgoolga got good exercise processing radish pods. Merren also got good finger therapy opening bean pods.

Seed processing was accompanied by a delicious spread of lunch snacks and cakes all enjoyed on Chris’s verandah looking out over scenic Raleigh wetlands and pasture.

Three days later the process concluded with seed packet labelling at the Old Butter Factory, and as usual the volunteers were treated to scrumptious cakes and coffees.

Our seed stocks were boosted to over 1400 packets ready for the plant fair.
Thanks to Chris for hosting the seed cleaning, to all the volunteers who helped out and those who donated the seeds. Without seeds we will cease to exist.   

Bellingen plant fair

We were rewarded with a bright Bellingen day for the autumn plant fair. Conditions were relatively dry for the most part, even if a little squelchy underfoot.

Market stallholders were slightly down, but there were plenty of punters, and all displays were plundered as per usual; our collective gardening enthusiasm will not be dampened!

We moved a lot of stock, both greens and seeds, and also exchanged knowledge and experiences. A thriving joyful atmosphere, filled by people laden with growing goodies.
   How lucky we are, to be in this blessed pocket of the country, at this time...

Yet another successful day resulting from the contributions of many volunteers. Thanks to all involved, including those who worked on our stall: Jeff, Mary, Lesley, Jeff, Tara, Don, Phillipa, Shunyam, Leela, Chris, Merren, Chris, Gillian, Lisa, Luigi, Kristy, Charlie, Charles.

Monday 14 February 2022

Our rainy excursion to South West Rocks


Terry's Garden in South West Rocks and Kimbo's patch

It was a dreary, wet trek down the mountain and along the coast for me that soggy Thursday. I thought maybe 6 or so diehards might show up. Well, as it turned out, i was 10 minutes late to the party already happening at Terry's house! Many beaming faces already there and a few more following me.

A lively discussion ensued on Terry's background, broad experience, hopes and aspirations for his garden and the local community of South West Rocks.

Still the rain came down!

So, brollys in hand, we trooped around the garden to see what's been started and offered our 2 cents worth on the planning and siting of Terry's productive garden beds.

Then lunch beckoned - we obliged with the usual gusto.

Still the rain came down!

Undaunted, we hopped into a car pool to visit a thriving market garden in the centre of town. Kimbo, the main gardener, was not there to witness our amazement at his prolific produce and fabulous black soil. Sadly, after 10yrs of enrichment and supplying the community with super fresh goodies, the property is to be developed later this year. We each fantasised about making off with a barrowful of that black gold.

Still the rain came down!

Back to Terry's to polish off the remnants of the feast.
Strangly, not much enthusiasm for kayaking in the persistant drizzle, but what better activity on a wet day than a leisurely lunch with like-minded friends?
Thanks Terry and Kimbo for sharing your gardens with us.


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