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 20 July 2012

Cooking Taro and Jicama (Yam Bean) Rolls & other Asian recipes

Taro plant

Yam Bean dip sticks
There are many vegetarian recipes on 'Nyonya Food' blog. This is an interesting recipe because it demonstrates how to use both Taro and Jicama(Yam Bean) in an interesting dish.

 Try also

Jiu Hu Char (Fried Jicama/Yambean with Shredded Cuttlefish)

Here is another blog recipe using Jicama sticks: The Skinny Confidential


The same blog, Nyonya Food, also has a recipe for a Cassava Cake, another of our easily grown foods.

Delicieux's Asian Noodle Soup

This Asian Noodle soup (at Delicieux) blog uses many ingredients we grow, lime, ginger, coriander, lemongrass and chili.

Monday 9 July 2012

Early winter recipes

Auntie Beryl's cauliflower and blue cheese soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


20g butter, chopped
1 large brown onion, halved & finely chopped
1 large teaspoon mustard powder
500g cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
60g mild blue vein cheese, chopped
1/2 cup light thickened cream
Chopped fresh chives to garnish
Toasted sourdough bread, to serve


1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.

2. Add powder and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in cauliflower. Add stock and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. remove from heat. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

3 Blend soup, in batches, until smooth. Place soup in clean saucepan. Add cheese and stir over low heat until hot and cheese has melted. Taste and season with salt and ground white pepper.

4. Ladle soup among serving bowls. Sprinkle with chives.

Lynda's pumpkin, feta and herb bread – ideal as a side for soups, BBQ’s etc

400g pumpkin – steamed – cube ½ cup and keep for decoration, mash rest
2 cups self raising flour
Pinch of salt

60 butter – chopped roughly
200g feta – chopped into small pieces
2 Tablespoon finely chopped herbs – rosemary, oregano, thyme
½ cup cream (or milk) – only if required (see note below)

200’ oven
Rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Mix in mashed pumpkin, feta and herbs
Pat out dough onto a scone tray – top with cubed pumpkin
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until hollow when tapped


NOTE:  Mixture should resemble a scone mixture.  As moisture content in steamed pumpkin varies, only use cream if mixture is dry.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Records from July Administration meeting in Fernmount


Jeff created some fantastic sample seed packet labels for us to use at our next packing session. The file (a Microsoft Word file) will be distributed by Jeff. At packing workshops we will print the labels as needed. The labels are a 'Labelline' label. The labels are on matt laser stock and suit inkjet and laser printers. Labels can be printed in grey scale.

Price:  1-3 boxes  $49 + GST per 100 sheets with 9 labels/sheet
           4-9 boxes  $46 +GST
           10-39 boxes $38 +GST
We decided to appeal for 'interesting', 'heirloom' or 'heritage' seeds' using our blog and other sources. Peter and Beryl will place a sign on their market stall.

Administration Meetings

We decided to hold 'administration meeting' like this one and 'garden visits'. We will make sure that administration meetings are not confused with 'garden visits' in our advertising. We will also have working bees to 'pot' and 'pack' in preparation for our stalls at Plant Fairs.

We will have a minute-taker at all meetings and a displayed agenda.

'Garden visits' will have the following format:

• Arrive/sign on/collect name tag/ drop off plants or seeds and food for afternoon tea
• Talk/share ideas, gardening problems, interesting plants etc for approximately
30 minutes
• Tour the garden
• Afternoon tea
• Share seeds and plants

There will be a table supervisor at 'garden visits' and there will be no distribution of seeds or plants before afternoon tea.

A 'working bee' will be held on Thursday, July 19 at Nell's in Hennesy Lane, Bellingen, to 'pot' and 'pack'. Bring spare pots, plants or cuttings and seeds. Jeff will take his computer and printer to print labels. The marcots at Nell's can be collected as well.

Packing requirements:

We will maintain a record of 'rare' seed distribution; complete seed details sheet when bringing seeds and ensure seeds are dry and ready for packing.
A small amount of seed should be packed for Irenee to store as a 'back up' supply.

September 8, Bellingen Spring Plant Fair. Note clash with local government election voting. We ned helpers on our stall. Please let Irenee know. Susan, Jeff and Sonya have been working on a display of locally 'resilient' plants.

We take reference books along to the 'Plant Fair'.

Next Garden Visit: Thursday, August 1st at John and Carol's garden opposite the Fire Brigade Shed in Fernmount. Arrive to start at 1.00pm.

We will investigate the cost of a coach to visit The Permaculture Research Institute Farm, Zaytuna, perhaps in October. Cost of tour plus meal will be $45 plus coach fare.


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