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 16 November 2012

November visit to North Bank Community Garden in Bellingen

We had a turnout of twenty for this gathering and we were lucky that we were able to enjoy a fine day, followed that evening by a lovely big downpour.  We sheltered from the sun under the bamboo yurt for the first time, which worked well. Here are some of Jeff’s great photos.

Our seedtable

Before exploring the garden we broke into three groups;

(1) people from the coastal areas, 

(2) from the valleys 

(3) from the Dorrigo Plateau.  

Action at the seedtable is always brisk


Everyone shared their experiences of the highs and lows of coping with our unpredictable climate – what was growing successfully and what not, etc. During feedback time, the groups’ concerns and interests ranged over many topics.

The group shared garden lore

Group 1:  dry conditions/bush fires, watering, erosion control with herbs, dry shock but reduced weed growth, climate change, the benefits of Lady Beetles controlling aphids  (lots around at  present).  Use more mulch.  Visitor from Korea – discussion of crops;  also UN disaster relief work.
Asparagus bed

Comfrey and taro

 Group 2:  Basil - fungal conditions and rust – use of biodynamics –stir one cup of fresh Casuarina needles in a bucket of water;

 Strawberry propagation -  take plantlet closest to mother plant,

There were questions about sourcing sesame seeds to grow.

A grouping of edibles


 Group 3:  Weed control – tussock, thistle, ink weed, sword grass, wild tobacco, whisky grass.  Effects of dry weather on garden;  alpacas;  acreage use; 

Tip: old timers’ methods of weed control and old recipes e .g. molasses sprayed on tussock etc (cattle love molasses); 

  vinegar/salt - acts like Roundup;  dolomite;  lime sprayed on nettles, etc.   Just dig up!

  If you would like to contribute anything to these discussions, please email me or bring to the Q&A session on 2 or 16 December.


The tea table is always a place to share gardening stories and recipes for our produce.

Auntie Beryl's Processor Moist Orange Cake (left)

 •  2 washed navel  oranges about 220 grams each
• 185 gm softened butter
• 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 3 eggs
• 2 1/4 cups self raising flour

•1/2 cup white sugar
• juice of one orange


• Preheat  fanforced oven to 160 degress C or 170degrees for non fan farced oven

• Grease 22cm spring form pan and line the base

• cut oranges into 1/4s and remove seeds

• place orange quarters in processor and pulse until chopped

• add butter, castor sugar and vanilla and pulse until combined

• add eggs and pulse

• add flour and pulse with small bursts until flour is all blended

• Bake 55 to 60 minutes...cool 10 minutes

• pour over icing syrup OR melt some chocolate (can use choc chips) and spread

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