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.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Growing on December 26 in the southern hemisphere, a warm temperate/subtropical garden

Banana Passionfruit

Pumpkins, Carambola, Pecan Trees

Yellow flowered edible hibiscus with red hybrid canna

Choko on Carambola tree

Salvias at front of pic

Pineapples at front, beans on teepee, garlic in pots

Panama Berry

Protecting the mangoes from the flying foxes.

Salvia with yam growing through the bush.


New vine spikes on yam

Monday 16 December 2013

Our first Gathering in 2014

A Bellingen Seedsavers' Workshop on Seedsaving

Our first Gathering in the New Year will be on Thursday 6, February 2014, location to be determined.

It will include a preliminary working bee (seed cleaning, packing, etc) to prepare for the March Plant Fair.  This is the biggest Plant Fair of the year and, if we are going to have a stall there, we will need to be observing and selecting those plants in our garden that are producing well and looking good that we can pass on to our community.

Please tie a piece of wool or a ribbon on your best plants as a reminder that they are to be preserved - not eaten. Please see your Seedsavers' Handbook for all the details.


An interesting link to David Holmgren radio interview on Brown Tech Scenario

December Gathering at Irene & David's garden at Spickett's Creek

David has found that the best way to protect figs,  blueberries and vegies at 'Treeferns'  is with cages.  These are constructed with a combination of aviary wire, netting and timber supported by star pickets.  Each is a unique 'rustic' design.

This is our first Blueberry harvest and we are delighted with the large, very sweet fruit and very happy to share them with Bellingen Seed Saver friends.

The Pomegranate has a few problems with splitting and scale and also has very pale seeds.  Another one in a pot is about to be trialled.

This is a non-astringent Persimmon growing on the Northern side of the house.  On the Southern side are five large astringent Persimmons which magically appeared in the first few years here.  All produce huge amounts of fruit.  We deal with this by transferring the very soft flesh into containers to freeze.  It's delicious on muesli and with yoghurt or gelato.

The olive tree is predicting a good crop
caged back garden

There are 5 beds sheltered by this cage, enabling a basic rotation system

front garden

This bed is mainly used for the resilient and Asian and other  vegetables e.g. Pepino, Basella, Taro, Casava, Yacon, Ginger etc

flowers growing on pergola

Name unknown, this spectacular climber grows on the pergola, linking the old and new parts of the house

gathering around the fruiting grape vine

A grape vine in a large pot - first crop 3bunches!
Will they survive?

discussion with seed exchange table in foreground

Wonderful food from the seed savers. 
Elaine makes a delicious health-giving punch to accompany the food.

Do you know this bean? Can you help?

Used as a green manure in winter, it remains a mystery.
Every BSS gathering includes interested people from the coast, the valleys, and the plateau, all with different growing conditions.

Monday 25 November 2013

Fruiting on Mid North Coast NSW, late November.

It is always interesting to see what is flowering and fruiting. This has been a very warm but dry winter. The rain arrived two weeks ago.

Immature fruit on a dwarf peach

The Black Sapote flowered with the rain and now has immature fruit.

The Boysenberries are showing the effect of a dry spring. The fruit is small.

There are only two fruit on this Cherimoya.

This bunch of Ladyfinger bananas was cut two weeks ago.

Fruiting Florida Gold plum

Immature fruit and flowers on a Grumichama

Japanese Plum

NSW Davidson Plum

Mature and green Jaboticaba fruit

Protecting the Jaboticaba fruit from birds is essential. This fake hawk works sometimes.

These Tamarillo trees fruited all through winter.

Japanese raisin tree flowers

White Sapote, one protected from birds inside a plastic milk container bottle.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Indigenous Vegetables of great value - Video

15 Indigenous Vegetables that are Nutritious and Delicious

There are thousands of other indigenous crops you may not know exist. Here, courtesy of Food Tank, are 15 indigenous vegetables that are nutritious, delicious and contribute to the livelihoods of people around the globe.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Garden Visit to Robyn's Garden near Dorrigo

Setting up the seed table with seeds and plants to share always arouses our expectations of a plant that will fit into our gardens.

 It was perfect weather, as we gathered on the lawn in the shade, but for those of us who didn't bring a warm top it was soon to be a cool experience because a breeze from the South soon appeared to lower temperatures.

Our visit to Robyn's garden was a real climate change for our members in the Bellinger Valley. It is always interesting to see another garden and Robyn's garden, situated on the Dorrigo Plateau, above the Bellinger Valley, had expansive views of the rolling green paddocks of the plateau.


The plateau climate allows Robyn to grow many plants that fail to thrive in the warm temperate/subtropical climate of the Bellinger Valley.

Alstroemeria (Princess Lily)

These Alstroemerias formed a large clump. Personally I prefer these bold coloured varieties without the muddy markings that some have.

Rhubarb much prefers the cool weather of the plateau.

Robyn finds this Plectranthus groundcover very useful to grow under her windbreak because it suppresses the germination of Privet seeds.

It is Iris time, ....

 and Hippeastrum time.

Robyn's Asparagus bed is fairly new. She will wait at least another year before picking.  Meanwhile, she will load on the manure and mulch. The plateau's soil is volcanic in origin. It drains very well and nutrients are easily leached away.

Berries of all kinds thrive in the plateau climate.

Robyn's Broccoli requires protection from the birds.

Prawn Plant or Shrimp Plant growing with Brundfelsia.

Comfrey, another plant that thrives on the plateau, is a wonderful mulch and soil conditioner.

A Savoury Loaf featured on the afternoon tea table.

Elaine's cordial has a secret mix of herbs and no syrup. She has promised to share the recipe with us.

Come along to our next Seedsavers' event. A reliable source tells us it will be in December at at Spickets Creek, at the end of the navigable section of the Bellingen to Bowraville Rd. Watch for details on our events page.

The 'My T Fine String Band' entertained us during afternoon tea. What a treat!


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