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 24 April 2013


This cake is a winner. It was moist and tasty. It's quick and easy to bake. We had the cake without the cream cheese frosting and it was still yummy.  It certainly was enjoyed at our last outing. We all grow ginger at home and macadamia nuts or pecans, which also grow locally, could also be substituted for the walnuts. Now I wonder if pineapple could be substituted, partly or fully, for the carrot?? What about sweet potato?? Add your comments below.


1 cup self raising flour
bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped Buderim Naked ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs lightly beaten


60g softened cream cheese

30g soft margerine

1 tsp finely grated lime rind (optional)

1tsp lime juice

1/1/2 cups icing sugar mix


Preheat oven to 160 degrees C

Grease 14cm x 25cm loaf pan, line base with paper, grease paper Sift flour, soda and spices into bowl

Stir in sugar, carrot, sultanas, ginger and nuts

Stir in combined oil and eggs

Beat on medium speed with electric mixer for 5 minutes

Pour into prepared pan

Bake at 160 degrees C for about 60 – 70 minutes

Stand 5 – 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat cream cheese, margarine and lime rind and juice in small bowl with electric mixer until smooth, gradually beat in sifted icing sugar. When cake is cold, spread with frosting and top with a few walnuts. 

Sunday 21 April 2013

Garden visit to a developing food forest at Gleniffer

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Afternoon Tea in the garden
 We always have a sumptuous afternoon tea after our garden tour.
Afternoon Tea in Gleniffer

date & walnut cake

Pumpkin muffins; a great way to use pumpkin

Candlenut Tree
 We will post recipes in a later post.
Candlenut on the tree

Carambola Tree with fruit

Compost heap

Ginger patch
Every plant pictured grows well in our warm temperate/sub-tropical climate. Ginger (above) is very useful and loves our heat and water. You can start with a chunk from the greengrocer or market. Make sure each piece planted has an eye.

Hawaiian Guava

Lab Lab Bean and Elder flower


As we wended our path through the food forest we came across a huge flowering mandarin laden with fruit.

The Lab Lab bean grows along fencelines and trellises.

These mushrooms sprang out of the horse manure David had collected.

Newly constructed path

Pineapple guava

Plant table


Mushrooms growing from horse manure mulch

 Saba Nuts shoot underneath the tree
David's garden has grown so much since our last visit. He hopes to host a permaculture course with Rosemary Morrow later in the year.

Rhubarb is useful in desserts or in savoury stews.

Thursday 4 April 2013

Our Seed Savers Working Bee - Making seed labels

Barbara is concentrating.
 Producing seeds for the two Bellingen Plant Fairs (and members) involves not just collecting the seeds that thrive in our local area. We have recently applied more finesse to our seed packaging. Volunteers are always welcome.

Irene watches Carol. Jeff works away in the background.

Fruiting May 4, 2013 near Bellingen NSW

Here we are about 8 km from the sea on a north facing slope in a river valley. What can we grow? What is fruiting today. Here are some fruits ready for harvest.
Panama Berry

Often described as the Lolly Tree the ripe fruit is intensely sweet. Half coloured is therefore a better taste. We have three trees. The birds eat most.

Pecan Nut

 This is the second year of fruiting.

Five Star Fruit (Carambola)

Kent Pumpkins can grow like weeds.

Tamarillos love this climate.


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