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.

Sunday 2 June 2013

Beetroot Dip

Only two remaining Yam Bean dip sticks
Cook two cups of beetroot or use a can of baby beetroot drained and chopped.

Mash/blend with a cup of Greek yoghurt, teaspoon cumin, teaspoon coriander, two tablespoons  lime/lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Add some feta cheese to thicken if you like.

Serve with Yam Bean dip sticks or your favourite dip sticks.

Experiment: Try substituting for the beetroot with carrot or parsnip. Try different spices.

Recipe for a Savoury Loaf


1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tblsp of olive oil

3 cups of spinach leaves ( could use a mix of mushroom plant, basella and other 'meaty' greens)
salt & pepper
120g semidried tomatoes

2 cup self-raising flour with a pinch of salt
4 eggs
150 g sour cream
2/3 cup olive oil

120g feta cheese


Cook the onion and garlic in the 2T olive oil.
Add leaves and let them steam down
Then add chopped tomato.
Add salt and pepper and let cool.
When cooled add the other ingredients except for the feta cheese.
Add the coarsely chopped feta cheese.
Pour into a lined loaf tin.
Bake in 180 degree C oven for 40 - 45 minutes.

Serve as a slice for afternoon tea or with salad for a meal.

Date and Walnut Loaf

The sugar and nuts caramelise nicely with this loaf
Pecan nuts grow well in our coastal valleys.


1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup chopped walnuts (could substitute pecan nuts)
100g butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups chopped dates
1 egg, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
2. Place dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Add walnuts and mix through.
4. Combine butter, sugar, water and dates in a saucepan.
5. Stir over medium hear until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted.
6. Cool slightly and then add dry mixture.
7. Add egg and stir until combined.
8 Spoon into 1 loaf tin
9. Cook for approximately 40 - 45 minutes.

This loaf is great served with butter.

Bellingen Seed Savers Garden Visit to Fernmount, June 2,

Our June 2 visit to a Fernmount (near Bellingen) garden showed the early ravages of our mild Autumn. Quite a few deciduous trees (Pecan Nut, Pomegranate) had lost most of their leaves. The citrus, however, were madly fruiting.

We viewed a Yam Bean plant then dug the tuber for afternoon tea. The bean seeds are poisonous but the tuber is cool and refreshing. Best of all we can all grow it in the mild climate.  We could see the actual inedible Yam Bean seeds on the vine. The seeds are soaked to double in size before planting in Spring.

Inedible bean of the Yam Bean

Afternoon tea is over and all that remains of the freshly dug Yam Bean are two slices. The cut Yam Bean was a hit as a stick for dips. The verdict was that the taste was refreshing. Yea for a healthy dip stick!

On the bench is another whole Yam Bean. The strips of skin peel off easily with a knife.

Here are some of the plants still fruiting in the food forest/orchard. Also shown are some of the plants we are hoping will fruit on a north facing slope but in this less than tropical climate.

An Australian Sweet Lime hybrid does very well .

This Bilimbi tree has yet to fruit. It is a pretty tree but will lose its leaves from the cold wind.

The Carambola (Star Fruit) has fruited generously.  This seedling plant seems less susceptible to a rust than the parent plant.

Dried edible Hibiscus pods in front of lush Cassava leaves.

The Coffee beans yet to ripen.We must watch the birds do not spread the seed. Apparently a handful of seeds makes a cup of coffee and the seeds can be roasted in a bench top popcorn machine.

Cumquats are delicious.

The Dragon Fruit has yet to fruit but grows well.

Giant Russian Cucumbers, a mild tasting variety that grows well in this climate. This is a third generation seed grown in this garden.

Golden Grumichama (or Black Grumichama) makes an excellent hedge. The fruit are cherry sized and very sweet.

This Kale just keeps growing.

 The Lemonade is covered in fruit.


The Loofah vine is loaded with fruit to be processed to make scrubbers. The small fruit are edible losing their rank odour when cooked like a zucchini.

Mandarins are always popular.

Mexican Weeping Bamboo is perfect for stabilising the bank of the dam.

Meyer Lemons are not terribly productive in this location.
 Pecan Nut pods amid their autumn leaves.

A pomelo is yet to ripen.

This Purple Podded Pea  is not as half as productive as Snow Peas in this climate but it does produce podded peas.

This Soursop loses leaves over Winter but is still growing well in Summer. It is yet to fruit.

Sprouting garlic

Garlic grows well in a pot.

This Star Gooseberry  (an Asian fruit) is yet to fruit.

 Unripe Macadamia Nuts hang from the tree.

A mix of Sweet and Lemon Basil grows well in the raised bed.

Our Tamarillos are still fruiting but no longer flowering.

Tangerines grow as well as the other citrus.

This Thornless Blackberry produced a few sweet fruit this season.  The fruit is not always very sweet.

This Tropical Apricot is growing strongly. We hope it fruits.

A mixed bed with Tumeric and edible Ginger.

Villa Franca lemon

 This White Guava is sweet with a slight trace of lemon. At this time of year it is fruit fly free.

White Mugwort, a useful herb to add to the nests of the chickens and to their drinking water to kill parasites.

We hope this Wild Herbert Cherry (an Australian native from the tropics) will thrive in this climate.

We have a glut of pumpkins but are learning to use them in curries, vegetable chili con carne, cakes, soups etc. They do not go to waste.

Look Learn Act Be weed free. A useful site to visit.

Reblogged from Look learn Act site

On the North Coast, the focus of weed management promoted by the North Coast Weeds Advisory Committee is of a preemptive nature - finding and containing weeds that are new to the area, or which are present in very low numbers, and preventing their establishment. This contemporary weed management makes a significant contribution to the sustainability of the region, its landscape and the communities it supports by ensuring a strategic approach to the management of invasive plants in the region.

More at  http://www.looklearnact.com/

For example:

MICONIA <em>(Miconia calvescens)</em>

MICONIA (Miconia calvescens)

DESCRIPTION : Height - up to 15m. Leaves - up to 70cm long, 3 distinct veins, underside iridescent purple. Flowers - pink or white, each up to 5mm, occur in large panicle with 1000-3000 flowers. Fruit - black and purple, 6mm in diameter.
Growth Habit : Small tree. humid coastal sites.
dispersal : Fruit eating birds and mammals. Watercourses. Via mud on vehicles, machinery, footwear and animals. Sale via markets and gardeners.
impact : Highly invasive. Known as the "Purple Plague" of Tahiti and Hawaii. Can invade understory and shaded areas.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...