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.

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Making jam without sugar: using excess fruit

This is a variety of useful recipes plucked from the net for making a jam or spread. There are source credits after the recipes for links to the original sites. There is no need to do without jam just because you are avoiding high energy sweeteners like sugar, honey and various syrups. Please take notice of the recommendations regarding the use by periods.

I boil down our home grown cumquats with only a very small amount of sugar and a little water to make a delicious sauce or runny jam, perhaps I will now try cooking down citrus without any sugar or use stevia to sweeten. Happy experimentation.

Click pictures to enlarge.

Australian Climate Zones

Climate Zones

"Australia has a wide range of climates from the wet tropics to cool temperate climates and it is important to consider your climate when selecting trees that will be best suited to your area so they will thrive and be productive once planted. This map from the Organic Gardener Magazine is an excellent example of a climate map that will help you to understand what type of climate you live in. 

Friday 27 July 2018

July Garden Visit to Tim’s new Food Forest in Fernmount

More than meets the eye in this new Fernmount garden:

Tim and his growing family have been living in what was a vacant block for just over a year now, some of you may be familiar with it as the former 'Secret Garden' nursery. Lots of planning, passion and effort has netted him a food forest, jumping out of the ground out and proud, in the front yard. An unorthodox style, but then a little chaos always brings opportunity.

Around the back there is more experimentation and innovation with livestock and microclimates; endless fun and education for his kids.

Inspirational! Tim has a lot of plans and ideas and thankfully for him and his family, also the energy of a kelpie to make them happen. In just under a year he has moved a house onto an empty plot, moved the family in, cleared a creekbed, set up chickens, sheep and a pig run, and planted out the entire front area as a baby food forest that's easy to mow around.

What grows well, grows well and what's too fussy is left behind. Tim had a bunch of ways of propagating that don't waste time. The easiest way to plant a tomato is to get a ripe one and squish it into the ground where you'd like more to grow.

We saw a broadfork in action - it's a giant garden fork that's more effective and more efficient for aerating or turning over new ground.

We were introduced to a bunch of fertiliser ideas. Throw the manure in with the chickens to scratch up, eat the seeds and break down. Give the scraps to the pig.

Home grown popping corn and a table groaning with cakes were very much enjoyed too.

Thanks to Jeff for all our photos.
Using a Broadfork
Liquid Gold
Seedsavers see Tim's new banana plantings
Using the popping corn harvest

Friday 20 July 2018

Download. Buy. The 3-book series "Lost Crops of Africa"

The 3-book series "Lost Crops of Africa" (Volumes I, II and III on Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits, published in 1996, 2006 and 2008, respectively) is a treasure for us all, but especially for the African continent, with the hope it presents of growing food security for its 1 billion people!

Thursday 5 July 2018

Winter Solstice Visit to David's garden

Edible flowers (rose and basil) on edible goodies

Citrus time in the Bellingen Valley

David in his garden.


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