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 30 September 2018

Why Seed Save - Three Stories

"This bean was given to me by a very charismatic seed saver who led a lively workshop at the recent skill swap that I attended & taught at.
He shared some very interesting points about why it is important to save your own seeds:
* Every seed has a story to tell & can preserve history if the story is told.
* Cultivars that are descended from plants grown in an area are adapted to the micro-climate of that area.
* Being dependent on seeds suppliers that are hundreds of miles away is NOT food security.
* It is fun and can save you money!" bobbingobli.tumblr.com


"Thanks to Seed Savers, Glass Gem Corn Exists

by Robin Shreeves
This stunning, multi-colored corn is real and edible, and its seeds are now in high demand. It’s a good thing someone spent time saving the seeds over the generations when the variety was out of our collective consciousness.

What is Glass Gem corn? It’s an old variety of corn with kernels that come in an absolutely stunning array of colors. It’s also a reminder that there are varieties of fruits and vegetables that we’re in danger of losing, and it would be a real shame if we lost them…"

(read more: MNN)
photograph by gnotalex/flickr 


"The Roughwood Seed Collection, which now comprises about 4,000 varieties of heirloom
food plants, was begun informally in 1932 by my grandfather H. Ralph Weaver (1896-1956). During the Great Depression, when food was scarce for many households, he set out to feed his family from a one-acre plot in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Since he had been working on the Weaver family genealogy, my grandfather used his Lancaster County family connections to acquire heirloom seeds that had been grown in the Dutch Country for many generations. His passion for rare old-time varieties snowballed so that by the 1940s he managed to create one of the finest kitchen gardens in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Among the many frequent visitors to his garden was West Chester folk artist Horace Pippin from whom he acquired many rare peppers. 
 My grandfather’s untimely death brought an abrupt end to his chapter of the Roughwood Seed Collection story. 

Some 10 years later, while a student at the University of Virginia, I discovered his seed collection at the bottom of my grandmother’s deep freezer. My grandfather knew that by freezing seeds they could be kept for a long time, so by this stroke of luck, many of his most valuable seeds were still viable when I began to tinker with them. By the mid-1970s I brought most of his original garden back under cultivation."

See also http://diygabl.tumblr.com/post/how-to-save-your-own-garden-seeds-guide

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Seed Labelling for the Spring Plant Fair

Once our seeds are packed we gather again on another day to label the seeds. As always we share a meal, plants, seeds and growing tips.

Monday 10 September 2018


From: plantyhamchuk


“The study found the Sierra Mixe corn obtains 28 to 82 percent of its nitrogen from the atmosphere. To do this, the corn grows a series of aerial roots. Unlike conventional corn, which has one or two groups of aerial roots near its base, the nitrogen-fixing corn develops eight to ten thick aerial roots that never touch the ground.

During certain times of the year, these roots secrete a gel-like substance, or mucilage. The mucilage provides the low-oxygen and sugar-rich environment required to attract bacteria that can transform nitrogen from the air into a form the corn can use.

“Our research has demonstrated that the mucilage found in this Sierra Mixe corn forms a key component of its nitrogen fixation,“ said co-author Jean-Michel AnĂ©, professor of agronomy and bacteriology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW–Madison. “We have shown this through growth of the plant both in Mexico and Wisconsin.”

“ Researchers are a long way from developing a similar nitrogen-fixing trait for commercial corn, but this is a first step to guide further research on that application. The discovery could lead to a reduction of fertilizer use for corn, one of the world’s major cereal crops. It takes 1 to 2 percent of the total global energy supply to produce fertilizer. The energy-intensive process is also responsible for 1 to 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. “

Why are we stripping our life support systems?


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