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 24 December 2019

What's flowering and fruiting in late December in the Bellinger Rv Valley?



Crepe Myrtle (Tuscan Red)

Bismarck Palm with Furcrea in foreground

Edible (tastes like Lemon Sorrel) Cranberry Hibiscus

Flowers on Star Fruit


Wax Jambu

Golden Grumichama

Black Grumichama



Brazil Cherry
 or Pitanga or Surinam Cherry


Black self-seeded Passionfruit

Immature Kwai Muk fruit

White Penta


Strongly Perfumed Brunsfeldia

 The local peach below has been grown in this valley for some decades and is well adapted to our climate. It fruited in midsummer.

Local Dwarf White Peach
Local Dwarf White Peach is picked when it looks green but starts to soften.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Garden Visit to Leonie's garden in Repton


Friday, December 20th

Set in a rainforest setting Leonie has developed a comprehensive  orchard and an extremely productive vegetable garden.

We also had our usual light lunch/ afternoon tea. Note the homemade blue cheese made by a member.

Leonie described her garden. She has only been back living in her home for a year.

Leonie has a number of large protected vegetable beds to shelter her plants from birds and chooks.

Thursday 21 November 2019

Garden Visit to Nick's food forest in Repton

Diary Dates

Nick's food forest in Repton

A warm Saturday for us in Repton began a little smokey, but eventually a welcome seabreeze lifted the atmosphere.
Nick started us off with an outline of his garden challenges and endeavours, describing how he manages water collection & dispersal. We saw two stainless steel water tanks and Nick uses a small tank as his first flush diversion. Water from this tank is then used for watering food crops. The garden has definite drier and wetter zones and little watering takes place apart from watering in new plants and utilisation of grey water. An old tank has been converted into a pond that overflows to provide water into the wetter part of the garden.
Having identified the various microclimates, he plants with quick growing top covers & successional understories. Nick starts his shade canopy with weedy plants such as wild tobacco bush and Senna. This is followed by quick growing natives such as bleeding heart and then by the plants from the food forest such as pigeon peas, macadamias and fruiting plants including the yellow jaboticaba which confused many a fruit loving seed saver.
Soil amelioration techniques were also discussed. The grass was smothered with sweet potato which kept the soil covered. Organic matter was then increased by adding chipped tree mulch, and chopping and dropping the plants mentioned previously mentioned. Nick is an avid composter and worm lover.

 To finish off, we all trooped back up to the verandah for a well earned lunch. 
Thanks to Nick and family for a lovely day

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Observing the pollinators with Debbie: A garden Visit

We had to cap this event at 20 participants and thankfully most people who had booked in turned up, because we had a few people who missed out. Apologies to the people who wanted to come but were unable to book in, but it is rare that we need to cap our numbers.

After a catchup and quick chat, Debbie ran us through some of the material from the Wild pollinator count. Based on her professional experience as an entomologist, Debbie was able to supplement the resources from the wild pollinator count with her own pearls of wisdom. Some people had brought insects along for identification and Debbie obliged with not only species, but also gender and what they had eaten for breakfast.

After our introduction as to what was required, we were set free in what was a pollinators paradise. The most common pollinators spotted were stingless bees, thanks at least in part to a hive on the end of the verandah.

As well as a wide variety of native plants to attract pollinators Debbie had a nice food growing area. I got the impression that she loves figs and eggplants.
After a lovely walk in the sun, it was time to retire to the shady verandah for lunch and a bit more conversation.

Thank you to Debbie for sharing her garden and knowledge with us.

For anyone who was unable to attend, Debbie gave me the confidence to say give the wild pollinator count a go. There is still time this week and the requirements are not that daunting. There are excellent resources available online (click here).


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