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.

Friday 18 October 2019

It's Black Sapote Harvest Time.

Best quality Black Sapote. Juicy and seedless. Yum.

Here is a delicious recipe for a Chocolate Sapote Mousse and more, plus more information from Suwannerose.

Monday 14 October 2019

Here's an intriguing thought!

Fran's Fermented Elderflower Soda

Elderberry flower heads
Pick two or three elderflower heads and remove flowers from stems. 

Put six cups of unchlorinated water into a two litre jar. 

Add a heaped tablespoon of honey and stir to dissolve. 

Stir in the elderflowers. 

To speed up the fermenting process you can add a pinch of yeast or some whey from the top of plain yoghurt. 

Put the jar (with no lid) on a kitchen bench so you can give it a quick stir whenever you walk past. 

Place a cloth over the top to keep bugs out. 

Within two to six days, depending on temperature, the mixture will start to bubble. 

Once it has a bit of fizz strain the flowers off and put the soda in
the fridge. 

Thursday 10 October 2019

Flowering and Fruiting Oct 10 (Spring) on Coffs Coast

 Mid or late Spring, in this Coffs Coast, NSW, subtropical climate zone, and we there is an abundance of flowers and fruit.

Heritage Rose

Louisiana Iris





New shoots of Stevia

Red Russian Kale

Lipstick Bromeliad

Lychee Flowers

Black Mulberry

Persimmon Flowers

White Peach

White Mulberry


Gulf Gold Japanese Plum

Black Sapote

New leaves on Amla

Natal Plum

Brazil (Surinam) Cherry

Illawarra Flame Tree flower buds

New leaves on Grape

Macadamia Nut

Pecan Nut Flowers

Kiwi Fruit Flowers

Flowers and immature Jaboticaba fruit



New Banana leaves with Dorrigo Tree Waratah

Retention Pond

Cranberry Hibiscus flower

Cordyline flower

Pear flower

Louisiana Iris

Arum Lilies

Wendy's Wish Salvia

Louisiana Iris

Miniature Zygocactus

Orange Browallia

Blueberry and variegated Hibiscus

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Newsletter, October 201


Seed packing

Thank you to Gillian for generously hosting the seed packing for the Spring Plant Fair.

A team of 12 happy hard working volunteers made a fun time of packing approximately 600 packets of seed.

Thank you to all who donated seed and / or helped clean and pack.

John and Carol's food forest

Fourteen people visited John and Carol's garden in Fernmount, including some new faces (welcome and we hope to see you again). We started with some chit chat before starting on the best lunch in town. The hosts had prepared a couple of beautiful curries with rice and the guests supplemented those with a range of savoury and sweet dishes.
After lunch John took us on a tour of their well established food forest. We started at the front of the house with it's well established large shrubs. At the side of the house we passed some garden beds mainly used for perennial vegetables. The property was well screened from the neighbouring house with some big stands of various.

Next we went on a loop walk through the main food forest at the back of the house. There were a large variety of exotic trees and more common fruit trees, plus lower layers. As we toured the garden there were many stop and try points, where we sampled the produce. Examples of tasting included, sweet leaf, cape gooseberries, Australian sweet limes and some herbs. John showed how he has handled drainage on their fairly steep block. There was a mountain of citrus waiting to be harvested. The garden was obviously attractive to fruit eaters based on us finding a flying fox sheltering in one of the trees.

At the end of the tour there was plenty of stuff to be taken from the sharing table. John and Carol also generously offered people could take grapefruit, mandarins or sweet limes. Thanks for hosting a very enjoyable afternoon.

Seed labelling

After the enjoyable stroll around the food forest, everyone decided to stay on to label the 600 packets of seeds ready for the plant fair. Many hands made light work and the time passed quickly with plenty of chatter around each table.

For those people unfamiliar with the seed packing and seed labelling in preparation for the plant fair, there is a good reason that they are done on separate days. At the seed packing day, we start with a collection of seeds and many others arrive on the day. The seeds are then cleaned and packed into sale size lots in ziplock bags. At the start of the day we do not know all of the seed varieties we will get, let alone how many packets of each. Enter Jeff! After the seed packing day, Jeff takes away all of the packed seeds and compares them to our inventory and previous sale records and decides how many of each seed lot we are likely to sell. Next he prints out several hundred labels and gets everything well organised, so that on the labelling datings run like clockwork.

Thanks to Carol and John for hosting the seed labelling, Jeff for organising and the volunteers.

Spring plant fair

Pleasant weather contributed to a very busy and successful plant fair. We distributed our entire range of plant material, over half of our stock of seed packets and a bundle of Seed Savers books.

Our range of perennial herbs, fruits and vegetables were very popular, including: Yacon (thanks to the tasting samples), Okinawa & Longevity spinach, Chaya spinach tree, Surinam spinach, Hibiscus spinach tree, Aloe Vera, red sugar cane, strawberries, lemon grass, pomelo and ginger.

Popular seed packets included: sweet basil, Thai basil, butter beans, various types of snake bean, coriander, climbing spinach (Basella), true-gold sweet corn, echinacea, elderberry, Florence fennel, pineapple gooseberry, African marigolds, Italian parsley, New Guinea gourd, red & blue popcorn, pumpkin (5 varieties), rockmelon, rosella, tamarillo, tarragon, Lemon-drop tomato, Thai pink tomato, and 3 varieties of watermelon.
As always, an event such as this can-not go ahead without a huge amount of work by volunteers. I'm sure I'll miss some people, but the list of volunteers includes Jeff for overseeing all of the work getting our seeds together (he does a lot of the work as well). The people who donated seed, cutting and seedlings. The people who attended the seed packing and labelling sessions. Gillian for hosting the seed packing session and coordinating the plant fair. John and Carol for hosting the seed labelling session. Finally, the volunteers who set up,  worked on and packed up the plant fair stall: Tim, John, Gillian, Susan, Jeff, Leela, Debbie, Chris, Gabi, Nick, Fran and Barbara.

Diary Dates

Garden visit to Debbie's in Brierfield

SATURDAY 26th of October, 9:30 am - 12:00pm

Remember to seek out the sign-in sheet on arrival. 
Please bring a snack plate to contribute to our quick shared brunch
If you have them:
Please bring seeds or cuttings to share.

The Wild Pollinator Count (WPC) https://wildpollinatorcount.com/ is coming up next month (10-17 November) and is a citizen science project run out of the University of New England. The aims of the WPC are to collect information on which native insects are important pollinators in crops and gardens around the country.  Everyone has seen the European Honey Bee in action, however many native insects also contribute to pollination services.
Research is lacking on the identification of native pollinators, their habits and how they are affected by human activities.  The WPC provides an opportunity to contribute to the conservation of wild pollinating insects in Australia.

In order to encourage participation in the WPC by Bellingen Seed Saver (BSS) members we will be having a “dry run” on the identification and counting of native pollinators in our area.  This will involve a visit to member (and entomologist) Debbie Kent’s property at Brierfield on the morning of Saturday 26th October.  We will be hoping for a fine sunny morning to learn about the project by observation in Debbie’s native garden, vegetable and orchard areas.
Coming? please click here to RSVP, to obtain the address and so we know who’s attending. Please RSVP even if you already know how to get there.

Organiser: Lisa O'Callaghan / gardenvisits@bellingenseedsavers.comor phone 0417 536 490

Seed & Plant Swaps

Are you looking for particular seeds or plants? Do you have an abundance of something to give away? 
Email in to news@bellingenseedsavers.com for your search or offer to be put in the newsletter in this section.


Thanks to Jeff for the photos and plant fair writeup.
Thanks to Leela for assistance with content and newsletter outline.

When donating or sharing seeds, please email in the seed information so we know what we have (click the link, the email has the questions ready to fill out)
Email: seeds@bellingenseedsavers.com

Or fill in this PDF form. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill this out digitally. Remember to save each seed info as a separately named file!
Or print it out and fill it in by hand. 

Check out the Bellingen Seed Savers blog for recipes, local growing information, Diary Dates and garden visit photos.

Bellingen Seed Savers Chatter is our Facebook group where we can talk and talk and talk on all things seed savers and edible gardening.

www.BellingenSeedSavers.com is our website.


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