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, 10 May 2022

Lowanna visit - Fortune favours the brave

Well the day held some wobbly but manageable weather, our optimism paid off! It was a bit of an adventure down the driveway, but a hospitable welcome awaited our cheerful group.traight into a cuppa, nibbles and chatting, then, spotting a dryish moment, we took a waltz around the garden. There was an established, integrated chook run/orchard and new netted vege patch underway. Our hosts have extensive alternative health knowledge, so lots of interesting and unusual herbals are mixed into the rambling gardens. We were impressed by the frost-protected banana/papaya tower and a reo/plastic hothouse. 

Under construction is another mud brick guest accommodation, for others to come and enjoy the beauty and ambiance of Lowanna.

Back undercover for a fabulous lunch, well timed with yet another downpour.

Then Andrew 'twisted our arms' for a bush walk down to their beautiful river. The intrepid jumped in and the rest of us fended off the friendly leeches 🤣
Then the day concluded, with some cheeky patches of blue sky, as we assembled back into our car pools and carefully negotiated our way back to the main road.

Thanks Andrew and Judy - we will definitely have to revisit this one!

Friday, 18 March 2022

Seed packing at Chris's

The deluge cleared and the seed packing day at Chris's in Raleigh produced over 800 bags locally grown seed just in time for this year's Bellingen Autumn plant fair. Eleven busy bees cleaned, sorted, and bagged a diverse range of seeds ready for autumn-winter-spring sowing.

Jeff from Boambee brought a basket load of Blue Lake climbing beans, San Marzano & Camp Joy tomatoes, and Cherry Belle radish. Jeff & Tara from Coffs supplied bags of snow peas, including the renowned Bohemian sugar pea which has yielded well for many gardeners over the past two years.How lucky we are, to be in this blessed pocket of the country, at this time...

Ten other gardeners from Dorrigo, Bello, Valla Beach, Southwest Rocks, and Glenreagh supplied various beans, herbs, salad veg and leafy greens.

New seed savers: Annie from Bonville learned the art of cleaning brassicas and Helen from Woolgoolga got good exercise processing radish pods. Merren also got good finger therapy opening bean pods.

Seed processing was accompanied by a delicious spread of lunch snacks and cakes all enjoyed on Chris’s verandah looking out over scenic Raleigh wetlands and pasture.

Three days later the process concluded with seed packet labelling at the Old Butter Factory, and as usual the volunteers were treated to scrumptious cakes and coffees.

Our seed stocks were boosted to over 1400 packets ready for the plant fair.
Thanks to Chris for hosting the seed cleaning, to all the volunteers who helped out and those who donated the seeds. Without seeds we will cease to exist.   

Bellingen plant fair

We were rewarded with a bright Bellingen day for the autumn plant fair. Conditions were relatively dry for the most part, even if a little squelchy underfoot.

Market stallholders were slightly down, but there were plenty of punters, and all displays were plundered as per usual; our collective gardening enthusiasm will not be dampened!

We moved a lot of stock, both greens and seeds, and also exchanged knowledge and experiences. A thriving joyful atmosphere, filled by people laden with growing goodies.
   How lucky we are, to be in this blessed pocket of the country, at this time...

Yet another successful day resulting from the contributions of many volunteers. Thanks to all involved, including those who worked on our stall: Jeff, Mary, Lesley, Jeff, Tara, Don, Phillipa, Shunyam, Leela, Chris, Merren, Chris, Gillian, Lisa, Luigi, Kristy, Charlie, Charles.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Our rainy excursion to South West Rocks


Terry's Garden in South West Rocks and Kimbo's patch

It was a dreary, wet trek down the mountain and along the coast for me that soggy Thursday. I thought maybe 6 or so diehards might show up. Well, as it turned out, i was 10 minutes late to the party already happening at Terry's house! Many beaming faces already there and a few more following me.

A lively discussion ensued on Terry's background, broad experience, hopes and aspirations for his garden and the local community of South West Rocks.

Still the rain came down!

So, brollys in hand, we trooped around the garden to see what's been started and offered our 2 cents worth on the planning and siting of Terry's productive garden beds.

Then lunch beckoned - we obliged with the usual gusto.

Still the rain came down!

Undaunted, we hopped into a car pool to visit a thriving market garden in the centre of town. Kimbo, the main gardener, was not there to witness our amazement at his prolific produce and fabulous black soil. Sadly, after 10yrs of enrichment and supplying the community with super fresh goodies, the property is to be developed later this year. We each fantasised about making off with a barrowful of that black gold.

Still the rain came down!

Back to Terry's to polish off the remnants of the feast.
Strangly, not much enthusiasm for kayaking in the persistant drizzle, but what better activity on a wet day than a leisurely lunch with like-minded friends?
Thanks Terry and Kimbo for sharing your gardens with us.


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