Grow your own food. We share locally adapted, open-pollinated, non-hybrid seeds, plants & knowledge for edible gardening


Happy New Year

Welcome to 2021 and we hope that it will be a bountiful year for you in the garden and the rest of your life.

We are hoping to get back to the Bellingen plant fairs this year, or at least the Bellingen Farmers and Producers Markets. For either of these activities we need seed.

Ideally the increased interest in people purchasing seed this year will translate into an increased interest in saving seed. Save first for yourself, but we will gratefully help distribute any excess.

Garden visit to Leela's toy farm in Dorrigo

A week's delay, due to excessive rain, left us chafing at the bit to have the last garden tour for the year. Moving the event one week closer to Christmas, plus the threat of more rain, kept a few away. It was their loss, as the weather and garden host were kind to us.

Leela took us on an extensive tour, showing us a range of fruit and nut trees and a huge range of domesticated animals. The cloven hoofed animals earn their keep by eating the grass which grows so fast at this time of year, that it outstrips Leela's desire to mow.
The highlight of the tour was the enclosed garden area with soon to be evicted poultry and the magnificent microclimate Leela has created on the side of her house. Not only does the warmth captured by the "sun room" benefit plants that are not normally grown in Dorrigo, but also is used to passively heat the house in winter. 
Leela also shared some words from the tour:
A dozen or so Bellingen seedsavers (and two Dorrigo seedsavers) came up to marvel at my menagerie and general gardening madness. 

I led the party up the garden path and convinced some to plunge into the shrubbery to see successional planting in action. We said hello to the 2 hoofers and then enjoyed lunch on my deck with the best of Dorrigo views.

I hope you all enjoyed the day as much as i did; great to share the joy and knowledge as always
😆 Leela 
Thanks for hosting Leela and for all the work you have been doing behind the scenes to keep our visits happening as often as possible in 2020.

The visit to Leela's garden accentuated to me how lucky we are with the garden visits Leela tees up for us. We see an eclectic range of gardening styles. With the variety driven by a range of factors including:
  • gardener preference (fruit trees, nut trees, mix of perennials vs annuals, animals or not, aquaculture)
  • climate (we started the year at mango central and ended in apple-ville)
  • landscape position
  • garden size
  • soils.

Although seed saving is a common thread, each garden has its own story to tell.

Diary Dates

Visit Mary's garden in Emerald Beach

Sunday January 24th, 11:00am-2:00pm

Mary's Emerald Beach garden has been transformed from a standard building block (read: rubbish tip) 6 years ago to a lovely mix of natives, flowers, fruit and vegies.
Lately, the garden has been rewarding her with enough pawpaws, bananas and greens to share with neighbours and friends.
She invites us to share lunch in the garden that has given her so much pleasure.

This is a smaller garden than many of our other visits so the number of places available is lower, RSVP quickly to grab a place, then details and directions will be given to successful respondents. Please keep in mind the concerns of current times for the good of all.


Coming? RSVP to obtain the address and so we know who’s attending, even if you already know how to get there.

If you RSVP for this event, an email (containing directions) will be sent to the email address you provide on the RSVP form. If you do not receive an email, please check your junk mail folder.

Organiser: Leela O'Callaghan or 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 for your search or offer to be put in the newsletter in this section.


Thanks to Leela for hosting our latest garden tour and her contributions to this newsletter, and to the photo contributors. Thanks to Mary as our next upcoming host.
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)

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. is our website.
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