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


Autumn plant fair

We had had nine days with rain leading up to the plant fair and the day before the plant fair things fined up. We were lucky that the weather was very kind to us on the day of the fair. The clouds gathering on the horizon held off until Sunday and Monday when we again received a good drop off rain. Darker clouds were also brewing, with the Covid 19 virus threatening to shutdown ... Well just about everything.

Leela's report:
The autumn plantfair was a bit blur for me - a joyful, busy one. Familiar faces and new enthusiastic ones, this is such a positive community to be a part of. People are really valuing the importance of connecting with the earth and being a little more sharing & self reliant. We got super lucky with both the timing & the weather - I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Jeff's report:
This was our busiest plant fair in 11 years. Good weather and crowds of keen gardeners made the day a success. 
Almost our entire stock of Autumn – Winter seeds were sold-out. The most popular seeds were: lettuces, snow peas, pak choi, chillies, carrots, rocket, coriander, spinach & chards, bok choi, tomatoes, marigolds, basils, spring onions, nasturtiums, broccoli, wasabi lettuce, fennel, mizuna, radish and all types of beans. We distributed our entire range of plant material, nearly 70% of our stock of seed packets and a bundle of Seed Savers Handbooks.
Our range of herbs, fruits and perennial vegetables were very popular, including: Okinawa & Longevity spinach, Hawaiian sweet potato, cassava, turmeric, sweet pineapple, aloe vera, strawberries, mint, lemon grass and curry leaf.
Special thanks to all the seed and plant material suppliers, seed cleaners, seed packers and the plant fair volunteers: Tara, Jeff H, Jeff A, Gillian, Leela, Tim, Don, Phillipa, Nick, Merren, Chris, Rosemary and David.

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 Jeff has done a good job of listing everyone except two of the most important people.

On behalf of the BSS I would like to thank Jeff for all the work he put in behind the scenes managing our seed collection, printing labels and just keeping stuff organised. Second I would like to extend our thanks to Gillian as our plant fair coordinator and generous host for our seed packing day. 

If anyone is interested in taking the role of plant fair coordinator for the next plant fair, please send Gillian an email using the address

piece of history

Evelyn & Marc, the new owners/custodians of David & Irene’s property at Spicketts Creek, presented this gift of colourful zinnias. The zinnia’s, self-sown around the garden, are a lovely memory of the founders of Bellingen Seed Savers.


The future is a little less clear amid the current pandemic, but here are a couple of quotes that I think are pertinent to current times:

“The future depends on what you do today.” 
Mahatma Gandhi 

"With our long TODO lists around the home, we should see this as an opportunity!"

More verbose than a quote, but just as good

Current circumstances have made us mindful of stocking up on resources and this has obviously included seeds; please respect  the potential of the seeds and the effort in collecting, packaging, etc. Store your seeds in a dry, cool and vermin proof environment and share with friends if you have extras. Most seeds will be good for at least 3-4 years stored like this.

BSS is not for profit because we love what we do and we're here to help; all gardeners love sharing tips and tricks for success, so please feel free to ask questions of us directly or on our facebook page: Bellingen seed savers chatter. Like money in the bank, seed has little intrinsic/tangible value unless it is ultimately spent/sown and grown. Feel free to post pictures of your endeavours.

And, of course, save some of your best for seasons to follow!


Diary Dates

Garden visit to your garden

Today, whenever you want

No need to sign-in on arrival.
Please bring a snack plate and a nice cup of tea.

We are not organising any garden visits during the current Covid 19 restrictions. We encourage you to visit your own garden as often as you can, for as long as you like. It doesn't matter if it is on acreage or some flowers / herbs on the window sill.

Coming? no need to RSVP.

Organiser: Why you, of course.

Without any organised garden visits, I am looking for material for the next newsletter. If you have anything growing on in your garden that you are happy to share, please let me know. A paragraph or two and a couple of photos will really help me out in producing a newsletter to share with all of our members. 

If you have something, please send an email to Don:

What to do during self isolation

Some people are looking for ideas for things that they and their families, housemates etc can do during the current self isolation period. We are only to leave the house for necessities, which leaves some people spending a lot more time at home than they normally would. Here is a list of ideas that may give you or someone you live with something to think about:
  1. Get into your garden, that is the obvious place to start.
  2. Go to our blog and browse through the mountain of compiled material  
  3. Submit material for us to include on our blog to
  4. Ask or answer some questions, or just read what others are saying on the Bellingen Seed Saver Chatter Facebook page (you'll need a Facebook login).
  5. Visit a museum online, for example do a virtual tour of the Australian Museum.
  6. Start some online study. See for example the good universities guide or open learning universities.
  7. Listen to some podcasts.
  8. Do something crafty - knitting, pottery, sewing, build a trellis, build a greenhouse.
  9. Keep fit - do some stretching, stay mobile.
  10. Cook something that you haven't made for ages or something from our blog.
  11. Phone a friend or relative. Some people are really lonely.
  12. Write a letter.
  13. Do some jigsaws.
  14. Start writing that book you have had stuck inside you for years.
  15. Camp out in your backyard.
  16. Unleash your inner artist. Draw, paint or do some colouring.
  17. Learn some music. If you don't have an instrument at home, you can always learn to play the spoons. You don't even need a tuning fork for them.
  18. Start a nature journal.
  19. Document your gardening.
  20. Do some star gazing.
  21. Do some cloud watching.
  22. When the next storm comes, watch it roll in!
  23. Get on with your todo list.
  24. Practise mindfulness and meditation.
  25. Learn to juggle.
  26. Practise some origami.
  27. Do some puzzles - Sudoku, crosswords etc.
  28. Organise your photo collection
  29. Clean out your email inbox.
  30. Go through your list of things that you have put in the too hard basket until you have more time.
  31. Go through your belongings and see if you can make a box of things you no longer need to give to a charity (when they reopen).
  32. Play some board or card games. If you are alone, you can play for free online here or here.
  33. Start tracing your family tree.
  34. Do some photography in your home and garden.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are heaps of things we can do at home. You don't need hectares of space. One man has spent hours of his life studying one square meter.

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.

Shunyam is looking for:
Coriander, rocket, celery, Florence fennel.
If you can help, please send Shunyam an email

Fiona is looking for:
I'm after cutting for propagation of a pomegranate and some blueberries.
If you can help, please send Fiona an email

Leela is looking for:
Lemon cuttings of variety 'Villa Franca' or 'Lisbon'
If you can help, please send Leela an email


Thanks to Jeff for the photos and plant fair writeup.
Thanks to Leela for the plant fair writeup and tips on seeds.
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.
Copyright © 2020 Bellingen Seed Savers, All rights reserved.

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