Category Archives: News

Autumn Plant Fair Stall List

Stalls are finalised and we are ready and keen for our Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair this Saturday 11 March and hope you are too.

Please see below our stall list, with park map at bottom showing where everyone is.





You will find the Bellingen Growers Market on the south/east of the Plant Fair, (in D area on the above map), entry via Park St. Its a great opportunity to buy your fresh and delicious produce and goodies, plus some 2nd hand.

Don’t miss out on getting your tickets to the large plant raffle, drawn at 1pm. You don’t have to be there, if you leave a contact number.

Hope to see you soon 🙂

Ian Epic Earth gives food resilience talk at Bellingen Plant Fair

Ian from the Gourmet Garden School talks about the state of food and immense value in growing our own.

He explains significant environmental and social  issues with industrial food systems and why growing our own is empowering.  

You will find Ian on stage from 9am at the Bellingen Plant Fair 11.3.23.

For more information please go to:

Biodynamic talk at Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair

Biodynamic Agriculture Australia will be attending the Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair on Saturday 11 March 2023, with lots of information, products, and an informative talk on stage from 10am with Sid Hazell.

Sid is a teacher with NSW TAFE and has been teaching organic farming, biodynamics and production horticulture for over 20 years. Over that time he has brought many students to the Biodynamic Australia office in Bellingen twice a year so they can participate in the biodynamic preparation making and be exposed to the concepts of biodynamics.

Sid is passionate about passing on the knowledge and benefits of organics and regenerative agriculture and especially the deep respect for the earth and humanity found in biodynamics.

Biodynamics: revitalising the Earth to foster abundance and health

Speaker:  Sid Hazell     Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Ltd, Bellingen

Biodynamic Agriculture Australia will be attending our Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair on Saturday 11 March 2023, with an information stall and a talk on stage at 10am.

They will provide insights into growing using the biodynamic method, with practical demonstrations and handouts to get you started.

Generally speaking, conventional food growing is input dependent and entropic. This degrades or destroys critical fertility factors such as soil carbon, soil structure and soil food web viability. Such losses lead to lower food quality, less water holding capacity of soil, decreased plant species biodiversity, increased plant susceptibility to extremes of weather and climate, and greater risk of soil erosion. Chronic and acute effects on human and animal health are being steadily uncovered and evaluated.

When the biodynamic preparations and practices are applied properly in place of conventional inputs and practices, soil biology is enhanced, plants grow with greater resistance to disease, insect attack and climate extremes, and input costs are greatly reduced. A properly run biodynamic system is syntropic – it builds up complexity and produces much more energy than it consumes. Such a system is truly sustainable.  

For anyone inclined to take up biodynamic practice, there is a certain consciousness or attitude involved, summed up as follows:

the Earth as a sacred being, and food as a divine gift

An ethical hunting talk at Plant Fair

A stonemason from the south of Italy, Luigi now relishes his new career in agriculture
growing organic food. Together with his wife Nidya, they started a business that would
encompass all their passions while ensuring it kept the family at the heart of it. Both
permaculturists, the business uses permaculture ethics of people care, fair share, and self-care as their foundation. The Patch Organics, based in Bellingen is a business with four pillars, a commercial market garden, an organic poultry farm, and an education centre and now they’ve recently launched, a hunting enterprise. 

So where does hunting come in? Surprisingly enough it came from asking the question, “Should we reduce our meat intake for the environment?” Both Nidya and Luigi come from strong meat-eating cultures as well as being very environmentally conscious. In their daily lives they felt like they did all the right things to reduce their carbon footprint – they brought their own containers and keep cups everywhere, never used plastics, composted, rode bikes, but every time they would pull another meat cut from the freezer for their dinner it was like inviting the elephant into the room to eat with them.

They tried to reduce the amount of meat they consumed, bought cookbooks to increase their “salad” repertoire and tried a few vegan recipes, but with Luigi’s extremely high metabolism and very active work life, they quickly started to see the grocery bills increase by trying to keep him “fuelled up”. So they deep dived into the “environmental problem” to try and find a solution that worked for them and quickly realised that the problem was not the animals themselves but the system in which they were a part of. The industrialised food system spat out bigger problems than what it was “solving”. How we farm animals on the land creates huge soil erosion and degradation issues, how we fatten them up creates huge health issues, how we kill them creates huge animal welfare and environmental issues, how we truck them from A to B causes huge environmental issues and how we consume them – but more specifically what we consume and don’t consume causes huge wastage issues.

So if the system was the problem, how do we bypass it? And that is where hunting comes in. Australia has an abundance of introduced pest species that are roaming wild and free, are causing huge environmental issues and are also great eating. The wild pig population currently outcompetes the human population in Australia. The annual rate of population growth for rabbits is 206%. Feral goats threaten the biodiversity of our native animals and plants. Our government frequently spends a lot of time and money on population control programs to manage these pests but has already deemed eradication impossible for many.

So with this new knowledge, the couple spent the last few years acquiring new licenses, skills and experiences and now frequently have an array of diverse meat in their freezer, supplemented with their organic and free ranged chicken as well as grass fed and grass finished organic beef from Bello Beef, all grown on certified organic pastures of Levenvale Farm. Nidya explains, “In many ways that initial question of how we can be more conscious eaters set us up to take this journey into being primary producers. We always loved good food, but then we started asking ourselves the question, what makes it good? And good for who? And here we are, we are now growing our own truly good food, and if we can’t grow it, we hunt it!”

They started the journey together, learning how to hunt, butcher, cook and have learnt to highly appreciate the under-valued abundance right in their back yards. Understanding the hard work involved in harvesting and butchering an animal, they are very passionate about saving and eating as much of the animal as they can, frequently serving nose to tail dishes as their everyday fair. They bypass the feedlots, the large factory farms, the environmental and animal welfare issues while helping farmers get rid of a pest problem. And now they want to pass on their skills to more families like themselves.

“I used to think we were on the extreme end of a spectrum, where the other extreme was veganism – both trying to solve a huge problem in our own way. But the more we’ve normalised this, the more I realise that we shouldn’t be seen as extreme. Hunting for your food and being able to sustain yourself, acquire delicious, nutritious quality meat, and know exactly where your food comes from and what it took to fill that freezer – well, more people should do it. This should be normal” states Nidya.

The couple are now offering a 6-month mentorship program for people who want to start their own journey in hunting and self-resiliency. “When I first started out, it was very hard for me to find good mentors. We joined the hunting associations as was required and met a few people there, but we found that many seasoned hunters were quite competitive of their spots – nobody really wanted to share, especially with new people coming through. I tried many times to team up with experienced hunters that I could learn from, but it was really very hard to find like-minded people. That’s why I want to give others what I didn’t have” Luigi proudly shares with a thick Italian accent.

As Luigi calls it, the term is “ethical hunter” a person who is respectful of themselves, the land and animals and the community around. “Hunting gets a bad reputation as a lot of people think it’s just shooting animals for fun. They call it recreational hunting, but there’s nothing recreational about it – it’s hard work. firing the weapon is just the beginning, then you need to bag the animal and hike it out and bring it home, and then it’s one- or two-days of butchering and processing it. The more you want to do, the longer it takes. And we do it for our families, to put food on the table and to know that our meat consumption is in some way improving the environment instead of continuing to degrade it.”

Luigi’s enthusiasm and passion are contagious, and you can hear him speak at The Bellingen Plant Fair on the 11th March at 12pm, as he shares his journey on stage.

To learn more about their farm and their upcoming hunting mentorship program, visit their website


Socials: @ThePatchOrganics

Herbal workshop with Laura Harrison

Sadly Sari Komlos cancelled her workshop due to a family emergency, but we are fortunate to secure local lass Laura with her years of experience.

Laura is co-creator of Chamomile Natural Health in Bellingen with 10 years experience as a clinical naturopath. She has a huge passion for herbs, in the garden, in the clinic and in the home. She has had loads of fabulous and fun experience wild harvesting herbs in Australia and has also spent time working in herb gardens and foraging the hedgerows in England. 

For this workshop you will learn some simple and practical preparations that will get you started in this wonderful world of herbs. 

To find out more about Laura go to her website –

Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair – 11 March 2023

The Bellingen Autumn Plant Fair wheels have begun to turn as we start organising the wonderful event for Saturday 11 March 2023.

We look forward to a full park of plants and everything associated with, including delicious food, drinks and live music on the main stage from 9am by Thoughts & Prayers.

Thoughts & Prayers are a duo from Valla Beach on the NSW mid north coast featuring
Brett Barber and Deb Spillane. Although genre-fluid they are tempted to describe themselves as pioneers of post- Covid pop!

Their mission is to prove that the vast majority of the best songs ever written only
need two guitars and two vocal harmonies to hit the spot. The name Thoughts & Prayers was chosen in a shameless attempt to become the most mentioned band in the world. Sadly it’s since become evident that if it’s politicians saying your name it’s not really helpful!

Thoughts & Prayers have a chill sound ideal for markets, house parties, cafes and
restaurants. Their music does not rely on computerised beats, backing tracks or
excessive volume. (They are more likely to peak at 7 rather than 11)

For more information or to book them, contact Deb Spillane 0418 603513

We also have various environmental community groups join us to spread the good word.

Proudly brought to you by the Bellingen Environment Centre Inc. the day is all about plants and caring for our environment.

Hope you can join us.

Click here for more information

Bellingen Spring Plant Fair a success

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the recent Bellingen Spring Plant Fair 10 September 2022. It was a beautiful sun shining day of plant diversity, good food, music and people.

Well done to all our magnificent plant stalls. We congratulate you on your perseverance and determination over the last few challenging years. Your plants looked vibrant and healthy and we thank you for joining us and helping make the Bellingen Plant Fair the popular event it is.

A big congratulations to Gina and her family who won the amazing ‘plant raffle’. I’m sure she would have been happily gardening on Sunday.

To all our wonderful volunteers, we couldn’t have done it without you and very much appreciate you sharing your time with us. Hope you had fun too.

Saije with Shanteya and Jo were absolutely amazing, sending shivers up peoples spines as they sang and harmonised to the many who were captivated.

A big thanks to the Bellingen Environment Centre Inc. (BEC) for presenting such a great day. We hope they gained many more keen members to support their important work. The BEC also supported the following valuable organisations who joined us:

Bellingen Seed Savers, Bellingen Landcare, Northbank Community Garden, Great Koala National Park and the Kalang River Forest Alliance. It was good to see so many people interested in the biodynamics talk and demonstration run by Biodynamic Agriculture Australia.

All the photographs from the day have been placed on Facebook.

Your feedback it valuable to us so we would love to hear what you thought? If it’s negative feedback please email us asap – bellingenplantfair so we can make good but if it’s positive feedback please feel free to share on Google, Facebook or Trip Advisor so others can see…. this is a Plant Fair to be part of 🙂

We will start reaching out for stallholders around the end of January, inviting you to book for our March Autumn Bellingen Plant Fair. New stallholders are always welcome. Click here to read more about stallholders

All in all, it was a very nice day and we look forward to the next one on 11 March 2023

Want to receive Bellingen Plant Fair updates? Simply subscribe below.

Bellingen Spring Plant Fair ready to blossom


With one week to go, we trust you’re ready and keen for our Bellingen Spring Plant Fair. We’re hoping for a warm, sunny, spring day, full of nature and life, buzzing with energy and activity but as it stands today, it may be a lovely wet spring day, so come prepared for all weather. Nevertheless, the park is in good condition and ready for the tender embrace of stalls, plants and people.

Thank you for your prompt stall payment and confirming your site. Your speedy, clear communication has been wonderful. This is the final news before the big day, to say thanks for joining us, and remember to follow guidelines and directives. Your patience and flexibility is appreciated as we do our best to get everyone in quickly and smoothly. Thanks for your cooperation.

Unlike stated in my email….

only permanent stallholders come in early @ 5.30-6am.

Everyone else please line up at 6.30am in the street noted in the email.

A gradual in and out flow of vehicles is the plan, and don’t forget to drive at walking pace.

Look forward to seeing you and having the best Bellingen Spring Plant Fair day.


Media coverage

We have received excellent media coverage from local papers/magazines/online (Bellingen Shire News, Coffs & Nambucca News of the Area, Bellbottom, Harbour Magazine, Our Living Coast, Visit NSW), 2BBB and 2NVR radios. Hope you got to read and hear some of it. Our early July Facebook post received a crazy 85,000 reach, so thank you for liking and sharing our posts and helping spread the good word.

When, where, how and why

Saturday 17 September @ Bellingen Park, just south of town.

  • Only long time permanents who know where they are going come in early at 5.30-6am.
  • All other stallholders line up at 6.30am at the designated area of Creek Lane or Park St.
  • Please line up quietly to consider sleeping residents.
  • Always drive at walking pace within the park.
  • Please drive one way as indicated by arrows on the below map.
  • Park very close to your stall so other cars can easily pass.
  • Quickly unload, take car out, park a couple of streets away (so customers can park closer).
  • Come back to set up. Your assistance on this will help alleviate traffic congestion.
  • No cars remain in the park unless agreed to beforehand.
  • We are a plastic free Plant Fair.
  • Waste stations are placed around the park so please ensure you use the right bin.
  • Gates open at 2pm for stallholders to leave, so no cars to enter before then.
  • Of course this depends on the amount of people around at that time.
  • Please leave your site clean and take all your rubbish home.

We thank you for your support carrying out the above and for agreeing and following our stallholder’s terms and conditions. Your cooperation will enable us all to have a safe, pleasant, enjoyable day.

Site map

The above map is an overall view of the park and shows where your site is. We have not marked out the sites, because once the permanents are in, it’s pretty straight forward. There will be someone at the gate to show you where to go. Please remain calm and follow Plant Fair crew directives, as we endeavour to get you in smoothly and promptly.

Bello Council says ‘NO’ to the below plants

Please ensure you don’t sell any of the below plants. Council will be walking around checking.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors Kombu and Hearthfire

Plant Fair Raffle

We’re looking forward to a deserving person winning a stack of plants on the day, so we thank you for your generous plant/product donation to the raffle. It would be great if you could deliver your donation to the BEC stall before 8am, found near Church St. The raffle will be drawn around 1pm so get your tickets early.

Music by Saije

Saije is a multi-instrumental duo (Shanteya and Jo) whose soulful harmonies, dynamic guitar-lines and percussive breakdowns breathe life into heartfelt stories. Their song writing typically encourages connection to self, the earth and to each other, inviting you on a journey from the depths of ancient forests to bustling French markets, weaving threads of Celtic and French gypsy flavours, into their folk tunes along the way.

Don’t miss hearing their beautiful harmonies and stories on the main stage from 10am.

Click on the below links to read and hear more

Biodynamic brilliance

Want to know more about connecting with nature and enlivening your soil and plants? Then get along to the biodynamics demonstration and talk at 10.30am near the main stage. Biodynamics is organics plus, giving vitality to grow extra healthy, happy and harmonious plants, and animals. John Hodgkinson, long time biodynamic practitioner from Biodynamic Agriculture Australia will share a few simple yet powerful practices with you. We also have the lovely Haley Burgess from Beautiful Abundance join us with her biodynamic heirloom edibles, fruit trees and natives, in front of the tennis courts.

View a beautiful film by biodynamic association.

It’s great to see many local community groups represented at the Bellingen Spring Plant Fair. Of course a very big thanks to the Bellingen Environment Centre who present the Plant Fair, and to Bellingen Landcare, Northbank Community Garden, Macksville Community Garden, Bellingen Seed Savers, Great Koala National Park and Biodynamic Agriculture Aust for their valuable work. If you can please visit their stall to learn more and maybe even get involved.

It’s all happening in Bello – Swiff movie night

How cool – outdoor movies ! Just in case you wanted to make a weekend of it, this is a good one to check out, Friday and Saturday night in Bello. Click here to read more

Looking for a few more fabulous volunteers to help

Do you know anyone who can give a couple of hours to help us at the Plant Fair? It’s a fun day working with good people and the community. In return they receive a plant, a coffee and discounted lunch at the Falafel stall. If you know anyone, please ask them to email us. thanks.

when was the last time you hugged a tree… and felt her energy !

For sale

Super advanced large plants:– 3 black mulberry, 2 white mulberry, 1 peach, 1 tropical apple, 2 rose apple, 4 passionfruit, 15+ dooja (gympie lime trees), ginger, ornamental blue ginger, 25+ butterfly arrowhead, 20+ yukkas, 10+ agaves and cactus.

2 year old plants ready to sell and replant – 50 black mulberry, 50 white mulberry, 20 topiary figs, 10 crimson lily pily, 2 pink lily pily.

All these plants have been grown together intentionally to engage the aid of good insects and reduce nasties. No poison has every touched them.

I have 4 weeks to sell my beloved plants as I am moving up the coast. No plant will be left behind. Transport can be arranged if needed.

If interested please call Acy Perks 0434 106 704 or email

The Bellingen Environment Centre Inc. proudly presents the Bellingen Plant Fair twice a year (spring and autumn) as a fundraiser, to get more interest and memberships, and on a mission to get more plants/trees in the ground. Your attendance supports their good work in protecting our precious environment and you are invited to become a member if not already? Simply click here to go to their webpage and read all about the valuable work of the BEC. Check out their information stall near Church Street.

And finally….

I’ve had big shoes to fill (literally and metaphorically), since taking over from Clayton. He did an awesome job holding the Plant Fair reins for several years and he will be missed. When life becomes a little less busy Clayton will return as a volunteer, because he LOVES the Plant Fair and community.

In the meantime you have me and I will do what I can (with the help of many) to ensure our Bellingen Plant Fair thrives. Just in case your didn’t know, I’m into clear respectful communication and transparency. I’m contactable, approachable and happy to help where I can, all for the good of the BEC, Bellingen Plant Fair and our community. Of course its a two way street and I would love the same in return.

Hope you like our new webpage which has everything you need to know about the Bellingen Plant Fair. Scroll to the bottom of our “NEWS” page and subscribe to receive all future notifications and please LIKE us on Facebook. Your feedback is always welcome via EMAIL and we love reviews from Google and Facebook, so don’t be shy 🙂

We trust you’re ready, willing, and able to join us, and have a good day at the Bellingen Spring Plant Fair 10 September 2022. Thanks your wonderful support and reading our latest communication. See you soon.

PS: If you have any questions please email, ring or sms Kaz Selbie

E: M: 0419 218800