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Artistic image - secrets of compost


The hugest thank you to each and every one of these community-minded people who donated both their time and expertise for the benefit of everyone who lives in this area.

Please support them where you can.


These wonderful humans submitted to in-depth and often long interviews, usually covering many different plants. Some are professional local growers. Some are long term experienced local backyard growers. Their expertise has formed the foundation of the knowledge in this project.

Artistic image of berries that will grow locally, arranged in a heart shape

Alan Johnstone
local gardener extraordinaire

Andrew Turbill
Andrew The Bird Guy

Camilla Bonnici 
Autarky Farm

Charles Filet
Bellingen Seed Savers

Colin Broadfoot
Boggy Creek Natives

Daisy Dollisson
professional grower

Harry Campbell
Pollinate Permaculture

Ian Epic Earth
The Gourmet Garden School

Jeff Alcott
Bellingen Seed Savers

Jeff Holmes
Bellingen Seed Savers

Joel Orchard
Young Farmers Connect

John Hodgekinson
via Biodynamics Australia

John Ross
Lacebark Native Nursery and
Alternatives Bookshop Bellingen

John Vernon
via the Bellingen Seedsavers blog

Kyles Woodbury
formerly of The Vegie Gardener

Mark Graham
Bellingen Nature Tours

Michele Morozumi
Bellingen Seed Savers

Nick Radford
Bellingen Permaculture

Nicole Cisterne and Matt McGovern
Dolly’s Run

Nidya Bellido
The Patch Organics

Paul Hoschke
Barefoot Fruit & Veg

Pete Bufo
local gardener extraordinaire

Phil Gilmour and Carole Helman
local gardeners extraordinaire

Rasa Dover
Byron Hinterland Seed Savers

Shaun Robinson
Thora Veg

Steve Smith
founder of Northbank Community Garden

Tim Cole
Bellingen Farmers and Producers market

Tim Hill
Bellingen Seed Savers

Tom Macindoe and Kaycee Simuong
The Mandarin Bend

Tony Johnson
hobby avocado farmer Korora

Cath Eaglesham

David Pepper
Bellingen Seed Savers

Gillian Salvestro
Bellingen Seed Savers

Jean Hamey
Carobana Confectionery

Jennie Fenton

Joy Foley

Kathleen Hannah

Ken Lewis
Stringybark Farm

Kevin Turner

Sue Lennox

Mini interviews

These wonderful humans gave their time to answer searching questions on a few select plants, filling in crucial knowledge gaps.

Community callouts

Many people responded to requests for assistance via social media based local gardening groups, and in casual conversations.

These requests were for knowledge and clarifications on particular plants based on personal experience of growing in this area (the key criteria!). 

Adam Jones, Adrian Betts, Alica Cook, Alicia Ballard, Alison Heeley, Alison Pope, Andy Truong, Angelle Hughes, Arne Nelson, Beth Edwards, Bruce Naylor, Carla Allen, Corinne Sanford, Don Cooper, Donnella Bryce, Eric de Jong, Evelyn Wilke, Georgie Moon, Glenda Borsboom, James O’ Brien, Jen Tredinnick, Julie Hutchinson, Julie Morgan, Kathryn Wood, Katie Crane, Kevin Evans, Kris Heather, Lauren Natili, Lesley Green, Linda Bizon, Lori Wilson, Moana N Chuck Ngaira, Nell Heydon, Nicola Fraser, Pat Wheeldon, Paul Mersh, Rachel Gray, Ruth Maitland, Shekhinah Morgan, Susan Doyle, Waveney Ayscough, Yasmin Kellner

Thank you

Your insights often gave weight to suspected localised trends and uncovered key local advice for backyard growers.

I’ve done my best to include everyone who has made a useful contribution to this project. If you have been omitted, would prefer your real name included in place of your screen name or would rather your name be removed, or some other edit to your contribution, don’t sweat it. Just let me know.

Artistic image of a garden of plants


Local hands on knowledge was prioritised.
Researched and generally applicable information for each crop was collected from reputable references. These are detailed at the end of each article.

In general, these were growing guides published by NSW and QLD Departments of Primary Industries, Agrifutures Australia, and the federal Department of Agriculture Australia, published scientific papers and other official sources as relevant. 

Further sources include respected books such as the Seed Savers Handbook. Selected online guides were chosen for inclusion from people with direct growing experience, with different climate conditions taken into account.