Coffs Harbour gardening aficionado, Maria Bell talks honey, stewarding and The Spring Garden Show

Maria Bell from Coffs Harbour, stewarding at The National Honey Show, at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show.


MARIA Bell, Coffs Harbour Garden Club (CHGC) Treasurer, and honoured recipient of the Club’s Ann Williams Clark recognition award (2017), is deeply experienced in all things in the gardening world.

Ann travels to gardening-related events, stewarding and volunteering, both in the Coffs region and further afield.

At this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show Maria stewarded at The National Honey Show, a category she added to her stewarding repertoire eleven years ago.

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Speaking to News Of The Area from the Show, Maria said, “This year there were more than 400 individual entries in beeswax, candles, decorative candles, wax moulds, pollen, liquid honey, native liquid honey, creamed and natural granulation honey, comb honey, chunk honey and mead.

“My role for The National Honey Show is that of a worker bee – by assisting the judges during judging and then post-judging, the honey stewarding team really get into their stride by staging the exhibits in cabinets so they are shown to their best advantage.”

Maria has been volunteering for the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) at The Sydney Royal Easter Show for 17 years when her husband Geoff was elected on the Governing Council of the RAS.

“I have helped steward mainly in the Flower and Garden area and a little bit for the District Exhibits competitions (onions, potatoes and stone fruits).

“The District Exhibits are not just about the effective display and general presentation of the displays but also include 82 individual competitions within dairy produce, wines, preserved fruits, jams, jellies, preserved vegetables, pickles and sauces, cucurbits, grain, stock fodders, commercial fibres and tropical products, pasture grasses, legumes and other herbage species, and lastly wool.”

Bringing all this experience home to the Coffs region, in May Maria will start the preparation for the CHGC Spring Garden Competition.

Held in September for the 32nd consecutive year it is a big deal for the club.

“We feel it is so very important to promote interest in gardening and pride in beautifying our community.”



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