Custard apples and cherimoyas

Photograph of a custard apple with other fruits in a market display

A custard apple among the avocados at the Marrickville Organic Food and Farmers Market, August 2015. Photo © Helen Curran

One of the things that’s surprised me most about colonial gardens is just how exotic they were. I like to think of myself as relatively broad-palated, but when I stumbled across a list of fruits available in NSW in 1824 my jaw dropped. Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and plums. So far so expected. But the Chilean cherimolia and alligator pear – what on earth were those?

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Then and now – the dining room at Elizabeth Farm

Elizabeth Farm 'then and now'. A combination of a view from 1926, by E.G. Shaw, and one taken in 2015 by Scott Hill.

The dining rooms that visitors experience at our properties are very different: some are relatively intact, some are complete recreations, while some are evocative interpretations.  Today I’m looking at the dining room at Elizabeth Farm, and how it was known by the Macarthurs, by the 20th century Swann family, and how we experience it today.  Continue reading