A food filled weekend

Spring Harvest at Elizabeth Farm. (c) Sydney Living Museums

What a feast we have in store this weekend! The Food & Words Writers’ Festival returns to the Sydney Mint on Saturday 16 September, and on Sunday Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta present our Spring Harvest Festival. Take your pick – or join us for both!

Food & Words Writers’ Festival 2017 © Food & Words

Imagine, a day filled with storytelling, intriguing discussions and delectable food. Oh, and lots of laughs!

Saturday: Food & Words

Since it began in 2012, Food & Words has featured some of Australia’s best food writing talent. They may be academics, specialists, chefs, lawyers, poets, scientists, recipe writers or raconteurs, but they write interestingly about food. At the very least, they’re entertaining.  Speakers and bespoke caterers are hand picked by the acclaimed Barbara Sweeney, who is actively involved in many aspects of Australia’s food culture, from farmers to producers and providores to restaurants.

This year’s program includes ‘Food in Fiction’,  ‘The notion of ‘good”, ‘Indigenous foods in the marketplace’, and ‘Paths to Publishing’. The full program can be found here. A picnic lunch is always a highlight of the day, and provided this year with support from Fresh Catering, Cornersmith, and Cook’s Co-op Hawkesbury produce, and with Tea by Ovvio Organics and coffee by The Little Marionette.

On Sunday it’s the Spring Harvest Festival!

Spring Harvest at Elizabeth Farm. (c) Sydney Living Museums

There’s something for everyone at this year’s Spring Harvest Festival at Elizabeth Farm! Picnic on Broomfield’s pies, Baxter & Bird ploughman’s plates and freshly baked scones from the Elizabeth Farm Tearooms, or create your own grazing platter from an array of delectable produce from local artisans and providores. Delight at the scents of exotic spices and fragrant teas that were used in colonial times, and let the kids try their hands at making butter, grind some wheat, pound some spices, and plant up a seed to tend at home and watch grow.

Chatting all things foodie at the Spring Harvest festival at Elizabeth Farm. Photo (c) James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Fresh from Food & Words, Barbara Sweeney will be hosting talks on the lawn with The Cook & the Curator, Angie Sceats from Slow Food Sydney and Emma Bowen from Pocket City Farms. Our very own heritage horticulturalists – and fellow SLM bloggers from Plant Your History – will share some of their trade secrets on kitchen gardening. Growing your own backyard kitchen garden?  You can bring your own soil samples to be tested, free of charge, by VegeSafe. Click here for details on what to do first. For those with an abundance of their own homegrown produce, bring it along to Crop Swap and trade it for another gardener’s bounty – plants, seeds or herbs!

All you need to know, from food demonstrations and activities, through to pubic transport options is available here.

A special tribute to John Macarthur

This September marks the 250th birthday of John Macarthur. We don’t know his actual birth-date, but he was baptised, in Cornwall, on 3 September 1767, so it must have been close to that date. He was of Scottish descent, one of many expatriate Scots who would make NSW their home, determined to reinvent themselves and, certainly in Macarthur’s case, create a new dynasty.

As readers of this blog will know, the enormous archive associated with the Macarthur family has provided us with no end of food references – from curries to mutton, new tableware to dining room renovations, what tea was being drunk to what the servants were wearing. This year’s Spring Harvest has a special emphasis on John Macarthur and the Macarthurs’ food legacy. There’ll even be a birthday cake (though we’ll give the 250 candles a miss – we don’t want a bonfire!).

Come and say hi this weekend!