Elizabeth Farm was built by John and Elizabeth Macarthur in 1793. They quickly established a productive farm with an abundance of fresh produce, grains and livestock. At Spring Harvest Festival, we invite you to step inside and discover the interiors of Australia’s oldest surviving homestead. See how the Macarthurs’ dining table would have been set for a formal meal. Explore the kitchen with its wood-fired stove, see what’s growing in the kitchen garden and then discover the food and stories of the colonial dining table as you browse, sample, sip and shop from a handpicked selection of products from Sydney’s finest artisan producers.
Enjoy a variety of food demonstrations, hands-on workshops and talks, and meet the producers to discover the story behind your food. Pack a picnic rug and enjoy a delicious spread from our premium food vendors or a delicious homemade Devonshire tea at the Elizabeth Farm tearooms.
Spring Harvest Festival is one of many programs and events presented by Sydney Living Museums that explore the food heritage of our properties, including the annual Autumn Harvest Festival at Rouse Hill House & Farm, Christmas Fare at Hyde Park Barracks Museum and our Colonial Gastronomy workshops.
Kids (and grown-ups!) can learn how to make your very own homemade butter - have a turn on an old butter churn before rolling up your sleeves trying your hand at making your own butter with a simple and fun technique you can use at home too.
Crop Swap and soil testing
For the first time ever Crop Swap Sydney will be joining us, so bring your excess produce, seeds or gardening goods to swap! Not sure what to bring? Check out their past events for inspiration.
You can visit the Crop Swap stall throughout the day for advice on growing your own edibles or to rifle through their seed library. They will also be collecting soil samples for free testing conducted by Vegesafe. Bring a sample of your soil to ensure that it is free from metal contaminants and safe to grow your produce in. Find out what you need to bring to have your soil tested.
Kitchen garden workshop
Join our experienced SLM Horticulturalists to hear about their recent Spring planting in the kitchen garden at Elizabeth Farm. Learn how to build a simple no-dig garden, construct a bean frame, or enjoy the opportunity to plant your very own heirloom vegetable seed to grow at home.
Curry, spice and all things nice
Curries were de riguer on elite tables in the early 1800s and household accounts reveal that the Macarthur family were part of this trend. Discover the family’s connections to the trade routes of China and India, the spices that would have been available in the early colony and the dishes which would have been served at Elizabeth Farm incorporating these exotic ingredients.
The elegant art of tea
Learn about the art and history of preparing and serving tea as we explore the significance of this valuable commodity to the Macarthurs and the early colony. Explore the different tea varieties that would have been available and how they would have been blended and brewed as part of the daily rituals of an early 19th century home.
Fermenting with Cornersmith
Oak Tree Courtyard
Join Jaimee Edwards from Cornersmith as she teaches creative ways to preserve your seasonal produce through traditional methods of fermentation. Learn how to prepare and look after these ferments and then how to use them in a range of delicious ways.
At the Macarthur’s table
Join us in the Dining Room to see how the Macarthurs’ dining table would have been set for a formal occasion.