The South West Rail and Heritage Centre (SWRHC), situated in Turner Street in Boyanup is holding a 'From Farm to Fork' Open Day, acknowledging local primary industries on Sunday, February 24 from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
For many decades the South West of Western Australia has provided the people of this state with a wide variety of food. Moreover, the South West Rail and Heritage Centre is proud to have in its collection, many of the machines and equipment that helped our farmers and orchardists produce that food. SWRHC will have large display panels that trace the journey of primary industries. Among other produce, you can track apples from seed to cider, and grapes from vine to vintner.
Elwyn, one of South West Rail and Heritage Centre's dedicated volunteers, demonstrates dairy machinery.
The Open Day will feature pertinent machinery, inform visitors of the journey from 'the farm to your fork' and honour those pioneers, who established the primary industries so important to our State's development. Fruit (apples), wine, dairy, hay and timber, among other primary industries lead the way.
Boyanup was once a major dairy centre, and Elwyn, one of the volunteers, is restoring much of the equipment that was used in a traditional dairy, to show visitors how dairies worked in days gone by.
An early fruit packing machine, ensured fruit arrived fresh and undamaged.
Water before wine
Volunteers Don and Allan with the Tangye. This machine was used to drive a water pump for the irrigation of the vines on Bbidecud.
One of the earliest established wineries in the South West was in Boyanup. Bbidecud, (which was the surname of the owner, John Duce and his wife's maiden name Dibbs, joined and spelt backwards), a very successful enterprise, exported wine throughout the state and overseas, with several wine saloons opening in the South West.
Work before toast
A 'grister' used to grind wheat (or any grain) into flour.
A special 'Granny's Kitchen' will enable visiting children (and adults) to try their hand at making some food the old-fashioned way. Explore some of the old-fashioned kitchen utensils that grandma used, and make some butter. Armed with this new knowledge, a trip to the supermarket should be a great adventure. You may never look at bottled milk, packaged flour or wrapped butter in the same way again. Moreover, develop an appreciation of the effort our forebears experienced to put food on the fork.
Sharing the passion
The SWRHC resident groups, Boyanup Foundation Blacksmiths, Capel Men's Shed, Preston River Old Machinery Group, Rail Heritage WA and South West Model Railway Group will all be in action. These groups, made up of volunteers, are passionate about their cause and love to share their knowledge, free of charge.
The Picnic Van and Sausage Sizzle
Light refreshments will be available from the 'Picnic Van', a converted guard's van. Toasted sandwiches, cakes, ice creams, cold drinks, tea and coffee will be on show, plus the sausages will be a-sizzling.
Activities for the kids (and parents)
The children will love a ride on the 'parent powered' merry-go-round, made from recycled materials, and other activities.
Pit stop and parking
Toilet facilities are available, including a toilet suitable for people with a disability. There is plenty of parking, just follow the signs to find your convenient parking spot.
How do I get there?
The South West Rail and Heritage Centre is located in Turner Street, Boyanup, an accessible day trip from Perth, and well worth the experience, is open from 10:00am to 2:00pm. For more information, please contact Norm Chapple on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0459 712 552. You may also find this website and their Facebook page helpful, and entry is by donation.
Photos are from the SWRHC collection unless otherwise noted. Breakfast sausage, omelette, tomato and bacon image courtesy of num skyman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Artwork by John F.