Yesterday I travelled back in time and had a go at traditional farm life. I, along with my eldest (22) and youngest (8) visited the historic Rouse Hill House and Farm for their ‘Earn Your Tucker’ program. It was a hands-on day all about learning how food made its way to the table during the times when the Rouses were residing on the farm from the 1800s.

 

   eyt rotunda  eyt rouse hill house farm 

 

Although the day was all about the kids, the adults had a blast too. We helped out with the activities as well as find out facts about the property and the Rouse family from our very knowledgeable guides Karina and James. It was especially thrilling to see the kids having so much fun while learning. My suburban boy who was at first scared of the farm animals ended up getting really involved and had a great time during the invaluable experience.  

We walked around the property making stops along the way for different activities. The first stop was to feed the cows. Next we paced past the large historic home to where the cows were once milked. The kids each had a turn at carrying milk buckets on their shoulders as the Rouses’ farm workers once would have.

 

eyt feeding cows  eyt milkcarter   

 

We were led down a hill to an old picturesque shed to be shown how to churn butter. Everybody helped to mix as we made our way to the next stop at the grain and corn grinding zone. The kids used their muscles to grind the chicken feed using a small traditional mill.

 

eyt butterchurn  eyt grinding grain

 

As we walked towards the chickens, we stopped at a water pump to collect buckets of water for them. Once inside the pen and the chooks were all fed and watered, it was time to collect eggs. I nervously watched as my son carried the full basket of eggs back towards our base.

 

eyt waterpump  eyt chickens  eyt egg collecter

 

We arrived there with all the eggs thankfully still in one piece. We were shown how to tell if the eggs were good to eat as well as how to separate the butter we had been churning from the butter milk.

 

eyt butter tools pat  eyt butter patt 

 

We finished the program on the balcony of the information centre, with tea, coffee, chocolate milk for the kids and fresh damper with jam and butter. It was a relaxing way to finish off the program and talk more to James about the history of the property. We had an excellent time at ‘Earn Your Tucker’. I loved the attitude that James and Karina had towards the kids. We were all told before we started ‘stay behind us, mind the rabbit holes, look out for snakes and don’t touch the electric fences’. It was a common sense approach with confidence placed in the kid’s abilities to listen to them and have a go at each activity on offer. We all learnt a lot about the hard work which was once required to have basic food staples. Each child also took home the egg they had collected. My son had his for breakfast this morning and it was ‘the best egg ever’ he told me.

 

eyt bread

 

 I highly recommend taking part in the ‘Earn Your Tucker’ program with your kids at Rouse Hill House and Farm, or even just visiting the property for a western Sydney history lesson. The next ‘Earn Your Tucker’ program will be held on Saturday 22 March at 11am to 1pm. Tickets are $15. Visit http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/earn-your-tucker for more information and to purchase tickets.