How to peel an apple the easy way

 
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An apple peeled by machine
An apple peeled by machine

You can take your family on an exciting and interesting picnic into the country to The Oaks. During a tour of the Wollondilly Heritage Centre staff will demonstrate a fascinating automatic apple peeler where the apple even seems to taste better.

George Caley, botanist , was employed by Sir Joseph Banks to collect specimens of nature in New South Wales from 1802. He penned the name, ‘The Oaks’, for the forest of She-Oaks or Casuarinas that grow naturally on the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

The township is the focus of a farming community that commenced early in the 1800s. It is located 76 kilometres south-west of Sydney on part of the traditional land of the Tharawal Aborigines, whose territory stretched from Botany Bay to Jervis Bay and the Burragorang Valley in the ranges.

When Governor John Hunter accompanied by George Bass explored south of the colony in 1795, he sighted a herd of cows which had escaped from the Sydney settlement in 1788 and gave the name ‘Cow Pasture Plains’ to the region.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie surveyed this area on a number of occasions and made many land grants. John Henry Wild, a former Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 48th Regiment, received the first land which he named ‘Vanderville’, where the village of ‘The Oaks’ now stands. Cattle, sheep and pigs grazed the property and wheat and tobacco were grown with the help of convict labour.

You and your family will treasure fond memories of the picnic held at ‘The Oaks’.

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.