Villages of the Heart

Wheat heart shaped logoVillages of the Heart is a major project currently being developed by Orange City Council, in conjunction with Blayney and Cabonne Councils with funding from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

Villages of the Heart aims to capture stories from the past to the present through the themes of; village secrets, village produce; village places and village gold.

Stage 1 of VOH in 2013 developed a contextual history of the villages, together with around 30 oral histories.

Stage 2 in 2014-16 built on this work through a Regional Partnership Grant between Orange Regional Museum and Sydney Living Museums (SLM), with funding support from Arts NSW.  The work with SLM focussed on a key theme in the Villages research – From Paddock to Plate, about the produce, food and culinary history of region and its villages and people. This included building skills in the community museums in developing public programs abound their distinctive food stories.  Among the public programs delivered in the last two years, Carcoar Hospital Museum held a ‘Farewell Dr Rowland Dinner’ framed around an 1867 dinner to farewell its local doctor, with food inspired by the original menu.   Molong Museum celebrated the Packham pear with legendary CWA cook and MasterChef star Merle Parrish, cooking a pear and spice cake with the Packham pear, ORM hosted a masterclass with SLM’s gastronomer Jacqui Newling on food programming in museums and organised a community picnic in Lucknow village inspired by a community picnic held in the 1880s .

It is expected this work will help to inform and shape the Paddock to Plate exhibition and its public programs, supported by research for the thematic history