From chops and damper to lettuce and apples
“Chops and damper, damper and chops with tea for breakfast, dinner and supper which forms all our variety for the table.” Thus Henry Wilsone describes the squatters’ diet to his relatives in England in 1838. Through various land reform acts in the 1860s the government tried to promote smaller landholdings with more intensive land use such as the growing of wheat and potatoes. The squatters saw their holdings reduced and disparagingly called the small landholders scratching a living ‘cockatoos’, a term in use today when referring to farmers as ‘Cockies’.
- Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society
- Osborne, B., ‘The Bacchus Story, 1973,’ reproduced 2022, Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society. Available from the Society.
- Thomson, R.B., Sir Walter Scott in the Western District, 1836-1851. PhD thesis Deakin University 2013.
- The recollections of Gabriel Dellios October 2023