Since 1993 Graham Barrow has owned the 7 hectare grove of 840 Verdale olive trees in Vinifera, 25km north of Swan Hill. The trees were planted in the late 1950s. Subsequently some additional varieties of olive trees have been planted for table olives and some lemon, mandarin and Tahitian lime trees for fruit to use when pressing agrumato oils.
Barrow Olives is an active profitable business, and sales are through farmers markets (5 in Melbourne and 1 each in Swan Hill and Cohuna), in cafes, restaurants, provedores and through the online shop.
The permanent irrigation water entitlement of 23 megalitres has been more than adequate to maintain the olive grove in productive condition and in many years is excess to requirements generating some income from the sale of temporary water.
The olive grove has drip line irrigation and neither pesticides nor chemical fertilisers are used. Last year 7km of the drip line system was replaced with new buried drip line but the remaining portion is still above ground.
To ensure a premium quality olive oil, a new olive oil processing shed was constructed some years ago using cool room panels under an existing barn roof. This enables the pressing to be conducted always at the correct temperature no matter the outside conditions. During harvest time from late April to late June the conditions can vary from quite hot to quite cold. The FIMO olive oil processing equipment can handle 130 kilos of olives per hour and was purchased brand new from Italy in 2003. A diesel generator is used to power the crushing/pressing equipment.
Not long after purchasing the olive grove, Graham purchased the adjacent block of 9 hectares with house and services. The paddocks have been used by a neighbour for sheep grazing and hay production. Retiring from his career as an environmental engineer 4 years ago, Graham has has returned to live on the grove and has completely renovated the entire 2 bedroom cottage including adding a new certified septic tank, electrics and plumbing. A new 3-bay steel shed was also constructed.
Graham still enjoys nurturing the grove, producing premium quality olive oil, curing table olives and going to farmers markets. But now he and his partner Monica are planning an active retirement on a smaller property in the Ovens Valley some 400km from Vinifera and the amount of travel is not sustainable into the future.
The two blocks are on separate titles. Although Graham would to prefer to sell both blocks together as an established 7 hectare olive grove and business with a home on 9 hectares of arable land with access to irrigation, he will also consider offers just for the olive grove or just the house block.
House block – $175,000
Olive Grove with plant and equipment – $140,000
If you have any queries please contact Graham:
Tel: 0407 346 707
The plant and equipment that can be included in the sale of the olive grove are:
- Olive oil processor (130 kilos of olives per hour)
- Diesel generator
- Processing shed
- Two electric harvesting rakes
- Stainless steel olive oil vats
- Pallet trailer
- Air compressor
- Ride on mower
- 100 litre water tank
- Irrigation system