A quality lifestyle retreat or permanent living property at Clonbinane only an hour north of Melbourne is for private sale with an asking price of $1,225,000.
The Kilmore office of Rodwells Ruralco Property has listed the property at 45 Shiralee Road on behalf of a vendor family that purchased it in 2010 but now find that international work responsibilities are restricting their enjoyment and use of it.
But all the establishment work has been done with the opportunity for a new owner to capitalise on the many potentials.
Foremost amongst these is the professionally established, drip irrigated and fruit bearing plantation of 2,000 pomegranate trees.
The pomegranate is a fruit bearing deciduous shrub or small tree originating from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Asia over thousands of years.
The fruits on harvest and splitting deliver juicy gem like red seeds (known as arils and formed as a cluster) that are rich in dietary fibre and micronutrients, plus yield a juice that is keenly sought for its antioxidant qualities.
With numerous uses in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies and even alcoholic drinks in countries in the Middle East plus Greece and Spain the individual fruits can sell for $A5 each or even more as local demand escalates.
The vendor Nir Lang who works as a senior executive for international water products company AMIAD says that five years ago he detected growing consumer interest in the health benefits afforded by the pomegranate for its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and other vital nutritional values.
On assessment of the sites available on the 21.15 hectare (52.25acre) property he decided to establish a pomegranate plantation.
‘I sought the best available technical advice from a major commercial grower based in the Goulburn Valley after determining that my Clonbinane property had good soils, good exposure for sunlight and pollination resources and I also obtained the recommended cultivar a US variety that has shown to be ideally suited to the site environment.
“After five years in the ground the pomegranate bushes which are slow to mature are expected to come into full fruit bearing over the next two years.
“Despite not having many to sell we have met strong demand from customers who sought us out via the internet or from knowing that we had trees coming into bearing.
“We thought of going to local farmers markets, but we soon sold out achieving up to $5 per individual fruit” vendor Nir Lang says.
Planted in rows that are five metres apart with a bush every three metres the bushes are simple to maintain.
With the planting divided as four blocks water and fertiliser, if needed, can be applied through the dripper lines with sufficient water that is sourced from a fully equipped bore.
The pomegranate bush grows as a small shrub up to two metres in height, but they sprout prolifically and need pruning to create the preferred bush shape while the annual harvest from about March to May needs to be done by hand.
The bush lines are kept weed free, with the inter row grass mowed by a small tractor and slasher.
The Clonbinane property has established olive trees, mostly in full bearing, plus another small multi variety vineyard of roughly an acre whose grapes are made into wine on the property.
The previous owner held a cellar door and winery licence and sold the wines under his own label; this could be an option for the purchaser to explore.
There is also an established orchard and vegetable garden, even an original enclosed chicken run.
The previous owner of the property had an Italian background and successfully created a self-sufficiency lifestyle on the property.
There is an established modern three bedroom two bathroom brick homestead over two levels that provides ideal permanent or weekend living.
The lower floor affords winemaking, cellar and workshop space plus a self-contained one bedroom unit.
The vendors say that the elevated veranda running the full length of the rear of the home affords great relaxation and a place to view the landscape through the seasonal variations.
The property is dissected by the seasonal Sheepwash Creek and beyond that is a grassed oval that has proven ideal for family or community gatherings.
About an hour from the city it is three minutes distant from the Clonbinane exit ramp on the Hume Freeway.
The property is securely fenced with an unused hill block with a couple of dams that could suit livestock or horses and it provides extensive views over the rolling local hillsides and farms.
Rodwells Ruralco Property selling agent Jeanette Laffan says that the property is at the beginning of its commercial endowment.
“The vendors say that the travel and demands of business are limiting their enjoyment so they are reluctantly offering it for sale.
“Their forecasts of the revenue potential of the fruiting pomegranates as they reach full bearing are impressive plus there is much potential from the olives or vines so I believe this property will suit a buyer who wants a hands on role in the production, or alternatively it could be run as a weekender with some casual help during the week for the peak seasonal tasks.
“The vendors have had quite significant success offering the property for Airbnb accommodation so that is another potential income stream for follow up.
“They have indicated they will negotiate a walk-in walk- out sale inclusive of the farm machinery and wine and olive equipment.