We bought a citrus orchard. Are we crazy? Yes! Did we know anything at all about farming? Nope!
Imagine you are living the city life in London, your job is not a normal 9-5pm, it spans to the late hours of the evening most nights. I’d managed to escape the hustle and bustle for a while as we had just had our first child, Thomas but my hubby was an accountant by trade in a small hedge fund and would often work until 10/11pm at night.
We realised that with children comes extra responsibility, not only towards caring for another human, but towards showing them what experiences are out there, that it isn’t scary to chase your dreams and dreams can become a reality, but it take guts!
Fast forward nearly 7 years.
We took the plunge and moved from the UK to Perth, WA and my husband left the world of accounting as soon as he could. After a stint working for the RAC as an accountant in the tourism sector he started his own company, Explore Tours Perth. He loved what he saw whilst working at the RAC and tourism had always been a huge interest of his with his love for travel so it felt like natural progression.
It was hard graft, he worked Mon-Fri at the RAC and then Sat-Sun at Explore Tours and I had just had our second son, Jakey. Then he left the RAC and dedicated his time and energy into growing Explore Tours into a successful business with wonderful experiences for Tourists. Ironic really, we were still tourists ourselves in WA, yet my husband managed to run the tours and chat about WA as if he had lived their all of his life. We both appreciated the beauty of the country and I think that passion filtered through into his work on every tour he took.
We knew it would be tough starting a business but throw two toddlers in the mix, one of which we didn’t know had ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and it becomes a whole new challenge. He worked hard to build up a team at Explore Tours to help him run the business and he valued his employees enormously.
My husband had visited Golden Grove Orchard on his tours since 2017 and he became increasingly fond of the place. He took me to see the Orchard once and I thought it was nice but didn’t like the strong wafts of chicken poo at the entrance of the farm. I certainly wasn’t a born country girl. I felt like a proper “Townie” visiting the country and didn’t know how I would cope with the snakes and spiders. With so many deadly species in WA the country put me on edge. 2 ½ years later Adam approached me with an idea.
“Hun, you know that Citrus Farm I visit on tours? It’s for sale!”
“That’s nice,” I thought. Not picking up on the excitement in his voice.
“What about if we bought it?” he said, almost cringing as he waited for my response.
Now, I can’t remember what I was doing at the time. I remember thinking “oooohhhh land, we would actually have the farm dream, ooohhh I could have a horse! Yet thinking “this is totally crazy” all at the same time. I think I just sat there in silence while he suggested I hear him out. We had always dreamed of running a vineyard one day (I do love my wine) or a small farm but it wasn’t what we had moved to Australia for. I loved the beach!
The following week we were up at the Orchard as a family. We looked around at the land, the potential, the blue house on the hill, the quaint café and the stunning views and my heart just exploded.
As I sat on the balcony of the little blue house looking at the amazing tree lined view of beautiful citrus, it was like this secret haven and we had been given the pleasure of discovering it. It had serenity to it and charm that made you feel relaxed and content instantly. This little blue house needed a complete renovation, yet I saw it all as it should be in the blink of an eye. I loved the farm, I loved the smell of the citrus but it was the blue house that completed my soul.
The previous owners had worked amazingly hard bringing in tourism and maintaining the orchard but they were looking to retire and wanted fresh eyes on the place. I think they saw the spark in our eyes and we agreed to sign the papers.
Yes, we had bought an Orchard. I’m well known for not being able to keep a houseplant alive and my hubby was not exactly a “hands on” kind of guy. But people can change right? We had to change, and sometimes, change is a good thing.