Horses, tea trees; now it’s time for blueberries
AFTER being a horse stud, tea tree plantation and vacant block for nine years, the Kentucky property on 7192 Pacific Highway will now grow blueberries.
The Rana family bought the 113ha property near Glenugie for $1.1 million in August.
The farm is a family affair with Amrik, his wife, two sons, and their wives, working on the farm.
"It has been so far so good," son Raj said.
"There is a fair bit of work involved like getting the soil right after the use of the land has been changed so many times."
Raj said it would take a year before the first blueberries would be put in punnets.
"We have just laid down weed mats and drip lines and we're focusing on our irrigation set-up," he said.
"The property also came with an irrigation licence."
The water licence is for 135 megalitres.
The property has two three-bedroom homes and a single-bedroom worker's cottage.
There are two machinery sheds, cattle yards and a loading ramp.
There is 5888sq m hydroponic greenhouse with tanks and watering systems.
The Rana family is part of the Oz Group Co-op for blueberry farmers.
"We've got 43 growers in Oz Group, I'm number 43," said Raj.
The Rana family has two blueberry farms in Bonville and has been farming blueberries for seven years.
Farming is a tradition with father Amrik being a rice, wheat and sugar farmer in India before he moved to Australia in 1980.
"We've been into farming since day dot and blueberries are a fast-growing industry and a good crop to grow," he said.
"We kept the fact that blueberries need a lot of water in mind when we bought the property.
"They only need water on hot days."