Dave Murphy lives in a refurbished homestead with 90ha of productive farmland. Murph, as he is known, looks at home at Murray Park among his 20ha avocado orchard and 50-odd beef cattle.
Murray Park is east of Barooga in southern NSW, the site of the original Brentnall family citrus orchard that provided oranges for the Brentwood fruit juice factory between the 1960s and late 1990s. The factory was established during a decline in demand for fresh fruit, giving local fruit producers an alternative market for their produce.
Since 2012, the farm has been Murph’s retirement project and has undergone a major overhaul clearing away the established orange trees. After some research, Murph decided to plant 7900 Hass avocado trees in 2018.
This spring, the orchard is reaping its first harvest; Murph considers this a “learning year”. He has secured labor to harvest the crop and has established connections to assist in the wholesale marketing of his produce.