Furners bring farming dream to fruition

THE farming journey for the Furner family started six years ago when Fred and Kristina decided to pull up stumps from suburban Sydney and lay down new roots in the regional city of Wagga Wagga.

Kristina put her years of experience as a teacher into a childcare business, which has now expanded to three centres in the region, and six months ago, Fred, who has always had an interest in wine production, snapped up a share of a four-hectare property to create their own sustainable grape farm.

“I have always had a passion for wine and an interest in sustainable farming,” Fred said.

“We have installed 60 vineyard posts and have 200 Shiraz grapes ordered to plant this year in August or September. This will be an important first step for our farm.

“Shiraz is what I drink so I figured that’s what we should grow.”

One of the biggest jobs was dealing with the state of the block, with vegetation overgrown and fencing in need of major work.

Extra horsepower was at hand, though, with the local John Deere dealership, Hutcheon & Pearce Wagga Wagga, supplying a 4044R Compact Utility Tractor to help the Furners get the job done safely and efficiently.

“The property was so overgrown with weeds we had to slash it many times,” he said.

“The loader bucket on the tractor was a fantastic help in pulling down the old fences and the post-hole digger was great for building the new fences.

Furners bring farming dream to fruition
“We have great outdoor living here and have a lot more spare and time to enjoy with our friends and family.”

“We couldn’t have done it without the tractor, and it saved us the costs of needing to pay a fencing contractor. We have only owned this block for six months and people keep saying they can’t believe how much work we have done.”

Now the fencing is up, about 10 head of sheep will soon arrive, taking over the job of maintaining the grass, and fertilisation, meaning their farm dream will be a reality.

Looking back, Fred said the entire move had been surprisingly smooth and they certainly did not miss the hours spent in Sydney’s notorious traffic.

“We have great outdoor living here and have a lot more spare and time to enjoy with our friends and family.

“We have two grandkids, and they love coming out here and being on the farm.”

In Sydney the Furners used a push mower to maintain their back yard, which Fred said at most would take about five minutes. Today they rely on John Deere ZTrak™ Zero-Turn mowers.

“We have bought one for each childcare centre,” Fred said.

“We have found them very easy and comfortable to use and we have had no problems.”

While the move to the country has come with a hefty workload, Fred said they were immensely proud to see the farm evolve.

“I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like, and now my family is seeing that come to life,” he said.

“Eventually, we would love to bring the kids from the childcare centres out here so they can enjoy the extra space and animals and learn a little about farming.”