The love of the olive tree for their symbolism of peace and endurance became the catalyst for the beginning of Bridgeward Grove. Peter and Julie Howard were keen to uphold the offer of the olive branch as essential to their new enterprise and in so doing produce the well known nutritious qualities of the olive fruit.
As a five generational prime lamb and cereal growing farm this new enterprise needed to stand up to the on going drought prone country.
First move was to plant a variety of trees to see how they would survive. It was successful. Consequently in 1999 fifty Kalamata and twenty Barnea trees were planted with an irrigation system.
Peter and Julie heeded the recommendations of a feasibility study completed in the 1990s with the shires of Bendigo, Gannawarra and Loddon. This study compared the growing conditions of olive trees in Central Victoria with Toledo in Spain.
In 2011 we grew out of our current kitchen with the mounds of olives and so the outlet and conservatory were built where the garage and old carport stood. A sterilizing oven was installed with sinks and heaps of bench space for the harvests and the processing of olives.
We now have perfected our olive pickling, oils, olive products and various preserves, a range that we sell at markets, our local information centres and at our farm gate outlet here in Goornong.
Bridgeward Grove is a story of rural Australia, a long standing farming family
combined with a long standing theatrical and arts family and what this truly
means. Bridgeward Grove is a destination, which has been created by its custodians Peter and Julie Howard, who have lived on the property for the past 35 years.
During that time they have made their livelihood from its bounty, raised a family and developed the property into the oasis of produce and creative activity that it is today, and they want to share it with the rest of the world.
At Bridgeward Grove our vision is to be a destination where local, inter-state and international visitors, tourists, families and passers discover an authentic unique experience in the here and now removed from the impacts and contrasts of town or city life.
Bridgeward Grove offers –
- The opportunity to learn the Indigenous history as discovered by the Howard Family.
- The opportunity to interact with local Aboriginal people.
- The opportunity to appreciate works of arts not normally displayed in a remote country setting
- A place to hear real Australian story by those who have lived it.
- A place to hold forums, to tell story, express opinions and creative ideas.
- A place to hold small private functions and/or specialist events.
- A place to try and buy olives, olive products and preserves