The property has been christened Fruitopia, and is located just on the outskirts of a town called Mareeba, up on the "Tablelands" of Tropical Far North Queensland.. (North Eastern Australia)..
Clinton had a vision of himself walking along rows of fruit trees, and eating/living off their multivarieted fruit offerings, and fruitopia is the child of that vision.
I'm unsure how many acres, this land covers.. possibly 100(?), and one side of it is bordered by an all year around flowing creek, which is, I believe, called Granite Creek, but again, that's not a statement originating from certainty..
Probably over half of the land, is already taken over by fruit trees (and the relentless weeds that grow around and between them!).. they are laid out in a pretty conventional line after line style, with a certain degree of intermingling of species, but mostly similar tree types all in a row.. All up, I am told there are over 2000 fruit trees out in the orchard, many of which I do not recognise.. Perhaps I would, if they were fruiting, but without the fruit on them, I lack the experience to do so..
I am uncertain how many different types of fruit are out there.. but for sure, a good deal more than most other farms would have, with fruiting Akee, peanut butter fruit, white sapote, ice-cream beans, ceylone olive (not an olive at all - tastes more like stewed apple with a hint of liquorice!), pawpaws, mangoes, passion fruit, jackfruit, guavas of various sorts, bananas and more.. and that's just whats currently on.. there're also black sapote, mame sapote, various types of exotic cherries, avocados, pineapples, i'm told there's a durian out there somewhere although the climate isn't quite ideal for them here, ankola (a sort of pink fleshed avocado), canistel, carambola, wax jambu, heaps of lychee trees, and I guess that's just the tip of the ice-berg..
"Tropical Fruit World" down in NSW, close to the Queensland border, claim to have the largest selection of tropical fruit in the world.. A bold statement, that may well be the truth.. Clinton boldly claims that he will eventually have even more than the they do, but unless he can attract more people here, I personally doubt that that will be the case.. Still, I've got to give the guy credit, he has managed to do most of what's been done here in the space of the last 6 years, when he first bought the property together with a guy named Eddie, who's an old friend of mine, pretty much the only fruit trees on the land were a few rows of lychees, and 3 giant mango trees near the main old house.. and everything else has been planted since that time.. So I'd love for him to prove me wrong..
I gather the previous owners were tobacco growers, or at least that's what the history of this land is.. Basically year in and year out of the same monocrops, which over the decades would have surely depleted the soil, making it really not suitable to grow anything, so they've chosen to bring in tonnes of fertilizers of various sorts..
The farm is certified organic.. organic it may be, but the stuff they spread everywhere under the trees is animal based waste products.. Quite recently a couple of tonnes of some kind of chicken shit blood and bone pellet mix was smeared everywhere (stuff stank pretty badly), followed by the spraying of some equally offensive smelling fine mist made from some kind of rotten fish paste..
But I guess this is the current nature of the world we live in, and whether or not things are organic, spray free, or chemically enhanced, or not, I'm sure one could always spot reasons why something wasn't ideal.. In fact, it's difficult to not question the environmental ethics of every item of food out there, whether it be the frozen chunk of factory animal flesh, or the ripe and ready organic mango.. Sadly, both will likely be tainted..(although obviously one far more than the other!)
That's why I'm personally into the whole vegan organic permaculture type food growing thing, better and more briefly known as "vegeculture".. I see the ideal situation for the world, is that we each have our own small parcel of land that we care take, and grow our food on, in such a way that biodiversity is encouraged.. no line after line of monocrops.. especially not annuals.. and ultimately not really even any need for irrigation.. I'm convinced that such small manageable chunks of land, could easily be maintained with minimal effort.. managing weed growth ultimately through thick layers of nutritionally life giving mulch for the trees, with the added bonus functionality of preventing the soil from drying out, and weeds growing back, thus reducing the need to water profusely as is often the sad case..
But that's for the future me I guess.. I give myself permission to dream on while waiting, sometimes impatiently, for our envisioned home to manifest itself.. Meanwhile, I am stuck with this earthly body that unfortunately still requires food and faced with the choices I have, there is always compromises..
Of the fruit available around this area, I'm sure Fruiotopia is likely to have the history I would feel most comfortable in supporting.. (perhaps it is a sort of blessing that I don't know too much of the history of more conventionally reared and commercially available crops)..
Anyhow.. Fruitopia.. yes.. it's where we landed on arrival, and we are still here.. Although desperately desiring our own private and affordable place to live..
For others that like the sound of this place, - home of the recent 801010 raw gathering, then I reckon it'd be a great place for many to visit and ultimately possible live.. The back of the farm is basically still wild grass and ultimately available to live on.. I believe Clinton may have long term plans to subsection the rear wilderness, and get some people to live out there.. (it borders the creek there!)..