Age proves no barrier as brothers Jack and Joe turn Condobolin farm’s orchard into orange juice venture

When Jack and Joe’s parents bought a property that happened to have 700 neglected orange trees on it, they saw an opportunity.

The family moved to the run-down orchard farm near Condobolin in central New South Wales 14 months ago, seeking a bigger block to live on.

The brothers’ mother and father, Elaine and Ben Fitzgerald, are a nurse and local baker with no experience in agriculture. They had no plans to restore the trees until 12-year-old Jack spoke up.

“We were driving back home from Parkes; I saw heaps of oranges on the ground, and I was like, ‘We could make orange juice out of that,'” he said.

Years of drought saw the trees left to wither. But after months of hard work nine-year-old Joe says the farm is back up and running.

“I prune some trees with Dad to help the orange trees grow and make nice big oranges,” he said.

The boys pick about 50 oranges a day before they use a blending machine to juice the fruit in the farm’s shed.

The juice is then poured by hand into bottles that the boys designed and sourced themselves.

The brothers’ orange juice, aptly named Jack and Joe’s, has become a feature of the local cafes and restaurants in Condobolin.

“It has been good and it is nice to hear people say that we have done a good job with the orange juice,” Joe said.

Supporting the local community
The brothers put all of the money made from selling the orange juice towards supporting their local sporting clubs.

“With the bits of money I get I sponsor my cricket and footy club; we love to sponsor them,” Joe said.

“If we don’t sponsor them they might not be here anymore.”

Mr Fitzgerald says the boys are playing a role in bringing visitors to the region, by giving them an option to buy local juice.

“It’s just another thing for a small country town; all of those little bits and pieces just add up for making a good experience for people that come and visit.

“Our country regions have a lot to offer, but it is only as much as what our local residents are willing to input.”

Jack says they now have big plans for expanding their orange juice.

“I will probably like to let it go to the city and small country towns like Condo, Forbes and Parkes so people can taste it,” he said.