To the passerby it may look a bit like a new drive-in cinema, but in actual fact there is a new wholesale tree farm business at Allansford.
A boilermaker by trade, David Winters has put his skills to good use in designing a watering system to water and grow potted mature trees ready for sale.
"A lot of people use pine posts and because I'm a boilermaker I use steel," he said.
Mr Winters said a lot of people had commented that it looked like a drive-in cinema.
He said he had invested $1.2 million to set up the business - South West Advanced Trees - at the Allansford property he had purchased.
With the cost of living starting to impact and the trend towards growing your own food, Mr Winters is confident he has made the right move.
"Some people say I'm mad, why would you do it but you've got to do something don't you," he said.
"To build this whole tree farm's cost me $1.2 million.
"With the eco-footprint and the way the world's going you could probably say it's a good calculated gamble.
"We've still got the big shed to go up, potting machines and machinery but we're getting there."
The farm will grow more than 10,000 trees that are three to four metres tall and will be supplied through his Lava Street All Seasons nursery as well as other wholesalers Australia-wide.
Mr Winters will grow native, ornamental and fruit trees which he said were becoming more popular. "Fruit trees are big now," he said.
Cherry and apricots are the most popular trees right now, with people seeking to grow their own and offset some of the rising grocery prices.
The new business will cater for the growing housing sub-divisions which often require mature trees to be planted before they can be ticked off.
"Even the growth of Warrnambool, every sub-division has to have a certain plant, and a certain size of plant for the street trees," Mr Winters said.
He said he and his wife had decided to move to Warrnambool because they loved the community and there was less frost and better rainfall than Ballarat where they moved from.
Mr Winters said he had also spent extra on a state-of-the-art irrigation system to save water. "There's a science to it. We're going with a new technology that they've brought out for irrigation which is probably $100,000 more to spend now. Water is a precious thing," he said.
"Once the irrigation's in, with all the run-off we're going to recycle a lot of the water and become self-sufficient at growing the trees."
He said the Lava Street store had also noticed an uptick in vegetable seedling sales as well as strawberries.
"On the seedlings it's the same of COVID sales where we are selling out and can't get the stock from suppliers," he said.
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