From Humble Beginnings.
Bluedale opened its doors in January 2003 to fill a niche in the market for native grasses and wetland plants. The idea came to life when Craig Waters, the founder and owner of Bluedale, was on a 6 month sabbatical on his family farm in Shallow Bay - a rural community 40 minutes south of Forster NSW. During that time Craig had undertaken a constructed wetland and regeneration consultancy project for a local developer, a role he had expertise in thanks to his earlier careers in Sydney and Canberra.
From Bluedale's beginning Craig set the standards high with regard to customer service and providing customers with a totally professional business experience; something that is missing in too many small businesses these days. With a customer focus Bluedale has grown from a husband and wife operation to one that now employs 14 people.
The Big Move.
Within 12 months Bluedale had out-grown the available space on the family farm and it was time to seek a new location. When looking for a new site Craig had very specific requirements. Firstly he wanted a location central to Bluedale's expanding market so he could serve customers' needs effectively; and secondly he wanted to be close to a Regional Centre to ensure he found the very best staff he could, knowing that good staff will look after customers as he would. In March 2004 a site in Wauchope NSW was found. This site was ideal not only because of aspect and climate, but most importantly access to transport, being 12 minutes from the Pacific Highway and approximately halfway between Tweed Heads and Sydney. Now all he needed to do was develop it.
The Wauchope Site.
When we first saw the site it was a rough paddock with young wattles and gum trees re-growing after an earlier clearing. We took this rough diamond and re-shaped it into a workable area.
Getting The Job Done.
The first job was to clear the site, and clear we did, removing all the vegetation and topsoil to get to down to the clay base, a perfect foundation for the nursery growing areas.
Once cleared, we graded and rolled the surface ready for the installation of the infrastructure. We installed sub-bed drainage and irrigation. As this was only stage 1 and we intended to do additional stages down the line, we made sure that the infrastructure was expandable, so we put in all needed piping, valves and control wires we would need.
When we had our drainage and irrigation in place it was then time to prepare the stand-out beds and erect the poly tunnels. We then installed the irrigation risers according to the irrigation design we commissioned.
From Strength to Strength.
The first stage of our new nursery took 12 weeks from start to finish working 10 hour days, 7 days a week, but it all paid off. We had a purpose build nursery ready to launch ourselves into bigger things.
Since July 2004 we have expanded 5 times to the point where we now have the capacity to produce millions of plants annually. All this is a credit to the hard working Bluedale team.
To see more pictures of the progress of the nursery follow the link to our picture gallery.