Gino Polimeni's escape from the family's busy fruit shop in Sydney to a quiet little farm near Jugiong didn't last long.
Since he was 14, Gino had worked alongside his father Luigi in their shop at Elanora Heights. It was here he met his wife Jenny, when she was 18 and working for his father as well.
Fifteen years ago the couple left to begin afresh at Jugiong, a village of 200 people which they chose because Jenny's mother, one of 12 children, grew up there.
The old Hume Highway winds down to the river flats on one side of the valley and the Murrumbidgee River meanders under big gum and sheoak shadows on the other side.
Mr Polimeni worked his farm and for neighbours fencing, and at an asparagus farm.
"Lots of our friends were saying fruit and veg isn't the best down here in the country, why don't you go down to the markets and bring home some fruit?" Mrs Polimeni says.
Her husband came back with a ute load full, and then another, and another, selling it from his shed.
"Word spread and the business started almost accidentally," she says. "Now we deliver to more than seven towns, we do 1000 kilometres a week in two vans, we make up 100 orders a day."
Mr Polimeni drives to a friend's place in Mona Vale, Sydney, on Monday afternoons. "Then I get up at 2 o'clock in the morning, drive to the markets, finish all my buying and load the truck by 9 o'clock," he says.
Home by 1pm, he finishes a long day at 5pm. He clocks up 60 hours a week, rising most days at 4am. In Sydney he worked 87 hours a week.
His father came to Australia aged 16 and worked in a soft drink factory where he learned to speak English. "He saved up, bought a truck and started buying spuds," Mr Polimeni says.
Gino and Jenny's sons Luigi, 15, and Joey, 12, catch a school bus to Harden and in the holidays help in the shop.
Mrs Polimeni rises at 4am to print out all the order forms and a delivery sheet for Coolac, Gundagai, Tumut, Harden, Cootamundra, Binalong, Galong, Bookham, Boorowa, Bowning, and Yass. They supply nursing homes, restaurants, fish-and-chip shops and farms 60 kilometres from the nearest supermarket.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the fruit shops in those towns have closed, so people only had supermarkets as their option," Mrs Polimeni says.
Mrs Polimeni delivers boxes of produce along with another full-time driver. They employ two part-time girls who help with packing.
"I have computer skills, love marketing, I'm an organisation freak," she says. "Gino is so good at the buying, he has the Italian blood and fruit and veg know-how, so it works really well."
Most produce comes from Sydney, except seasonal zucchini and apple cucumber grown at Coolac, and sweet corn, pumpkin and water melon near Gundagai, and apples from Batlow.
Next door to Gino's, Long Track Pantry bottle and preserve produce from Gino's, making chutney, jams and relishes. Farmer's daughter Ellie Barker, 19, says up to 50 part-time staff, including many university students like herself, worked at the pantry.
"People from Cootamundra and Wagga like to meet here," Ms Barker says.
The shop is closed on Tuesdays, but inside the air is thick with sweet smells from simmering summer plums, or overpowering red onion relish.
Mr Polimeni loves the flexibility to be a fruiterer and farmer. "The only problem is you can't have a holiday," he says. "You are married to it."