To Mark and Kasia Henderson of Loburn Grove, small is beautiful. The couple’s boutique orchard, just north of the Ashley river, produces an abundance of hazelnuts, feijoas and plums which they turn into small batches of handcrafted products to sell through selected boutique outlets.
“We are not about mass production. Our vision is to use our combined horticulture industry knowledge and food processing skills to make handcrafted products from nuts and fruit grown on the property and selected local orchards”, Mark explains.
“We use traditional recipes and enjoy taking the time to make consistently high-quality products that are free of additives and preservatives.”
Those products include hazelnut and walnut oil, hazelnut dukkah, hazelnut flour, nut brittle and butter (plain or chocolate), feijoa and plum chutneys, poached and air-dried fruit as well as shelled and unshelled walnuts and hazelnuts (raw or roasted). When there’s a surplus they also sell fresh feijoas and plums.
The Hendersons control every aspect of the process from plant to plate. They grow, harvest, crack, sort and roast their hazelnuts. They press and bottle their hazelnut and walnut oil and mill their own nut flour. They pick and process their fruit and they manage all the marketing and sales.
“We sell online, at selected farmers’ markets, fetes, boutique outlets and small independent retailers that support local growers,” says Mark.
In addition, the couple work to manage their property in a way that benefits the soil, the crops grown in it and the wider environment. All their produce is spray free, they use only Biogro certified inputs and composting is a key practice. The Henderson’s are also hoping to obtain full organic certification in the future.
“We have a dedication to quality and a passion for excellence. Our philosophy is to create fresh, great-tasting products using only the best fruit and nuts.”
Why North Canterbury? Loburn is an industrious area with many small orchards and businesses. The area has favorable growing conditions for tree crops and we love the vibe of the area which is in commutable distance from the city.
What’s your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? For recreation visiting Hanmer Springs – the pools, walks and cycle trails.
Name your top three North Canterbury brands (other than your own, of course!): Coffee Worx, Fiddlers Green Vineyard and Bistro, and Taaftan Moroccan Grill and Bar.