By SHELLEY TOPP
Loburn’s Mark and Kasia Henderson have developed a new business after leaving city life in Christchurch four years ago.
“We were townies in Christchurch,” Kasia says.
They wanted a change of lifestyle to take them out of the earthquake city.
“We wanted to live rurally.”
The Loburn property they bought had established hazelnut, feijoa and plum trees.
But when they took over the property much of the produce from the fruit and nut trees was lying wasting on the ground.
They wanted to do something to ensure better use of the fruit and nuts and began selling the produce.
Then they came up with the idea of adding value to the produce by transforming the property into a boutique orchard and artisan food producer.
The couple now sell hazelnut oil, hazelnut flour and hazelnut dukkah (a mixture of crushed herbs, nuts and spices), gourmet fruit syrups, sauces and chutneys including feijoa kasaundai (a hot, Indian style chutney).
Their products are handcrafted using traditional methods and are made in small batches to ensure high quality results.
The couple sell their products at the Ohoka Farmers’ Market at the Ohoka Domain every Friday morning, at the Christchurch Farmers market at Deans Bush in Riccarton every Saturday and at selected retail outlets, Traiteur European Butchery, in Merivale, Vege’n Out, in Woodend, Healthy Harvest, in Prebbleton, Funky Pumpkin, in Christchurch, Stavely Cafe and Store, in Stavely, and the Eat Deli and Bar in Fairlie. They also sell their produce at fairs and fetes, and both work fulltime in Christchurch.
Kasia works for Farmlands and Mark has worked at Heinz Watties for 30 years, firstly in Timaru and now in Christchurch. It has been a big change for the family adapting to the rural life. “It can be quite hectic but we enjoy the life and it is good for children to have a rural background.”