Springfield: Our Space in Te Horo

Like many people we have discovered that sustainability is a journey not a destination.  We are proud of what we have achieved to date and will continue our adventure. Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way and we know we still have a long distance to go.

Being thoughtful to nature is an ongoing and vital part of our business. Like so many things in life and in business, the plan has evolved.

We purchased our Te Horo property more than 35 years ago and christened it Springfield, never dreaming that a few years later it would become the base for a thriving kitchen with dedicated chefs creating food for a melange of events in a myriad of locations.

Or that our house would transform regularly to host guests celebrating marriages, life milestones and camaraderie.  

In 2012 we established a kitchen shop on the back of our very popular cooking classes. Nowadays we stock at least 250 different kitchen-related items. Visitors can relax and enjoy excellent coffee and cake in our Garden Room.   

Initially, there were bees living in the cottage wall next to the house. We had a water tank which had to be judiciously measured so as not to run out. The garden was overrun by Old Man’s Beard, Banana Passionfruit vine and convolvulus and we shared our garden with possums.

Nowadays we have beehives and are almost on top of all the wild climbers. We don’t spray them we just pull them out. The Regional Council dealt to the possums in our area and since then we see flowers on our native trees. 

Because a good supply of water is vital for our kitchen, we dug a deep water bore. Many people say it is the cleanest water they have tasted. The 35 year-old water pump died and was replaced last week. 

As gas is not piped to our location, water for our commercial kitchen is heated by a wood-fired burner.  As well as lots of fallen trees and branches we have planted trees for firewood.

In our house garden there is a very old and large Totara tree which regularly hosts a colony of coloured parakeets. They very kindly deposit into the now decrepit pear orchard we inherited and as pear trees die Totara trees are born.

That area is also our very large herb garden. You will see our chefs often outside, prep lists in hand, collecting herbs.  Kirk our Kitchen Manager manages and grows the microgreens so we always have them on hand. Kirk, like the other chefs, enjoys the peace and quiet of the garden.

There are little signs amongst the herbs written by Clare our gardener such as “ Do not pick this yet!”

Clare is also the dictator of our compost. Plant based waste only which includes daily doses of L’affare coffee grounds.  We are not in the business of providing protein gatherings for rabbits, rats, mice, pukekos and wild cats. We love being here and feel very fortunate that we are able to create feasts with real food for so many special people.