From farm to fork at Henne
Our gardner, Torben Clausen was originally trained as a baker and worked as a confectioner for 20 years before coming to Henne Kirkeby Kro in 2013.
He started in the kitchen, but his green fingers and great interest in the garden did not go unnoticed, and the following year he was asked if he became our gardener.
“I've always loved gardening. As a child, I had my own little plot of land, to which I tended all by myself, and my interest has just grown ever since.
Taking on the responsibility for the inn's kitchen garden was a huge challenge, but I truly feel that it's the best job in the world, and I adore every day. The garden is constantly developing, and most recently we have decided to replace all the roses in the courtyard with herbs. Variations of more masculine herbs, aromatic flowering rosemarys’, thymes’, saar and so on, giving our kitchen a better selection of more mountainous herbs for roasting & braising, and allowing our guests to enjoy the sight and fragrance of them as they stroll through the garden.
Another element of my position that I particularly enjoy is collecting and germination of our our seeds during the early spring. It makes so much sense to use the soil and its resources in this way instead of buying all the seeds and plants from a grower. Our guests are often surprised when they come out into the garden and see how lush it is. I think a lot of people picture western Jutland as a barren area where only the hardiest of plants can survive.
Of course though, the west wind limits some of the produce that we are able to grow, when we tried artichokes for example, only one plant came up. Similarly, we found that lavender doesn't do well, so I have recently planted 400 wonderful heathers outside rooms 1 and 2, they are just as beautiful and smell just as nice as lavender, and the heather really thrives here.
Paul and I work together extremely well, and we're constantly bouncing ideas off each other all year long. Each winter, we sit down and have a meeting about what to grow in the garden for the upcoming season, and he is always brimming with ideas. For example, we bought seeds from a contact in England where they have lots of varieties we can't get here in Denmark, amazing black radishes, and some very unusual runner beans and heritage carrots.
I think it's exciting being a part of this, and it's a great privilege to be able to influence so much of what goes on the plates in the restaurant.”