You Can’t Beat A Great Coffee Bomb

The Coffee Bomb Food Trailer in Garston Village

The Coffee Bomb Dream

Kylie Sutton loves delicious food, cheerful chat, and great coffee, so when the chance came up to combine all three passions by buying the Coffee Bomb food trailer, she didn’t hesitate. Literally a small business — the whole trailer is only 4.5m long — the Coffee Bomb sits right in the heart of Garston. Travelling along the main tourist route of S.H.6 you just can’t miss it. In fact, its the perfect place to buy food-and-drinks-to-go.

Food Faves and Raves

The food in the Coffee Bomb cabinet has that homemade touch that’s hard to beat. Kylie cooks it daily right there in the Coffee Bomb’s tiny oven. Even the burgers have her famous home-style touch, with the gluten-free patties made onsite to delicious old-fashioned recipes. Add in slow-cooked lamb roasts and melt-in-your-mouth-tender pork belly — all cooked in the van —  and you’re in burger heaven. You won’t find burgers like these anywhere else.

“I’d have to say ‘The Bomb’ is our most popular burger” says Kylie. “Tabitha (from next-door Craft Keepers) and I invented it when we were cold and hungry one slow, winter’s day.”

Featuring fresh burger buns, pork belly & bacon, coleslaw, and dripping with tasty sauce, The Bomb has been a menu staple ever since. “There’d probably be a customer riot if we took it off the menu now,”

My personal favourites are the muffins. Kylie’s muffins actually taste as good as they look which, in my experience, is a very rare thing. Other locals rave over the homemade carrot cake, lolly cake, and of course, the locally-roasted ROAR coffee.

Village With a Vibe

But why would a former butcher, busy farmer, and volunteer fire fighter/medic set up a food stop in this tiny tourist town?

Kylie Sutton in the Coffee Bomb Food Trailer at Garston Villagef

“I love the vibe in Garston,” Kylie explains. “The locals are fabulous. So many people give us their whole-hearted support. The businesses complement each other too, and everyone is always willing to lend a hand. It’s great to have travellers who stop in on a regular basis, and of course the tourist trade is fantastic. We’re just in the right spot for a stop.”

But the Coffee Bomb vision doesn’t stop there. A boutique accommodation business “The Bomb Com” is planned for 2019. Watch this space, folks; with Kylie’s gift for customer service, it sounds like a winner to me.

Essential Links

FOOD MENU

COFFEE AND MORE

FACEBOOK

TRIP ADVISOR

 

Confessions of a Bookworm

AKA: Why I Never Read In Airports.

I have interests a-plenty, but only one grand passion. I adore writing, but even that pales, compared to my full-blown obsession with reading. Hand me a new book and don’t bother talking until it’s finished. I won’t hear you — a fact that has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion. Let me tell you of the time I started a new book at the airport…

Picture this:

With a couple of hours to spare before my flight, I saunter into the bookshop. I love to look, but I know better than to buy a book at the airport. Twice the price — and sooo dangerous (for me!) Sure enough, staring me in the face is a book that screams BUY ME NOW.

So, I do.

With 90 minutes till the flight, I dash through security and sit just metres away from the gate entrance. It’s so early — I’m the ONLY person in the small lounge. I open the book.

Got the picture? The next thing I knew, someone was calling my name… over the airport sound system.  Lyn McNamee get to your gate now! (or words to that effect.)

Yes, it’s true.

Every single other passenger on that full flight to Queenstown had arrived in the lounge, heard the multiple announcements to board, lined up beside my seat, and boarded the plane.

And I noticed nothing.

If you’ve ever been that passenger who delays departure with their tardiness, you’ll know the glares that greeted me as I slunk onto the plane.

And you also know why I have never dared to open a book at an airport again.

3 Novels To Love

I couldn’t tell you my favourite novel, but I could certainly name my top hundred. Every single one sits on my bookcase waiting to be lovingly plucked up and re-read. Don’t worry — I’m not going to list them all now. But if you’re in the mood for a good book, here are three of the best.


BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty

Cover of book: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

One thing’s clear in Big Little Lies: someone dies. That’s established on Page 7.

But here’s the mystery: Not just whodunnit but WHO DIED?

I love the unusual format of this book; how personalities and situations slowly reveal themselves in every chapter; the hidden twists and turns. Parts of it made me cry. And best of all, it finished fittingly. All in all, a deeply satisfying read.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY             by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Cover of book: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.

I can echo that sentiment with “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” Where to begin with such a beloved book? The title alone is surely enough to intrigue…

Written as a series of letters, this novel takes us back first to post-war Britain and then paints a vivid picture of life in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation. I’m a history buff, love getting mail, and a sucker for a little romance so of course I fell in love with each character as soon as I met them. Brilliant.

THE LITTLE WOMEN LETTERS by Gabrielle Donnelly

Cover of book: The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly.

I picked this gem up unexpectedly in Emma’s At Oxford a few years ago now, and for that I’m truly grateful. It’s one of my favourites. Despite the name, though, this one’s not a series of letters.

If, like me, you grew up loving “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, then I guarantee you’ll like this book. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy come to life in unexpected ways as each letter is discovered, and so too, do their modern-day counterparts, Emma, Lulu and Sophie.

It’s a book of love and discovery. Finding who you want to be and where you fit in. Of growing up, and being okay with that.


How’s your bookshelf looking? Or are you more of a Kindle reader these days?

Whichever it is, I bet you have your own favourites . Tell me your top 3 and what you love about them.

 

Autumn or Fall

Yellow leaves frame a boat marina at Lake Te Anau.

A Breathtaking Season By Any Name

Autumn: It conjures colours in my mind. Deep reds, brilliant oranges and bright yellow; vivid hillsides or fiery avenues; these are the scenes that await in the South Island during March, April and May. Time to bring out the camera or the paint brushes. How to capture so much splendour?

Fall — the American name —  brings a later time to mind. Leaves gently floating, one following the other. Or a windy night, followed by a red-gold and brown crunchy carpet — all the leaves downed at once. This is playtime: children shouting, laughing, scuffing through the leaves and building great heaps to leap into and to toss in the air.

Autumn Down Under

In the Southern Hemisphere everything seems topsy-turvey to those from northern parts. When we have winter — you have summer; we’re in daylight — you’re in night. Ideally, Our houses face north, if they can,  because southerly weather in New Zealand comes from Antarctica and it’s COLD.

You might think that being such a small country our climate would be the same throughout, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Living here in Garston we are closer to the South Pole than to the equator, and the weather is quite different to that of New Zealand’s northerly provinces. So are the seasons.

New Zealand native trees are mostly evergreen so their colour comes from beautiful flowers and berries. But our English pioneers missed the trees of home and planted many, many deciduous trees, especially in the South Island where they’ve flourished.

A Stunning Season

So autumn is a beautiful season down here. The awareness that cold weather is on its way causes the deciduous trees to withdraw the green chlorophyll from the leaves back into the branches and trunk where it will wait out the winter, ready to be used come spring. Now it’s time for other pigments in the leaves to shine, and what a glorious show they make.

My Class Loves Painting in Autumn

I’m not a great artist myself, but I love teaching art to my class of 5 – 7 year olds at Garston School.  We love the autumn colours around our school. Last week we learned one way of showing reflections with autumn colours.

Here are 3 of my favourites:

Another post in the series Autumn Harvest on the Farm.

 

 

 

 

The Old Apple Tree

An ancient apple tree, grows alone in a farm gully.
She nestles in a gully, far from prying eyes.

On our farm, there is a very special apple tree. She grows quietly; standing by herself in a little gully, far from prying eyes. No one knows how she got there, miles from the houses and farm sheds. The creek is dry now, but it wasn’t always so. Maybe an apple rolled downstream, thrown by a careless hand. Perhaps a bird deposited an apple seed there. However it happened, the seed sprouted and this ancient tree grew. She is old in New Zealand apple-tree-years, make no mistake about that.

A Special Apple Tree

But it’s not just the isolation, nor even her age that makes her special, for she is a heritage tree. She may very well be unique — the only one of her kind in the world. How special is that? And her apples are beautiful. Cooking apples like your great-grandmother grew. You can’t buy anything like them in a shop. Raw they are tart on your taste buds, but when you cook them up they’re fluffy, sweet and delicious.

I love this old apple tree, and each year at harvest time I’ve worried about losing her. What if a fire raced unexpectedly down the gully or disease struck? The world is losing its unique plants and animals at an alarming rate. It would be sad if our tree was added to the list. So this year we were delighted when the Guytons arrived unexpectedly on our doorstep.

Robert and Robyn Guyton are passionate permaculturalists and have developed their Riverton property into a food farm which supplies most of their daily needs. Robert and Robyn are also the guiding lights behind the Riverton Environmental Centre and are well known in Southland for their conservation efforts and their enthusiasm about saving heritage apples.

Protecting Our Heritage

On a windy, wet Sunday in early spring, Robert and Robyn came to explore the old orchards around the Garston area. Our son Chris found them at our Woolshed. “These trees are okay,” he told them, waving his hand around the nearby orchard, “but would you like to see the best tree on the farm?” Of course they would!  When we drove home from church that Sunday, we came across them all, dripping wet and happily stowing cuttings into their car boot. “What a find!” they chorused.

Photographing the heritage apples.
Robyn Shields

One of the Guytons’ missions is to train other people up in the art of tree-saving. So they passed the cuttings onto Robyn Shields, a former pupil of theirs, who lives not far from Queenstown. Robyn grafted the cuttings (called scions) onto hardy rootstock and they have grown happily into 6 sturdy little trees. She came up to the farm recently, to photograph the original tree complete with apples, and to collect some of them as samples. She invited me to come and visit her little tree nursery and to see the new little apple trees, so I’m very much looking forward to that.

In the meantime, these lovely apples are ready to harvest and I’ve just picked a big bucket full. Yum.

Black bucket full of heritage cooking apples.
So many apples to cook and enjoy.

Autumn on the farm is such a busy season. While the men are busy gathering in the grain, I’m focused on harvesting all the other food that nature is providing. My Autumn Harvest On The Farm series is a celebration of nature’s bounty and the foresight of the farmers who began developing this farm more than 100 years ago.

Mushrooms Galore

Precious Pears

Hops In A Hurry

Gathering In The Grain