Preserving Garston History

Whenever I want to know about Garston’s history, I go straight to Peter Naylor and Noel McMillan. 

These two farmers were born and bred in Garston and have lived here all their lives. And both men are passionate in their own ways about preserving our history. 

Peter has albums filled with photos of farming life back in the day and a story to go with each one. He kindly let me use some of these photos in 

Winter Feeding On The Farm   and  Making Hay While The Sun Shines

History on the Garston Green

One of Peter’s main passions is restoring old vehicles to their former glory. When Russell Glendinning found that two of his old railway jiggers had gone to rack and ruin he brought them to Garston, hoping that Peter would work some magic. 

And Peter did. Now, Garston is lucky to have them on display as part of our railway heritage precinct on the Garston Green.

Red and yellow 1910 hand-operated railway jigger restored by Peter Naylor.
This 1910 hand-operated railway jigger is part of the railway heritage collection on the Garston Green. It was donated by Russell Glendinning and restored by Peter Naylor.

Noel, on the other hand, has dedicated much of his time to collecting and preserving documents from the past. He’s got files, folders and books galore of fascinating documents and photographs showing farming and community life as it used to be.

The way we were. Garston railway yards, hotel and garage. Winter, 1950-60’s.

Now, Noel is collaborating with his granddaughter to bring us a new Facebook page. Amanda has been posting photos and articles from Noel’s vast collection and reminding us of a bygone era. If you’ve lived in Northern Southland, you might well recognise places, events and faces. You might even spot yourself at these special events.

You can check it out at Preserving History

Thanks to Noel, Peter and all the dedicated historians who collect, sift, store and retell the stories of their districts. Our lives are richer for your work.

More History on TOML

Sweetcorn Chowder: A Winter-Warming Soup

Bowl of sweetcorn chowder with a side serving of tasty Veggie Bread
Sweetcorn Chowder with Tasty Veggie Bread – yum!

Want to add more vegetables into your diet? Me too! A chowder is a thick soup, usually containing seafood or corn. This particular sweetcorn chowder makes a very tasty, winter-warming dish.

In his book, The 4 Pillar Plan,  Dr. Rangan Chatterjee talks about aiming to eat a rainbow of vegetables every day. It’s a fun challenge to help you focus on eating a range of vegetables. Without it, I’m inclined to stick to the same old few. 

This sweetcorn chowder has plenty of white, red, yellow and green veggies. So, if you eat it for lunch today, you’ll already be halfway through your rainbow.

  • 1 leek 
  • 1 medium-sized red kumara 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 can Watties creamed corn
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups Campbells Vegetable Stock
  • Parsley
  • Cheese

Wash the kumara and grate it with the skin on.

Finely slice the leek.

Melt the butter in a large microwave bowl. Add the leek and kumara and microwave on high, covered, for 8 minutes.

Mix the rice flour into the cooked vegetables.

Add the canned corn and vegetable stock. 

Microwave again for 10 minutes.

Add salt, chopped parsley and a little cheese to suit your taste.

Serve with Home-made bread, Cheese Scones or slices of Tasty Veggie Bread

More Farmhouse Recipes on Time of my Life