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Karen
Piopio New Zealand
Lamb wrangler, gardener & knitter
Interests: knitting, cooking, gardening, photograhy, walking the hills with Clifford our dog, watching lambs frolic, being creative generally
Recent Activity
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A few of the gnomes here at Struan Farm have taken it upon themselves to keep me on track with my preparations for Christmas and Boxing Day. Ringo (Charlie's gnome), Doc (Freya's gnome) and Little Tinker (Violet's gnome), aka "The Cornes Gnomes," are doing an official countdown. (Okay, Little Tinker... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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From one heirloom tomato aficionado to another, I thought I had this. I thought I was on my game this year. But the heirloom tomatoes here at Struan Farm had other ideas, and have raised the stakes (pun intended). Those laterals are growing daily, sprouting like no one's business. The... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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The local arborist came out to Struan Farm a few days ago to do some tree jobs that are a bit beyond the scope of John and/or nephew Mike. These included taking down two huge trees, "limbing up" a few others higher up than our guys are comfortable going, and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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I'm learning once again from the gardens here at Struan Farm, this time about transitions from the "Scabiosa Starballs." Once the poppies were spent they took over the show, blooming in profusion from self-seeding and seeds I tossed out onto the beds. Now their gig is done. They are going... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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John celebrated a birthday a few days ago here at Struan Farm. We'd had the official family birthday party involving cakes a few weeks ago with other family members, so this was a low key dinner after a very hot summer's day. I decided to make a fruit salad for... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I've continued my search for interesting side salad recipes for our annual family Boxing Day luncheon here at Struan Farm. My first experiment (the "blah" potato salad) will definitely be not on the menu. But good news, I made the "Spiced Kumara and Hummus Salad" from the December issue of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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I'm sharing this with you just so you know that not everything I do here at Struan Farm turns out 100% all of the time! But that doesn't stop me from experimenting, trying new things. A few days ago a FB friend shared a link to a recipe for this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'm sure you'll be curious as to how the heirloom tomatoes and my staking efforts are going this year here at Struan Farm, and I can report happily thus far! Proper staking was meant to be my learning goal for this year on the tomato front. Each week I have... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Struan Farm
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This weekend at Struan Farm I tested out two new recipes and continued baking for Boxing Day. I was keen to try out The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust's "New Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs" as a possible side dish for our annual family celebration. I'm on the hunt for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The elderflower bushes I've grown from cuttings taken from sister-in-law Anna's old house are thriving here at Struan Farm. This year they're flowering beautifully. Makes me think I should try to make an elderflower cordial or something with them. Nicola Galloway, author of "Homegrown Kitchen" recently posted links to a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Remember those garlic buds waving in the wind in the veggie garden here at Struan Farm? Well, they've been chopped off as recommended to help get larger garlic bulbs for harvest. I'd read that they were edible, so decided to give them a try. Thankfully I came across this article... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The dogwood trees in the Homestead gardens here at Struan Farm are coming into full flower at the moment. And they look simply glorious! A few years ago ahead of a wedding under the one beside the Pet Paddock I read that dogwood is a symbol of "love undiminished by... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We have 40+ extended family coming to our annual Boxing Day celebration this year at Struan Farm. I've started baking goodies well in advance to put in the freezer, since the day or so before I'll be focused on cooking turkeys, hams and making salads. At the moment I'm also... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Several of my garlic plants look like they are coming into flower here at Struan Farm. I'm struck by how much they look like wind wands. What do you think? The flower bulbs are called "scapes," and one is meant to pick them before they bloom into flowers to allow... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Not your usual duo, is it? This weekend I tested out another recipe from the latest issue of Dish Magazine, "Harissa Roasted Salmon with Walnut Dukkah." This is one of those dishes that is made ahead and served cold or room temperature, perfect for summer dining. The salmon is coated... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Struan Farm's pet lambs Matilda, Clover, Trixie, Dixie, Mixie, Scout, Romeo, Alfie, Daisy and TimTam only have themselves to blame. With all ten lambs back together in one mob in the house paddock after Alfie and Daisy learned to waltz across the cattle stops, bottle times were complete chaos. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The past few evenings when I've been out watering the gardens here at Struan Farm I've bumped into a tui, feeding on the flax flowers that border part of our driveway at the house. I always say hello, and he hasn't been fussed with me moving around doing my work... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2017 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago Farmer John rounded up the ewes and the lambs here at Struan Farm for crutching and dosing. Worms and fly seem to be bad this season, and a "dag" or two was apparent as well as long worms in the poo. Ahead of his mustering we... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Struan Farm
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My lettuces are languishing, and the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, edible flowers and broad beans are doing their best in the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm. But they're struggling along with the weird weather. There is one bright spot: my radishes. They are absolutely RAVISHING! Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John stepped in to help me with the gardens a few weekends ago here at Struan Farm, ahead of the Waitara Garden Circle visit. The weather has been such that I was way behind where I needed to be. He's continued to help me with the next round of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2017 at Struan Farm
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This past weekend at Struan Farm I made the pavlova wreath featured on the cover of this month's Dish Magazine. John and niece Lydia volunteered to be testers, they knew it would be a complete flier but most likely good. I'd picked up the edible gold stars they suggest as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The strawberries have landed at Piopio Berry Orchard and there was a "three for" special this week, so it's time to get cracking on making homemade jam for our farmstay guests here at Struan Farm. I'd completely run out of what I made last season, so know more needs to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The delphiniums (delphinia?) in the gardens here at Struan Farm are starting to bloom. It looks like it's going to be a good year for them. I grew these from seed; they've come again for a second year. One never knows about that, at least I don't, so I don't... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Yet another tree has come down to open up the view at the new(ish) house here at Struan Farm. John and Mike are taking their time-- the clean up effort is major, these are huge trees. Our bees and their hive boxes have been taken on a working holiday to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We finally had a long enough period of settled weather here at Struan Farm for John to paint the concrete base of our Grounded Art sculpture. He used Porter's Paints Liquid Iron and Instant Rust. It's a two step process--two coats of the iron paint are put on and then... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2017 at Struan Farm