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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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As expected, my annual shipment of daffodils and tulips arrived at Struan Farm the end of last week from NZ Bulbs. The ranunculi will follow shortly. This is probably a good thing, gives my knees a bit of a break! I tackled the daffodils first. I'd purchased the 100 Daffodil... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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John and I took a walk around Struan Farm an evening or so ago. The light was beautiful, all was calm. I happened upon the lambs at the edge of the Old Orchard Paddock, and got this wonderful photo of several of them outlined against the evening sky. Pet lamb... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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John and I were sitting down to lunch at Struan Farm yesterday when we heard a helicopter flying overhead. We realised that it was red and yellow, the colours of the Westpac Rescue chopper, and that it was looking for a place to land right across the road. Something of... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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As reported, friends Kris and Bob went back to California earlier this week. While it was great fun having them visit for three weeks, suffice it to say that not a lot of work got done around Struan Farm. I'm now needing to crack into things big time. It's that... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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We've had a beautiful, warm autumn here at Struan Farm in Piopio, but the changes they are a comin'. "One" can feel it in the chilly nights and cool mornings. Piopio Berry Orchard is about to close for the season; the blueberries are over and done with and the autumn... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Visiting friend Kris noticed that I had quite the surplus of both basil and parsley in the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm this past week. So she offered to make up batches of pesto, enlisting husband Bob as "sous chef." I was happy to let them have at it,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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Despite all the recent talk about apples, it was a bag of fragrant, jumbo quince that made the journey back to Struan Farm with me from Nelson. There was a pending birthday (and wedding anniversary) dinner to organise, and I figured that Nigel Slater's roast quince recipe would do justice... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Struan Farm
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After attending the ANZAC Day commemoration service in Piopio yesterday friends Kris, Bob and I headed off for a picnic at the beach. It was a beautiful day, so I decided to take them to Waikawau Beach. We drove south on the main road from Struan Farm to Awakino and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Struan Farm
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You probably don't know that we have two historic landmarks on the property here at Struan Farm: trenches dug by the Piopio Home Guardsmen during WWII to defend against possible Japanese invasion. It was thought that the Japanese might attack the Arapuni Power Station, something that would have crippled the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2016 at Struan Farm
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As advertised, I wanted to share with you some of our apple related encounters while recently down in Nelson. The region is well known as an apple growing area, although many of the old orchard properties have been redeveloped into housing over time. Richards' Orchard Fruit Stall in Mapua is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Yes, crossing the Cook Strait to the South Island came next. Kris, Bob and I took the Interislander Ferry across to Picton from Wellington. Driving the car onto the ferry was a first for me. Since I don't know my way around Wellington by car all that well, it was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Next stop on the road trip was Wellington, where we needed to overnight before taking an early morning Interislander Ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island. I'd heard from several people that it was important to see the Gallipoli exhibition at Te Papa, and with ANZAC Day coming... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Sorry for dropping the ball for a few days this week. I've been away from Struan Farm, on the road for the past week or so with visiting friends Kris and Bob. I will fill you in on what we've been up to over the next several days. Upon leaving... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I like the idea of saving and planting flowers, trees and shrubs that have a Robertson family connection here at Struan Farm, and this would be one of those. Call them whatever you may: heritage, heirloom, or just old, hard-to-find varieties. Sister-in-law Anna recently sold her house in Te Kuiti... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Before we travelled up north with visiting friends last week I would have said it was "even-steven" between the winter lettuce planted outside and that planted inside the glasshouse here at Struan Farm. One variety has germinated first in both locations. However, while we were away, that planted in the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at Struan Farm
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We've had several wild turkeys grazing in the paddock bowl in front of the new(ish) house at Struan Farm for the past two weeks or so. I'm afraid they're closing in on my veggie gardens, and am going to do basically whatever I can to stop that. My latest ploy... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Yes, travels up north, continued. For some reason Kellys Bay up in the Kaipara near Dargaville attracts a huge number of pied oystercatchers on the beach, something bird watchers visiting the area really shouldn't miss. It's worth the drive out to see them if you're interested in birds at all.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Our recent travels up north this past week included walks in the Waipoua Forest to see the ancient kauri trees, including Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, the largest remaining kauri tree in NZ, and Te Matua Ngahere, Father of the Forest and the oldest remaining tree. Thanks to John... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Just returned to Struan Farm from several days up north in the Kaipara District with friends Kris and Bob visiting from California. Enjoy some of the sights and the road less travelled! Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Sounds almost like a David Bowie song, doesn't it? John and I were walking with friends in one of our QEII Trust bush reserves here at Struan Farm a few days ago. I looked down on the path, and found this: Quite unusual, isn't it? Unlike anything I've seen around... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2016 at Struan Farm
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You will remember that I've noted previously that vegetables are great teachers? I was referring to tomatoes at the time. Well I've also learned a new lesson from my pumpkin patch at Struan Farm, where I'd planted out spaghetti squash, Marina di Chioggia and Musquee de Provence pumpkins (maybe also... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at Struan Farm
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It's time for a bit of seasonal transition in the backyard veggie gardens here at Struan Farm. Spent tomato plants have been pulled up, except for a few with some decent fruit still green and ripening. Those plants remaining have been trimmed up so that the fruit is exposed and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I need to make a confession: I sampled the first nashi grown at Struan Farm. I pulled it off the tree and bit into it, didn't wait for John. He'll get over it. It was AMAZING, a complete surprise. Juicy and delicious, quite flavourful. My only experience with nashi has... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at Struan Farm
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It's the time of the year for the lambs to get shorn at Struan Farm, ahead of winter. And this includes (of course) our former pet lambs, Rosie, Ruby, Pip and Pepper. Being rounded up and put in the yards at the wool shed is always a bit traumatic for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at Struan Farm
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The team from Asplundh New Zealand returned to Struan Farm for their annual "Arbor Camp" over the weekend. It was great to see men on ropes pruning away high up in the Pet Paddock's feature trees, despite some heavy rain for part of the day. We were pleased to have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2016 at Struan Farm