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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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We've had some wild weather here recently at Struan Farm. Definitely not outside-in-the-garden-weeding weather, so time for more baking experiments: Chocolate Beetroot Muffins from Donna Hay's "Fresh & Light" magazine, issue #4. We've got heaps of beets in the veggie garden right now, so why not? Ingredients include eggs, brown... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Struan Farm
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Have you ever felt that you were channelling your mother? It doesn't happen all that often with me, but when it does I give myself a rather strong shake, since I recognise the tone as not my own! Monday mornings I usually head into Piopio from Struan Farm to take... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, things happen on SH3! A few days ago after a relatively big rain and wind storm I went down to check the Homestead at Struan Farm. Good thing I did, because one of the windows had blown open during the storm... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Friend Glen Davenport at Doone Cottage in Motueka has had a bumper crop of quince this year, lucky lady! You will recall that our quince trees have yet to fruit at Struan Farm, despite flowering this past spring. I'm trying to be optimistic but am seriously considering moving them after... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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I had to laugh when I walked into the glasshouse at Struan Farm and saw this in one of my planters full of winter lettuces: Yep, a weed. A pretty, flowering weed but a weed nonetheless. I'd mixed compost into potting soil when we filled these, and this is the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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I've managed to finish the griselinia hedge down the drive here at Struan Farm. I planted it in "installments" rather than doing the entire 80 plants in one day. It looks great, don't you think? What I've really been doing is procrastinating about digging into some rather major weeding of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Truth be told the seasonal clean up of the veggie gardens at Struan Farm didn't start in the backyard, aka "Veggie World," but rather in the bed near the John's workshop at the front of the house, the area that was converted from a landscaping project yet-to-happen into our corn... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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John's rather ambitious project to extend the native bush reserve at Struan Farm along the stream to the Mangaotaki River, the one I've christened "The Next Big Thing," continues to progress. Mike is doing the hard yards on the fencing, while the lambs have been put in the paddock to... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I've never been able to get close enough to photograph a kingfisher well here at Struan Farm. At least I hadn't until this weekend, when one got stuck in the back corner of the garage! We have windows at that end, and when the door is open birds sometimes get... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Awhile ago I purchased two jars of Fix & Fogg artisanal peanut butter, "Smoke and Fire" and "Dark Chocolate." While the former (which also has chiles, smoked paprika and natural manuka smoke) should make a great dressing for satay chicken, what I really had in the back of my mind... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Last week I read an interesting article by Heather Cole in NZ Gardener magazine about a couple growing cranberries on the West Coast of the South Island. Real "American-type" cranberries, Vaccinium macrocarpon, not the NZ type that is actually a guava. I was seriously intrigued! Wanting to support people blazing... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2016 at Struan Farm
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My latest ploy for avoiding the ironing and housecleaning here at Struan Farm is instead to crack into the walnut harvest. Literally! While I can only postpone the inevitable for so long, it is productive, and there's so much cracking to be done.... Ziplock bags of the cracked walnuts are... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at Struan Farm
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No Prince analogy, okay? It was going to be too far fetched, even for me. A few days ago we had a rainy day here at Struan Farm, and I've got heaps of purple carrots in the veggie garden, ready to be used. Once a modest degree of house cleaning... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Regular readers of this blog will know that I often get caught up with unusual fungi found around Struan Farm. Recently I came across two groupings of the same orange fungus, both were rather large colonies and visually striking. I've decided that they're most likely "Giant flamecap" or "Gymnopilus junonius"... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2016 at Struan Farm
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This past weekend I cut back the dahlias in the gardens at the new(ish) house at Struan Farm. It's been so warm that there were still a few blooms here and there, but the plants were falling over and mostly brown. So it was time for their seasonal haircuts. Sixteen... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2016 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago when I was moaning about being on my hands and knees planting circles of daffodils around a number of new fruit trees, friend Katherine queried me on just what varieties of fruit we'd planted here at Struan Farm. I came up with a list in response... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2016 at Struan Farm
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John and I went for an early morning walk a few days ago in the Pet Paddock at Struan Farm. We were multitasking, really. Getting a bit of exercise while we were also on "thistle patrol." While we've managed to make a major dent in the number of these prickly... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Lately we've been hearing friends, family and acquaintances in Auckland and further north bemoan their bumper crops of feijoas, giving them away to any taker or encouraging the kids to sell them roadside. Here at Struan Farm we're in a different state of mind. We've just had our very first... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2016 at Struan Farm
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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 May 3, 2016 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 May 2, 2016 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 May 1, 2016 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 Apr 29, 2016 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 Apr 28, 2016 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 Apr 27, 2016 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