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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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The hydrangea in the gardens at Struan Farm have gone mottled and interesting now, so were a good choice for this weekend's table arrangement: And then you know me, of course I start looking a little more closely... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Struan Farm
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Lovely to see the autumn leaves enjoying the two wooden benches in the roadside wooded garden at Struan Farm. These are great contemplation spots, one can think about trees falling in the forest or whatever.. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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I couldn't help myself, really. I was down at The Homestead at Struan Farm, walking around the roadside wooded garden, when I came across a huge infestation of weeds. To make matters worse, in addition to the usual suspects, I found clusters of onion weed and aluminum plant, two invasive... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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Found this little critter in my travels recently at the local Te Kuiti Warehouse store. There were pink, purple, white, black and green versions, which made it very hard to decide. The green girl came home with me, since friend Cathy Bebelman has a knitwear design company called, coincidently enough,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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I've been threatening to organise my yarn stash for quite some time now, and my recovery from surgery has (finally) provided that opportunity. With thanks to Tracey at NZ Fabrics & Yarn, who told me about discount plastic shoeboxes available at Howards Storage World. It had been chaos, skeins of... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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The Pet Paddock at Struan Farm is finally starting to reflect the changing season. If I had to choose, the Dawn Redwoods would be my favorite trees in this paddock, much as I love the huge oak trees too. In the past week they have turned a lovely golden brown:... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Finally some sunshine this past weekend after days of heavy rain at Struan Farm! I was able to get out and explore the Homestead gardens, especially the trees in seasonal transition near the front gate: Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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Apologies that I've dropped the ball on posts for today and tomorrow, there hasn't been much happening at Struan Farm. But then guess what happened this morning? A huge tree was uprooted from the bank across the road and fell onto SH3, blocking all of the state highway. Our rural... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Sometimes this blog works in mysterious ways, and this would be one of those times. Last week I was contacted by a lady from Australia, with a fun story. She had been asked by an elderly friend to finish an embroidery piece that the friend had had languishing for some... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Couldn't avoid this for too much longer, really. Plus, I've just read in the current issue of Lifestyle Block Magazine that walnuts are commonly viewed to be the oldest known food tree, dating back to 10,000 B.C. Wow! It was time to get cracking the walnuts gathered from our trees... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at Struan Farm
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You will know I definitely haven't had enough to do of late. Can't work outside, can't lift anything, blah, blah, blah. I love to knit, read and needlepoint, but there's only so much of that one can do in a day without going seriously batty if you're not a sitter.... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Struan Farm
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It's been so unseasonably mild to date this autumn/winter that the gardens at Struan Farm are getting a wee bit confused. The roses and hydrangea have started to bloom again! I know, I'm tempting fate, it's coming. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Over the past week we've (finally) started to see some autumn color appear at Struan Farm. The big oaks in the Pet Paddock are also starting to drop their leaves. These are rapidly being redeployed by nephew Mike as mulch around the gardens, both at the Homestead and up at... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Walked down the drive under the redwoods at Struan Farm to discover a whole colony of new visitors! According to my NZ field guide, these are Shaggy inkcaps "Coprinus comatus." They are meant to be edible when quite young, before they 'autodigest' and start dripping black liquid. I haven't been... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The gardens at Struan Farm have been suffering with my recent surgery, the veggie garden included. The weeds are definitely winning, and they know it. I've had a look around, but since I really can't even lift and push a wheel barrow, I'm basically taking cleansing breaths and moving on.... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I'm remembering that Tiny Tim, in Charles Dickens' classic story "A Christmas Carol" loved his plum pudding. And while that would have been the traditional English Christmas plum pudding, the one I've just made isn't quite that. However it is seriously good! "Plum Pudding" from Natalie Oldfield's "Dulcie May Kitchen:... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Struan Farm
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They're just hanging on, the dahlias in the gardens at Struan Farm! Happy to have these bursts of colour for the table, still: Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Just thought I'd share with you a bit more from my recent trip up north to Kaipara. John and I were able to drive along Baylys Beach in our 4WD to Glinks Gully. We then took the road to the end of the Pouto Peninsula, and also went out to... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I had a bit of an adventure this past weekend, with John at Baylys Beach in the Kaipara District, north of Auckland. It was meant to be a somewhat subdued birthday celebration for me, and wedding anniversary celebration for us, along with the ANZAC commemoration. Here is the rather spectacular... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at Struan Farm
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This past Saturday, April 25th, was both ANZAC Day here in New Zealand as well as the 100th year commemoration of the New Zealand and Australian landing at Gallipoli during the First World War. I travelled north to Kaipara with John to attend the service in Dargaville, which had record... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at Struan Farm
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While I can't do any real work at Struan Farm, still, I can definitely supervise! And so I am. Over the past few weeks we've been stockpiling native trees and flaxes for planting around the new house and also down at Paradise Pond. This past week John got out the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Struan Farm
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We now have three camellias in the Homestead gardens at Struan Farm that bloom early, months ahead of all of the others. Amazing really, but it's great to see those pops of vibrant pink at a time when the summer flowers are fading away. With thanks to John's parents, who... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at Struan Farm
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You may recall me posting a few weeks ago about the mountain of "muck" beside the pond at Struan Farm. We'd had the digger in to clean out the emptied pond before it was refilled. I scaled the mountain of muck to spread grass seed, risking life and limb. Well,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Yes, things are also happening down at "Paradise Pond" at Struan Farm. Nephew Mike has been busy! He's constructed a retaining wall to help support the dam that's been there for years. Once this is done the digger will be back for a tidy up, then riparian planting of natives... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at Struan Farm
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This week I deployed some of our Monty's Surprise apples from the Struan Farm orchard, with Anna's quince, to make Jamie Oliver's "Orchard Eve's pudding with whisky Jersey cream" from "jamie at home." Chunks of peeled fruit are cooked until soft with a knob of butter, brown sugar and spices... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at Struan Farm