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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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On my recent travels to garden centers I came across a sign from Oakdale Organics, explaining companion planting, with some ideas on what herbs and flowers to mix in your vegetable garden to attract beneficial insects and reduce pests. And so I have planted the following: Tansy: Attracts lady beetles... Continue reading
Posted 9 hours ago at Struan Farm
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I don't always pronounce things properly in the Kiwi context, and "herbs" would definitely be one of those things. I vacillate between a hard H the Kiwi/English way, as in "Herb Alpert and the Tiajuana Brass," and "urbs" the American way a la (adulterated) francaise. It's gotten to the point... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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Aaron returned to Struan Farm with his bobcat to get the recycled farm troughs lifted into place near our new veggie garden area, filling them with metal and topsoil after additional drainage holes were drilled in the bottom. We set them on recycled foundation blocks from Jim's Hut to keep... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Okay, go ahead and laugh! And no need to tell me that it isn't nearly big enough and the rabbits will most likely win. I know this. But I was faced with a dilemma. I needed to get our pumpkin seedlings in the ground, or we wouldn't have any home... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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I decided it was time for me to try to tackle moving the mountain of firewood sitting on the new house's front lawn at Struan Farm into the wood shed. John is away overseas, and I thought I'd surprise him with an unobstructed view upon his return. It's been an... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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You will know that we don't diddle daddle around in the Robertson family. A week or so ago I announced a contest to name Freya's new gnome at Struan Farm. Suggestions were submitted by various family members, I then went back out with a list of semi-finalists for the final... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Here are some surprise home baked treats I've delivered to recent guests at The Cottage at Struan Farm. Thinking "World Famous Homemade" needs to be our tag line, should I copyright it?! Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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We're doing our darndest to support as many other local businesses as we can here at Struan Farm farmstay/bed & breakfast. I can't do a "Top Ten" just yet, but I can get to nine, and that's not counting tradesmen or contractors of which we are still seeing a fair... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Suffice it to say that the Spuds are all continuing to grow at Struan Farm. Here are the Jersey Bennes and the Agrias: And here is the other one, the one who stands outside our bedroom window and wails from 6:05 a.m. to get his bottle: I can tell you... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Big progress on the new raised vegetable beds at Struan Farm this past week! Aaron arrived with his bobcat to lift and move things around, while the builders worked with him to put the bases in and metal/gravel underneath. The troughs have rocks over their drainage holes, then metal/gravel, then... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at Struan Farm
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A friend of ours came to visit Struan Farm for the first time from Auckland this past weekend. The roses have started to bloom, so I was able to come up with some flower arrangements for the guest room and dining table that are starting to look like summer: For... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Do you remember this? A huge poplar tree at Struan Farm keeled over in a wind storm about a week ago, on the bank below the main road. One of our builders, Pete, offered to step in to help John with the clean up, since it's not the kind of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at Struan Farm
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We've had five new wild ducklings swimming in the pond at Struan Farm with mum for several weeks now. While we've seen them quite often, I hadn't managed to photograph them-- they scurried away into the weeds every time I arrived with camera in hand. Until now: Of course they're... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Struan Farm
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We decided that Struan Farm's resident pet lamb Spud should be introduced to the new gnome: (John can't believe I managed to get Spud to do this!) They talked rugby and the big game this past weekend. Spud (of course) supported the All Blacks, while the (still unnamed) gnome, who... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at Struan Farm
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A new gnome arrived at Struan Farm this week, claiming he belongs to Freya, our youngest grandchild. She hasn't had her own gnome heretofore, unlike Ella, Livvy and Charlie, who have Stuffy, Tico and Ringo, respectively. This one hitchhiked with John down from Dargaville. While Freya's living in the U.K.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Struan Farm
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For years and years, the key to The Cottage at Struan Farm has been kept in the pocket of a ratty old rain jacket outside the front door, hanging on a hook above the heirloom mint plant. Family, friends, neighbours, tradesmen, everyone but the local horse thief knew where it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I'd thought that this post was going to be about the profusion of rhodos and azaleas blooming right now in the gardens at Struan Farm. And yes, that's all happening, but my photographer's eye got captured instead by the dogwoods, hostas, and roses: Oops? Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Piopio Berry Orchard opened for the season Labour Weekend this year, offering fresh local asparagus, coffee, ice creams and smoothies. When the strawberries (and blueberries) are actually going to be ripe and ready for sale is a different matter entirely. Certain years the berries are ripe by Labour Weekend, but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Early start yesterday. The concrete truck showed up at the new house at Struan Farm just before 6:30 a.m., and it was all on to pour the path in the backyard from the back door, one for the veggie gardens and also at the side of the garage. Six guys... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Or perhaps I'm trying to create a new one at Struan Farm, since I'd like to see a resurgence in the planting of conifers in gardens. We've just planted conifers at the front of the entrance gate to the new house, and they look fantastic: Here in New Zealand everyone... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Here we were, getting ready to open Struan Farm farmstay officially this last weekend, and what happens during the week's rainy and windy weather? Yep, major tree keeled over on the bank overlooking the Cottage and the pond, along our farm track. As you can see, it took out a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Yes, all the signs are now up directing farmstay guests at Struan Farm from our front entrance gate up the farm track to "Reception" at our new house. We've decided it's easier for them to enter at the main gate, with its wide concrete entrance and signage, rather than turn... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Struan Farm
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No ribbon cutting ceremony, but the "Vacancy" sign has gone up-- Struan Farm bed and breakfast farmstay in Piopio is officially open! And the good news is that The Cottage is already booked for four nights this week, so we're off to a good start Right now it's the one... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Sister-in-law Anna and I managed to get two parts of the main gardens started at the new house at Struan Farm this past week. After we finished the first bed we realised we had enough plants (almost) for the second area John had "authorised," so we continued planting. We got... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Yes, you will want to know the latest on the spuds and Spud from Struan Farm, I'm sure! In the past week the spuds have all sprouted in our special bed, so are looking good: And then there's the other Spud, the one who continues to sprout as well. His... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at Struan Farm