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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 been busy at Struan Farm! John and Mike felled two trees. One was a gum, the second a lawsoniana (and yes, I had to look up how to spell the latter...). Mike managed the clean up and related firewood work. We've now got a good start on next year's... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at Struan Farm
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Okay, I confess. I'm a bit over eager for pet lambs this year. The lambs are due to start dropping in the next week or so at Struan Farm, and it's my favourite time of the year. I love having them frolicking around the paddocks. And while I don't want... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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Did you know that Piopio was the first school and community in all of New Zealand to have a school bus service? I discovered this for the first time myself exploring the online archives at the National Library, where I came across the following photo, now framed and on the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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Well, the situation has indeed changed down at the rapids on the Mangaotaki River at Struan Farm. Remember what things looked like this summer, during the drought? Here, let me remind you: And here's what's happening right now: Guess it's a good thing we embrace change here at Struan Farm... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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TA DA! Here's a photo of the inside of the Garden Cottage. The outside will be repainted once the weather improves. It's a far cry from life as Maurie's Workshop. The Garden Cottage is available as an optional second bedroom for farmstay guests booking the Homestead. Price is $50 per... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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Yes, the old dog has learned yet another new trick at Struan Farm. Clifford always wants to be part of the action, and you can't blame him. The views are spectacular from the limestone rocks overlooking the Mangaotaki River! Plus he's a show off, really. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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If a tree falls at Struan Farm and no one hears it, does it make a noise? I'm not so sure. I definitely didn't hear this one, was alerted to the fact that another large poplar tree had fallen over from John, who stumbled into it when walking around. (He... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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I must confess that "Farm Girl" isn't always up to the task, particularly when a job at Struan Farm involves machinery and equipment. I have tended to rely on John or nephew Mike for that sort of thing, but may have learned a lesson in that regard a day or... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Sort of, but not really. You will recall that we have quite a few dahlias in the gardens at Struan Farm. I've never really counted them, but there would have to be over 30 plants around the Homestead, plus some up at the new(ish) house now too. I used to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2015 at Struan Farm
Will do, thanks!
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2015 on Going Fruity, Again at Struan Farm
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We've planted two more fruit trees in our orchard at Struan Farm over the past week, hooray. John requested a sweet eating apple, since to date I've planted either cooking apples or more tart eating apples. So we've planted a dwarf "Initial" apple from Country Trading. These fruit early, are... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at Struan Farm
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We've found quite a few seedling kowhai trees growing in the Homestead garden at Struan Farm, below a large, established kowhai that's been there for years. Seems we have our own little kowhai nursery. So it's moving day, they've been dug up and transplanted at the new "Kowhai Grove at... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at Struan Farm
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It seems you can teach an old dog new tricks. At least at Struan Farm, where John has been able to teach Clifford to ride in the farm trailer around the property. The novelty and excitement wore off pretty quickly, however. Much to John's annoyance, Clifford hopped out after after... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at Struan Farm
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John decided to extend the wooden fence from the back of the new(ish) house at Struan Farm, effectively enlarging this QEII Trust bush area to incorporate a second grove of tawas. This protects these trees, along with a particularly majestic rimu tree (or two), from the grazing stock, and allows... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Yes, this is a bug making the rounds currently, it would seem. And I have definitely caught it. Friend Dermot shared a review of Harper Lee's new book on Facebook, and I decided to take the plunge. I stayed up past midnight reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" from cover to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I decided during my recent trip to LA that it's time for me to try to make tortillas here at Struan Farm. Happy to have "Old El Paso" available from the market, but they just aren't the same as hand made, fresh tortillas. Considered putting a tortilla press into my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2015 at Struan Farm
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On Sunday I arrived home to Struan Farm after a long weekend away (yes, of course Clifford was in the back seat...). John has drilled into me the need to check various parts of the property upon returning home, since as we know, things do happen. I drove into our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Good news, we'll soon have a new green/glasshouse at Struan Farm. In NZ these are called "glasshouses," while in the USA they are called "greenhouses." I keep vacillating being the split personality that I am. But the story unfolds as such. While I was away in LA recently John attended... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I've been away from Struan Farm for a long weekend with John, up in Auckland for a few gatherings with extended family and a social event or two. As a result, blog posts this week may be a bit thin on the ground, apologies, particularly with internet and Typepad problems... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at Struan Farm
Apologies, I can't seem to get a full blog post written with photos uploaded right now. Our internet is too cold, or something....I'll be back when I can. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at Struan Farm
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My sign is done, the carpet and bed are in, and the drapes are scheduled. We're almost there on the Garden Cottage at Struan Farm! Here are two teasers. First my sign: This will be affixed outside once the exterior is washed and repainted. Second, here's a rather interesting reproduction... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Some random shots from down at the river at Struan Farm. I get captured by the textures in the landscape this time of year: Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at Struan Farm
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It's almost done. The Ablution Block down at the river for Jim's Hut at Struan Farm (yes, we'll come up with a better name than "Ablution Block in due course, but this does describe its function). You can almost see the array of solar panels in the back that provide... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Happy, happy, happy. The hellebores just seem to know when I am on the brink of despair about nothing flowering in the gardens at Struan Farm. Each year, they sense when it's time to come to my rescue: They're quite shy, dipping their heads down, they make me find them... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I've said "relatively healthy" menus, right? Made this free form "Apple Pie Tray Bake" from the current issue of Dish magazine over the weekend: We don't eat desserts during the week, but on weekends I do like to experiment and bake. John hasn't complained too much either way. This recipe... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2015 at Struan Farm