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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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I'm being evicted from my garden shed at the Homestead! John has decided he's going to try to move yet another hut down the river track at Struan Farm, for more guest accommodation overlooking the Mangaotaki River on the border of our property. He's eyed up my existing garden shed... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Struan Farm
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She's quite shy and hesitant, this daffodil in the orchard here at Struan Farm. She knows she's the first to make an appearance, she told me so, and is thinking that perhaps she's just a bit premature. So she's drooping down and not reaching up for the sky just yet.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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We had quite a bit of rain at the end of last week and over the weekend here at Struan Farm. I think the same could be said for most of New Zealand. There was flooding in the usual areas of Piopio, and the back end of our Pet Paddock... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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My shallots and garlic have decided to reward me for planting them a bit early this year. I put them in almost two weeks before the shortest day of the year here at Struan Farm. We've dug a new bed in the backyard for veggies and I wanted to get... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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We had some helpers here at Struan Farm a few days ago, who painted and assembled the "Pet Palace" John had started to construct out of recycled timber for the pet lambs. The lambs are due to arrive August/September, starting to count down now! The palace will be installed in... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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A few days ago I was out wandering around the fruit orchard here at Struan Farm (as you do, or at least as I do). It pays to pay attention to the trees and gardens, one never knows what one will find. In this instance it was a transparent, jelly-like... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I'm at the point with our gardens at Struan Farm where I'm mostly filling gaps, moving things around, or looking for unusual plants or flowers to mix things up. Even with this year's new gardens, the "bones" of which are now planted. (Not sure "bones" is a technical gardening term,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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Nephew Mike has been working to renovate the old mower shed down at the Homestead at Struan Farm into a new and improved garden shed for me. Not to be confused with my recycled tool shed out in the backyard, we've got a few shed projects happening at the moment.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John's mum Rosemary used to make soup and leave it simmering on the top of the woodburning stove some years ago now at Struan Farm. But that's still a vivid memory for John, along with his recollection of the aromas wafting through the house. So we decided to test it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'm tardy on this one, since "hack" and "life hack" were added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2011. Be that as it may, a "hack" is an inelegant but effective solution to a computer problem. A "life hack" is a trick, shortcut, skill or method to increase productivity or efficiency.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Another magical sky at sunset tonight here at Struan Farm: Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Most farms and farmers are pretty well known for having stockpiles of spare stuff that can be reused or deployed as/when needed, and we're no exception. We have done some rather extensive shed clean outs and whittled down or consolidated the piles around the place since we moved to Piopio... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John and I have been reading a book by Peter Wohlleben called "The Hidden Life of Trees." It's about how trees feel and communicate, so isn't a book for everyone but is definitely for us. Wohlleben talks about discovering an ancient stump in a forest with roots that were still... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Next in my sights on the dairy free baking front were chocolate chip cookies. These are pretty much our "signature welcome" for farmstay guests here at Struan Farm, I like to have a plate on the table for guests when they arrive. I also make them for the grandkids (and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We'll admit it, John and I got a little carried away on this one. We're wanting to uncover a number of the major limestone rock formations around Struan Farm so they can be seen for the amazing natural sculptures they are. We started this project up behind the Cottage, where... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I've been working my little fingers to the bone at night here at Struan Farm. Thank heavens for MasterChef Australia airing five nights each week! Grandson Charlie's needlepoint Christmas stocking is done. He'll be here for Christmas this year from England, so it will be nice to deliver it to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Struan Farm
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To quote Joni once again. Tonight's clouds off the front deck at Struan Farm were too amazing not to share, enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The surfer dude word is technically spelled "narly" not "gnarly," but these are "gnarly" indeed. A few days ago we noticed that several of the old, gnarled trees behind the Cottage at Struan Farm are in fact trees within trees. The trees have grown together and fused, creating these lovely... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It should be well-established by now that we recycle/reuse/repurpose things here at Struan Farm. This isn't a trend du jour with us, it's how we live. The sculptures that arrived on the scene last week were packed in a solid wooden base. As soon as I saw it I knew... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2017 at Struan Farm
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A truck arrived here at Struan Farm a few days ago to deliver the "Grounded Art NZ" sculptures John purchased during our recent trip to Nelson. There are three steel "wind wand" pieces that I've installed in the pergola area for now. While this location was meant to be an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John, Clifford and I are all creatures of habit in our respective ways. Once I find a cafe or restaurant I like I pretty much keep going back, that's me. I buy the same brands when I shop, that's me. John gives me cheek, but then he has his regular... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I took a bit of a break from the dairy free experiments this weekend at Struan Farm to test out two more conventional recipes. I usually bake cookies or some sort of treat for arriving farmstay guests, so decided to kill two birds with one stone. Peanut butter cookies, from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Our farmstay business here at Struan Farm slows down appreciably during winter, it's the time of the year that we do maintenance work like paint and get the vintage bath tubs resurfaced. There's discussion about building an outdoor shower at the Cottage, after we decided not to replace our vintage... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I came inside a few days ago after a cold, damp but sunny day in the gardens here at Struan Farm. The time before sunset is probably our collective favourite time of the day. Often John and I will go outside and walk around, hands in pockets, talking and dreaming... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'd much rather bake and cook than iron and clean on a rainy day, wouldn't you too? A few days ago when the rain was going sideways here at Struan Farm I turned into a mad cook in the kitchen. Baked another dairy free "peanut butter and banana loaf" for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at Struan Farm