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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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Was very excited to make my first harvest from the new veggie gardens at Struan Farm this week: Beautiful "Amethyst" and "Cabernet" radishes, they went straight into a salad for dinner! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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Actually it's for our annual family gathering for Boxing Day at Struan Farm, but I realised that I needed to get a move on. One batch of cream cheese Christmas cookies down! These are really easy to make: 8 oz. room temperature cream cheese, 8 oz. softened butter, 1/4 tsp.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Got myself into quite a berry state given Piopio Berry Orchard's amazing peak season strawberries and blueberries! I decided to test out a recipe from the latest issue of Dish Magazine, "Free Form Fresh Strawberry Tart." Really pretty quick and easy, it uses frozen puff pastry, fresh fruit, pistachios, and... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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We have a family tradition of pancake breakfasts at Struan Farm on Sundays when the kids and their kids visit. John cracks out "Uncle Earl's Secret Pancake Recipe," and with help from a sous chef or two delivers delicious pancakes with real maple syrup, lots of butter for several serious... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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This is our first Christmas in the new house at Struan Farm, and also the first Christmas in years we won't be shuttling between Auckland and Piopio. So a proper Christmas tree is clearly in order. The only dilemma is that fresh Christmas trees in NZ are typically radiata pines,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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So technically last week Struan Farm's resident pet lamb Spud was weaned, right? However he's still getting "at least" a small bottle a day so that he doesn't go feral and run off with the mob before Christmas. Daniel, Clare and the girls were down over the weekend, and everyone... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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The blueberries landed at Piopio Berry Orchard this week, and they're huge and delicious! Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Clifford and I returned from a short trip to Auckland yesterday to find that yes, the concrete truck and its related "product specialists" had appeared at Struan Farm as scheduled, and yes, the first pour of the driveway at the new house had happened! I'm "over the moon" about all... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I'm guessing that you won't be quite as excited as we are to watch the grass growing in the backyard at the new house at Struan Farm? It's a fun time! I raked the area and spread seed about two weeks ago after it was graded and topsoil spread. We've... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Struan Farm
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It's a somewhat bittersweet day at Struan Farm, time to wean our pet lamb Spud. I'm prepared for major wails outside the bedroom window when the bottles don't appear like clockwork at the back fence, this lamb knows how to tug at the heartstrings! We have gradually cut back his... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I had a few rainy day jam making sessions at Struan Farm over the past week. With the farmstay open full time I will need more of a stash than ever, so I'm making batches of strawberry jam here and there when I can fit them in. The blueberries aren't... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Struan Farm
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It was Happy Birthday John at Struan Farm over the weekend, with a few special dinners. So of course we needed some special flowers to grace the dining table. Roses without a doubt, but also hydrangea, poppy seed pods, nigella (love those delicate, whispy blooms), a few other bits and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at Struan Farm
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At least if you're a kid that is. I finally got my act in gear this past weekend to design and print out "Certificates of Commendation" for the young family members who submitted suggestions for our recent "Name the New Gnome" contest at Struan Farm. Signed by John, they look... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Struan Farm
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The gardens are popping at Struan Farm. The Perfect Pergola is, well, as advertised--perfect, brimming with blooming roses. Buds (and buds) promise more to come. I did some rather aggressive pruning this past winter, which seems to have paid off, along with lots of sheep pellets, blood and bone, and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at Struan Farm
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The past few weeks I've noticed that Spud has been increasingly curious about Clifford, who lurks around me while I feed Spud. Earlier on he was afraid of him, but lately he's been wanting to engage. And now they do, Clifford licks the milk dribbles off Spud's face after he... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Things have been happening at the new house at Struan Farm. Over the past week the builders got the boxing and groundwork done for the driveway: The concrete is meant to be poured in two installments, this week, so watch this space! It will be so good to have this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Hooray, the summer flowers in the gardens at Struan Farm are blooming, big time. Here is our weekend table arrangement, my favorite old fashioned roses, sigh: Yes, they even have scents! Last autumn I noticed that the white hydrangea are the last to stop blooming for the year. This summer... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2014 at Struan Farm
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As I recall, this expression used to mean you were being expelled from the house, or sent outside for a spanking, but in these politically correct days that is definitely not the case for me! I'm a good girl, really, painting the new wood shed in the backyard at our... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at Struan Farm
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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 Nov 27, 2014 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 Nov 26, 2014 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 Nov 25, 2014 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 Nov 24, 2014 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 Nov 23, 2014 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 Nov 21, 2014 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 Nov 20, 2014 at Struan Farm