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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
We all have them, don't we? Dirty little secrets. Aside from my rather embarrassing stash of knitting yarn, mine has been the continued use of artificial sweetener in my coffee. I know, I know. It's bad. I've had cancer. Twice. I shouldn't use it. Here I am being sanctimonious about... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Struan Farm
We've had a shortage of colourful sunsets through summer, autumn and early winter here at Struan Farm. At least until a few nights ago. Finally! I always look toward the western hills at the end of the day, I hadn't given up. Sometimes patience can be rewarded, and this was... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
It's the time of the year when impromptu ponds happen at Struan Farm, particularly after several days of heavy rains. The Pet Paddock usually gets a rather large one down at the far end. But this is the first time I've seen a duck swimming on it! Look closely, toward... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
I was bombing up the driveway here at Struan Farm a few days ago (as I do) when something caught my eye: flashes of bright yellow. Hooray! The first daffodils of the season had popped open. I'm wanting to finish that preceding sentence with another exclamation mark, but have exercised... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
Or "re-collared" as the case may be. It was well past time for Rosie to get a new bright red collar here at Struan Farm. Her original one was dirty and tattered after two years' wear, and we couldn't have the diva of the mob looking shabby, could we? Especially... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
As previously reported, I discovered recently that some damage had been inflicted to the heirloom hellebores growing in the Homestead wooded gardens. Over the summer John waged rather aggressive chemical warfare against the Japanese anemones, which were spreading pretty much everywhere around the gardens. I'd cautioned him to be careful,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
I got around to making the Alphabet Vegetable Soup. You knew I would. We had a rainy day here at Struan Farm a few days ago, it was damp and chilly and good soup weather. I learned two things: the recipe does entail a wee bit of dicing of onion,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
You may recall that our friend Gandalf resides outside the Garden Cottage near the Homestead here at Struan Farm. Well, a few days ago I noticed that he seems to be having a tiff with the birds, one that his wizardly magic has not protected him against. He's covered with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2018 at Struan Farm
I've noticed hundreds of spider webs in trees and on fences when heading down to the Homestead at Struan Farm to garden over the past week. They glisten, bejewelled by rain or dew, in the morning sunlight. They're everywhere. Literally every tree is draped with them. Which has made me... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Struan Farm
Another blog on fog. Over the past week we've been fogged in, pretty much every morning, here at Struan Farm. The good news is that the sun has managed to shine through by midday most days. But it's meant that I haven't been able to get out to work in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2018 at Struan Farm
Did you ever eat "Alphabet Soup" as a child? I did, I remember trying to make words on my spoon as I ate the soup. So I was thrilled to find a packet of Girolomoni "pasta alfabeto," alphabet pasta, at Red Kitchen in nearby Te Awamutu recently. At the time... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2018 at Struan Farm
We're hoping. This is a "Queenie" black mulberry tree, Morus nigra, we're planting at Struan Farm. We took the bait recently on a visit to nearby Smart Plants when Charlie mentioned that he had them. It triggered memories for me of eating them in our backyard in New Jersey, there... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2018 at Struan Farm
As a photographer I've always had a thing for mossy gates and fenceposts, I love their rustic look. A few days ago John and I took a walk down the "Old Road" here at Struan Farm to look at the progress he and Mike have been making on a new... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2018 at Struan Farm
John and I went out to tackle some jobs around Struan Farm over the weekend and had a special encounter in the garage while putting on our work boots: a Monarch Butterfly flitting around us! It was a clear, sunny day, but I didn't think we'd see any Monarchs in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Struan Farm
Ahead of lambing season and setting up the Pet Pen at Struan Farm this year I thought it might be fun to remember our pet lambs over the past few years. Rosie, Ruby, Pip, Pepper and Cookie are still on the farm, about to have their second lot of lambs.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2018 at Struan Farm
A few days ago I made panettone bread pudding for our (permitted) weekend dessert, with thanks to David Lebovitz for the recipe. I'd never tried panettone before, the familiar dome shaped sweet bread Italians traditionally eat around Christmas and New Year. I was able to buy some at Vetro in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2018 at Struan Farm
On my recent trip to California friend Laura introduced me to making parmesan crisps. They're quite easy to make and are great with drinks for nibbles or as a crunchy element in soup or salads. Put approximately one tablespoon grated parmesan on a baking tray lined with paper, pressing slightly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2018 at Struan Farm
Jack and Jill went up one, they're alive in the Sound of Music, and there's a fool on one too, if you remember that last song. It was written by Paul McCartney, about a man who appears to be a fool but is in fact quite wise. Sergio Mendes &... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at Struan Farm
In winter we get frosts here at Struan Farm. At least when the weather is sunny and clear, that is to say when it's not raining. Sometimes the frosts can be quite hard, and it looks to be one of those winters. But I've realised that frosty mornings can be... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2018 at Struan Farm
Do you remember this song by Peter, Paul and Mary? I do, it was written by folk singer Pete Seeger. At the moment I find myself looking at the print I brought home to Struan Farm from California with the Matisse quote: "There are always flowers for those who want... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at Struan Farm
The pregnant ewes at Struan Farm got shorn a few days ago by Farmer John. It's something that happens shortly before they deliver lambs, to reduce their weight and make it easier for them. I'm not sure they appreciate that fact at the moment, given our frosty mornings, but they'll... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2018 at Struan Farm
I confess, I was two days late planting my garlic and shallots here at Struan Farm. They are meant to be planted on the shortest day of the year in June and harvested on the longest in December. The planets and stars were aligned for Matariki but I was not.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2018 at Struan Farm
Yes, I went away overseas. You might not have figured that out, since I wrote and scheduled blog posts to keep things humming while I was gone from Struan Farm. There are almost always enough stories to tell, things that happen, to do that. Typepad did have a bit of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at Struan Farm
Hi there. I'll be back blogging properly soon. We've got farmstay guests arriving today and I'm still settling back into the groove here at Struan Farm after being overseas for ten days. I'll tell you about that too. In the meantime, here are two items that came home with me.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at Struan Farm
I have to laugh. When the ewes see me coming now they think it's time to move paddocks here at Struan Farm. Even if they've just been moved that morning. They can't help themselves, the allure of fresh grass, greener pastures, is way too strong. I had to tell them... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2018 at Struan Farm