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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
I'm wanting to do a Christmas card for Struan Farm this year, and thought it would be fun to use a photo of one or all of the pet lambs. So I gathered them together and had a chat. Everyone cooperated, except of course Pepper, who said "Bah Humbug" to... Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at Struan Farm
Two of the coppery flaxes we planted around the new(ish) house at Struan Farm have decided to flower this year. Thought I'd share some of the flowers: There may be another instalment if they open further and I can capture them with my camera before the tuis feast upon them. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
We discover more about "Roma's Rose" when we least expect it. John and I spent some time over the weekend wandering around the Auckland Botanic Gardens. We were up to see Fleetwood Mac at Mt. Smart Stadium and had time to kill. Of course I dragged him to the rose... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
We've had some good rain interspersed with warm, sunny weather, and the veggie garden at Struan Farm is happy as a result. My first zucchini has blossomed, along with several black cherry tomato plants, while Mr. V's "dali" beans are just about ready to pop. It's interesting to see what... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
There's a bit of an historical link here at Struan Farm with delphiniums (or is it more properly delphinia?). Apparently there used to be a huge bed of them by the garage, a structure we now call the "mower shed" even though it's without a mower. The family loves this... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
It's that time of the year when it's really fun to walk the gardens at Struan Farm putting together flower arrangements, either for our table or for our farmstay guests. There's so much to choose from, I love wandering and playing (and having the time to do so). It keeps... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
All of a sudden, it's summer in the gardens. Hydrangeas, roses and the dogwoods are all happening. It's interesting, last year we didn't have any hydrangea blooming before Christmas, this year they are blooming in November. We take things as they come here at Struan Farm. Farmstay guests arriving from... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
The "Rocket" and "Jersey Benne" seed potatoes I planted Labour weekend have come up and are growing away in the backyard at Struan Farm. Both are early varieties. The plan is to have new potatoes for Christmas dinner and Boxing Day, I may well have a shot at it. Stay... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2015 at Struan Farm
Found these beautiful objects on the bush floor beside our smaller tawa grove at Struan Farm recently: A quick check with our native tree guide revealed they are "Rewarewa" flowers, also called New Zealand Honeysuckle or Knightia excelsa. The nectar is food for bellbird, silvereye, tui and bees, used to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2015 at Struan Farm
John has managed to get one side of the privacy trellis for the outside shower at Jim's Hut installed. The other side involves more elaborate construction with poles, will be done shortly. This side looks out to the river; so it's less of a concern in the meantime since only... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at Struan Farm
John and I continue to discover things around Struan Farm that we hadn't noticed or didn't know about. A few days ago a small group of people from DOC (the NZ Dept. of Conservation) came through. They pointed out to John that we have quite a bit of "Kaihua," native... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Struan Farm
New dishes on the table at Struan Farm this past weekend. Thanks to inspiration from the December issue of Dish magazine, along with Donna Hay's latest cookbook "Life in Balance." On Friday morning for breakfast I made Donna Hay's "baked spinach and parmesan eggwhite souffles." They were delicious if light,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2015 at Struan Farm
I dropped one of the empty pet lamb bottles on our concrete driveway after the evening feed at the back fence, oops. Juggling five bottles, not that I'm making excuses. It cracked. And the farm store was closed, wouldn't be open in time for the morning feed. What's a mum... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2015 at Struan Farm
Here in New Zealand on FoodTV there was a long running show called "The Next Great Baker," in which contestants vied for a job with Cake Boss Buddy Velastro and cash prizes. When it was time for the next challenge to begin, Buddy would shout "GO TIME!" Well, at Struan... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at Struan Farm
The exterior painting is done, so the sign at the Garden Cottage at Struan Farm (finally) got hung: Now we just need to stop calling it Maurie's Workshop. Old habits die hard! Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at Struan Farm
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you! Trust everyone remembers this little ditty. "Roma's Roses" have been blooming for about two weeks now at Struan Farm. I grew the plant from a cutting, and it's now growing as hoped over the Perfect Pergola. While... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2015 at Struan Farm
Shhhh, you need to be able to keep this TOP SECRET! The needlepoint Christmas stocking I made for Livvy arrived back from finishing at The Needle Nook of La Jolla. They have outdone themselves, adding tassles and jingle bells to the twisted cord edge and loop. While she did see... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at Struan Farm
There were flowers for the farmstay guests this weekend as well as flowers for our table at Struan Farm. It's a funny time of the year, lots of flowering shrubs bursting forth in the gardens, but things to pick for arrangements are a bit scarce. Fortunately the early white hydrangeas... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at Struan Farm
We've been working hard over the past year or so to get new lawns and gardens established at the new(ish) house at Struan Farm. Previously it was paddock, so as you might imagine we've still got a way to go. I keep telling myself (or is that John's voice in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at Struan Farm
It seems the sheep agree with our choice for the perfect picnic spot down at the river at Struan Farm: Now I just need to make sure they pick up their litter! Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2015 at Struan Farm
It wasn't all Rugby World Cup this weekend at Struan Farm, I can assure you. And much to John's dismay! I recruited him to help me with painting the back half of the Homestead. It needed a touch up ahead of a wedding scheduled in the gardens in mid-December. (Kristen... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at Struan Farm
This past weekend the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular kicked off, running through November 8th. Struan Farm is right on the flight path of those travellers heading to New Plymouth from the north. John got my "Gardeners Welcome" sign up at our front entrance to give them a smile: This annual... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2015 at Struan Farm
Good news, Piopio Berry Orchard is now open, and fresh strawberries have just become available this week! Check out the link above to their new website, and regular updates are also available on their Facebook page. Yes, a happy time of the year! Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2015 at Struan Farm
Time for New Zealand to exhale. The entire country was on pins and needles this weekend, up for Sunday's 5 a.m. Rugby World Cup final in which the All Blacks triumphed against the Wallabies at Twickenham. Struan Farm's "tight five," Rosie, Ruby, Pepper, Pip and Spanky haven't stopped partying. They... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2015 at Struan Farm
We've just started to harvest the broad beans from the veggie gardens at Struan Farms this week. (These are basically fava beans...) Meanwhile, the heirloom "Dali" beans from Mr. V. in Dargaville, dwarf yellow beans, and soybean seeds I planted a week ago are already started to come up! Yep,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2015 at Struan Farm