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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
Farmer John arrived at the woolshed here at Struan Farm a few days ago to shear the hoggets. This included Rosie, who's looking pretty scrawny! Here's before: And here's after: I gave her a fresh apple to nibble on snarf down, which helped calm her down. She told me she... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
John's "Awanui Avenue" of flowering cherry trees in the Cottage Paddock is starting to look pretty beautiful here at Struan Farm. What's interesting is that the trees on one side are larger and bloom first. We're not sure if they get more sun, the soil is different, or they're just... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
I got a phone call from the neighbouring farm a few days ago. They had an abandoned, "sickly" ewe lamb. Would we take her in as another pet lamb here at Struan Farm? You can guess the answer: of course! I drove over with bottle, blanket, etc. to pick her... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
Granddaughters Ella and Livvy had a chance to meet Struan Farm's pet lambs Cookie, Buster and Curly this week, which was great fun for all. Ella has adopted Cookie and Livvy Curly, while son Daniel decided to contend with Buster. Rosie devoured more than her fair share of apples, and... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
Granddaughters Ella and Livvy were visiting Struan Farm for the first part of the school holidays, so of course there was baking. In this case mini chocolate cupcakes with mango cream cheese icing. Livvy decided to use the leftover batter to make one serious HUGE chocolate cupcake, of which she... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
We finally have enough tulips blooming at Struan Farm's front entrance gate to be able to pick a proper spring bouquet for the table, hooray! I mixed in some bluebells and a few sprigs of deutzia buds too. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
I recently found out that the Laucke Golden Wholemeal Bread Mix I've used for the farmstay here at Struan Farm since we opened, as well as for our personal use, has been discontinued. DISCONTINUED! It disappeared from Countdown about a year ago, but the distributor assured me it would be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2016 at Struan Farm
It's happening in the gardens at Struan Farm. John's avenue of awanui cherry trees in the Cottage Paddock are starting to bloom too. Once they're really out I'll share those too.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2016 at Struan Farm
How does one keep track of tomatoes? That is the question. (Shakespeare might beg to differ on this one.) Last year at Struan Farm I started off well, but once the seedlings were planted out in the gardens I completely lost the plot. As a result, at the end of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2016 at Struan Farm
I'm thinking I will be very grateful this next weekend when the time changes here at Struan Farm, "springing forward" by one hour. Because right now the "Cookie Alarm" is going off every morning at 5:08 a.m. outside the bedroom window. First Curly then Buster joins in, the chorus of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2016 at Struan Farm
John takes more of a tough love approach to the pet lambs than I do here at Struan Farm. I'm not exactly "Mommy Dearest," competing with Joan Crawford as an evil disciplinarian. I want to make sure everyone is going to live through the night, is fed well and sheltered.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2016 at Struan Farm
It rained all day Friday and Saturday here at Struan Farm. So much so that the house got cleaned and the ironing got done, after which it was time to bake. I'd been noticing on the Mainland Grated Tasty Cheese bag we buy a suggestion that the cheese could be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2016 at Struan Farm
As you might imagine, I don't like to be bored. It's important to me to stay active and challenged, both physically and intellectually. But I'm also a creature of habit. I don't really embrace change with much enthusiasm, unless of course I'm the one to initiate it. Change forced upon... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2016 at Struan Farm
Discovered two invaders on the side of our house at Struan Farm a few days ago: Puriri moths, Aenetus virescens. They are NZ's largest native moths, and live in indigenous and exotic hardwoods, attack living gum trees. While I guess I can't call them "alien" invaders as a result, I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2016 at Struan Farm
I got a phone call from the neighbouring farm yesterday afternoon. Would we be happy to take another ram lamb here at Struan Farm? He'd been abandoned by mum. And of course the answer was yes....I ran over in the car with bottle and blanket to pick him up. He... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2016 at Struan Farm
Hi Alan, We planted them out near our second tawa grove. Rabbits have nibbled some of them, but they're growing away. I've also since learned how to work with the kowhai seeds. There are two theories: one is to soak the seeds for 10 days to soften the hard yellow shells, the other is to abrade them somewhat on sandpaper, concrete (or even chew them). I managed to get two seeds to germinate this winter in the glasshouse without knowing this, but next year I'll go gangbusters.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2016 on Native Nursery News at Struan Farm
I've now managed to convert (pet lamb, sort of, still) Ruby to fresh apple snacks here at Struan Farm. She was a bit hesitant at first, but after watching Rosie snarfing up pieces as fast as she could, Ruby decided to give one a try. She ate three. Rosie will... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2016 at Struan Farm
The phrase "how now brown cow" does come to mind, but the one that showed up at Struan Farm yesterday was black. She swam across the river to our place from the neighbour's farm, and was confused by that whole experience. In the afternoon she showed up walking and moaning... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2016 at Struan Farm
Some random photos of spring starting to happen around Struan Farm. It's early days, but nice to see the first tulips and bright red rhodo in bloom at our entrance gate, along with the plum trees starting to flower! Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2016 at Struan Farm
You will recall I've been raking leaves from the hillside overlooking the pond here at Struan Farm. Part of the annual spring clean, it needs to be done so that the fallen leaves don't kill the grass entirely. One of the few downsides of having lots of deciduous trees around... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2016 at Struan Farm
John and I went over to Smart Plants in nearby Te Kuiti a few days ago and picked up a trailer load of potting soil and a stash of PB8 black plastic sacks. My mission now is to repot the native trees John has purchased to date for his extended... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at Struan Farm
John and I tackled raking leaves under the walnut and oak trees outside the Cottage at Struan Farm a few days ago. It's almost time to spread paddock grass seed on bare spots, and leaves on the ground definitely don't help the grass grow. We managed to get it done... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2016 at Struan Farm
We've made some "refinements" to Pet Paddock 2 out the gate in the backyard here at Struan Farm. This follows a few stormy nights this week when I felt compelled to airlift pet lambs Cookie and Buster back to the sheltered protection of their Pet Pen. They are really too... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2016 at Struan Farm
In my view this move is a wee bit premature, but Cookie and Buster have been put out into the paddock near the back gate here at Struan Farm. Somehow Cookie managed to catapult herself out of the Pet Pen, so she prompted the decision. We couldn't have her jumping... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2016 at Struan Farm
The neighbour rang over the weekend to ask if we'd be willing to take two newborn ram lambs as pets here at Struan Farm. Our preference is for ewes, since they'll get to stay around, but these little fellows would probably die otherwise, so of course we took them. I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2016 at Struan Farm