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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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Technically it's a "blondie," but that's a minor point. This week is the final week the contractors are staying at the Cottage here at Struan Farm, at least we think so. And so end my weekly baking adventures (hmmm, maybe yes, maybe no). What started off as a four week... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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It isn't "The Night Before Christmas" here at Struan Farm, but the line seems appropriate. I've been working flat out to get the gardens ready for their winter naps, especially the veggie gardens. They've been cleaned out, weeded and treated with sheep pellets and blood & bone, except those with... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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We've had two teams from Asplundh back at Struan Farm recently for more training in the trees. During Arbor Camp last month they'd checked out a compromised red oak tree that John wanted to fell in the Pet Paddock given its proximity to our favourite Dawn Redwood, two huge oak... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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Seems like we were just embracing autumn last week here at Struan Farm, which we were. We have very short seasons here, except, it seems, for winter. And the winter rains and frosts have started in earnest. This past weekend we had rain, sun, hail and frost! The rains and... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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You will know that we recycle/repurpose/reuse quite a bit here at Struan Farm. We're starting to dig and border the new extended vegetable bed in the backyard right now. Nephew Mike has just finished paving stones on the glasshouse side of the bed. John decided that the bed was so... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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A few days ago here at Struan Farm I noticed that pet lamb Tootsie had an oozing, droopy left eye when she came up for her daily apple treat. We're still seeing some symptoms of "pink eye" in the sheep, pets included. Mickey had had it a week or so... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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Clifford is now hopping around Struan Farm on three legs. Don't worry, he's not in pain. He just blew out a ligament in a back knee barrelling around the Pet Paddock a week or so ago, chasing a mob of wild turkeys. John saw the chase and said it was... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I looked out one morning this week and saw that a "Shaggy inkcap, Coprinus comatus," had popped up on the front lawn at the new(ish) house here at Struan Farm overnight. They're so distinctive you can't really miss (or misidentify) them! Usually we get them down the drive under the... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'd almost given up hope that we'd get any ripe figs this year beyond the random few already picked, but I was wrong. Fortunately for us I misjudged the impact of the weather, and I definitely overestimated the birds, including the mob of turkeys mulling around the Pet Paddock here... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Over the past week the leaves have finally started to change noticeably here at Struan Farm. But with all the rain they're also starting to fall! It's one of those seasons. I'll be getting the rake out shortly to tackle the windfall for the compost bins, mulch and burn piles.... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We're into week 11 with the contractors staying at the Cottage here at Struan Farm. They're still working hard to reinforce those unstable Paemako roadside cliffs. I'm starting to run low on different slice/bar/cookie recipes, have pretty much exhausted my standard repertoire. I sent out an SOS to my friends... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It's time for serious work projects in the gardens here at Struan Farm. Planting, seasonal cutbacks, etc. One of my recent jobs was cleaning up and planting garden circles around some of our feature trees in the gardens at the new(ish) house. Two down (the two larger trees), two to... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Struan Farm
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This morning someone cut the hard bits out of my kiwifruit before serving them for breakfast. This after I'd left chewed, mangled pieces on the edge of my bowl yesterday. Without getting too mushy, acts of love and kindness when you least expect them make life special. Test some out... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Just a few autumn projects on the go here at Struan Farm. This past weekend I managed to get another group of black currants ("Magnus") planted along the orchard edge next to John's workshop. This new bed has been tidied up with some mulching bark, so it does look smart.... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It's definitely a time of seasonal transition in the gardens here at Struan Farm. Thought I'd share with you a few final bursts from the flowers, including echinacea, nigella, dahlia. The late marigolds self-seeded next to the purple salvia in a riot of colour, while that bright green grass grub... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at Struan Farm
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During a recent visit granddaughters Ella and Livvy pointed out to us that one of our new garden beds here at Struan Farm was in the shape of a chicken. Something we hadn't noticed previously, it takes a child! Which then had me looking at the oval garden beneath the... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I've challenged myself to bake something different each week for the contracting team spending weeknights at The Cottage here at Struan Farm. You remember, those guys who are up the Paemako cliffs on ropes? We're into week ten. This past week I made David Lebovitz' "Coconut and Chocolate Macaroons." Unlike... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at Struan Farm
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News via FB that niece Jill's daughter Lilley has set up an archery range at home and is practicing to take on her cousins in the annual Struan Farm Boxing Day archery challenge. Seems this trophy will be highly contested in December 2017! This year we have returning winners Milly... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Unfortunately we're "in the pink" in a bad way here at Struan Farm. Quite a few of the ewes have contracted "pink eye" this season. John noticed that one of the sheep was blind, which isn't all that unusual, but then we started to see more having problems walking around... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John is well known for trooping young visitors out to the Pet Paddock at Struan Farm to hug our huge feature trees. Often he gets a group of them joining hands around the trees so they can appreciate how big they really are. We think it's important for children to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'm beginning to think that John's theory that the pets lambs cause the lion's share of the problems may have some merit. At least after I caught this year's little darlings jumping on top of the chicken wire we've attached to the fencing around my flower gardens to nibble my... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2017 at Struan Farm
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This past week we hosted the third annual Asplundh NZ Arbor Camp here at Struan Farm. Arborists in training from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and New Plymouth came along to work up in our Pet Paddock feature trees, supervised by a member of management or two. These trees,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I realised that it's time to plant some winter salad greens in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm while it's still warm during the days. So after nephew Mike knocked out a few planter boxes I'd commissioned from recycled timber, and our heap of potting soil was restocked, I was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Life at Struan Farm involves contending with many things, including various pests. And no, I'm certainly not talking about John, Clifford, or the pet lambs! At certain times of the year things happen with bugs and rodents in particular. I could almost diarise some of them. We need to be... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The third annual Asplundh Arbor Camp is happening this week at Struan Farm. Men up on ropes in our huge feature trees in the Pet Paddock, practicing the finer points of pruning. What's not to like about that? The trees are useful for this purpose because they're 50-60 years old... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at Struan Farm