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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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It's almost done. The Ablution Block down at the river for Jim's Hut at Struan Farm (yes, we'll come up with a better name than "Ablution Block in due course, but this does describe its function). You can almost see the array of solar panels in the back that provide... Continue reading
Posted 14 hours ago at Struan Farm
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Happy, happy, happy. The hellebores just seem to know when I am on the brink of despair about nothing flowering in the gardens at Struan Farm. Each year, they sense when it's time to come to my rescue: They're quite shy, dipping their heads down, they make me find them... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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I've said "relatively healthy" menus, right? Made this free form "Apple Pie Tray Bake" from the current issue of Dish magazine over the weekend: We don't eat desserts during the week, but on weekends I do like to experiment and bake. John hasn't complained too much either way. This recipe... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Yes, yet another funky Karen upcycling project. We are almost done with the renovation of the Garden Cottage at Struan Farm, formerly Maurie's Workshop. As you will recall, this will be a second bedroom available to farmstay guests booking the Homestead. The new windows are in, ceiling painted, tiles in,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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I've been trying to keep it easy and (relatively) healthy these days. In cold weather there's something comforting about hot, homemade soup. This past week I tried out a "Spiced Roast Parsnip and Kumara Soup with Parsnip & Sumac Chips" from the July issue of NZ House & Garden magazine.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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John and I travelled over to Marakopa to meet friends for lunch this past weekend at their "bach" on the west coast. There were a number of interesting routes for us to choose from, with varying degrees of windy, gravel roads and scenic views. We opted to go down Mangaotaki... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I came across these interesting fungi on a fallen log in the tawa grove at Struan Farm. They look quite sculptural and velvety, don't they? The undulating shapes are beautiful, at least I think so.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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It's winter, time for warming breakfasts on chilly mornings at Struan Farm, mainly porridge/oatmeal for me. I recently stumbled upon this recipe for plum porridge by former NZ Master Chef winner Aaron Brunet that looked interesting, so decided to test it out. The oats are soaked in water overnight, which... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I'm ba-ack and we seem to have internet for now so I am making the most of it. Had a brief escape from chilly Piopio to visit good friends in the warm sunshine of Dana Point and Pasadena, California. I wrote and posted blogs ahead of my departure for most... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Apologies, short blogging break for a few days. I'm off seeing friends someplace sunny, hooray! Decided not to have the farm/dog sitter do my blogs, there's enough for him to do as it is... Back on deck sometime next week. Hasta la vista babies.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Since Inframax had done such a good job taking out the trees at risk of falling over across the road from Struan Farm recently, John and I decided the least we could do would be to plant some natives to help fill the gap across the road and shore up... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I've created my own problem on this one: needlepoint Christmas stockings for the grandchildren. One down, for Ella. Now I'm onto Livvy: I'm cranking again on it currently. I may finish it for this Christmas, but just don't know given international finishing and shipping deadlines. Fingers crossed. I had been... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Love the landscape through the seasons at Struan Farm! Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Struan Farm
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John and I walked down the river track at Struan Farm recently, basically to check that the drains on the track were working given all of the rain we've been having. The track was fine. But it was also amazing to see how high the Mangaotaki River is right now,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Struan Farm
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You will recall that a few weeks ago a big tree across the road from Struan Farm fell down over SH3, and a couple drove straight into it, totalling their ute. Well, the good news is that the team from Inframax, our local roading company, got onto the other trees... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Struan Farm
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One of my helpers got around to bringing up a trailer load of leaves from the Pet Paddock at Struan Farm to the backyard at the new(ish) house. Enough for me to load up the raised veggie beds with a blanket for the winter, plus toss some into our compost... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The ewes at Struan Farm this season are already quite fat, months ahead of lambing. When it rains they like to hang out under the tawa grove, the trees provide them with protection from the weather. Or not! Hopefully this bodes well for lots of happy, healthy little lambs running... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Was struck by this beautiful last gasp of autumn colour, and the mossy texture of the trees, at Struan Farm's pond recently. Couldn't decide whether I preferred the horizontal or the vertical image, you choose: Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Struan Farm
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This past week I tackled a clean out of our raised bed veggie gardens at Struan Farm. I've left my broad beans, beets, onions, italian parsley and a bit of kale growing, but have cleaned out everything else. Next comes mulch and compost ahead of a good winter's nap. Oh,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at Struan Farm
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We're big soup eaters during autumn and winter here at Struan Farm. But it's always good to have some warm, freshly baked cheese scones with soup, isn't it? Plus I love having an excuse to dig out my vintage "scone" case, found on a trip to Nelson. It's hand embroidered,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at Struan Farm
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John received the map of the trees in the Pet Paddock at Struan Farm from the Arbor Camp team at Asplundh recently, along with a spread sheet noting the type of tree, size, etc. We love to wander this paddock admiring these trees (John has been known to get kids... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Yes, we're tree people here at Struan Farm. And once we realised that yesterday was Arbor Day in NZ, John and I decided that there was only one option for a beautiful sunny day: planting more trees! So we hooked up the trailer and headed off to Smart Plants in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2015 at Struan Farm
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You will know that I am just a little bit organised and tidy, right? Well, we don't have a garden shed up at the new house at Struan Farm (as yet). The main garden shed is down at The Homestead. So various tools we need to landscape and garden have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Of course you will recall our resident gnomes in the Tawa Grove at Struan Farm. Stuffy, Ringo and Tico were the first to arrive for granchildren Ella, Charlie and Livvy, followed by Doc for Freya and Red for Emma. Recent news that another grandchild is on the way had our... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I decided to use two of the remaining Monty's Surprise apples from the orchard at Struan Farm to make the "Toffee apple self-saucing pudding" from Sophie Gray's cookbook "Fill the Tins." I've made this before, it's easy and seriously yummy, served warm from the oven with yogurt, ice cream or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Struan Farm