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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 not the best time of the year to be away from the gardens at Struan Farm. But be that as it may, I was up in Auckland for a few days this week for some scheduled appointments. I've returned home to rain (hooray), ripening tomatoes (hooray) and giant zucchini... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Struan Farm
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I picked the last of the ripe blackcurrants in the backyard here at Struan Farm a few days ago, and decided to crack into making a batch of jam. The Edmonds recipe calls for 1kg of fruit, fortunately I had enough plus several cups to save in the freezer for... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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You've made zucchini bread but you then remember to get out the spiraliser to make "zoodles." Not sure why they didn't come to mind earlier when the zucchini tsunami started to crest here at Struan Farm, but they didn't. I use zoodles as a main dish in substitution for pasta,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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For some time now we've been wanting to confirm the type of conifers that are in a cluster on the knob out from our house at Struan Farm. John and nephew Mike have been working to clean up this area so that the trees are more prominent, and the view... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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You may know that Struan Farm is located in New Zealand's Waitomo District, home to the major international tourist destination "Waitomo Caves." The district is generally known for its underground limestone landscape. "Wai" means water, while a "tomo" is a sinkhole. Tomos and caves can be found throughout the area.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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The only difference is that these particular flowers aren't meant to be eaten! When the ewes are in the house paddock here at Struan Farm several of them can't resist nibbling my flowers beside the fences. The dahlias and roses in particular. John accuses my former pets of being the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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A few nights ago John left me to my own devices at the dinner table here at Struan Farm. We'd finished eating and he went off to stalk two large rabbits who have been wreaking havoc in the flower gardens. Yes, again. They usually come out at sunset and play... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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You make zucchini bread, of course! At least I do. It's been a great season for zucchini this year at Struan Farm with all the hot, dry weather, certainly until last week. Small zucchinis seem to quadruple in size overnight. There's only so much we can eat of the same... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at Struan Farm
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A few weeks ago we airlifted the rustic bench that has sat outside the Cottage up to the workshop at Struan Farm for much needed repairs. The sheep keep bumping into it, or rubbing against it, knocking off one of the arms. After it was fixed the decision was made... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at Struan Farm
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As recently reported, grandson Charlie and his parents and sisters visited us at Struan Farm from his home in England over the Christmas holidays. It was lovely to see them and have them here experiencing all things farm. Charlie had a chance to catch up with his gnome Ringo and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at Struan Farm
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No, not the royals, rather monarch butterflies here at Struan Farm. Last week I saw one flitting around the Homestead gardens and hoped it would travel up the farm track to find the swan plant I've planted up in the gardens at the new(ish) house. It has, and we now... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2018 at Struan Farm
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We needed rain, and we got rain here at Struan Farm. Heavy rain and winds. Now to deal with the aftermath. I'm sure the flowers in the gardens will recover, but they definitely need me out there to help! There are more, but I think you've got the idea. Just... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2018 at Struan Farm
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Rainy weather, peak blueberries, and "two for" pricing at Piopio Berry Orchard. The planets have aligned here at Struan Farm, it's time to crack into making blueberry jam (between farmstay guests). She who hesitates is lost. The first batch is in the jars, second and third ones yet to do... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2018 at Struan Farm
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Our UK based grandchildren were enlisted by John to help move the sheep during their recent visit to Struan Farm. Of course this meant putting away the jandals and donning proper footwear for the job, "proper footwear" meaning gumboots. This involved Karen explaining what gumboots were, and everyone going out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2018 at Struan Farm
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Visiting grandson Charlie confessed to me before Christmas that he had yet to eat pavlova. Which also meant that sisters Freya and Violet hadn't either. So I moved to address this shocking situation when they were back visiting us at Struan Farm this week before returning home to the UK.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2018 at Struan Farm
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The edible flowers I've grown from seed here at Struan Farm are now blooming, big time. The Kings Seeds "Flowers Good Enough to Eat" mix has done really well, once again. All except the violas, once again. I use the petals and nasturtium in salads for colour and the whole... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2018 at Struan Farm
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As previously reported, everything in the gardens is early this year here at Struan Farm. Even the tomatoes! Last season we were lucky to have anything ripen in February. This year I've got the first tomato almost ripe, just at the beginning of the New Year. Bring them on, Mother... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2018 at Struan Farm
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After all the Christmas and Boxing Day "hoo ha" with visitors, extreme cooking (and eating) here at Struan Farm it's time for me to calm down and reconnect with the gardens. Much needed, both for the gardens and for me. Echinacea and echinops, for those gardeners out there. And as... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Grandson Charlie was at Struan Farm this year for the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays. We were pleased to be able to deliver his needlepoint Christmas stocking to him in person. I think he is really pleased with it, what do you think? It's hanging on the mantle temporarily with... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2017 at Struan Farm
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They came, they played, they ate at Struan Farm. The extended family went home tired but happy from our annual Boxing Day celebration. We had a record turnout of 41. Some stayed overnight in the Cottage, Jim's Hut or camped out down at the river. It poured rain that morning... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2017 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago I pulled up the garlic and shallots grown here in the veggie gardens at Struan Farm. It was definitely time to do so. Both are members of the alliaceous family, commonly called alliums, which also includes leeks, other types of onions, and chives. It was quite... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2017 at Struan Farm
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For the past three years now I've rounded up the current year's mob of pet lambs at the back gate and subjected them to photo shoots with reindeer antlers. All in the interest of wishing our farmstay guests, friends and family Merry Christmas with a Struan Farm twist. The exercise... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Wishing you and your family all the best for a Merry Christmas from Karen, John, Clifford, the pet lambs (current & former) and the gnomes! Blog posts will be random for a bit. Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2017 at Struan Farm
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This week we had a bit of much needed rain here at Struan Farm, so I was able to defer my weeding onslaught of the Homestead gardens for a day and continue baking for our Boxing Day celebration. I made a batch each of lemon verbena shortbread and rosemary shortbread,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Here in New Zealand our Christmas desserts tend toward pavlovas, trifles, and peak summer fruit. And here at Struan Farm we are very lucky to have Piopio Berry Orchard on our doorstep, lavishing us with a "berry trifecta" of amazing strawberries, blueberries and raspberries at this time of the year.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2017 at Struan Farm