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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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Take a guess at who's been munching the last tomatoes of the season off the vine in my veggie garden at Struan Farm. Yep, Clifford. Wouldn't have believed it if we hadn't seen it, twice now. I'd thought it hadn't been the best year for toms, but now I'm wondering.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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The walnuts are starting to happen at Struan Farm. It feels a bit early, and doesn't look like it's going to be a bumper crop, but time will tell. I just need to remember to head down to the Pet Paddock to gather them, or the wild turkeys, rats, or... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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We've pulled the first carrots from the veggie gardens at Struan Farm, and guess what, they're a beautiful purple! The first carrots I've ever grown, King's Seeds Carrot Purple Dragon, a 1,000 year old heirloom variety. According to Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, purple varieties of carrot... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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Here's the last of the season's organic Peasgood Nonsuch apples off our wee tree at Struan Farm. Couldn't believe how big it was, 3.5 inches! (John said four, but he exaggerates by my reckoning.) Perfect, really. But we won't brag... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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We had some last minute guests arrive to stay at Struan Farm's Cottage this past Saturday night. So I dashed out to the garden at the new house and did my best to put together some flowers before their arrival. Frilly Jilly orange roses and orange dahlias yet again, this... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Men in trees with ropes and saws descended upon Struan Farm this past weekend! A small group from Asplundh arrived at the farm on Friday afternoon for "Arborist Camp." Signs south of Piopio dotted the way to Struan Farm: They set up a marquee/tent in our Pet Paddock, where they... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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We've been meaning to clean up the back gate and adjacent old race at Struan Farm, it's been "on the list." And so this week when the digger smashed through the gate turning off the main road in traffic, this created an opportunity to move that project forward. The only... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Struan Farm
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You will recall that John is into infrastructure projects at Struan Farm, loves bringing in heavy equipment to do things (much as he might moan sometimes about the associated cost!). His latest undertaking is a second pond below our first pond and QEII bush reserve, to be landscaped with native... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at Struan Farm
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You might think that it's all beautiful flower arrangements and delicious home baking at Struan Farm, so I'm here to tell you that this isn't always the case! This week, for example, I got to scale the mountain of muck removed from the pond by the digger, and spread grass... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I've been wanting to try the "Kale Smoothie" recipe from Annabel Langbein's latest Free Range Cook book "Through the Seasons," and finally got around to it this past week. We've got loads of fresh kale in the veggie garden at Struan Farm. Fresh kale, yogurt, banana, kiwi fruit, honey, chia... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Yes, another Clifford story. Our resident dog at Struan Farm is a character for sure. We're not sure if he was just showing off for us, or if there was a possum up the tree. But we did make him get down before he broke anything. He's eleven years old,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Struan Farm
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It was a busy weekend in Piopio because of the annual WOMAD world music festival in nearby New Plymouth. Struan Farm's farmstay was no exception, we had people staying with us enroute south to New Plymouth, and then on the way home. We're 1 1/2hours from New Plymouth, after quite... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I've become interested in "chicken scratch" embroidery the past few years, picking up samples as I've come across them in "op shops" here in New Zealand. The (typically) older ladies who work at the shops smile at me for doing so, telling me that these cross stitch projects were usually... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Struan Farm
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John, Clifford and I had a group outing down to the river at Struan Farm this past week. John and Clifford wanted a swim, and I wanted to see the latest iteration of the corrugated rock formations with the lower levels of the Mangaotaki. My boys. Quite the duo, aren't... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Struan Farm
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This is one of those rural things. Rain gauges, that is. A few Christmases ago I bought John a rain gauge for Struan Farm. His dad always had one outside near the swimming pool, but that disappeared a few renovation projects ago, along with the pool. But what I've found... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Struan Farm
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John had a bit of an "oops" this past week mowing the lawns at Struan Farm on his four wheel ride on mower. He is known for taking this mower where others fear to tread, and this time rode too closely to soft soil near the front gate of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Lots of green tomatoes in the veggie gardens at Struan Farm, along with baby fennel and zucchini, so I decided it was time to make a "Green Tomato and Roasted Walnut Salad" to accompany our snapper for dinner. This was one of those times it's quite handy to have a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I'm starting to be able to pick flower arrangements from the first garden sister-in-law Anna and I planted at the new house at Struan Farm this past winter. And I'm a really happy camper when it delivers a weekend table arrangement like this: Orange roses ("Frilly Jilly") and dahlias, pink... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I haven't done a "word du jour" blog post for awhile, but am prompted to do so after hearing the word "umami" repeatedly on recent MasterChef Australia episodes. I'd first come across it a few years ago in Pasadena, California, where there's a trendy burger restaurant by this name in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at Struan Farm
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At this time of the year most people have plums coming out of their ears, and are looking to deploy them or give them away. Unfortunately this is not the case for us at Struan Farm just yet, the plum trees we've planted in our orchard have yet to fruit,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The old post office building in Piopio, right along the main street in our little village, has recently undergone a much needed restoration and facelift thanks to new owners. It was built circa 1910, and at one time operated as the town's post office, telephone exchange, and bank. Actual operators... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The tawa grove at Struan Farm has always been one of my favorite places at the farm. I love the trees, they are rather majestic and have lots of character, with interesting undulating trunks and roots. Of course the grove is now home to our residents gnomes, but at this... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I came across an interesting recipe for a "Warm Apple Salad with Honey, Pecans & Thyme" in the current issue of NZ House & Garden magazine (March). As previously reported, we've got greens coming out of our ears in the veggie garden at Struan Farm, along with some apples from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Struan Farm
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At one point a few months ago I was worried about not having enough fresh salad greens in the veggie gardens at Struan Farm, they couldn't grow fast enough for me. Clearly nothing to worry about now! I am distributing fresh, organic greens nightly to our farmstay guests as well,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The editor's letter of the current issue of NZ Gardener Magazine makes mention of "zoodles" as a great way to use surplus zucchini from the garden. This was a new one on me-- noodles made out of zucchini with a "spiraliser" vegetable peeler. I was intrigued! A quick search on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at Struan Farm