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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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Was wondering last week when we'd begin to hear the deep summer humming of the cicadas start at Struan Farm. And we didn't have to wait too long, they rose up from underground this past weekend to start their annual mating concert. John and I did a wander around the... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at Struan Farm
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At long last we had weather conditions this week that allowed me to start staining/oiling the front decks at the new house at Struan Farm. (Not sure when we're going to stop calling it the "new house," since at this point it's the "newish house.") It can't be too hot,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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Decided to make these free form fruit tarts from the holiday issue of Dish magazine. They're super easy to make, using frozen puff pastry, which is baked and cooled. Cream cheese is mixed with a bit of icing/confectionary sugar, then combined with sour cream and lemon curd (we use "lite"... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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It's been very hot and very dry these past few weeks in Piopio. This past weekend John and I were having a late dinner at Struan Farm, looking out from our dining table to the front lawn and the Bowl. And what did we see, but a wee hedgehog motoring... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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Sharing this photo of watermelon rinds, they look so beautiful and shout "summer," don't you think? Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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You will recall that John is rather intrepid with his ride on lawn mower at Struan Farm. He's taken to mowing the Pet Paddock along our roadside frontage. It now looks beautiful, "park like," given our significant, specimen trees, so this is something he will continue to do even though... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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More firsts from the veggie garden at Struan Farm, then I promise I'll get off this kick for awhile (although I can't resist telling you that we've also picked a handful of green beans, and my corn plants all are flowering, if that is the technical term for what corn... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at Struan Farm
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FINALLY, lettuces for salad from the veggie garden at Struan Farm! I popped in some chives from our herb garden, avocado, cherry toms, prawns, slivered almonds and a few edible nasturtium flowers, and voila! A quick salad for lunch on a hot day. Life is pretty civilized in Piopio! Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The veggies are starting to rock and roll in the gardens at Struan Farm. This past weekend I made a delicious Festive Kale, Cranberry and Goat's Cheese Salad from the Dish magazine website (it also has sliced almonds). The vinaigrette is made of fresh lemon juice, olive oil and honey,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Piopio Berry Orchard is celebrating its 21st year. Thought a cake would be appropriate to commemorate this major milestone, so we commissioned one from John's colleague Barbara Ware in Dargaville, cake decorator extraordinaire and Piopio berry afficionado. We delivered it to our friends at the Orchard yesterday, and think it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, and this would be one of those times. With various farmstay visitors and kids around at Struan Farm, we really didn't get our pet lamb Spud weaned as originally intended. He was still getting a bottle or two a day until the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The veggie gardens at Struan Farm are thriving, the concrete troughs we installed as raised beds in the backyard of the new house work really well. I've always had a bit of a knack (or "green thumb") with veggies, not sure why. We've had rocket/arugula and radishes early on, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at Struan Farm
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It's been quite hot and humid these past few weeks at Struan Farm. Brilliant sunny weather, interspersed with some rain, really perfect. This time of year we don't typically get inside to get cleaned up for dinner until after 7 p.m., and the last thing I want to do is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2015 at Struan Farm
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It's been a very tight race between "Thor" and "Red" on the "Name the Newest Gnome" contest at Struan Farm. But the votes have now been tallied, and the judges have decided upon "Red." This also won the popular vote. Welcome to the gnome sanctuary in the tawa grove, Red!... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Yes, I'm paraphrasing Virgina Woolf, but John finally does have a workshop of his own at Struan Farm up at the new house. And while we both loved Maurie's Workshop down near the Homestead, which had any tool anyone might ever need, it is being converted into an additional bedroom... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Struan Farm
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I wandered down to the Homestead gardens at Struan Farm yesterday thinking I was going to photograph the dahlias, which have just started to bloom. And yes, I did a bit of that, but I also got into some detail shots of the hydrangeas and poppies. Makes me realize I've... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at Struan Farm
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The annual family Boxing Day gathering at Struan Farm was quite relaxed this year from my vantage point. <Only> 22 people in attendance, it all seemed a piece o'cake to me vs. 36 last year, which did test the system, particularly after moving house and ending a 36 year career... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at Struan Farm
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Spud, Clifford, Karen & John, and all the Gnomes wish you a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Struan Farm. Have a great celebration with your loved ones. I'll be taking a wee break from blogging over the holidays, most likely back on deck early January. p.s. Spud... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Another gnome showed up at Struan Farm this past week, hitching a ride with John from Dargaville (where these gnomes originate, courtesy of artist Robyn Mitchell). He says he's here for Emma, a new member of our extended family, and ready to join the others in the tawa grove. (We... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Yippee, the summer gardens are kicking in at Struan Farm, and I'm spoilt for choice on my flower options. Here is our weekend table arrangement: Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Was very excited to make my first harvest from the new veggie gardens at Struan Farm this week: Beautiful "Amethyst" and "Cabernet" radishes, they went straight into a salad for dinner! Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Actually it's for our annual family gathering for Boxing Day at Struan Farm, but I realised that I needed to get a move on. One batch of cream cheese Christmas cookies down! These are really easy to make: 8 oz. room temperature cream cheese, 8 oz. softened butter, 1/4 tsp.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Got myself into quite a berry state given Piopio Berry Orchard's amazing peak season strawberries and blueberries! I decided to test out a recipe from the latest issue of Dish Magazine, "Free Form Fresh Strawberry Tart." Really pretty quick and easy, it uses frozen puff pastry, fresh fruit, pistachios, and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Struan Farm
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We have a family tradition of pancake breakfasts at Struan Farm on Sundays when the kids and their kids visit. John cracks out "Uncle Earl's Secret Pancake Recipe," and with help from a sous chef or two delivers delicious pancakes with real maple syrup, lots of butter for several serious... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Struan Farm
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This is our first Christmas in the new house at Struan Farm, and also the first Christmas in years we won't be shuttling between Auckland and Piopio. So a proper Christmas tree is clearly in order. The only dilemma is that fresh Christmas trees in NZ are typically radiata pines,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Struan Farm