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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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When the going gets tough, the tough make pesto? With very few ripening tomatoes in sight here at Struan Farm, I've had to decide what to do with all of my flourishing basil. I'd had visions of starters of buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and basil for weekend dinners this summer,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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No, this isn't about a Michael Jackson song. Rather I'm starting to harvest beets/beetroots from the veggie gardens at Struan Farm. For dinner this weekend I tested out a recipe for Carrot & Beetroot Salad using raw grated carrots and beetroot, shallots, toasted cumin seeds, parsley, olive oil and vinegar.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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We can't go for too long without a major infrastructure or redevelopment project here at Struan Farm! It was decided recently that we need to have a better walking track on the other side of the QEII bush reserve near the pond, one that will enable more intrepid visitors to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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Friend Mandy shared a post on FB a few days ago with a recipe for an organic DIY weedkiller. The recipe called for 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of salt, and a glug (not a technical term) of dish detergent. I've never been a big user of chemicals... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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Popped down to New Plymouth for a day over the long holiday weekend to attend the annual auction of stone sculptures by the Te Kupenga Stone Sculpture Society. Sculptors from around NZ and from overseas have been working away on the New Plymouth foreshore over the past several weeks, including... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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Long holiday weekend here at Struan Farm, for Auckland Anniversary. I'd seen a recipe for "Favourite Summer Berry Slice" in the NZ Herald not too long ago, and decided it would be fun to give it a try. Piopio Berry Orchard still has strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in season. I'm... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I planted a Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) bush in the backyard at Struan Farm this past spring. It was a bit of a mistake on my part. John always talks about the gooseberries in the garden growing up, and I thought this plant was what his parents had. Nope. It... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Struan Farm
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We're into the real summer heat now here at Struan Farm. John and I noticed a few days ago that the cicadas had started their annual courtship period, buzzing away. So off I went in search of their casings/shells on tree trunks around the farm, and found some straight away:... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Our beloved vintage David Brown tractor has developed some sort of problem with a "bearing." So a short while ago it was picked up at Struan Farm by flatbed truck and delivered to the specialist repair shop in Te Kuiti. At the time we realised that it had never been... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Struan Farm
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John and I went to a wedding recently, which has prompted me to think about love. Right now I'm too tired to garden. I haven't loved all that many people in my lifetime, really, truly, deeply (we're talking adults here, kids and animals have their own special categories). But I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Struan Farm
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A few months ago granddaughters Ella, Livvy and Emma planted trays of various flower seeds in the glasshouse at Struan Farm. We christened them "Ella's Nigella," "Livvy's Lobelia," and "Emma's Echinacea." All have been planted out in the gardens, but "Ella's Nigella" has been the first to flower, appropriately enough... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Struan Farm
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The roses in the gardens at Struan Farm are having another major bloom, hooray. Even those I've grown from cuttings in the new garden at the new(ish) house, hip hip hooray. So considerable choice for the flower arrangements right now. Still in a bit of a rut with pink and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2016 at Struan Farm
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It's fun to watch the lambs that have just arrived at Struan Farm find their way around the place. There's been lots of baas, and massive runs from one end of the paddock to the next. We've started to thin out the macrocarpa grove below the new(ish) house. It's started... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I like to mix flowers and companion plants with the vegetables in our veggie gardens at Struan Farm, mostly to attract bees, but also to repel pests. This week things are flowering away, and I found myself drawn to the Lemon Bergamot, Hyssop, and seeding Dill, they're looking beautiful! The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Beans, beans are good for your heart. We don't need to finish that schoolroom ditty, do we?! I managed to get reacquainted with my veggie gardens over the weekend. We've been so busy with the farmstay over the past few weeks here at Struan Farm that my interaction with the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I've made a few more batches of strawberry jam since blogging about making the first batch of the season at Struan Farm last week. While my homemade strawberry jam is the favourite by far with both our farmstay guests and grandchildren (I've had guests request a spare jar to take... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at Struan Farm
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We've had a decent first harvest of blackcurrants this year at Struan Farm. I'd intended to make jam with them, but stumbled upon Nigel Slater's Blackcurrant Almond Tart recipe and couldn't get past that. (Note: he spells blackcurrant as one word, so I'm doing the same.) Since John and I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I ran south to New Plymouth for a haircut and day of errands a day or so ago (truth be told it may have been an attempt on my part to escape the accumulated piles of farmstay bed linens in the aftermath of the recent wedding?!). Wanted to stop by... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2016 at Struan Farm
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It's that time of the year in the rural calendar when stock are getting shipped off to the works and moved around given hotter weather and shorter feed supply. At Struan Farm, my agreement with Farmer John on this year's pet lambs is that he would take Spanky, the only... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago we had a fly fisherman from Melbourne stay at Jim's Hut, down at the river at Struan Farm. He arrived in the evening, and went straight out to fish the Mangaotaki, catching two good sized rainbows that first night. He went out again in the morning,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at Struan Farm
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We're starting to see more kayakers come down the Mangaotaki River that borders Struan Farm. A day or so ago John came running up from the river, telling me to grab my camera and hop in the car. Apparently there was a more experienced group than we've seen come through... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at Struan Farm
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It was quite the week here last week at Struan Farm--we're still recovering! Our farmstay accommodation had been booked out for over a year now for family and friends attending the Piopio/New Zealand wedding of local girl Gemma to her husband Jamal, with many guests travelling from overseas. Arrangements had... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2016 at Struan Farm
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I've been playing with some rather shocking colour combinations on my flower arrangements for farmstay guests recently at Struan Farm: bright pink and orange dahlias, orange and pink roses, blue and purple hydrangea, the random sweet pea. They're shocking, but they seem to work. Fresh flowers seem to be appreciated... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2016 at Struan Farm
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It's a pleasure (at least to me) to look out into the backyard at Struan Farm right now: veggies are growing pretty much everywhere, summer abundance. Visitors seem to be blown away when they turn the corner past the garage! I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but we have... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Rosie has been one rather special little pet lamb here at Struan Farm. She was the first to arrive on the scene this year, and has always enjoyed her Mother Superior position in the flock. I remember sitting with her on the garage floor, trying to get her to drink... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at Struan Farm