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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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Things are pretty quiet at Struan Farm on summer evenings. Once John and I are in from working outside, we shower and I then prep dinner before we relax over dinner. (John gets to do the dishes.) And of course the animals all wind down after feeding. It's been funny... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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A tomato jungle, that is. I know, I know, I promised to do better this year on my heirloom tomatoes here at Struan Farm, at least in terms of controlling them according to conventional "tomato rules." And I have. I've kept track of which variety is planted where with my... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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We're eating lighter at the moment here at Struan Farm. It's summer, it's (meant to be) hot, we're eating later after working outside until late, and we're trying to move ourselves beyond all the holiday excesses. But that doesn't mean we don't have dessert after dinner, especially on the weekend.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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We've got friends from the USA coming to visit us at Struan Farm in a few weeks. They are travelling to NZ on a cruise ship, landing in Auckland and some other major ports around the country. Due to time constraints and logistics, they've decided to charter a helicopter to... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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We've found this odd tree growing in the back of the Homestead gardens here at Struan Farm. It looks like something we need to cut out, but we want to identify it before doing so. I think it looks rather like the bean stalk from "Jack and the Bean Stalk,"... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Every once in a while you need a quiet day. At least I do. I'm an introvert. I find myself getting frazzled if I'm surrounded by people all the time without a break. Even if that break is to weed, iron, or do something equally tedious but important to the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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I'm starting to play around with the edible flowers from the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm. I know people put them in salads and ice cubes, but decided to see how they look in a drink, specifically something bubbly: Much nicer than those little paper umbrellas, and they don't... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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I've managed to harvest my first decent crop of garlic here at Struan Farm, hooray! Last year I planted cloves in one of our veggie troughs. I suspect I watered them too much and also didn't fertilise sufficiently. Shoots grew but nothing that resembled heads of garlic when I lifted... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The gardens at the new(ish) house here at Struan Farm are coming along. Remember that this was all paddock to start, so we've come a long way in three years. I've learned that it takes about this amount of time to get things established from scratch, then the tweaking starts.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Good to see fruit on most of the trees in our new orchard area at Struan Farm this season. Lots of apples on Monty and Peasgood, plums (finally!), peaches, some quinces (finally!) and nashi. No pears just yet but the trees flowered for the first time this spring. The scare... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2017 at Struan Farm
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All of a sudden the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm have had major growth spurts. Here's a brief tour around. Tomatoes, carrots, beans, herbs, edible flowers, zucchini, etc. etc. I've just replanted mesclun and lettuce since we've pretty much used what I planted, so none of that on show... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at Struan Farm
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There is so much happening in the gardens at Struan Farm right now! I won't show you the weeds, but here are some of the flowers: Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Struan Farm
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After the recent attacks on John's young trees around Struan Farm by Pepper the hoggets, John went around and constructed proper fences for the trees with help from nephew Mike. In addition to posts, recycled timber from fencing taken down at a rental property in Auckland was redeployed. I'm hoping... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at Struan Farm
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You will be thinking this would be me, right? And you would be WRONG! It's weaning time here at Struan Farm for pet lambs Cookie and Tootsie. Late season pets Minnie and Mickey, who arrived on the scene in late November vs. September, are on bottles until February. But the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Remember those plums from our heirloom plum tree at Struan Farm? They've been ripening on the window sill in the kitchen. And pretty quickly at that. Lucky for me that I found a recipe by Claire Aldous in the latest Dish magazine for "Apricot & Almond Tart." The notes said... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago John noticed that the heirloom plum tree in the Old Orchard area here at Struan Farm had quite a bit of fruit. Last year it did also, but birds completely stripped the tree before the fruit ripened and we could get to it. Not so this... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Struan Farm
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You will know that I sometimes try things just because, and this would be one of those things: basil ice cream. We have heaps of basil growing in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm. I got just a wee bit over-enthusiastic about the prospect of growing basil for our local... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It was good to discover the two feijoa trees at the Homestead's back gate in flower a few days ago. They look (somewhat) similar to the native pohutukawa tree, which is nicknamed NZ's "Christmas tree" since it flowers brilliantly this time of the year. We've got two different varieties at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
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At least one with wild food that is. I was gifted a piece of young, wild pork on Boxing Day here at Struan Farm from cousin Marg, and decided it would be fun to cook that for our New Year's Eve dinner. Despite my recent efforts with roast turkey and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Yep, still eating that ham leftover from Boxing Day at Struan Farm. At least John retains his enthusiasm for it, since we really don't eat ham any other time of the year. I couldn't stomach another sandwich or chunk of meat, so decided to improvise, and found Chelsea Winter's recipe... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Happy New Year from Struan Farm. For some reason I had the urge to undertake a major house clean on New Year's Eve day. And for some reason this is something I have the urge to do on or around New Year's, every year. No matter where I've lived. It's... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at Struan Farm
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My edible flower garden experiment here in the backyard at Struan Farm has met with its challenges this season, largely from the rabbits. The cornflowers and nasturtium were nibbled, but they have fought back with a little protection from chicken wire. Happy to see the nasturtium and borage, both edible,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2016 at Struan Farm
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We're having a little drama here at Struan Farm. Pepper, one of last year's pet lambs, has gone rogue. She was always anti-social and my problem child, but as a hogget she has decided recently to wage a campaign against John's young trees all over the property. She's taken down... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2016 at Struan Farm
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Yes, there's turkey, ham, potato salad and lots of cookies leftover from our Boxing Day celebration at Struan Farm. We're working our way through it this week. But I like the flowers best! Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2016 at Struan Farm
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For one of our Christmas dinners I decided to make lemon verbena ice cream for the first time. We have a huge bush in the backyard here at Struan Farm, right now it's flowering too. And so I googled to search out recipes, and was very happy once I found... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at Struan Farm