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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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Struan Farm's pet lambs Matilda, Clover, Trixie, Dixie, Mixie, Scout, Romeo, Alfie, Daisy and TimTam only have themselves to blame. With all ten lambs back together in one mob in the house paddock after Alfie and Daisy learned to waltz across the cattle stops, bottle times were complete chaos. The... Continue reading
Posted 8 hours ago at Struan Farm
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The past few evenings when I've been out watering the gardens here at Struan Farm I've bumped into a tui, feeding on the flax flowers that border part of our driveway at the house. I always say hello, and he hasn't been fussed with me moving around doing my work... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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A few days ago Farmer John rounded up the ewes and the lambs here at Struan Farm for crutching and dosing. Worms and fly seem to be bad this season, and a "dag" or two was apparent as well as long worms in the poo. Ahead of his mustering we... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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My lettuces are languishing, and the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, edible flowers and broad beans are doing their best in the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm. But they're struggling along with the weird weather. There is one bright spot: my radishes. They are absolutely RAVISHING! Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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John stepped in to help me with the gardens a few weekends ago here at Struan Farm, ahead of the Waitara Garden Circle visit. The weather has been such that I was way behind where I needed to be. He's continued to help me with the next round of the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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This past weekend at Struan Farm I made the pavlova wreath featured on the cover of this month's Dish Magazine. John and niece Lydia volunteered to be testers, they knew it would be a complete flier but most likely good. I'd picked up the edible gold stars they suggest as... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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The strawberries have landed at Piopio Berry Orchard and there was a "three for" special this week, so it's time to get cracking on making homemade jam for our farmstay guests here at Struan Farm. I'd completely run out of what I made last season, so know more needs to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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The delphiniums (delphinia?) in the gardens here at Struan Farm are starting to bloom. It looks like it's going to be a good year for them. I grew these from seed; they've come again for a second year. One never knows about that, at least I don't, so I don't... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Yet another tree has come down to open up the view at the new(ish) house here at Struan Farm. John and Mike are taking their time-- the clean up effort is major, these are huge trees. Our bees and their hive boxes have been taken on a working holiday to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We finally had a long enough period of settled weather here at Struan Farm for John to paint the concrete base of our Grounded Art sculpture. He used Porter's Paints Liquid Iron and Instant Rust. It's a two step process--two coats of the iron paint are put on and then... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We seem to have reached "peak poppies" here at Struan Farm this week. I'm hoping we don't have heavy rain or wind for awhile or everyone will swoon over. At that point the gardener has to crack into action, saving seed heads and pulling out the plants that have done... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Struan Farm
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No, not the famous NYC jazz club of the same name and Charlie Parker fame, but we have a "birdland" of sorts in the gardens here at Struan Farm. We've been seeing a pair of kingfishers several times each day. They love perching on the silk tree and the weeping... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'm not referring to my age here! Every few weeks when I head south to New Plymouth for a hair appointment at Elwin Evans I also pop into Big Jim's Garden Centre, one of those few remaining independent garden centres around that offers better variety. In spring, around the time... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John's niece Lydia and partner Jeff have been visiting New Zealand from Canada and stopped in to see us at Struan Farm for a night or two. We got together for dinner last night. The flowers in the garden are starting to come on, so arranging flowers for the table... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Yes, quoting Yogi again. This past week I bumped into former pet lamb Tootsie, whom I hadn't seen for quite awhile. She didn't lamb this year, was really a year too young to do so. She was very friendly, let me give her a pat, which had me wondering if... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The gardens at the new(ish) house here at Struan Farm are looking amazing right now. At least we think so! Even the beds we put in this past winter are starting to look established. As you might expect my life at the moment is pretty much weeding, between farmstay gigs.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The roses have started to bloom at Struan Farm, not just the early ones, hooray! I recently learned that "Dublin Bay," the red rose above, was bred by renowned international rose breeder Sam McGredy, who emigrated to New Zealand from Northern Ireland in 1972. He was instrumental in getting plant... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2017 at Struan Farm
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This past week as I was trying my best to give away all those spare tomato plants I was reminded (repeatedly) that I still say TOE-MAY-TOE rather than TOE-MA-TOE. Sometimes I say TOE-MAY-TOE-TOE-MA-TOE as a bit of a joke. But I truly feel I'd sound affected if I were to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The first poppies have started to pop in the gardens here at Struan Farm. I went around last autumn and liberally sprinkled seeds around various beds. So much so that I found myself needing to do some culling this spring, since poppies were taking over everywhere and crowding out things... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Piopio Berry Orchard is open for the season, woo hoo! And even better news, they are starting to pick strawberries, woo hoo! Usually they do a soft opening Labour Weekend, selling ice creams, coffees and asparagus until the berries start to come on, so I hadn't expected berries to be... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Struan Farm
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After planting out our seedling heirloom tomato plants in the veggie gardens at Struan Farm for this season I realised I had just a few to spare. More like 100+ excess plants growing away vigorously in pots in the glasshouse. I knew I'd grown way more than we needed; in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It was a full house on the farmstay front here at Struan Farm over the weekend, so I had to come up with three flower arrangements for the tables at the Homestead, Cottage and Jim's Hut, along with one for our dinner table. It's a funny time of the year... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Dargaville friend Margaret Bell sent a rose down to Struan Farm for our new house a year or so ago, right before John finished his governance gig up in the Kaipara. At that point we were really just starting the gardens, and I was on the hunt for different things... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I've now officially settled into my new/old garden shed at the Homestead here at Struan Farm. While there wasn't an official ribbon cutting ceremony it is now in use. You may recall I'd been ordered out of my old garden shed, which is next door, and the old mower shed/garage... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It's lovely to see the rose over the Homestead's pergola burst into bloom, heralding summer. "Souvenir de Madame Leonie Vientot," also called New Zealand "dunny rose" by the Auckland Botanic Gardens, is usually the first to bloom each year here at Struan Farm. This year is no exception, although she's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2017 at Struan Farm