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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
Here's another tasty dairy free recipe, for Tuna Casserole, that our family has enjoyed. I've used conventional fusilli or farfalle pasta, regular flour, and vegetable stock as substitutions. The dish freezes well. Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at Struan Farm
You will know that not all stories have happy endings, at Struan Farm and in life. And this is one of those, at least the first part. The day before yesterday I went out before breakfast to walk the paddock behind the Cottage to check the ewes that are lambing... Continue reading
Posted 13 hours ago at Struan Farm
The first lambs started to drop here at Struan Farm over the weekend. Poor wee things, the weather has been terrible with heavy rain going sideways, but they sheltered under trees in protected areas of the paddock and everyone is okay. We are out checking on everyone in the morning... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
You will think we have been celebrating a fair few birthdays around Struan Farm of late, and that would be right. Granddaughter Ella recently turned ten, and of course we needed to celebrate that big event with her here at Struan Farm over the weekend. I whipped up Chelsea Winter's... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
I'm starting to gather my forces along with the supplies needed to start vegetable, herb and flower seed trays in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm in the next week or so. I'll try to keep the planters I've grown arugula/rocket, lettuce, spinach and italian parsley in over winter going... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
I've recently been interested to read in NZ Gardener Magazine about an 82 year old lady named Jan Chaffey down on NZ's South Island. She began planting kowhais in her 70's after deciding that she couldn't look after a garden any longer. And so she started buying and planting out... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
The camellias in the Homestead gardens here at Struan Farm are starting to bloom. It's a time of year that the tuis love, they are feeding and croaking away, we even hear the odd bellbird too, which is quite unusual. More to come "in due course." The red one is... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
John returned home to Struan Farm from our weekend trip to brother Carrick's having scored a new/old "rammer." Our old one recently got broken. "Rammers" are used to pound dirt in a fence post hole. In these days of modern machinery they are rather antique implements, but they come in... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
This past weekend John's brother Carrick made "bread rolls" for our family birthday luncheon, serving them warm from the oven with homemade soups. It's safe to say that homemade rolls evoke many fond memories of mum Rosemary for the Robertson siblings. John still says his mum made the "best bread... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2017 at Struan Farm
The family had a birthday celebration for John's brother Carrick over the weekend. It was one of those milestones that needs to be acknowledged and feted, although I won't say which one. We met at his house in Lake Rotoiti for lunch. Everyone was given an assignment. I was granted... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2017 at Struan Farm
Apologies, but we've had a wee bit of an intestinal bug in the house here at Struan Farm. Both John and I have succumbed. So blog posts will be a bit thin on the ground the next few days. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at Struan Farm
There are some very pregnant sheep wandering the paddocks here at Struan Farm at the moment. I'm ready to start lambing beats in a week or two to help Farmer John. I'm also ready to look after anyone who gets abandoned. Powdered colostrum and lamb's milk, tick, bottles and teats,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2017 at Struan Farm
A few days ago the snowbells in the Cottage Paddock at Struan Farm started to bloom. A sure sign spring is on the way, hooray! For some reason the sheep don't eat these, they've grown in this paddock "forever." I'd always thought they were "snowdrops," but a knowledgeable blog follower... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at Struan Farm
There are only so many hours in the day, and too many needlepoint Christmas stockings still left to do. That's my story about why I haven't been knitting for awhile, and I'm sticking to it. The last thing I knit was a pink "Pussy Hat" to support the Women's March... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2017 at Struan Farm
A week or so ago I popped into a new Bin Inn in Takanini when I was up in Auckland. Guess what I found? Our favourite Laucke Golden Wholemeal bread mix is back in the New Zealand market, and Bin Inn is carrying it! Struan Farm is now stocked up... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2017 at Struan Farm
You may recall on our not-so-recent weekend away in Nelson John sampled an amazing gin & tonic cocktail at the Cod & Lobster Brasserie. He chose both gin and tonic from an extensive/overwhelming array of options, but we were perhaps most impressed by the presentation, in a huge vintage cut... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
I finally had time to go out to the wooded gardens and pick a big bunch of hellebores for the table arrangement this week here at Struan Farm. They don't last long, dropping and drooping, but I love their delicate beauty. It's also a joy to have flowers on the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
Sometimes someone needs to lay down the law here at Struan Farm, and that someone is usually me. I normally leave Clifford untied during the day. He stays by the house and more often than not naps in the sun. But a day or so ago he disappeared and I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at Struan Farm
Over the past week I've tested out two new winter veggie recipes from Mike McEnearney's new cookbook "Real Food," previewed in the current issue of "MindFood" magazine. Both dishes were amazing and are definitely worth trying. Here's "Roast Sweet Potato with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon:" Roast orange kumara on an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Struan Farm
Enroute to the Cottage at Struan Farm the other day I had quite the catch up with several of our pet lambs. I can't call them "former" pets when they still follow me, come when I call, want apples, etc. They all still recognise my voice, I get "baas" in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2017 at Struan Farm
I would but the family has been here this weekend and eaten the entire thing! And so much for my theory that it's not sweet enough for kids, they LOVED it...
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2017 on Ottolenghi at Struan Farm at Struan Farm
"Ottolenghi: The Cookbook" has made its way to Struan Farm. It arrived last week, and I've been having fun browsing through the book in the evenings, mulling over what to try first. Decision made: the "apple and olive oil cake with maple icing." The cake is dairy free, not so... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at Struan Farm
John and I went for a walk a few days ago down the old road at Struan Farm after all of the recent rain. Things happen on the property during storms, and this time was no exception. A few slips will need to be cleaned up. Rather too bad about... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2017 at Struan Farm
Happy to see our first tulip of the season blooming at Struan Farm's front entrance gate. She's very early, her sisters are just starting to poke their heads out of the mulch. As they say, Fortune favours the bold, "audentes Fortuna iuvat!" Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at Struan Farm
I'm being evicted from my garden shed at the Homestead! John has decided he's going to try to move yet another hut down the river track at Struan Farm, for more guest accommodation overlooking the Mangaotaki River on the border of our property. He's eyed up my existing garden shed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at Struan Farm