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Karen
Piopio New Zealand
Knitter, banker, farmer
Interests: knitting, cooking, gardening, photograhy, walking the hills with Clifford our dog, watching lambs frolic, being creative generally
Recent Activity
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I was very excited to have a box deposited on the doorstep at Struan Farm with our official farmstay brochure, hot off the press. We've worked with Sheena Smith at Redimpressions Design on all of the design work, logo, brochure (hard copy and electronic versions), signage and website. Latter is... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Struan Farm
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You may remember that I went through an extended period of de-constructing (and re-constructing) rock gardens at Struan Farm, wondering whatever possessed John's parents to have built them to such an extent in the first place. Well, this initiative left us with piles of limestone rocks of all different sizes,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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Yes, more hedges at Struan Farm, we're boxing on. This time 150 English box planted on each side of the decks at the new house. Spaced at approximately 15-18 cm apart, I didn't get overly pedantic about it. At John's direction I've closed off a small area with hedging where... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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It was yet another glorious weekend here at Struan Farm, with warm, sunny weather, and we were outside working away. I raked topsoil, planted plants, finished painting the wool shed, and decided to live dangerously, take a chance, and toss out some paddock grass seed. (May still be just a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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Continuing this saga, the pfeffernusse/pfefferneusse I ordered from Global Foods Direct arrived by courier post in Piopio, so I was able to make the Caramel Gingerbread Trifles from Donna Hay's most recent magazine. These are spicy, iced gingerbread cookies, apparently readily available in Australia but shall we say "mostly unavailable"... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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It's been raining and I've been knitting. Aise (forgive me, I can't figure out how to do the proper french accent over the "e") is an easy shawl pattern that I'm working up in Zealana's Kiwi yarn, colorway #13. It's a lovely, soft yarn with great drape, made with 40%... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I've had time over the last few days to start the seeds that require transplanting for our veggie and herb gardens at Struan Farm. I will (of course) eventually have a proper green/glass house, but right now I've started these with two little plastic greenhouses in the garage. What have... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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John and I were fortunate, privileged really, to witness the birth of two lambs at Struan Farm over the weekend. I saw the first, he saw the second. It was bloody and messy but basically pretty special seeing new life enter this world. Parents everywhere can relate! I've spared you... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Struan Farm
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The next day Aaron turned his sights to projects at the Homestead at Struan Farm. While we've been having guests (mostly friends and family) on an ad hoc basis every now and then, we're opening the farmstay formally/officially on a full time basis at the end of October (God willin'... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Struan Farm
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It was a glorious weekend at Struan Farm, with warm, sunny weather. Hard to believe it's still winter! Our friend Aaron showed up with one of his sons to do the grading and top soil work in front of the new house. Now that this is done, and the weather... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Given some rainy weather this week, I've been playing around with trifle recipes from the current Donna Hay Magazine, issue 76. They are served in glass cups, are meant to be quick and easy desserts. First I tested out the Lemon Curd Trifles given our love for all things lemon... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2014 at Struan Farm
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The hundreds and hundreds of daffodil bulbs I planted in the roadside wooded garden at Struan Farm this past autumn are starting to do their thing. Not in profusion as yet, but rather as vivid, yellow exclamation marks making their presence known. Bring it on! And here's the requisite hellebore... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I get captured by things, I know. Right now it's the texture of the trees in the winter landscape at Struan Farm. Love the lines and the contrasts. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Very excited to discover that all four of the family duck decoys have returned to the pond at Struan Farm. For awhile we thought that several had flown the coop, they couldn't be found. For years Huey, Dewey, Louie and Tui swam in the old swimming pool at the farm.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Thrilled to take delivery at Struan Farm yesterday of "Lake Field," a painting by our niece, Canadian artist Rosanna Marmont (she's a kiwi really). The work was on exhibition recently at the Calgary Stampede. At 4x8 feet, I'll be waiting for John or the builders to uncrate it when they... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Struan Farm
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We're gradually getting around to parts of Struan Farm that need to be cleaned up and otherwise looked after, but as you might expect it's ongoing. The property really can take as much (or more) than we can give, even with occasional help from outside contractors. As previously reported, we're... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Several years before she passed away, we asked John's mum Rosemary to tell us the names of the various rhodos and camellias planted in the gardens at Struan Farm. John's parents were avid gardeners, and loved to search out unusual trees and shrubs from nurserymen around the country to plant... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I found myself needing a quick dessert idea this past weekend, and ideally also wanted to use some of the lemon curd made last week. "Lemon curd krummeltorte" from Sophie Gray's cookbook "Fill the Tins" has turned out to be a great discovery. It's really easy to make and keeps... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Struan Farm
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We called in the cavalry to Struan Farm this past week to deal with the clean up of the big trees taken down at the new house site: Piopio local Roy Simpson and his seriously efficient wood splitter. Of course we now have a mountain of black wattle and redwood... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Now that the sheep have been closed out of the new house site at Struan Farm I can start planting and landscaping. Last week it was more camellias and rhodos at the extension of the redwood grove at our front entrance. Here's the latest installment, our hedge up/down the driveway.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Struan Farm
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John is making the transition from Maurie's workshop up to his new workshop at Struan Farm. Given the number of tools, cans of paint, hardware, etc. etc. etc. this hasn't been easy. Our builders mucked in to help set things up, thankfully. I'm hoping this can stay clean and organized... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2014 at Struan Farm
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John insisted we research this after my earlier post this week about being "happy as Larry" that I was "spoilt for choice." He really thought we should know who Larry was, if there was a Larry; this must be investigated. We're "over the moon," having found out that "happy as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Yes, go ahead and laugh! Yet another one of my tidy up projects at Struan Farm. This one involves a piece of string and my spade. We've closed off the new house site to the sheep this week so we can start landscaping. This also means we can take off... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Struan Farm
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I finally had a chance to test out friend Laura's Rosemary Shortbread recipe this past weekend at Struan Farm. A visitor was coming for morning tea, and something home baked had to be served, this is the country after all! Butter, honey and confectioners/icing sugar is mixed with an electric... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at Struan Farm
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Are you familiar with the expression "spoilt for choice?" It's common here in New Zealand, think it's English in origin, and means "to be unable to choose because there are so many possible good choices." It came to mind the other day when I was reporting to John about my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Struan Farm