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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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My recent efforts to remove excess foliage and expose all our green tomatoes at Struan Farm to the light of day (such as it is this summer) seem to be bearing fruit. While some of the green tomatoes are rotting on the vines, thankfully others are starting to ripen. I've... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at Struan Farm
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We have heaps of carrots in the veggie garden here at Struan Farm right now. Purple and yellow, heirloom colours (along with red). I don't grow conventional orange varieties since learning they were developed in honour of the House of Orange and are actually less nutritious. (Read "Eating on the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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To stop the bottles, hooray! I've been feeding pet lambs since September, and while I love all the little darlings, I'm really over bottle feeding lambs. It's been six months, after all. Mickey and Minnie came on the scene as "late season" lambs at the end of November, so have... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Lately the flowers haven't been arranging themselves, I've had to work for them here at Struan Farm. It's a funny time in the gardens: lots of flowers but not always things that work together all that well. The roses have just finished another major bloom, and the gardener (aka Karen)... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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Friends Eve and Tony from the USA were scheduled to come to Struan Farm for lunch on Saturday. They had organised a helicopter to bring them from their cruise ship in Auckland down to Piopio. We were all ready: lawns mown, house cleaned, lunch organised, flowers done (okay, I hadn't... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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I was summoned by the Tomato Jedi, Obi Wan Tomato, and directed to go into the heirloom tomato jungle on a special mission here at Struan Farm. You see it hasn't been very hot this summer as yet. The tomatoes have grown like wild fire, but haven't really ripened at... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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I'm learning, okay? Decided to try to bottle/can some of the plum harvest from the orchard here at Struan Farm. This is the first year we've had enough to do so, hooray! Step one: I bought some one litre jars with lids. Step two: read about how to do this... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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Taking a break from cake at Struan Farm for the moment. It's hot and we're wanting light meals, even after hours of heavy labour outside. Protein and salads mostly. So this was my last baking effort for awhile (at least I think so!). It's a combination of two recipes I've... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at Struan Farm
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John is working on thinning out the mature trees that encircle our new(ish) house at Struan Farm. These are "European" trees that were planted by his father; some are special, some are not, the special ones will stay. We're taking our time with this for a few reasons. The first... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Struan Farm
Te Haeata James and Lizzie, It was an absolute pleasure meeting you and having you visit the farm. We look forward to seeing you again soon, and meeting other family members too. I know John's brother Carrick and sisters will also want to meet you. We are glad the rammer is back with the family. John has looked after it for many years, a testament to how special your Koko was to him and to the Robertson family. Kind regards, Karen (and John)
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2017 on A Special Visit at Struan Farm
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No, neither Prince Charles nor Prince William. Here at Struan Farm we've got a monarch butterfly in waiting: A few weeks ago I bought a swan plant to plant out in the gardens at the new(ish) house. These are meant to attract and feed monarch butterflies and their larvae (caterpillars).... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Struan Farm
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We had some special visitors this weekend at Struan Farm. James and Lizzie Ngarama came to visit Struan Farm and stay in Jim's Hut. James is the grandson of Te Haeata "Jim" Ngarama, the Jim of Jim's Hut. James remembers coming to visit the farm several times as a young... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Confession: I have never been particularly good at delegating to others or accepting help from others. Recently John weeded one of my gardens at the Homestead. Rather than being happy about having his help, I found myself annoyed, experiencing a mixture of guilt and inadequacy. I'd dropped the ball, hadn't... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Work continues on making new garden beds, recycled brick edges, and the second new/recycled pergola here at Struan Farm. Basically this will transform the front lawn area at the new(ish) house. While we dug out the new bed running along the fence by hand, we've decided to try to rent... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Oh dear, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle got herself in a spot of bother in Struan Farm's Pet Paddock. She was off on her afternoon stroll and wandered into a magpie trap that John had set. We're still catching magpies, they just keep coming. However, we don't want to catch hedgehogs, especially Beatrice... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Perhaps I should call this post "Pesto 2017." I've posted previously about the quantity of basil growing away in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm. Visitors marvel. I'm supplying The Fat Pigeon weekly, but that's barely making a dent in what I've grown. Most is starting to flower and go... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Struan Farm
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The first of our recycled pergolas is now finished at the new(ish) house here at Struan Farm. And we've just planted hops, "Smooth Cone" hops, on both sides. This is a bit of an experiment, like many things Karen. We're not thinking about brewing our own beer, at least not... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Sister-in-law Anna brought a group of gardeners to Piopio and Struan Farm at the end of last week. John and I had been forewarned, so spent several days doing massive weeds, trims, mows. The good thing for us is that the established Homestead gardens tidy up well with just a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2017 at Struan Farm
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It had been a hot, beautiful summer day here at Struan Farm and I'd thawed steak for dinner. John and I had been waiting for the perfect night to test out the new BBQ area down at the river, and this seemed to be it. It was! While I didn't... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Plums, plums, plums. And organic plums at that. Just from one tree here at Struan Farm. It may be time for me to try bottling/canning for the first time, so stay tuned! Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Struan Farm
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There's been a demand here at Struan Farm in Piopio since the recent U.S. inauguration and women's marches worldwide for me to make pussy hats, or at least one hat to be shared by Clifford, the pet lambs, the gnomes, the buddhas, Gandalf, and me. (John thinks they're silly despite... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Yes, another summer dessert experiment. This time "Summer Fruit Cake" from Nourish magazine (readers note the recipe is posted there). They published a link on FB with a delicious looking photo that captured my attention. (Basically at this time of year any recipe involving berries and plums gets my attention.)... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I'm having fun playing around with the edible flowers I've grown this summer here at Struan Farm. My latest experiment was to put calendula and cornflower petals in our dinner salad, along with a nasturtium or two. The fresh organic baby lettuce was (of course) from our veggie garden, along... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Struan Farm
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I was out weeding in the gardens a few days ago, and came across Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle snoozing in the mulch near a flowering shrub. As you will know, she's a friend of Beatrice Potter, and is in NZ on holiday here at Struan Farm. My mantra is "let sleeping hedgehogs... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Struan Farm
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Just because the blueberries are peaking doesn't mean we've stopped eating Piopio Berry Orchard strawberries just yet here at Struan Farm! My latest experiment involved strawberry sorbet. We had a friend visiting who is both vegan and gluten free due to a serious health issue. That meant no meat, fish,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at Struan Farm