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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
It's the long holiday Labour Weekend here in New Zealand. Traditionally this is the weekend everyone cracks into planting their veggie gardens, especially tomatoes, since the risk of frost is meant to be past in the colder parts of the country. Here at Struan Farm I cheated just a wee... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
Remember the rabbit on the front lawn here at Struan Farm? Well, now there are two! At least they are staying away from Linda's ranunculus. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
It was fantastic to see Struan Farm's old fashioned rambling rose "Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot" come into flower just a few days ago down at the Homestead. I'm training her to grow across the top at one end of the pergola. She must be keen about that, since she's... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
Visiting daughter Sarah requested a carrot cake for her early birthday celebration last week here at Struan Farm. So once again I whipped out my Barefoot Contessa carrot cake recipe, along with The Free Range Cook's cream cheese icing. The latter I jazzed up with Fresh As freeze dried passionfruit... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
Last Friday night a fundraiser was held in Piopio to benefit Project Piopio Trust, a community trust that does lots of good works and beautification projects around our village. NZ chef, restauranteur, author, and all-around-nice guy Al Brown came to town with his brother to speak to a group of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
New(ish) granddaughter Violet came to Struan Farm for the first time last week, all the way from the U.K. We've decided she's a country girl, she loves the animals and space to crawl around everywhere! She had solid sleeps in the peaceful Cottage, along with mum and Uncle D. p.s.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2016 at Struan Farm
Last autumn I was inspired to plant ranunculus in the gardens here at Struan Farm after seeing a beautiful spring bouquet a friend had received from her husband. Sadly, this friend passed away a few weeks ago after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Today is her memorial service overseas.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Struan Farm
We've had a few family dinners at Struan Farm this week with daughter Sarah visiting from the UK with new(ish) granddaughter Violet. Luckily, I have gotten my mojo back on flower arrangements with more variety on offer in the gardens. As well as some flowers, there are lots of buds... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at Struan Farm
Right now the later flowering fruit trees in our orchards here at Struan Farm are starting to bloom. The biggest news this year is that our pear trees are flowering for the first time, hooray! Baby steps, I know.. Here's Monty's Surprise (apple): Giant of Gascony (quince): Nashi Dual: Nijiseki/Hosui... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at Struan Farm
I've decided that pet lamb Curly is quite the cuddler, at least with the rest of his adopted pet lamb family here at Struan Farm. Definitely not with me! I caught him cuddling with Tootsie out the bedroom window. Tootsie was absolutely zonked out, sound asleep, with Curly watching over... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at Struan Farm
We have a huge, old clematis vine that grows atop one of the dogwood trees in the Homestead gardens here at Struan Farm. And right now it's blooming, beautifully. It's so high up in the tree that you could almost overlook it, it's easier seen from a distance. This year... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at Struan Farm
I was up early a few days ago here at Struan Farm and opened the bedroom window to say good morning to the pet lambs. It turned out that only Cookie and Buster, the two older lambs, were at the back gate waiting patiently for their morning bottles. Curly and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2016 at Struan Farm
I know the rabbits are winning right now, but they're starting to get a bit brazen. Case in point: Pride goeth before a fall? They've eaten my sage, delphiniums, ranunculus, etc. THIS MEANS WAR! Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2016 at Struan Farm
There's an area next to John's workshop at Struan Farm that has been a landscaping project yet-to-happen for several years now. We couldn't decide whether to make this area garden or lawn, plus we had too many other projects related to the new house. The area became part of "Veggie... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at Struan Farm
My bread trials have continued, with some good news. I've found a wholemeal bread mix to replace our beloved Laucke Golden Wholemeal Bread Mix, the one that's been discontinued in NZ. I did contact Laucke about the possibility of them shipping directly to us from Australia, but the cost was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2016 at Struan Farm
I found myself a bit amused a few days ago reading about the appeal of "Bluebell Dells" on NZ Gardener Magazine's Facebook page. This was after I'd spent two days pulling bluebells up and out around the Homestead gardens at Struan Farm, where they are taking over. My poor tulips... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2016 at Struan Farm
Most people who don't know sheep think they're, well, dumb. At best, not terribly intelligent, if they think about them at all. They believe all the stereotypes, that sheep behave blindly in herd mentalities. Which yes, sometimes they do. But here at Struan Farm I've learned about sheep and have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at Struan Farm
I looked out the window here at Struan Farm over the weekend and saw pet lambs Buster and Curly having a snooze, cuddled together. It was just so precious, had to share it with you! Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2016 at Struan Farm
Farmer John arrived at the woolshed here at Struan Farm a few days ago to shear the hoggets. This included Rosie, who's looking pretty scrawny! Here's before: And here's after: I gave her a fresh apple to nibble on snarf down, which helped calm her down. She told me she... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2016 at Struan Farm
John's "Awanui Avenue" of flowering cherry trees in the Cottage Paddock is starting to look pretty beautiful here at Struan Farm. What's interesting is that the trees on one side are larger and bloom first. We're not sure if they get more sun, the soil is different, or they're just... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Struan Farm
I got a phone call from the neighbouring farm a few days ago. They had an abandoned, "sickly" ewe lamb. Would we take her in as another pet lamb here at Struan Farm? You can guess the answer: of course! I drove over with bottle, blanket, etc. to pick her... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at Struan Farm
Granddaughters Ella and Livvy had a chance to meet Struan Farm's pet lambs Cookie, Buster and Curly this week, which was great fun for all. Ella has adopted Cookie and Livvy Curly, while son Daniel decided to contend with Buster. Rosie devoured more than her fair share of apples, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at Struan Farm
Granddaughters Ella and Livvy were visiting Struan Farm for the first part of the school holidays, so of course there was baking. In this case mini chocolate cupcakes with mango cream cheese icing. Livvy decided to use the leftover batter to make one serious HUGE chocolate cupcake, of which she... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2016 at Struan Farm
We finally have enough tulips blooming at Struan Farm's front entrance gate to be able to pick a proper spring bouquet for the table, hooray! I mixed in some bluebells and a few sprigs of deutzia buds too. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2016 at Struan Farm
I recently found out that the Laucke Golden Wholemeal Bread Mix I've used for the farmstay here at Struan Farm since we opened, as well as for our personal use, has been discontinued. DISCONTINUED! It disappeared from Countdown about a year ago, but the distributor assured me it would be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2016 at Struan Farm