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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
This year pet lamb "Snowball" is Piopio's Next Top Model 2023. Recently she sat patiently on John's lap while he was interviewed by TV1's Breakfast show, this picture was taken right before. The interview was meant to be about the revival of Waitomo's "Running of the Sheep" in Te Kuiti... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2023 at Struan Farm
Yes, I'm actually sitting down this morning at Struan Farm to write a blog post, WOW. Perhaps I may get back into this particular groove, we'll see. Peak tomatoes is probably not the best time for that. But something happened this morning that warrants a post, especially for long time... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2022 at Struan Farm
Former pet lamb Rosie, now diva of the mob at Struan Farm, and her adopted daughter Ruffles are Piopio's Next Top Models this year. Both they and we wish you and your family and friends a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. Stay safe in this uncertain world, and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2021 at Struan Farm
For the past two weeks we've had a morepork, our native owl or "ruru," visiting the bush outside our bedroom window here at Struan Farm. Ruru tend to hide out in that bush every so often at night. They have a loud, haunting "morepork" call, and are viewed to be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2021 at Struan Farm
The climbing rose over the pergola down in the Homestead gardens here at Struan Farm has started to flower, hooray. Her official name is Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot, although she is also known as the "dunny rose" here in New Zealand, having been planted by settlers around long drop... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2021 at Struan Farm
This afternoon the heirloom tomatoes got planted, staked and tied and the associated bird netting put up here at Struan Farm. I had to arrange for special delivery of more weed mat staples to pin the netting down properly; the birds otherwise get pretty sneaky finding any gaps, such is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2021 at Struan Farm
I was pleasantly surprised to look out on Veggie World this morning here at Struan Farm and see that one of the Black Coral zucchini plants I'd planted out decided to flower, hooray! I have not tempted fate planting tomatoes outside until it is officially Labour Weekend. While I am... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2021 at Struan Farm
Our trusty scarecrow "Henry" reported in for his seasonal duty today here at Struan Farm. He tries his best to keep naughty birds at bay. Last year we deployed him in the raised tomato bed near the workshop, this year I'm testing him back in Veggie World. I'll plant rows... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2021 at Struan Farm
I am so ready to plant out my heirloom tomato seedlings here at Struan Farm, really I am! But we had a light frost this week and I know better than to challenge Mother Nature. So I must wait somewhat patiently until next weekend, our Labour Weekend, to plant them.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2021 at Struan Farm
Yes, I know the old song is about roses rather than radishes. But here at Struan Farm the spring radish crop is starting to pop up in Veggie World. I've had leaves for awhile, but now there are red, purple, white and yellow radishes bursting through the soil. Here's hoping... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2021 at Struan Farm
I've been amused to find wee seedling peach trees poking up from compost dumped on our veggie gardens here at Struan Farm the past month or so. Predictably this happens after I tried to sprout some from stones in a handful of compost in the fridge unsuccessfully this past season!... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2021 at Struan Farm
Our new puppy Boo continues to be a work in progress here at Struan Farm. At the moment John does her early morning feed and takes her for a long run with the quad bike, tiring her out. I feed her lunch and we play with balls or sticks and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2021 at Struan Farm
You may recall that I've been discovering and trying to propagate heritage/heirloom trees from around the wider Piopio area here at Struan Farm over a number of years now. I've been learning and finding my way, and it's a long game. I should note upfront that some of these will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2021 at Struan Farm
The past few days I've cracked into the backyard, aka "Veggie World" at Struan Farm. We're getting close to prime time for planting at the end of October. I've been feeding the garden troughs with compost, blood & bone and manure to refresh them for the upcoming season. Now it's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2021 at Struan Farm
It's all happening in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm. Basically we're out of space to pot up any more seedings until the end of October, when the risk of frost is meant to be past and veggies can be planted outside in the garden. This year I've got 500+... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2021 at Struan Farm
Some months ago now we lost our beloved dog Clifford here at Struan Farm. His back legs failed him one day, at age 18. He just couldn't stand up. The local vet came out to put him to sleep, but first time around he wasn't having any of that, resisting... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2021 at Struan Farm
Yep, trying to get back into the blogging groove here at Struan Farm, we'll see how I go. Thought it made sense to start with where we are on the pet lamb front this season. We have four happy, healthy lambs in the pet mob this year: "Poopy Pete," "Houdini,"... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2021 at Struan Farm
Lately while gathering walnuts here at Struan Farm I've been thinking that most people seem unable to disagree respectfully with one another. Yes, politics and views have become far more polarised. Misinformation is accepted as "alternative facts." Social media allows people to attack others they don't know from Adam. People... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2021 at Struan Farm
It's been a sad week here at Struan Farm, New Zealand's America's Cup win excluded. Our beloved dog Clifford went to sleep, aged 18. He really didn't want to leave us, but his back legs and bladder gave out. While he wasn't in pain, we couldn't let him go on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2021 at Struan Farm
Long time followers of the Struan Farm blog will know that our Christmas cards each year involve pet lambs decked out for Christmas. I convince the little darlings to humour me while they are still innocent and trusting, conducting photo shoots out in the paddocks. I usually manage to pull... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at Struan Farm
You might start to get the impression that chooks are taking a bit of my time here at Struan Farm of late, and that would be right. While I like the birds more than I thought I would, and ours are seriously productive little layers, they do require attention. More... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at Struan Farm
Little Leroy and Little Tinker, our smallest gnomes here at Struan Farm, have been pestering me for awhile now to introduce them to the chooks. I've been holding off to give the chooks time to recover from a recent visit from the grandkids, which put them off laying six eggs... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at Struan Farm
I've been busy in the gardens here at Struan Farm the past few days with some decent weather. In addition to some seriously overdue extreme weeding, on which I made a respectable dent, I potted up a few hundred heirloom tomato seedlings ("Big Red Heirloom," "Super Steakhouse," and "Vintage Brandywine"... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at Struan Farm
Word seems to have gotten out about me. I got a phone call over the weekend here at Struan Farm from a local lady I didn't know, alerting me that a section in town behind her house was being redeveloped, and quite a few lovely red currant bushes were being... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Struan Farm
The plum, nectarine and peach trees have pretty much finished flowering in our orchard areas here at Struan Farm. Now it's time for the quince, pears and nashi to take their turns. The pear trees especially are covered in blossoms. We harvested our first few fruits from those last year... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2020 at Struan Farm