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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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We had a showery day this week here at Struan Farm so I decided the time had come. The time had come to make this year's blackcurrant jam. The harvest has been sitting in the freezer waiting for the green light. Blackcurrant jam is my favourite, with blueberry a close... Continue reading
Posted 16 hours ago at Struan Farm
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Next on the plum parade here at Struan Farm is: plum clafoutis. Basically a baked custard or pudding, it's quite easy to make and good. Excuse the fact I got a bit overzealous with the icing sugar, please! It uses ten plums. You can find the recipe here. Be sure... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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This is the sort of situation that makes me smile here at Struan Farm. Former pet lambs Rosie, Ruby and Cookie, now pet ewes, coming up to the wall outside our house for apple treats. It's a scrum and I try to treat everyone fairly, since Ruby is so big... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Yes, we have plums in abundance here at Struan Farm! So I'm working to put them to use. Fortunately there are heaps of good recipes out there to try, including this "Plum and Almond Galette" courtesy of the NZ Herald's "Bite" supplement. Quick and easy to make. I thought it... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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I came bombing up the drive one day this week here at Struan Farm to discover this: One of my laden little plum trees, split. It's either a Santa Rosa or an Omega, one of two later varieties we have, both of which are "chocka" with fruit this year. I'll... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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Okay, we now know this isn't being done by the birds. The birds are after the plums but not the tomatoes. This beautiful ripe tomato was hidden under quite a bit of foliage at the bottom of a plant in the backyard, behind a net, and next to a rat... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Struan Farm
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Can I just say that while Zack is certainly a good looking scarecrow, he simply isn't doing the job here at Struan Farm? My ripening tomatoes have continued to fall prey to someone. We still can't decide whether it's birds or rats due to the locations of the five fruit... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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It seems to be the year for pests going after our gardens and orchards here at Struan Farm, at least birds and rats (or so we think). The only exception is that there have been no rabbits in evidence around at all. Normally you would have me ranting and raving... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Spuds, finally! This spring we planted two potato patches here at Struan Farm. A cluster of an early variety called "Rocket" in the backyard at Veggie World, and the later variety "Agria" down by the Homestead's back gate beside my heirloom fruit tree rootstock. Predictably "Rocket" has been anything but.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2019 at Struan Farm
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My apologies, we've been flat out with farmstay guests for the past few days and over the weekend too. I've composed blog posts in my head but they haven't been written and no photographs taken. I'll be back next week on schedule with the stories to be told, including the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2019 at Struan Farm
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People often talk about "watching the grass grow" as a sign of being bored. (They also can talk about watching paint dry, but that's another story.) Here at Struan Farm I've been struck by our ability to see visible growth in the vegetable gardens and sometimes even the grass each... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2019 at Struan Farm
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It was time a few days ago for Bambi, Jam, Jelly, Fergie and Camilla to have their first shearing here at Struan Farm. John managed to get them into the yards at the woolshed ahead of the arrival of Farmer John, but they wouldn't follow him into the actual shed.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2019 at Struan Farm
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The vegetable gardens in the backyard here at Struan Farm, aka "Veggie World," have gone through quite a dramatic growth phase. We've been enjoying edible flowers, zucchini, beans, mesclun lettuce, radishes, garlic, shallots, herbs and peas and sharing the surplus as well. Tasted our first ripe tomatoes too. We're now... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2019 at Struan Farm
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The garlic harvest has happened here at Struan Farm. It was so wet before Christmas, when one is meant to harvest it on the longest day of the year, that I decided to hold off on pulling it up. Things have now dried up considerably, in fact we're almost needing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2019 at Struan Farm
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It seems we need to go away from Struan Farm in order to "allow" ourselves to rest and relax. At least this is the case for John, who is relatively new to being at the farm on a full time basis. I learned to pace myself about two years ago,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Yes, it's that time of the year here at Struan Farm! Piopio Berry Orchard is into peak blueberries, and has just started offering their "two for" pricing. As soon I see that I pounce, and start sterilising jars and stockpiling lemons and apples. Batch #1, fresh from the pot. I've... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2019 at Struan Farm
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The old stock troughs that I planted out with edible flower seeds (cornflowers, borage, nasturtium, calendula and viola) here in the backyard veggie gardens at Struan Farm have definitely worked well this season. They provide beautiful pops of colour, plus the bees love them. I've also let some of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2019 at Struan Farm
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The black currant bushes in the veggie garden and orchard areas here at Struan Farm are delivering beautiful fruit this year, progressively, each day. I go out in the late afternoons to pick them, bringing along my beginner's mind. You see they hide. They are quite shy, and to gather... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I went out to water the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm the night before last and discovered this: One of my beautiful, ripening Oxheart tomatoes attacked and eaten by something. A range of suspects entered my mind, several of which (dog, bird) I discounted immediately, since the tomato was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Just reporting that we've had the early tomato varieties start to deliver here at Struan Farm! "Oxheart" and "Black of Tula" have been the first to ripen. No more store bought tomatoes for the foreseeable future. There's simply no comparison with homegrown. Scarecrow Zack is keeping an eye on the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2018 at Struan Farm
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Our holiday marathon started with the Piopio Christmas parade on Christmas Eve. And believe it or not, Piopio Community Fruit & Veg Stand's float in the parade won a first prize in the "Family, Friends & Whanau" category, woo hoo! We had three lovely little bunnies munching away on artificial... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2018 at Struan Farm
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There's lots happening here at Struan Farm at the moment. The Piopio Christmas parade happened on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th, followed by Christmas, and today's Boxing Day, with the annual gathering of extended family here at the farm. I need to take a brief break from blogging to get through... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2018 at Struan Farm
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There's always been a pohutukawa tree growing at the edge of one of the QEII native bush reserves here at Struan Farm. Well, almost always. It was planted by John's sister Julie many years ago now, but we've never seen it flower. Piopio is well outside the range for New... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2018 at Struan Farm
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Our vintage David Brown tractor is now perfectly legal, wow. With the tractor scheduled to pull the Piopio Community Fruit & Veg Stand's float in the Piopio Christmas parade, much discussion happened about how the tractor was going to get into Piopio and back home without a major accident and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2018 at Struan Farm
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This season I decided to try to grow peas seriously for the first time here at Struan Farm, especially since we now have two strong and higher fences in the backyard veggie garden area, aka "Veggie World." I move the tomato plants around each year as recommended, and peas would... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2018 at Struan Farm