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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
Almost forgot to tell you, oops. I'll be taking a brief break from blogging until the end of June. Some travels away from Struan Farm, here and there. Rest assured John, Mike and Clifford will be holding down the fort, so the stories and updates on the projects will await... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at Struan Farm
Between a very busy farmstay during April, and warm then wet weather, not much gardening has been done recently here at Struan Farm. Some leaves have been raked in the front Pet Paddock, and the veggie gardens have been cleaned up, but that's been the extent of it. Until the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2019 at Struan Farm
A few weeks ago I discovered an interesting looking ovoid fruit in the Piopio Community Fruit & Veg stand that I didn't recognise. It looks like this: I asked the experienced horticulture experts on the NZ Tree Crops Association's FB page to help me with an identification. Several people responded... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2019 at Struan Farm
I've been toiling away these past few rainy days here at Struan Farm to try to finish granddaughter Freya's needlepoint Christmas stocking. I'd left the most fiddly bits for last, and this is one of the more detailed canvases that I've done. But good news: it's done! Next it gets... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2019 at Struan Farm
This past week I have been on a quest of sorts to locate a white oak tree, or "Quercus alba," here in New Zealand. One will be planted in Ohio to honour my sister Beth, so I thought we would do the same halfway across the world here at Struan... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Struan Farm
Last week John and I had an excellent dinner at The Corner Kitchen & Bar in Clevedon while up in Auckland. John had a slow-roasted lamb shoulder with cumin and lemon, served with "freekah." Neither of us had had freekah before, which is an unripened or green durum wheat that... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at Struan Farm
This past week John was able to get the 22 rewarewa trees we recently purchased planted (and fenced) along the drive up to the new shed here at Struan Farm. This is just the start of the landscaping we're doing this winter in the bowl below our house where the... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2019 at Struan Farm
We have some friends coming to visit us here at Struan Farm in the next week or so, one of whom has coeliac disease and is therefore gluten free. I decided to do a test run of a gluten free crumble recipe I ran across in a recent issue of... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Struan Farm
This week John had yet another encounter with a road crew working outside Struan Farm on the main road. He'd seen that they were sealing a section of the road, but dumping defective seal in a pile for disposal. Can anyone guess where this is heading? John asked if they... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2019 at Struan Farm
Sometimes it's important to get outside here at Struan Farm and go for a walk to appreciate life and the beauty that surrounds us. Maybe even take some apple treats to a pet ewe or two, and talk to the sheep about their incubating lambs. This week I came across... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2019 at Struan Farm
It's a time of transition in the backyard, aka "Veggie World," here at Struan Farm. Vampires be forewarned: the garlic is going in shortly, along with the shallots. I've harvested most of the Torpedo beets to make way for the garlic, and fertilised the bed with sheep manure, blood &... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2019 at Struan Farm
We've decided to grow salad greens in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm through winter for salads, and they're taking off. Right now I've got big planters of rocket/arugula, mesclun lettuce and "Santana" spinach taking off, plus one of spring onions coming along. All organic, of course. It's wonderful to... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2019 at Struan Farm
Did you know that Piopio had the very first school bus in all of New Zealand? Above is a photograph from the archives at the Alexander Turnbull Library/National Library of New Zealand, we have a print of this image hanging in the Cottage here at Struan Farm. It was believed... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at Struan Farm
It's that time of the year: autumn cutbacks in the gardens here at Struan Farm. A week or so ago I chopped back the hops, which had flowered and were dropping all over the driveway and pergola at the orchard entrance. The grapevines on the pergola in the main garden... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Struan Farm
John and I took a quick trip into town over the weekend to pick up another stash of screws for the new shed project here at Struan Farm. Nephew Mike has been working away putting up the sideboards and then the batons between and was running low. We also stopped... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2019 at Struan Farm
Autumn is the time of the year when we see interesting types of fungi cropping up around Struan Farm. "Shaggy Inkcaps" have appeared around the place, but both John and I were wondering whether this would be one of those years when "Scarlet Flycaps," or "Amanita muscaria" would start appearing... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2019 at Struan Farm
Most readers of the Struan Farm blog will know we're pretty creative about reusing, repurposing and recycling various things around the property. "It's in our DNA," to quote NZ home improvement chain Mitre 10, although in their case they're referring to DIY projects, something else we're also keen about. We... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at Struan Farm
We have a weeping cercis in the small garden just off the deck outside our bedroom window here at Struan Farm. It's a beautiful small tree, with dark burgundy heart-shaped leaves for most of the year. In autumn its transition from burgundy to brilliant red and orange leaves is quite... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2019 at Struan Farm
I returned home to Struan Farm from my weekend trip to Nelson with a bag of these beautiful red pears in my suitcase. I'd return with heaps more seasonal fruit but for Air NZ's weight restrictions, I'm always a bit nervous I'll be faced with the choice of having to... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Struan Farm
I popped away for a few days this past weekend, leaving John to hold down the fort at Struan Farm. Friend Glen recently moved from Doone Cottage, her rural home for many years along the Motueka River outside of Nelson, to be closer to "civilisation" in town. Her new home... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2019 at Struan Farm
For the past week I've been busy bottling figs here at Struan Farm. As soon as I've picked one kg. I've whipped out a jar, saucepan, red wine, balsamic, sugar, spices and brandy to make Rowan Bishop's "figs to die for." Fresh figs will keep at most in the fridge... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2019 at Struan Farm
We've been fogged or misted in until after midday most mornings this past week here at Struan Farm. It makes for a chilly, moody start to the day, at least for me. But also some interesting mysterious landscapes. Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at Struan Farm
The colours have started to change here at Struan Farm, we're definitely in an autumnal mode. It's most evident in our front roadside Pet Paddock, where the huge feature oaks lead the way, also at the pond, with the liquid amber, walnut, and swamp cypress trees. We're not anywhere near... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2019 at Struan Farm
This season's ewe pet lambs Jam & Jelly, Bambi, and Camilla & Fergie are living the high life here at Struan Farm. They have been given our front roadside "Pet Paddock" as their exclusive territory, and are kept separate from the main mob of ewes. Really because we want them... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2019 at Struan Farm
John's brother sent through an old family photograph a few days ago that had most of the Robertson siblings standing outside the front gate of Struan Farm many years ago now: It's not the sharpest photograph, but it's interesting to us on a few counts and prompted quite a discussion.... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2019 at Struan Farm