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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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Yesterday mornings new lambs started to arrive on the scene here at Struan Farm, in numbers. Farmer John told me the ewes were waiting for heavy rain and gale force winds to deliver their lambs, and it seems that he was dead right. The best news so far is that... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Struan Farm
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It was a big day this week for pet lambs Buzz, Sugar and Spice. They left the relatively safe confines of the Pet Pen in the backyard for the paddock at the back gate here at Struan Farm. I am always a bit apprehensive about moving pet lambs out onto... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Brother-in-law Scott arrived to spend the night with us at Struan Farm over the weekend, he was in New Zealand briefly for a flying visit from Canada. For dinner I slow roasted a lamb forequarter rubbed with olive oil, chopped anchovies, rosemary and lemon zest (six-seven hours in a low... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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The weather has been such here at Struan Farm that I'm taking things to the garage, once again. This time it's about getting the growing trays of tomato seeds organised and into the glasshouse for germinating. Varieties this year will be "Big Red Heirloom," basically seeds I've saved from last... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and some of the pregnant ewes decided it was time for new lambs to arrive here at Struan Farm. John saw the first set of triplets as well as twins down at the river, and then shortly thereafter I saw twins out on the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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It's pretty much joy and happiness out back in the Pet Pen here at Struan Farm right now. Buzz, Sugar and Spice have settled into the Pen and bonded as a trio. They nap nestled in the Pet Palace, and have lovely personalities, at least so far. I'm not sure... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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I'm behind in my Struan Farm blog posts this week, I admit. We've had two lots of unexpected farmstay guests (this winter has been unusually busy), plus John has decided to run for Mayor of our local district, Waitomo. I won't get into his reasons why here, most people who've... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2019 at Struan Farm
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We've been having quite a bit of rain in Piopio and here at Struan Farm over the past 2-3 weeks. So much so that I haven't been able to get out and work on the seasonal clean up of the gardens at all. If the sun was shining briefly it's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Now is about the time to starting "chitting" seed potatoes for planting out in spring. "Chitting" is a process whereby seed potatoes are put into a box or tray and covered to protect them from light so they can start to sprout (I use newspaper). The idea is to get... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2019 at Struan Farm
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This weekend we received NZ Bulb's 2019 Summer Catalog, offering a beautiful array of seasonal flowers: lilies, sweet peas, begonias, gladioli, zantedeschia (calla lilies), and dahlias. What interested me most were the dahlias. I came across two varieties we've had growing in the Homestead gardens here at Struan Farm for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at Struan Farm
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We've been busy feeding rescued pet lambs the past few days here at Struan Farm. It's always good to get them through the first two-four days, when they are fed six times each day. Feedings then drop to four times each day while the amount in the bottles is increased... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Meet "Buzz," our first pet lamb of the 2019 lambing season here at Struan Farm. He's been named after Astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin, to honour the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Our little Buzz came from the neighbouring farm. His mum and sibling twin died after an... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Two days ago I got a call from an elderly lady in Piopio, telling me of a friend in nearby Te Kuiti with a number of citrus trees "dripping with fruit." The message was for me to ring her if I was keen to go pick surplus fruit for the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I've found myself getting increasingly passionate about working to make sure surplus homegrown fruit and vegetables get put to use. I guess it all started with setting up Piopio's Community Fruit & Veg Stand and being part of this initiative around the country. Seeing what people are happy to share... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2019 at Struan Farm
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There are days when I get captured by the scenery here at Struan Farm, the trees especially. As our frequent blog readers know, we love our trees! Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Farmer John advises that lambing here at Struan Farm should start around August 20th, more or less, this season. We've already seen some new lambs across the river at the neighbouring farm, and on the Piopio golf course, so our "Pet Pen" is up and ready for anyone who might... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2019 at Struan Farm
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These past few days we've had some wild winter weather here at Struan Farm. High winds, heavy rain, chilly temperatures. Definitely indoor weather! Here's a video I took of the Douglas fir trees swaying in the winds for our Instagram page.... for some reason Typepad won't let me post a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2019 at Struan Farm
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After my adventures making Syrian Seven Spice damson jam here at Struan Farm earlier this week I decided to have a go trying to make up my own version of the Spice Diva's amazingly aromatic Syrian Seven Spice Mix. I'd purchased reasonable quantities of the seven ingredients: allspice, black pepper,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I froze several containers of damsons from the Piopio Community Fruit & Veg Stand this past summer so that I could play around them a bit further when time permitted. And damp, chilly winter days are usually a good time for playing around in the kitchen here at Struan Farm.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Last Friday I discovered that someone had been munching on my lemons in the backyard here at Struan Farm. Also on the fruit of my new tangelo tree! Given the recent "mast" year in the native bush, I had to figure out if rats or possums (or both) were doing... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I looked out from our house here at Struan Farm a few mornings ago at the sheep in the mist, and was reminded of a movie about American primatologist Dian Fossey, "Gorillas in the Mist." The movie starred Sigourney Weaver as Fossey; it's worth seeing if you don't know her... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at Struan Farm
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The wooded garden we've planted and encouraged under the grove of redwoods at our house here at Struan Farm is starting to come into its own. Often these things take time. Time for camellias and rhodos to get established, hellebores to grow and decide to flower. Much like people, plants... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2019 at Struan Farm
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The two different broad bean varieties I planted out in the veggie gardens here at Struan Farm are starting to flower now, good news. I just hope they will be polite and well-behaved enough to finish their show and deliver before it's time to plant the spring peas. I'll have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2019 at Struan Farm
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A year or so ago John and Mike renovated the old garage down at the Homestead here at Struan Farm so that I might use it as my garden shed. It was a project that was given much fanfare. I was allowed to design my shelving, and set forth my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2019 at Struan Farm
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These days "snowflakes" get a bad rap in certain political circles. The term is applied to people who think they are unique and special, when they really are not, those who are easily offended, and/or those unable to deal with opposing views. It was popularised initially in the movie "Fight... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2019 at Struan Farm