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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 tested out another flavour of the "Fresh As" panna cotta mixes this week given how much John's enjoys them: "Tropical." Not much of a MasterChef wobble this time either, but these also tasted really good. I jazzed this version up with some Chocolate Brown gold brushed dark chocolate stars... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Struan Farm
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Sometimes there are days when I see the view from our house here at Struan Farm and just need to share it. I remain fascinated with the changing light on and lines in the hills and trees, the sheer beauty of it all. Feel very fortunate to look out on... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Struan Farm
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It's getting to be that time of the year. When Karen goes into the closet here at Struan Farm and digs out the reindeer antlers and other Christmas bits and pieces to try to coax the season's pet lambs to be cute and photogenic for our annual Christmas card shoot.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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We had a bit of sunshine today, so I decided to venture out with my camera and some Christmas things to see if I could get the pet lambs to cooperate with a photo shoot for our annual Struan Farm Christmas card. That's another story for another day, but at... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Struan Farm
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This is starting to get a bit serious. The kereru, our native wood pigeons, have taken quite a fancy to my plum and nectarine trees in the orchard here at Struan Farm. Last night I discovered four of them gorging on the tender young leaves. And while it's great for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2019 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago I made a batch of Fresh As Black Doris Panna Cotta once again here at Struan Farm. The packet of mix is stirred with warmed milk and cream, poured into dariole moulds, then chilled overnight in the fridge. Planning ahead is important but otherwise it's very... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Finally! Some sunshine and a full day in the gardens here at Struan Farm. I've got a long way to go, but I'm starting to make a visible dent here and there. I haven't conceded defeat and put the SOS out to sister-in-law Anna to come back just yet. With... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Struan Farm
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John and I had a rather hilarious thing happen a few days ago when we were out feeding the "Gang of Five" pet lambs at the front gate here at Struan Farm. Last year's pet lambs, Jam and Jelly, Camilla and Fergie, and Bambi, who are now running around the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2019 at Struan Farm
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You will know by now that I'm the kind of person who can't go for long without being outside in the garden here at Struan Farm, digging in the dirt. It grounds me, literally and figuratively. Yesterday I was able to get back out to the glasshouse to pot up... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Yesterday John and I went to an amazing exhibition at the nearby Te Awamutu Museum called "te Ohonga Ake," "the weaver's awakening," showcasing Te Kuiti local Kahutoi Te Kanawa's Exegesis PhD Exhibition on intergenerational fibre weaving arts. The exhibition runs through 28th March 2020. During the school holidays Kahu is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at Struan Farm
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After my recent "nose meets gate" incident while feeding the "Gang of Five" pet lambs here at Struan Farm, John decided it was time for nephew Mike design a bottle feeder for the front gate. It's gotten hard for any one person to feed them without considerable chaos, let alone... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I'm probably the only one among us who remembers "Tiny Tim," the rather eccentric crooner who played his ukelele and sang this song in a falsetto voice. Be that as it may, the tulips have come up here at Struan Farm. With all the rain we've gotten and continue to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I finally had some quiet, quality time with my heirloom tomato seedlings in the glasshouse over the weekend here at Struan Farm. We've done a run for a trailer load of potting soil, and I'll use pretty much all of the recycled pots I've got stashed in the Pot Palace.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Yesterday I was popping some things into the spare fridge in our garage here at Struan Farm when I saw several ziplock bags of walnuts that I'd popped into compost many months ago now. They hadn't sprouted when the damsons and copper beech had. I'd been tempted to toss them... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Of course you will remember that this year's pet lambs Peaches, Fig, Pickle, Chalk and Cheese are in the front paddock near our house here at Struan Farm, separate from the "Big Three" Buzz, Sugar and Spice. It's easier to manage groups of lambs the same ages for feeding, although... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2019 at Struan Farm
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We've had a good stash of beautiful Meyer lemons in the Piopio Community Fruit & Veg Stand these past few days, with thanks to friend Paula from Papakura as well as another local contributor. And since yesterday was a rainy day, I decided to deploy some to make some pots... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Yesterday nephew Mike dug out one of the two big wooden bins we have in the backyard here at Struan Farm for garden compost/mulch. John and I have robust discussions about what can and cannot go into the bins (he'd dump all sorts of seeding weeds without my intervention), also... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at Struan Farm
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We've had a few beautiful sunny spring days here at Struan Farm over the past week, allowing for garden clean ups to begin. Finally! Sister-in-law Anna came to stay for a few days to keep John company while I was up in Auckland, and she dove right in (Robertsons have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2019 at Struan Farm
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This is the third year we've had a native wood pigeon, or "kereru" decide to munch on the largest plum tree in our orchard here at Struan Farm. Just as the blossoms are transitioning to tender young leaves. I'm tolerant to a point, I love being able to get up... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2019 at Struan Farm
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A few days ago I started to organise things in the glasshouse here at Struan Farm, ahead of potting up heirloom tomato seedlings and starting some other trays of veggie and flower seeds in the next week or so. This meant exiling John's growing and ungerminated native seedling trees to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Well, I'm certainly not doing a lot of lounging around here at Struan Farm at the moment, but it seems the lambs are! I'm a bit jealous. It makes me smile to see them stretched out sunning and napping in the paddocks, or enjoying John's Awanui flowering cherry trees. p.s.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2019 at Struan Farm
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Of course "free at last" is part of the closing line of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech. The "March on Washington" recently celebrated its 53rd anniversary, so perhaps that's why it floated into my mind. But here at Struan Farm I'm appropriating it to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2019 at Struan Farm
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A blog presents itself when I least expect it. Given many balls in the air, I am grateful. Perhaps it is a reward for good behaviour? When I make my way out to the backyard here at Struan Farm to feed pet lambs Buzz, Sugar, Spice, Chalk and Cheese, and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2019 at Struan Farm
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We've actually got two different sorts of pickles in the pet lamb "Pet Pen" here at Struan Farm right now. This week our newbie pet lamb was christened "Pickle." Mostly because she's behaving like someone who is going to get herself into a pickle of trouble regularly, trying to grab... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at Struan Farm
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I'm on the verge of hyperventilating about the amount of work that's accumulating for me in the gardens here at Struan Farm. I've been waiting for the rains to stop long enough to get out there. Over the past few weeks there just hasn't been a decent break in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2019 at Struan Farm