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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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A few days ago during a drive I started to think about coming to terms with certain things as one ages. About how we are as people, both the good things and the bad; about what we do and have done well, and what we don't do or haven't done... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Struan Farm
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Now I'm onto the damsons, having worked my way through the stash of blackcurrants from this past summer's harvest here at Struan Farm. I've become a huge fan of damsons, having discovered them quite inadvertently when a local person dropped a box of them off at Piopio's Community Fruit &... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Struan Farm
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Rainy winter days are great for spending time in the kitchen making jam, at least they are for me here at Struan Farm. While I like to make strawberry jam for farmstay guests out of fresh berries in season, I've found that jams made from frozen blueberries, blackcurrants and/or damsons... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2020 at Struan Farm
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I'm trying to get back into my groove on the blogging front here at Struan Farm, one step at a time. Lockdown threw me completely off balance (and everyone else in the world) more than I'd realised until very recently. During lockdown John took over my office, working from home.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2020 at Struan Farm
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I was very excited this past week when I went to check on the bags of damson stones in compost I'd stashed in the garage fridge this past autumn here at Struan Farm. They'd begun to sprout, hooray! Now I have several trays of damson seedling trees growing in our... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2020 at Struan Farm
Hi there, No, you can't do anything like that beside the State Highway. We can't even shoot them on our property on the edge of the road, had to enlist the Regional Council and NZTA and DOC to hire contractors to cull them. And numbers have to threaten road safety before they are willing to act.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2020 on Feral Goats Take Note at Struan Farm
Italian Parsley Gigante from Kings Seeds.
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It's been raining here at Struan Farm over the past week. You'll hear no complaints from me about that given our recent drought. I'm not sure if it's considered officially over at this point, but the situation has improved considerably. Grass is growing before winter, something that prompts farmers to... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2020 at Struan Farm
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I haven't been the best at blogging during lockdown, my apologies. With John working from home my office and computer have been commandeered, as has the dining room table. And yes, he does have an entire spare room designated as his home office as well, although we've now learned it... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2020 at Struan Farm
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We all contend with lockdown differently, even the sheep here at Struan Farm. I had to laugh when I looked out and saw pet lamb Spice taking over the pet lean-to once again, and other ewes, including Bubbles, blobbing out beside the fence that runs from the backyard along the... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2020 at Struan Farm
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Yesterday I took a deep breath and dove deep. Into the big freezer in our garage here at Struan Farm, that is. John purchased it a year or so ago so we'd have space to freeze and store roasted tomatoes, homemade soups and ice creams, surplus fruits like blackcurrants, blueberries... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2020 at Struan Farm
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It's quite a circus of former pet lambs in the mob of ewes here at Struan Farm. At times when I go up to a paddock fence I am surrounded with faces and personalities I know well. Some all too well! Here's one: Ruby. She's in the same class as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2020 at Struan Farm
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In honour of ANZAC Day. These are my father-in-law Maurie's military medals from WW2, including his Military Cross for bravery. You can see more information on his military service, and lay a poppy for him, in the Auckland Museum's Online Cenotaph here. Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2020 at Struan Farm
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This past week I learned that abutilon flowers are edible! As you probably know I'm always interested in expanding my knowledge about gardening and growing, especially food. For the past several years I've grown a dedicated edible flower garden with nasturtiums, borage, cornflowers, calendula and violas. I also love the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2020 at Struan Farm
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Today being my birthday, and a major milestone at that, I thought I'd share with you some photos of "vintage" hydrangeas from the gardens here at Struan Farm. Awhile ago I read that florists coined this term for hydrangeas that are past their peak, but are still quite beautiful with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at Struan Farm
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We haven't been having the best sleeps here at Struan Farm since COVID-19 took over the world. I know we're not alone on this score by any stretch, have read about people having some of the same problems: restlessness, insomnia, and nightmares. I used to have terrible nightmares as a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2020 at Struan Farm
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I'm ready to pull out the last tomato plant still standing in Veggie World out in the backyard here at Struan Farm. It's always a sad day. There are a few remaining tomatoes sitting on the kitchen window sill that we've been savouring/rationing, but they're almost gone. The plants look... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2020 at Struan Farm
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Sometime today we should find out if NZ stays at Alert Level 4 beyond April 22, or if we move into Level 3. If we do, the current version of Level 3 will be considerably stricter than the previous one. But it will allow some businesses to operate provided they... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2020 at Struan Farm
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We are also being inundated with feijoas at the moment here at Struan Farm. At this time of the year they drop from the tree each day, so someone goes down to collect them from the ground. Fortunately we have two trees of two different varieties, "Kaiteri" fruits early followed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Struan Farm
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You will of course remember Bubbles. She was a triplet born by caesarian at the farm next door to Struan Farm. Her mum died, and I rescued brothers Elvis and Ajax along with Bubbles. They spent the night wet and shivering in front of the roaring fire, me sitting with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2020 at Struan Farm
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Those frequent readers of the Struan Farm blog and followers of our FB page and Twitter and Insta feeds will know that during the Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown I've been busy. Busy trying to use the autumn abundance from our orchard fruit and walnut trees. I continue to be amazed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2020 at Struan Farm
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John has been harvesting proper paddock mushrooms in the mornings here at Struan Farm when conditions have them popping up. He now knows the spots to check around the property. Once they're cleaned I pop them into the food dehydrator so they can be dried and stored for later use.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2020 at Struan Farm
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Easter morning I awoke thinking about some of the lessons I've learned so far during the Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown here at Struan Farm. --John and I are indeed able to co-exist 24/7 for weeks on end. This was an unknown heading into lockdown. Until about two years ago he... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at Struan Farm
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I've been trying to vary my days somewhat during lockdown to avoid boredom here at Struan Farm. Plus, there's not that much room left in the freezer for baking! I'm not much of a sitter as you've probably figured out, but I have been reading, and dug out granddaughter Violet's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2020 at Struan Farm
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Interesting to see the harakeke that edge our drive here at Struan Farm changing colour in autumn! I've never noticed them doing this before. The variations in colour are subtle but beautiful. p.s. you might know this plant as "flax," however I've stopped calling it that after learning that Captain... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at Struan Farm