The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New veggies for the 2017 vegetable garden


"Buck up, old fellow", said George Mallory as he entered the Shed and observed the gloomy countenance of it's absurdly ancient patriarch. "The Godless Atlanta Falcons beat our beloved Packers over two months ago. Nothing, not Millie's sorcery and not the most adept manipulation of the worm holes can alter that fact. It's time you looked ahead to the new season, the NFL draft and the great days to come."

"Time to look to the new gardening season as well, and figure out which new plant and seed releases we'll be researching for our readers."

"Readers?", said Uncle Mac, looking up, "Mrs. Fuddlebottom of Baton Rouge, dear lady that she is, remains in good health?"

"She does indeed",  said Farm Girl as she ghosted up from the sheds cluttered interior. "And she has been recently joined by a Mr. Sam Marichal-Lescroate, who has read all the available posts and has written us three actual snail mail letters wondering when we'll be posting something new."


"Huh", said Uncle M, "and where does this gent hail from?"

"The return address is St. Cecilia's Home for the Criminally Insane in Hogue, Montana."

"Wonderful. I don't suppose there's any chance he's on staff?"

"That would be no." replied Farm Girl.

"Great", said the ancient gardener, "Homicidal maniacs read our blog. More than anyone could reasonably hope for."

Mallory and Farm Girl exchanged glances.

"Not to put to fine a point on it, old boy", Mallory said, "but for the most part homicidal maniacs write our blog as well."

Uncle Mac considered Jack the Ripper, and Leatherface, and the delicious but decidedly dangerous Lacey Delacroix. Mallory had a valid point.

"In any event," said the venerable Mac, "the NFL draft kicks off Thursday this week on the 27th. We, and by we I mean the Green Bay Packers and their many cheese headed fans, need a running back and a good running back very badly indeed. Starks is gone with the concussion problem and for reasons no one can comprehend Eddie Lacy is now wearing a Seattle uniform.

"SEATTLE, for the love of Gourd!"

"That's gonna come back to haunt us on opening day."

"But I thought the Packers needed defensive backs?" Mallory queried.

"Like a man dying of thirst needs a bottle of Poland Springs," Uncle M replied, "and I can't help but observe that you 'queried' rather than simply asked, or just allowed the question mark carry the ball by itself to stay with the gridiron motif."

"Have we changed our literary style?"

"I don't think we have a style, as such.", observed Farm Girl. "We barely have a blog."

Uncle Mac glared at her, but couldn't maintain it for long.

"But more than a secondary player or two we need a running back. Drafting in the 29th spot we have no chance at all to get Leonard Fournette from LSU. The man is an elemental force."


"He had 3830 yards and 40 touchdowns at LSU in three years and 500 more yards receiving, although receiving is not his forte."

"Not Fournettes forte? I like the alliteration.", said Mallory.

"So did I, which is why I employed it." observed Uncle Mac.

"But look down the list of primo running backs, and we might get this guy Christian McCaffrey from Stanford."

"Not as big as Fornette but a little bit faster and a much better receiver. He can catch anything Rodgers can throw and what would that do for the Packer offense?"

"Lots!" said Farm Girl, feigning interest, "What are his credentials?

"Well, in 37 games for Stanford he rushed for 3922 yards and 21 touchdowns averaging 6.2 yards per carry, caught 99 passes for 1200 yards more with 10 TD's, scored on kick off and punt returns and completed 2 of 3 passes, both for touchdowns."

"Whoof!" said Farm Girl, "Do the Packers have a chance to draft him?"

"They do," said Uncle M, beaming, "It all depends on who does what in the 28 picks before the Packer's number comes up."


"Well let us hope for the best, Old Fellow," said Mallory, "but what does this have to with the new veggies we'll be growing this season, a review of which the title would seem to allude to, and which Mrs.Fuddlebottom and Mr.Marichal-Lescroate are no doubt anticipating with bated breath?"

"Not a damned thing." said Uncle Mac. "Perhaps next post."

"Here is a picture of a turnip for the over-eager tillers of the soil to enjoy while singing 'Tie a Yellow Turnip to the Old Ash Tree."

"People do such?" asked Mallory.

"So I've been told, never seen it myself." replied Uncle M.


Monday, May 30, 2016

New Vegetables for the 2016 Garden


"Hey Angus", said Farm Girl, "What's the date today?"

The gray bearded old parsnip fancier who most folks referred to as Uncle Mac but who Farm Girl occasionally calls Angus, primarily because it is his name, turned to Farm Girl.

"April 10th", he replied.

"Sunday, April 10th. Why do you ask?"

"Because it is getting a bit late in the season to advise our readers of newly introduced plants which they may wish to try this year. Don't you think we should pretend that we are serious gardeners, at least for awhile?"


"I suppose we must, although I doubt we'll fool anyone. I tell you what. I'll take Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Farm Girl, You okay with Territorial?"


"Mallory? Leatherface? How about Parks and Jungs?"

"Spot on!" and "Yo!" were the respective replies.

"Is Agnes here?", asked Uncle M.


The haystack shivered and what conceivably might have been a bleary eyed clone of Witch Hazel emerged from its depths. She sneezed, glanced around and retrieved a bottle of Jack Black from the hay.

She fumbled with the cap.

"Watcher want?" she mumbled.

"We are giving you Burpees by default."

"Already got 'em, and it's Leather-faces fault. Damned tuna casserole he made was off. Got the runs as well and Ah want to tell you-"

"ENOUGH!", barked Uncle Mac, "That falls into the category of too much information. What we want you to do is investigate the Burpees catalog or website and see what new offerings look interesting."

"Why'n hell didn't you jist say so, then," said the old harridan, and took a pull on the whiskey.

Some time later:

"Allrighty then!", said Uncle Mac, "Gather your beverages of choice and flock around. Let's see what new introductions deserve a spot in the dirt. Farm Girl?"

"Aye aye, Skip, I have Territorial Seed Co. and they have two new arrivals I think we should try, although we better step lively if we're going to plant the dwarf snow peas, or else plant them in fall." 


 "Territorial touts these little peas as incredibly early, with only a thirty day pod-set time from seeding and an extended picking season after that. The 40" vines grow quickly and set thick crops. What could possibly go wrong?"

"A visit from Mrs. Deer", suggested Uncle M, "How much?

"An ounce is $3.05 and purportedly contains at least 100 seeds. Whaddya think?"

"I think we give peas a chance", said Uncle Mac, to a chorus of groans. "What else?"

"Well", said Farm Girl, "I freely admit that I am going purely by name here but we need a large pumpkin, so let's try Territorials "Big Moose".


"It has a 110 day growing season, can top 125 lbs in weight and has a truly deep orange color. This can make a formidable jack-o-lantern or bragging pumpkin, or one hell of a lot of pies. A three gram envelope is $4.75. We can plant them where that damned ankylosaurus crapped 2 years ago, the soil should be perfect."

"I agree", said Uncle Mac, "Let's turn the moose loose."  

Farm Girl scowled.

"Are you going to favor us with a pithy little comment for each and every vegetable?" inquired Farm Girl.

"It's who I am", replied the venerable Uncle, "It's what I do."

"Gonna be a long afternoon." she observed, and reached for a Sam Adams.

Agnes cleared her throat, a decidedly unpleasant sound, much like a greasy drain slowly and reluctantly giving way to excessive water pressure.

"Hey did any wunna you bozo's check thuh date lately?"

She was met by more vacant stares than most abandoned condominium complexes can boast.*

"It's Memorial Day. May 30th. Way past time to advise our readers of thuh new veggie offerings for 2016."

"But...but", butted Uncle Mac, "It clearly references April 10th at the beginning of the post!"

"Which, Ah hasten to remark, merely shows how long this fine bit of less than creative writing has languished as a draft."

"We are bad gardeners." said Uncle Mac, staring gloomily at the assembled shed personnel.

There was silence for a few moments and the Leather Face shuffled uncomfortably and said: "Actually we are really good gardeners. What we suck at is blogging."

There were muffled grumbles of agreement from all concerned.

*OK! I know! Stairs! I couldn't help myself.




Sunday, September 6, 2015

Taters in a Bucket Revisited


Lacey here! Although a long standing member of the Garden Shed Community I am usually not associated with growing, watering and weeding veggies. Generally it is my job to blow things up, burn things down and kill annoying people.

It keeps me busy, the supply of annoying people being nearly infinite.

But now and then I try to get my thumb a bit greener and so it was with my potatoes in a bucket experiment. You may recall that earlier in the year I placed a half a red potato in three different buckets of garden soil and compost mix, at about the halfway point of the buckets depth.

Then I simply watered the plants that popped up and let nature take over.

Now it is labor day weekend. Let us see what time has wrought.


Well alrighty then! The plant is beginning to shut down and appears rather tired, limp and weary, much like Bill Clinton post intern.

Let's just dump it out on the ground, shall we?


Schweet! Not entirely in vain I see. In fact...

"Hey Jack! Put your hand next to the spud for comparisons sake, there's a lad."


Respectable 'taters, but not too many as this shot shows. Still, that's ample portions of mashed or boiled potatoes for two people. Plus, it is clean, easy and fun to grow this way, and kids will enjoy the process immensely while catching the gardening bug in the process.


I'll let the next bucket full go until the plant is completely dry and dessicated, and the third until just before first frost, and see if this makes any difference (perhaps the smaller spuds will develop more completely) and if it does, I'll let you know!

Thank you for visiting uncle Mac's Garden Shed!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

One Big Tomato

The door which leads from the vegetable garden to the shed swung open, although it was really difficult to tell. The man who filled the opening was nearly as big as the door at 6' 6" and about 300 pounds.

But big as Leatherface is the object in his hand still looked freakishly large. It was round and red and to everyone's surprise it was not a severed head.

It was in fact a product of Burpee Seed plant development program and went by the moniker of "Steakhouse Tomato". You may read about it HERE, and their promotional picture looks like this.

Ours is not as large or as "perfect" but as you can see below, it fills the big mans giant paw or a full sized paper plate.



How does it taste?

Just the way you want a beefsteak tomato to taste. Juicy, slightly tart and bursting with tomato flavor, the flavor you forget about after a winter of supermarket tomatoes.

This is a keeper, and about to become a garden favorite year after year.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Another cash prize contest!


Indeed it is, Jack's back and this time he's handing out dollars instead of ripping out guts, a mere 127 years after sweet Mary Jane Kelly endured what was definitely not elective surgery.

Where does the time go?

And what, constant reader, must you do to garner the first prize of $20.00, or the second prize of $10.00 or in the unlikely event that we have three contestants, the embarrassingly niggardly third prize; a whopping $5.00?

Carve some Lady of the Evening a new belly button?

Nothing so gauche. 

First, you must have a PayPal account so that we can send your prize to you, it's the only way we do it.

As for the particulars of the contest, they are very simple. All you need do is knit a prize winning nudibranch, crochet a top of the line Chromodoris or if you are of stout pioneering stock, purl a Phidiana.

Yes, we want you to crochet a sea slug.

"Yuck", says you, "that will make my needles all slimy!"

Ho ho. Our readers, you have to love them.

No, dear soul, use yarn and knit us a replica of a sea slug, perhaps a colorful one like what is probably
Chromodoris willani, shown below.


Or you might wish to run with Chromodoris Magnifa, although you will be running rather slowly, nudibranchs are not known for blinding speed. 


And here is another colorful challenge, Chromodoris kuiteri.


You will need to tell us what species you are basing your work upon so be to check out "" where you can find hundreds of pictures under the "species list", or to "Feeling Sluggish" or to "The Slug Site". This will give you more than enough examples and photos to work from.

Finished pieces should be at least 5" long so as to show up well in the picture you will be emailing to the judges.

Email pictures to: with "Slugs" in message bar.

So we know you are showing us your work and not a pic from the internet include, in the picture along with the knit slug, one of the following.

A 12 oz. can of beer or soft drink.

A local newspaper showing the date

A fresh root crop vegetable, a carrot, beet, rutabaga or parsnip for example.

Your cat.

But wait, you say, no one knits these things! How wrong you are! Here is just one example:


More examples can be found simply by typing "Knit Sea Slugs" into your search engine. 

So hop to it! Entries received after midnight August 30 will not be considered unless a hefty bribe is enclosed.

You may enter up to three pieces but you can only win one prize.

Judging should take but a few days, prizes sent out almost immediately.

If you feel these directions require clarification, use the comments section to communicate your concerns.

Let's hear those needles clacking!
Only a few hours have passed and we have our first slug!

And here it is! Now what have you brought to the table?

C. Magnifa


Saturday, August 1, 2015


Hi, it's Farm Girl and welcome to Farm Girl's Corner. 

It hasn't been too lively around the shed lately, the weather has been peculiar to say the least with a frigid winter, a late and very cold spring and what has thus far been a rather cool summer. Everything has been late to develop with the possible exception of the romance between Millie Quackenbush (The Last Sorceress) and George Mallory (Dead Mountain Climber).

Uncle Mac has been more than a bit jealous, having himself dallied awhile with Millie, the scrofulous old goat. It's a good thing he has me to fall back on, or as is most often the case, forward on.

One thing that we had in spectacular overabundance were Colorado potato bugs. We had, not to put to fine a point on it, potato bugs up the gagootz.

Aunt Agnes reported this very condition, as a matter of fact but no one had the slightest inclination to verify her story, and thus it must remain in the realm of apocrypha.

But I digress. The point is that we gave up on our potatoes. We paid them no attention and neither weeded nor watered them. The beds became choked with weeds and grasses up to six feet tall.

But then I thought I would steal a march on fall clean up and so, rounding up Mallory and Agnes we descended on the beds with implements of grass destruction. 

We found yellowed stalks and attached to those stalks, potatoes. Some of quite respectable proportions as the somewhat poorly focused photo may indicate. The Bud can is merely there as a size comparison artifact.


We dug up the rest of the bed and found quite a pleasant number of similar potatoes, and Yukon Gold and Blue Adirondack as well.

So the point is NOT that one should neglect ones potato crop to ensure a good crop, but rather that you should always check the garden carefully for unknown or well hidden surprises.

There is really nothing like ones own fresh potatoes.

And thank you for visiting Farm Girl's Corner!