The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Friday, August 31, 2012

FARM GIRL'S CORNER - Shootin' the Boule

Farm Girl here! Its Friday already and that means that its time to check the progress of the Boule D'or yellow turnips; planted from seed just 14 days ago on August 17th. Lets see just what we have...

Progressing nicely from having been seeds in a packet only 14 days ago. We've thinned them to just two turnips for each spot with one final thinning to go. A little weeding was necessary but late in the year like this, weeds are not germinating as aggressively as they do in springtime.

Growth has been slowed significantly by lack of rain; there has been less than 5 minutes precipitation since the seeds were sown and while we are hand watering the supply available for that is restricted as well.

Still, we expect to bring you the third week Boule update a week from today. Thanks as always for visiting farm girls Corner!

Lead photo courtesy of April May Maple who retains all rights:

Lead photo model: April May Maple


Woo hoo! Aunt Agnes here! I know they don't want me postin' anymore but they's all out in the Shed with the door locked plottin' somethin' mysterious so I'm here in the house usin' Old Mac's old Mac to show you what goes on in the rutabaga patch.

Do you have a Rutabaga patch? Well then you know that you cain't rightly tell what you have just by a casual peek because all you can see from the top is a sea of greenery.

Now you take this feller here out his 'baga field. Do you think he has any idea what's growing under all that green stuff? He does not he has to yank a few samples up by the roots! What kind of wastage is that in a world consumed by rampant hunger?

That ain't how we do things here at the Shed. Uncle Mac just looks at me and says:

"Agnes! Are you still here? Make yourself useful and get down on your belly in the mud and tell us how the Rutabagas are doing!"

This is how I know they're warmin' up to me. And nobody can git down in the dirt like Ol' Aggy, let me tell ya. So here's what I see on the north side of the bed...

Ain't that a fine example of a Rutabaga, or Swede, or as some folks call them (Incorrectly I might add) yeller turnip?

Now lets go around to the north end...

Now look at that fine specimen, cheek by jowl with that can o' beer I put down yesterday and forgot about. But its a good thing that its there because it makes a handy size reference for just how big a rutabaga can get in the right conditions.

And its a good thing because it was still half full! Ain't Mother Nature wonderful?

This 'un here is about the size of a softball now and still has a good six weeks growin' to go.

Well I gotta go I jist heard the Shed door bangin' and I don't want to be caught postin' on this fool blog o' theirs. But I'll keep you up on all this rutabagian stuff whenever they's a chance to.

Thank you for viewin' another Agnes extravaganza at Uncle Mac's garden Shed!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


It was just so sad. He was laying under a withered cucumber vine there in the garden, up against the fence; motionless, unaware. Unnoticed until too late he had lingered there and now, expired, he was of no further use to anyone. Yes, Old Yeller, once a proud and tasty cucumber had died on the vine, as it were.

What to do with the dear departed? Interment in the compost pile? A vikings funeral? Keep him by the shed door to hurl, end over end like an old fashioned German potato masher grenade to make a satisfying and somewhat squashy impact on Mr. Bears' nose when next he stops by to grace us with a table dance we definitely have no use for or desire to witness?

None of the above. For as it turns out, Old Yeller and others of his ilk have more value to us as a potential cucumber patch in years to come than do cool, crunchy green specimens no matter how tasty they may be. We are going to extract and save Old Yellers' seeds.

The first step is to allow several cucumbers to hold their ground there by the fence, to grow and gradually decay like an old Studebaker on a backwoods road,


When they have yellowed naturally but are still firm it is time to gather them up, rinse and dry them off, and then place them in a room temperature environment inside the house to decompose until they are soft but not quite mushy. Keep the cucumbers out of direct light while this process continues.

We will update this post with pictures and directions as we proceed through the remaining steps that will lead to a supply of viable seeds, good for several years and which can be sown, sold, swapped or simply given as gifts.

As a bit of a hint, the next step will require an old crock. (Or plastic pail, large glass jar or the like.)

What's that Agnes? No, not you, this kind of old crock, is what we meant.*

That's about it for today folks, check back at Uncle Mac's Garden Shed for real time directions for saving and storing your own seed supply. It is simpler and more rewarding than you might think.


Oh and of course, yellowed or not you can still eat them. One rather tasty way to do so is revealed right HERE!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

FARM GIRL'S UPDATE - Boulish on yellow turnips

We promised you an update on our Boule d'or yellow turnips, sown last Friday in one of our raised beds her at the shed. Old Mac was dibblin' his ass off for a while, I can tell you! I helped a bit, its what Farm Girls do.


Here is what we expect to harvest in 6 to 7 more weeks:


And here is what the bed looks like exactly one week after sowing, on Friday the 24th of August. (Curiously this is exactly one day before the "Best Butts in Buttzville" event - Best Butts in Buttzville Eve, so to speak). But I digress.

And there they are, rank on rank, row on row. They actually had sprouted in less than 72 hours, being up by the morning of Monday August 20, and germination was nearly 100%.

Hats off to the fine folks at Baker Creek Seeds for a great product.

By next weeks' update we will have had to thin and weed the seedlings as the march of the Boule D'ors continues (barring disaster) straight to the pot and root cellar!

This has been the promised weekly turnip recap and as always thanks for stopping by. I'm Farm Girl and I'm outie!


Saturday, August 18, 2012


Hi, Farm Girl here and you know what I do; I help out in the garden and around the shed and so forth. Today we planted a lot of Boule D'or instead of merely shooting the boule as usual.

And what are Boule D'or  you ask?(Pronounced BOOLAY DUH OR, not "BULLDOOR" as the uncultured clods I coexist with would have it!) And, why are we hell bent to plant some at the very last moment?

They are yellow turnips, purportedly somewhere in size and flavor between the detestable white turnip...


And the comestable rutabaga...


We are hoping for a good tasting, long storing happy medium.

These yellow turnips are supposed to mature in 60 days and to be sowed 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. We anticipate the first frost around mid October here at the shed although it can vary widely year to year. We sowed a bed full on August 17, about 1/4" deep and allowing around 6" on center between plants.

Germination is expected in less than 7 days.

We'll keep you advised of their progress on a weekly basis until the critical taste test in the third week of October.

We obtained our seeds from the Baker Creek Company located in Missouri, a supplier of organic, heirloom, non GMO seeds and a company we highly endorse.


If we have a problem with Baker Creek Seeds it would be as regards the actual seed count per packet. Purported to contain at least 600 seeds we sowed over 700 from ours and have at least as many left over! Not a bad problem to have, when you think about it.

Well that's our bulldoor story for the day, and we are sticking to it. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time on Farm Girl's Corner!

Today's Farm Girl Model, Jamie Eason
Photographer, Johnny Crosslin
More of Miss Eason and Mr. Crosslin's remarkable work can be seen at:
We highly recommend a visit to the site! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012



Well that would be our bestest autumn friend, the blue Hubbard squash wouldn't it? Farm Girl told you all about it a while back in this great post HERE, if you'd like to catch up.

Here is one of them, doing what blue hubbards do best ie. over running the garden and blocking the pathways and such.

Just look at the great hulking brute! And it still has a long way to grow before its done. Think of all the great pies and custards and dishes of steamed squash with a little brown sugar! The blue Hubbard squash, too late to start any now but put them on the list for next year.

This is Agnes, scootin' for the high brush before someone ketches me postin' agin'. Thanks for stoppin' by! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SOMETHING DEAD FROM THE SHED - Giganotosaurus carolinii

When is a saurus not a saurus? Why when its a Giganotosaurus of course! Ho ho! This is your old pal Jack and we're going to tell you all about this great cheeky bugger Giganotosaurus carolinii. He's a sight to make you take the cure, is he not?

You know I always fancied a keen blade, did my best work with surgical steel if I do say so myself. This fellow here had jaws just filled with daggers fore to aft; I expect he'd have cleared the East End in a week. Pity he wasn't around in my day.

Well I'm not here to reminisce, I'm hear to present to you the star of the evening, Giganotosaurus carolinii front and center, big as life and twice as handsome here on Something dead from the Shed!


Giganotosaurus, new heavyweight champion:

Long before Tyrannosaurus rex terrorized the North American woodlands at the close of the Cretaceous period another giant theropod dinosaur dominated the forests and swamps of what would become southern Argentina. Giganotosaurus carolinii, a name which means “Great Southern Lizard” is the current holder of the title: “Largest meat eating dinosaur”. Unless or until an even more awesome discovery turns up this also makes Giganotosaurus the largest land based predator of all time.
In fairness to Spinosaurus, who would otherwise hold the title outright, there is considerable debate over whether Spinosaurus was more aquatic than land dwelling. Until this issue is resolved it seems reasonable to lean towards Giganotosaurus.


The find of a lifetime:

Giganotosaurus was discovered by Ruben Carolini, full time auto mechanic, part time fossil hunter at a site known as the Candeleros formation in Patagonia. Mr. Carolini soon recognized the magnitude of his find and excavation was continued by the Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina. Rodolfo Coria and Leonardo Salgado published the initial findings in Nature in 1995. The species is named carolinii after the original discover, Ruben Carolini
This partial skeleton and subsequent finds reveal a bipedal meat eater cut from the same basic pattern of the more familiar Allosaurs and Tyrannosaurs, but on a monumental scale. A large Giganotosaurus is believed to reach up to 52 feet from nose to tail tip, stand 12 feet tall at the hip. Estimates of weight vary widely but max out at over 13 tons. An enormous head over 6 feet in length topped the powerful neck of a large adult; the jaws filled with razor sharp 8 inch teeth designed to shear meat rather than to crush bone. The skull of Giganotosaurus is the largest of any meat eating dinosaur yet discovered.


Patagonia and indeed much of the planet during the mid Cretaceous possessed a warm, humid environment compared to that of today. Temperatures averaged some 4 degrees Celsius higher than at present, the oxygen content and CO2 levels were both significantly higher than is today’s norm. The world of Giganotosaurus would have encompassed swamplands, wetlands and some forests. Here, Giganotosaurus would have shared space with some of the largest sauropods dinosaurs of all time; giants like Argentinosaurus, Andesaurus and Futalognkosaurus dukei.



Giganotosaurus was a meat eater as are almost all the known theropod dinosaurs and would have preyed on any and all of the above named sauropods. There is some evidence that fearsome as a single Giganotosaurus was, it may have hunted in packs at least part of the time. This would have made the formidable task of downing a huge creature like Argentinosaurus, which may have been nearly 140 feet long and weighed in at as much as 100 tons somewhat less dangerous.

Competition would have come from contemporary theropod dinosaurs like Carnotaurus, a smaller but still formidable bull horned meat eater weighing about 6000 lbs and going about 25 feet nose to tail.
The impressive size of this dinosaur’s skull has been previously described but even with all that room available it contained a brain approximately the size and shape of a banana, or half the volume of that possessed by the later and slightly smaller Tyrannosaur.


Giganotosaurus lived during the late Albian thru the early Turonian ages, spanning the mid to late Cretaceous period or roughly 100 million years ago until 90 million years ago.


Tyrannosaurus rex vs. Giganotosaurus carolinii; the tale of the tape:

Tyrannosaurus rex has for a long time been the most recognizable of the theropod dinosaurs, but Giganotosaurus is rapidly catching up. These apex predators separated as they are by time and space could never have come face to face but just for fun let us see how they compare to one another.

Time: Tyrannosaurus rex, 85 million years ago to 65 million years ago, Giganotosaurus 100 mya to 90 mya.

Place: T. rex, North America and Mongolia, Giganotosaurus southern South America.

Size: T. rex, up to 42 feet long, 20 feet tall, skull length over 5 feet. Giganotosaurus up to 52 feet long, 25 feet tall with a skull length over 6 feet.

Weight: T. rex as much as 8 tons, Giganotosaurus possibly as much as 13 tons.

Teeth: T. rex large, conical bone crushing teeth with an overlapping bite, lengths to 9 inches are typical but individual teeth to 13 inches have been found. Giganotosaurus possessed teeth around 8 inches long, sharp and adapted for sheering rather than crushing. Both animals could replace damaged teeth.

Intelligence: The banana sized brain of Giganotosaurus has already been referenced; Tyrannosaurus had a brain over twice that size with well developed vision and olfactory centers. T. rex was probably the more intelligent of the two as far as this quality can be measured among dinosaurs.

The once and future king

So there we have it, Giganotosaurus carolinii, one of a spate of fascinating discoveries from the fossil fields of Patagonia and apparent deposer of Tyrannosaurus rex as world’s heavyweight meat eating dinosaur. The world awaits further discoveries to expand our knowledge of this undoubtedly fascinating creature.


A brain the size of a banana! I expect most Senators would be envious wouldn't you think? That about wraps it up for Giganotosaurus; as always this is your old pal Jack, saying thanks for visiting "Something Dead from the Shed"!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


"Howdyyyyyyyyyy! Aunt Agnes here and I'm fit to bust I'm so dawg gone happy! I jist picked me some "Ladies Knight" cucumbers from the trellis outside the shed and would yew jist look at these bad boys? Ridin' in on a white charger to rescue a damsel in distress on a quiet Saturday night!"


"WOOO - HOOO! Why this reminds me of the time..."

"AGNES!! Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, Farm Girl here, sorry to interrupt but really...Aggy have we told you that this is a serious gardening blog and that you are not to go posting things we don't know about every time you find a radish that looks more radishsy to you than the general run of radishes? Well have we?"

"Yes, but - "

"In fact have we told you not to post at all?"

"Yes but gosh dern it - "

"As a matter of fact did we not have Leatherface drag you out by the scruff of your scruffy old unwashed neck last time you were Aggying on about a tomato and half a dozen spuds? Did he not tie you to the old oak tree, thereby spurring Uncle Mac to decompose a horrid doggerel song parody that haunts us still and is apt to appear on Helium until they notice it and take it down? Did he not furthermore smear you from bowsprit to mizzenmast with honey and leave you there for Mr. Bear to find?"

"Ah kinda liked the honey slatherin' it reminded me of my girlish youth -"

"AGNES! You know darn well those 'cumbers aren't called "Ladies Knight", there are no cucumbers called "Ladies Knight" and whatever road you were going down with that, well lets just say I'm glad I caught you in time! A woman your age? What are we supposed to do with you you're a bigger pain in the butt than even Pineapple Girl and Uncle M is seriously considering shooting her!

"Well - "

"Well me no wells!"

"Again, Constant Readers, we beg your pardon. Be sure to check back in a few days when I believe Jack has a new episode of "Something Dead from the Shed". Should be a lot of fun, unlike..."

"Well never mind. This is Farm Girl and, I'm very much afraid, Agnes. 'Bye for now!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

FARM GIRL'S CORNER - Hailin' some autumn kale!

Hi! Farm Girl here, you know what I do. I out help around the garden and shed as need be. Today, Uncle Mac had the idea that since we were about to plant our fall kale perhaps we should practice dibblin' first. I might have demurred but he was between me and the door and the hay bales were right there so, eh! A little practice never hurts!

But kale really is the topic of the day, and what better vegetable to start for a fall crop. Time really is winding down for much more planting in many zones but there is still time for short growing season, cool weather loving favorites such as radishes, white turnips and of course, kale.

Kale is a member of the Brassica genus, a group of plants collectively known as cruciferous veggies and containing cabbages, broccoli, collards, rutabagas and many other common and quite familiar vegetables. Kale is most closely related to cabbage and may be ancestral to it although the two plants neither taste nor physically resemble each other to any great degree. Kale is believed to have been gathered from pre - literate times and first cultivated in the middle east, spreading gradually around the Mediterranean as traders exchanged kale seeds for other desirables.

Kale is easy to grow. When planting for a fall crop pick a bed where other brassicas were not cultivated during spring and summer for best results and maximum production. Kale follows beans, cucumbers or summer squash quite well. Prepare the ground with generous amounts of screened compost, toss in any leftover fertilizers you do not wish to keep over winter and you are good to go.

Count back 8 weeks from the first anticipated hard frost in your area and make the first planting. Allow for a good 12 inches between the centers of each mature plant, kale will grow to larger proportions than many people realize. Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.

Subsequent plantings at 7 and 6 weeks pre frost assures an abundance of this tasty vegetable. The frost date need not be feared by the way. Kale is quite resistant to it and will continue to grow through a series of mild frosts. Most kale lovers feel a frost or two merely enhances kale's somewhat strong flavor.

Weed and water and you can expect to be enjoying kale as early as five weeks depending on variety and weather conditions!


Kale dishes of greater or lesser complexity abound but the simplest and often the best use is simply to steam to tenderness and serve with a little butter and salt as a vegetable side. In this form it goes well with almost any meal.

Those who like a more complex blend of flavors or who cringe at the words "salt" and "butter" might like to try this excellent suggestion from the good folks at Ingredients Inc. Lemon kale with walnuts sounds pretty good to us and is absurdly easy to prepare. Check this excellent recipe out, right HERE.

Kale has a secret. Not only is it easy to grow and prepare, but it has turned out to be one of the very healthiest vegetables to consume. Kale is rich in calcium, B-6 and magnesium and is a veritable powerhouse as a source of vitamins A, C and K. Kale is loaded with antioxidizing phytonutrients and compounds like caratonoids, flavonoids, lutein and zeaxthin. These latter substances are useful in cancer prevention, lowering the "bad" cholesterol, and promoting healthy vision. This is one healthful veggie! 

And that wraps up our section on kale! You have the room, you have the time. Now go out and plant some of this fast growing, super healthful tasty green. Don't forget your dibble and as always, thanks for stopping by at Farm Girls Corner!