The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free seeds - Hubbards, Butternuts and more from the seediest people around...

NOTHING AS BLEAK AS A WINTER GARDEN

AND THE WINNER IS...

MR. DAVE LYONS! CONGRATULATIONS!

Mr. Lyons I will need a mailing address so please e-mail same to BobMacNJ5@aol.com and we will get your seeds right out to you!

My thanks to all who participated, new contest soon!


But cheer up! Better days are coming! Onions and corn will sprout, turnips and carrots will frolic in the mulch and egg plant will dance a sprightly dance amidst the chard! Well maybe not. But things will grow again, rest assured. And to help this along Uncle Mac's has a few seed varieties for you, absolutely free.

These are our own seeds, saved from our own garden harvest.

You will get:


24 Blue Hubbard squash seeds, enough to generate over half a ton of Hubbards if you plant them all. The great hulking brutes can be used like any winter squash or pumpkin and will store for months with care.  




Blue Hubbards make wonderful pies!







But wait, there's more!



You will get some BUS seeds too. (Butternuts of Unusual Size)












Ladies Knight cucumbers, sure to please.
















Red bell pepper seeds...






And three other varieties of veggie seeds as well, we'll let those be surprises.

"What, kindly, grizzled old Uncle Mac must we do to win these seeds?" You may be asking.

Nothing at all. Just indicate in the comments section that, yes, you would like to be in the drawing and when the time comes, (February 15, 2013) we will hold some kind of drawing, (paper slips from a bowl or hat, likely.) and YOU, gentle reader, could be a winner!

And there will be much rejoicing!

Remember, just indicate in comments that you want to be in the drawing for the free "Seeds of Resistance" package, that is all.

Good luck!

Don't forget to check back on the 15th or 16th to see if you won, Farm Girl will need a mailing address!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Planting the seeds...of resistance

At the Shed, we take the idea of an armed citizenry seriously, probably more seriously than almost everything except raccoons in the sweet corn.


MR. BEAR, YONDER,
ABOUT TO BECOME MR. RUG

We all know what Obama and his Amen chorus are up too, and that is, no good as usual.

No need to flog the subject to death, merely to bring every ones attention to the day of resistance on Feb. 23 of this year.

.223 has a nice ring to it.



There is their direct link. Go and visit if you wish.

Now I'll get back to our real business, gardening. Or in this case, 'hoing.

Comere, Farm Girl!


BETTER TO HAVE, AND NOT NEED THAN TO NEED, AND NOT HAVE.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

FARM GIRL'S CORNER - Designing a productive vegetable garden Pt. 2 - Choose your ground

Hi! farm girl here! I help out around the shed and in the garden and so on and today it's time for part 2 of our gardening design series. We touched on the value of sunlight in Part 1, today we'll go over the lay of the land.

FARM GIRL



What's that Mac? I am? Do your really think so? Well that's kind of sweet in a way. Crude, unnecessary and off topic, but sweet!

At any rate, back to the ground that is available to be worked and how it further dictates where we'll place the garden. We already know where exposure to the sun is adequate, and that is our first limiting factor. Next we are going to want a plot or plots of land which are flat, close to water, preferably close to the house and or tool shed and which are easily fenced.

First of all, a garden does not have to be on flat land. Millions of tons of fine produce has been grown on hillsides, and even on some very steep slopes.







Thomas Jefferson's kitchen garden was and still is grown on a gentle hillside at Monticello, for example.

Gardeners young and old should tour Monticello, by the way, if only for the orchards and gardens!










Veggie gardens can be very attractive, and even very productive on steep slopes but they are labor intensive and probably expensive to build and maintain and difficult to work in compared to a flat plot. They are also subject to washout when a torrential rain comes along. If the option for a flatter surface is open to you, by all means take it.




Flower gardens, now, on a hillside can be simply spectacular!












Most folks don't enjoy carrying water, which is heavy, and there is a limit to how many hoses you can string together. It is good to have when feasible a source of water close to the the garden. Usually this will also mean close to the house although as we will see this is more of a guideline than a rule.

If the garden is close by the back door, for example, it is then be easier to access the veggies and herbs at dinner time, and tools, insect sprays, and other necessities will also be close at hand. These are good things!



A NICELY LAID OUT GARDEN, SLOPED BUT NOT EXTREMELY SO, A WELL BUILT ATTRACTIVE FENCE (A TAD LOW TO EXCLUDE DEER) CLOSE BY THE HOUSE...WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?

Can you build a fence easily? Well, unless you happen to live somewhere where there are no deer, no bunnies, no woodchucks and all the rest of all those furry thieves you will need one. Usually, if you can put in a garden at all, then you can also put in a fence simply enough.

The impediment is usually only a man made one. Growing numbers of overly intrusive local governments have zoning ordinances dictating where and how a homeowner can erect a fence on his own property. No one wants to find out too late that the garden fence is two feet too tall and too close to the neighbors property line, so it is a good idea to check out the rules first.

Of course, if you get along with the neighbor this may not be as relevant but better to build a fence once than twice.

And there you have a few simple tips on how to best situate the new veggie patch. In part 3, coming soon, we'll go over the use and lay out of raised beds and various other design pointers for inside the wire.

Thanks for visiting Farm Girl's Corner!



Death to all white turnips!

 
YUCK!
Oh you can eat a white turnip if you absolutely have to. (you could eat a bowling ball too, probably) but the taste is not for everyone.











YUM!



Yellow turnips are milder, sweeter and tastier in the eyes of many, certainly that is the prevailing opinion here at the shed. The seeds, however, are not as common as one might hope. We obtained ours from Baker Creek Seeds, a company we highly recommend.
 
We grew a tasty batch last fall and found them wonderful. They also stored remarkably well, we used the last in mid January. You can bet that we'll have a large spring planting of them this year also.

Just for fun, lets chronicle the progress of last years crop.

 
JUST SOWN, 8-18-2012
Planted seed to yield just about 100 plants. The seeds germinated in just 72 hours!






8-25-2012



 
 


9-01-2012


 
 
 
 


9-08-2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
PROGRESSING NICELY! 9-15-2012
 
 
 
 

 ALL GROWN IN BY 9-22-2012
 
 
 
 
 
9-29-2012
 
 
 
 
10-06-2012
 
 
 
THERE IS A TURNIP FORMING UP...
10-13-2013
 
 
 
 
READY TO HARVEST
 
 

TIE A YELLOW TURNIP TO THE
OLD OAK TREE!
 
 
A BOWL OF MASHED YELLOW TURNIPS
 WITH BUTTER AND PEPPER,
JUST THE THING
 
 
From seed packet to side dish, the progress of delicious yellow turnips here at Uncle mac's and perhaps this spring, in your garden as well!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Agnes makes her bed, but does not lie therein

BUTT, BEER AND (OLD) BROAD, A KILLER B TRIFECTA
 
 
 
 
A NICE 4' X 10' BED MADE FROM 1 LOG
 
Howdy! Agnes here and Ah'm madder than a cheerleader with frost-bit pom poms! Here Ah was, a fixin' to recycle an old post we had about hackin' a raised bed outen a single wood log and Ah look around and somebody else beat me to it. Now Ah got to do some actual work!
 
 
Well whoever hijacked mah post made a nice li'l slide show outen the directions so you might as well go and take a gander right HERE!
 
Some people have no gosh durn respect!  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

FARM GIRL'S CORNER - Designing a productive vegetable garden Pt. 1 - Follow the sun

FARM GIRL

Farm Girl here - welcome to Farm Girls Corner. Planning on starting a vegetable garden this year, or expanding an existing one? We are here to help.

In gardening as in many things location is everything, and the most productive garden will always be located in full sunlight. This is simply because most food crops need all of the suns energy to convert nutrients via photosynthesis into large, healthy, tasty and nutritious vegetables for gardener and family to enjoy.

This means that sunlight is a limiting factor in laying out the garden. Now, in the dark of winter when the suns path is lower in the sky than it will ever be during the growing season is the time to draw a "sunshine map".

A complex task involving compasses, sextants, astrolabes, dividers, and chronometers? Hardly.

Simply pick a sunny day and walk your property after the sun is fully up, around noon, and again before sunset. Note the extent of ground which is always in sunlight. This is the area potentially available for gardening, considering the sun only as a factor.

THE SUN BARELY CLEARS THIS TREE


While doing this take note of trees which may be low enough now to allow full solar exposure, but which will inevitably grow over time. Fast growing trees like ash, and especially pine will eventually overshadow ever greater patches of potential garden.  If you cannot or wish not to remove or top these trees when they become too big then adjust your sunshine map accordingly.

OH OH!


Similarly if a fixed structure like a house, barn or hillside just barely shades an area now in winter ask yourself if it will do so when the sun is higher in spring. If not, then this is land which will be available to garden.

Disturbed to discover that almost none of your land receives full sunlight all day long? Do not despair. We will be covering shade tolerant vegetables in a upcoming post. Some garden favorites like tomatoes, squash, corn and peppers are not among these but there are still options like greens and root crops available to you "shady" folks.

Thanks for visiting Farm Girl's Corner, and please visit us again soon!

SUN DRENCHED VEGGIES


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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Record breaking onion!

The legendary Peter Glazebrook does it again, breaking his own record for major onioncy.

WORLD'S RECORD ONION

Mr. Glazebrook, a well known British competition gardener broke his own world's record by two ounces, according to The Mail Online.

"Allium in a days work!", he was not reported to have said.

For some tips on growing massive onions of your own, click HERE.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A MAN IN LOVE WITH MANGELS, AND THE WOMAN WHO BETRAYED HIM


"I am a man in love with mangels." said Uncle Mac, and brandished a seed catalog proudly aloft. "Just look at these sumbitches!"


SOME BIG ASS MANGELS

"Those truly are big ass mangels", observed Farm Girl, "but they are just beets. Really BIG beets, but beets, never the less. You don't like beets, I don't like beets, and neither does anyone else here. Why would you want to grow these?"

"Beats me", replied Mac. "But I love growing exceptionally large vegetables now and again. You know that."

At with that he finished filling out his mangel seed order, writing a check, stamping the envelope and with an air of finality tossed it in the "out" basket. 

"Think I'll go see what Millie's up for. Er, up to I mean."

"Good idea," said Farm Girl, "I can use the rest."

He donned his winter coat, grabbed a bottle of Napoleon brandy (once again looted from the Emperors private stash*) nodded once and exited the orchard door.

Farm Girl watched him leap the stone wall which separated Millie's orchard from Shed territory, a smile on his guileless face and a song, no doubt, in his heart

"Old goat!" she muttered.

She considered mangels, and also who it was that would most likely be planting, weeding and tending them. She considered how no one in the entire shed crew like beets. She considered whether or not short circuiting Uncle Mac's mangeling plans constituted an act of betrayal.

She decided that it did.

"Screw it!" she muttered, opened the potbellied stove and tossed the seed order into the flames.

"By the time Millie's done with him he'll forget his own name."

And she busied herself making coffee.




*This had not gone unnoticed by the Emperor who never the most patient of men was beginning to weary of the chronic brandy shortage. He was commencing to suspect his Marshals. "Is this your fault, Soult?" he was heard to inquire. "What do you know, Oudinot?" on another occasion. "And what about you, Davout?" (with even less justice, for the good Marshal never touched spirits.)

For a brief time a thirsty Uncle Mac was a bigger thorn in the Imperial side than the Russian winter.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

FARM GIRLS CORNER - VIOLET DID WHAT?!



Hi! Farm Girl here and I'm back from researching a big post on garden design, and what to my wondering eyes should appear?

The entire shed crew with a surfeit of beer. They were gathered around the computer staring in slack jawed amazement at the screen. This is an unusual sight, we don't use 'puters much, this one is generally tucked away.*

Mac waved his pipe** in the general direction of the screen.

"It's the 443rd Chapter of "Violets in Bloom" he said. "Come and see! In a startling development..."

"Violet has took a fistful o' credit cards down to the Victoria's Secretions store and bought hersef some o' them crotchless panties!" interrupted Agnes.

"Secret!" exclaimed Delecroix, "Victoria's Secret!"





"What!?" I said, hustling over to look. "It's more than that putz Victor deserves!"

"I bet he's got lots of 'em, that poofter." Jack contributed.

"Yeah and the hole's in the back.", added Uncle, rather ungenerously I thought.

"Anyway it's about time", said Millie. "that broad's got to be pushing thirty if she's a day."

"Pushed past it a while ago." interjected Delacroix. "We've met. I was nineteen when I got my first."

"Twenty three." I volunteered.

"Twenty something." added Millie, "it was a few years back and I don't remember exactly."

We glanced expectantly at Vida G, who had turned a remarkable but flattering shade of crimson. She mumbled something that sounded like sixteen but we couldn't be sure.

"Two!" piped up Agnes, waggling her LoneStar.



"But don't getcher knickers in a knot we wuz dirt poor an' everthin' Ah wore had holes in it."

Leatherface shuddered noticably, apparently the victim of an unwanted visual.

A thought came to me.

"Is this the "real" Violet's in Bloom, authored by our very dear if vertically challenged gardening buddy in Moose Balls, Pa?", I asked, for I suspected that it was not.

"Spot on Old Girl!", boomed Mallory,  "No pulling the wool over yours I see. In fact...(Here he leaned forward and tapped the keyboard) this is the literary rendering of one Glorious Lemon, 3 years uptime relative to us, and 33,656 universes - or is it universi? - to what would be the right of ours, if such coordinates in fact had any meaning."

"What happens next?" I asked.

"We don't know.", replied Mac. "It's a very short chapter. We'll have to check back . A filthy job..."

"But it has to be done!" We said, almost in unison.

"And speaking of jobs", segued Uncle Mac adroitly, "we have a garden to plan. Let's get to it!"

And so we did. If you stumbled upon this post by accident you are probably wondering what in the world our blog has to do with vegetable gardening. Quite a bit as a rule; it's just that it wanders astray now and again and has to be beaten back into line with a length of pipe***.

Stop back soon, why don't you, and see what develops at Farm Girl's Corner? (I have a feeling it just might be garden design...) 




*There is a rope hanging by the door of the ammo locker, give it a sharp pull and a section of wall plank with keyboard and mouse assembly attached drops down, exposing a largish flat screen monitor. Strange whirring, gurgling noises in the wall indicate that the 'puter is booting, or that Blinky is in intestinal distress.

**The one he uses for smokin'.

***Much like Leatherface.