Photos by Chelsea Dallmann Photography
Many of us would love to have our own she-shed in the middle of a charming, little garden. For Allison Kangas, that dream has been realized on her quaint farm located in Goodridge, Minnesota. Partially fashioned out of an old porch, her she-shed offers 144 square feet for relaxation. This month, come along with us as we tour her space. Then, you can see it in person by attending an event taking place there on August 23.
Meet the “She” Behind the She-Shed
Allison Kangas is originally from Thief River Falls, Minnesota. She and her husband have made their home on his family farm where they are now raising their two kids, Cooper (10) and Charlie (8) along with four chickens and two geese. Kangas was a stay-at-home mom, but when her kids started school, she wanted something to keep her busy. That was when she began making wooden signs under the name Wheat & Beans. Her small business took off and soon Kangas was a vendor at all of our favorite local boutiques. After a few years, she took a break from sign making and instead focused on launching a clothing brand called Drift North, which is currently available at K&J Treasures in Thief River Falls.
Kangas’ she-shed is surrounded by raised gardening beds. She came up with the idea because her husband is usually pretty busy during planting season as he farms quite a few acres. This lead to her saying, “I just want something simple and that I can take care of myself without any help.” Then she saw some raised garden beds in a Martha Stewart magazine and asked her dad to build them for her. Together, her father and husband created the eight raised gardening beds that Kangas tends each summer.
Need That Porch
Kangas’ she-shed has been through a lot. It was originally attached to a farmhouse that was over 100 years old. “We got the porch from another farm. A friend of ours was taking this porch off because he was remodeling his house. That was where he and his mom grew up, so I was like, ‘I need that porch. You can’t get rid of it,'” Kangas said.
Then, it was to be a playhouse for Kangas’ son. “I was going to keep it as a playhouse for Cooper, but that didn’t pan out, so it sat in our yard for four years. Now, it’s supposed to be used for storage, but I like to make it really cute,” she said. Kangas also increased the square footage of her she-shed last summer by putting on a little addition that features doors and windows salvaged from her grandparents’ farmstead.
They couldn’t think of a better use for it. “My she-shed is like my sanctuary. I love going out there and just relaxing. Sometimes girlfriends will come over and we’ll have some wine. Otherwise, I love planting the garden. I think that’s the best, but I go a little overboard every year. I do give most of it away because my kids only eat so many vegetables,” Kangas explained.
Secret Garden Market
In 2017, Kangas held her first ever Secret Garden Market in their front yard. “I had six vendors last year and over 400 people came,” she shared. The event also had live music and a food truck, which actually ran out of food because there were so many people. This year, she is getting ready for an even bigger crowd. “It’s the last hurrah of summer before the kids go back to school,” Kangas said. The 2018 Secret Garden Market will have sixteen vendors, live music and Groovy Grub food truck will be back again. It will take place on Thursday, August 23. For more information about the upcoming event, you can visit facebook.com/secretgradenmarket.