Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Enjoying the Fruits/Veggies of our Labor

It's the last day of February and my urban farm is covered in a blanket of snow. Fortunately, I'm still enjoying the veggies of last year's efforts.

Last April I planted a few peat pots of pepper seeds---three pots of Carmen Hybrid, a sweet pepper with long, six-inch horn-shaped fruits; and three pots of "Yummy," a petite 2-inch sweet snack pepper. I nursed these seedling indoors for several weeks, then moved them outdoors into large containers. They remained container plants all season, and I could move them into sunshine and away from the squirrels and chipmunks, who help themselves a little too often.

By August, we were indeed snacking on yummy peppers, slicing them open and filling them with cream cheese. Our crops were prodigious, far more than we could eat, so we began roasting them with olive oil and garlic for 20 minutes, then freezing them on cookie sheets for an hour or two before packing them in freezer bags. It's lovely to pull out a bag and add them to stews, sauces, lasagne, savory pies and gratins.

Since last year's crop was so succcessful, I've started Carmen and Yummy again this spring. The peat pots are currently under lights in the chicken brooder (which is without chickens, of course). When the new chicks arrive in a month, I'll transfer the peppers to the greenhouse, which I hope will remain above freezing. I'm planning to keep the peppers in containers again this year. Why mess with a good thing?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Welcome to Red Bucket Farm

It all started six years ago, when my husband and I moved our family from our tiny old house to a newer home. For many years, we loved our 1938 house and its little lot, but we were bursting at the seams. Our "new" 1970s ranch house provided breathing room and a much larger yard. At first it seemed huge, but soon I began enjoying the space for a few currant bushes and fruit trees.

Two years ago we attended the local community supported agriculture fair, where we learned that it would cost us several hundred dollars to purchase a share of vegetables from a local farmer. We decided we would use the money to start our own gardens, and that's where it all began.

Since then we've terraced the hillside, added raised garden beds, built a chicken coop, and erected a greenhouse kit. And there's more to come....