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!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
A few days ago, Mother Nature delivered a significant blizzard---around 18 inches of snow and high winds. Since then, temperatures have remained below freezing and there has been very little melting. The day after the blizzard, I cleared the snow off the beehives and repaired the plastic wrap we use as wind break. Although the snow functions as insulation, I prefer to clear the roof of the hive so that the black tar paper wrap will help absorb as much heat from the sun as possible.
Yesterday I noticed a few dead bees laying on top of the snow immediately outside the hive entrances. I think this is a good sign that the housekeeping bees are cleaning house. I hope the hives are functioning normally in there!
Thursday, December 6, 2012
In September and early October, I harvested a ridiculous amount of carrots---around 55 pounds. These aren't picture-perfect long slender carrots. Most of them are gnarly and twisted, which is clearly my fault for not having thinned out the seedlings properly. In fact, I intentionally planted them in bunches based on a gardening tip that I had read. Since I'm not selling produce, it doesn't matter to me what shape the carrots take. These carrots are delicious and sweet.
We've experimented with long term storage of the carrots. Our best method so far is simple. We store them in zip-lock bags inside the refrigerator. Our extra fridge is kept warmer than our primary fridge, mostly for storing root vegetables and home brewed beer and cider. It's important to prevent the carrots from dehydrating without simultaneously molding the squash and onions. Hence, we use zip-lock bags.
We've gotten creative with carrots recipes: carrot cake, braised and glazed carrots, mashed carrots with garlicky yogurt. We add carrots to soups, omelets, and stir fries. Yesterday I made sweet carrot pie, which is similar to pumpkin pie. I should probably look for that carrot jam recipe, too. I think it's important to remember that slightly deformed vegetables taste perfectly fine and don't need to be recycled to the compost pile.