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, October 1, 2013

Harvest Totals

I haven't posted about our successful harvests because I was afraid it would sound like bragging---and Heaven knows that bragging is one of the seven deadly sins. Nevertheless, I want to tell you about it as inspiration for your own gardens. Remember that Red Bucket Farm is just my backyard in an average 1970s neighborhood with less than a quarter acre property including the house. You can do this, too.

Harvesting began in June with a lovely supply of currants and strawberries. I made the currants into jam and sauce. Some of the strawberries became jam and others were frozen. In July we harvested cherries from three cherry trees. We made a few pies and have several bags of cherries in the freezer.

The summer raspberries produced nicely, too, some of which became jam, some frozen, and plenty of them enjoyed fresh. The blueberry bushes are coming along, and we were able to freeze a few for winter use. Our peach tree did very well---90 pounds of peaches! My freezer and canning shelves are full---jam, peach rum sauce, spiced honey peaches, peaches in light honey syrup, and plain frozen peach slices (for pie later on).

In July we harvested honey from our one surviving hive. We made mead and strawberry melomel (a fruity mead variation). Honey is shelf stable and will last the winter.

Vegetables in raised beds have also done well. I harvested 50 pounds of potatoes and 50 pounds of onions in early August, and immediately replanted those beds with spinach, arugula, Swiss chard and beets. We'll hoop those beds to stretch the growing season through November. The butternut squash have exceeded 60 pounds, and there are still more growing on the vines.

This year the tomatoes have outdone themselves. I grow only six Amish paste tomato plants and I have enough tomato products to keep us until next year----plain tomato sauce, pizza sauce, tomato paste, and two kinds of salsa. I'm not kidding---only six tomato plants and they're still producing. Green beans continue to produce into the fall. We have dilled beans and frozen beans to last the winter.

What have I forgotten? Lots of basil/pesto, herbs, carrots, beets, scallions, and garlic. Fall bearing raspberries are awesome!

You can do it, too. If there is a secret to successful gardening, it's not a very well-kept secret: sunshine and compost. Start planning for next year's garden!

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