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, August 18, 2014

Growing Shallots

Shallots have never been a part of my menu planning. I've heard of them, especially when watching cooking shows on television. But they are difficult to find in the grocery store and quite expensive for something described as a "mild onion." Just use a little onion or scallion, right?

In December I decided to educate myself about shallots so I added them to this year's garden plan. I chose Zebrune shallot seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. Zebrune shallots are a heritage variety from France. It's called a banana shallot because of its long shape. The bulbs are pinkish-brown and store well.

Just after the new year, I sprinkled shallot seeds in four inch pots and placed them under lights in the basement. Each time their green tops grew a few inches tall and began to flop over, I would give them a little haircut. In early May, I gently teased the little bunches apart and planted them individually in a raised bed outdoors. They grew tall and strong and without drama. Last week I harvested them and placed them in the sun to dry.

Truth be told, I can't quite figure out why this is a big deal. Shallots grow every bit as easily as onions and scallions. The bunnies and chipmunks leave them alone and they don't require any attention at all. It's a no brainer. If you haven't tried growing your own shallots, I recommend adding this to next year's wish list.

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