On a hot, June day on the east side of Indianapolis, Genesis and Eli pull garlic scapes from the ground. The long, sweetly pungent ropes will be washed and trimmed by hand before they're sent off to a local chef that afternoon. Soon, their boxes are full.
Genesis and Eli are the husband-and-wife team behind Full Hand Farms, a veggie farm in its first year in Greenfield. The two high school sweethearts grew up in Indiana before dirtying their hands together in the soils of Iowa, Oregon, and their home state. Now, the couple is preparing for their next and biggest farming adventure: their very own 25-acre farm in Perkinsville, Indiana.
The momentum that’s followed them has been terrific. Already, downtown Indianapolis restaurants like Patachou are lining up for whatever kinds of fresh produce Full Hand has to offer. “The demand definitely outweighs the supply right now,” says Genesis. But she and Eli are hopeful the supply -- Indiana's population of small farms -- will find a way to catch up soon.
Everyone has their own theories about why Indiana has been slow to respond to the nationwide movement towards local food and better production systems. To Genesis and Eli, it's the state's lack of farmer-centric policy and communities that has many start-up farms feeling a little bit out to sea.
But no one knows it better than a farmer: some things just take time to mature. In the meanwhile, says Genesis, "it's a really exciting time to be in Indiana. The good thing about being behind is that you get to learn from others."
Words by Sarah Suksiri. Find her online here.