We are starting to turn over more beds on the farm from the earliest spring crops and overwintered crops. Believe it or not, we have a good number of beds that will get three crops during the farm season and some are already in their second crop. Nearly all beds get at least two crops each season. Quick bed turnover is one of the reasons that we can grow so much food on less than 2 acres. This week we are planting cucumbers and beans into our early spinach beds and green onions and some trial leeks into the beds that were home to our overwintered spring onions from a month ago. We also completed our first big once-a-season crop harvest yesterday - garlic! Overall, the heads looked pretty good, decent size with very little disease evident. The last couple of weeks without much rain have probably been good for that. Now the heads will cure for a few weeks before they are ready to go out in shares.
In house-building news, Steve and Cole (our previous farm hand who is now working on his own property, but is awesome about coming to help us when needed) drove up to a wheat farm a bit southeast of Indianapolis yesterday to get half of the straw bales that we'll need to our house. Today they are back at it getting the other half. We need about 500 total bales for the walls and we were happy to find some relatively close. The first half is taking up most of the space in our farm pack shed and the other half should just fit under the shed roof off the front of the pack shed. Materials logistics feels like one of the hardest parts of building a house (also true of farming to some extent). Luckily, Steve has been able to take a good amount of time off work to brute force many of our logistical challenges! Today the concrete gets poured in the foundation walls, and hopefully we'll have a first floor slab in another week so that the framing crew can get started. We are really down to crunch time trying to be ready for our straw bale wall workshop at the end of July!
I'm very excited about the long red onions that are new in your shares this week. They are a fancy italian variety and best for fresh eating. We use tons of onions in our house, and these will probably go in a kale, bean and sausage soup this week. I'm also excited to be digging up the first carrots of the season! We typically have some trouble getting good germination on our first carrot plantings, but these are coming out of one of the hoophouses, so germination was a bit better. You never know how nice or ugly a planting will be until you start digging them, and I have to say that these carrots are pretty decent. To be clear, homegrown carrots always taste amazing. It's just that some plantings have more crazy carrots than others (multiple legs, crazy shapes, etc). We like to include at least one slightly weird carrot in our bunches as proof of authenticity :) These sweeties are delicious raw for snacking, or you could combine some of them with cucumber and onion in this fresh salad:
More summer squash and zucchini this week! I might make veggie fritters for our farm lunch tomorrow with zucchini and kohlrabi. I was also reminded of a delicious casserole combo that uses fennel along with zucchini. Fennel has a light anise flavor and pairs really well with sausage since most sausages contain fennel seeds as part of their flavor. If you haven't found a way to use fennel that you liked, please give something like this recipe a try! It has a wonderful flavor and texture combo.