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Fresh This Week Tips 12.29.10

Bunch Beets

STORE: Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves (which leach moisture from the roots), leaving an inch or two of stem at the top. Store the beets and the leaves, unwashed, in separate bags in the refrigerator’s vegetable compartment. The greens will last for only a few days, but the roots stay fresh for up to 3 weeks.

PREP:  Beet juice can stain, so protect your countertop when cutting. Keeping the skin on while cooking (it comes off easily afterward) preserves flavor and color.

USE: Small, young beets are tasty grated raw in salads. All types are delicious steamed or boiled, but to best bring out the flavor, roast them at 400º F for 45 minutes, then slip off the skins, slice, and top with goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.


STORE: Store whole cucumbers, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 10 days.

PREP: Wash thoroughly before using, peel (if desired) or cut into half moons, rounds or spears.

USE: Eat cucumbers raw, add them to salads, sandwiches, make a Greek tzatziki or pickle them. For a light lunch, make cucumber sandwiches:! Don’t forget to brew a pot of tea in true English fashion.

Red Bartlett Pears

STORE: Keep pears in a cool, dark place until ripe. To test for ripeness, gently push on the stem. If it gives a little, your pear is ready to eat. Once ripe, pears may be stored in the refrigerator.

PREP: Wash pears in cold water and keep them whole, slice them or chop them.

USE: Bartlett pears are delicious eaten out of hand, but are also great choices for canning or baking.

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Year in Review 2010

Supporting Local Farms  Since the inception of our home delivery business in1999, we have always focused on purchasing our fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers first. Every week, I contact my farmer friends to find out what they currently have available that I can add to our boxes. If I need to find more produce, I then source it from farms outside our area. As your personal farmer, I really appreciate your dedication to the local farm community. With your box of good purchases this last year, you have blessed several local farm families:

Rents Due Ranch, Skagit Flats Farm, Skagit Harmony Farm, Ralph’s Greenhouse, Motherflight Farms, Hedlund Farms, Blue Heron Farms, Munks Farm, Paul & Janice Madden Orchards, Ponderosa Orchards, Filaree Farms, Bartella Farm, Bunny Lane Fruit, and of course, the Klesick Family Farm.

Helping Local People  Another core principle at Klesick Family Farm is to give back to our community. One of the ways we do this is by offering our customers the opportunity to donate a box of good to a local area food bank (Stanwood/Camano, Everett, Marysville, Monroe, Snohomish, Edmonds). For every four boxes donated by our customers, we donate an additional box. This year, with the generous support of our customers, Klesick Family Farm delivered over 750 boxes of good (approximately $18,500 worth of quality organic fruits and vegetables) to local area food banks – this is 300 boxes more than in 2009! There is no way our farm could meet this need without your help. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of our business. I love meeting local needs with local resources! Thank you for partnering with us to meet this local need. If you would like to join us to help provide quality organic produce to local food banks visit the “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” page of our website or call us at 360-652-4663.

Thanks for a great 2010!

Looking forward to next year!

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Fresh This Week Tips 12.21.2010


STORE: It can be left at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for weeks.

PREP: Kiwi can be sliced in half and hollowed out with a spoon or eaten whole. The skin of kiwifruit is edible once the fuzz is rubbed off. If the seeds are crushed, they can be bitter. The seeds are edible, but can be scooped out.

USE: Can be eaten raw as a snack or an addition to breakfast. They are also popular in salads. It can be used in sauces and dips. It can be used as a garnish for entrees. Kiwifruit can be gently cooked near the end of a dish’s cooking time. Overcooking will result in the breakdown of the fruit.


STORE: Watercress is highly perishable, so store it in a perforated bag in the fridge and eat it within a couple of days. Alternatively, treat it like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag – it can last a little longer that way.

PREP: Wash and shake dry just before you’re about to use it. Both the leaves and stems are edible – just trim off any tough roots.

USE: In a salad with rocket and orange segments; combine with potatoes in a soup; use in tarts and omelettes; use to make white bread sandwiches or as a garnish for cooked foods such as game.


STORE: Wrap sunchokes in paper towels and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable drawer for up to a week.

PREP: Peeling sunchokes is optional. The thin peel has a slightly chewy texture, but it’s not unpleasant, and you may find the effort of peeling their knobby surfaces isn’t worth the return. The cut surfaces of sunchokes, like those of potatoes, tend to oxidize and turn pink. To prevent this, submerge cut sunchokes in lemon water until ready to cook.

USE: Sunchokes become tender and slightly starchy when cooked. To roast them, cut them into chunks, toss with a little oil, season, and add to a roasting pan with a whole chicken or a pork or beef roast during the last half hour of cooking. You can steam or boil whole sunchokes until tender and then mash them roughly or serve them whole. For a creamy soup (the one instance where you may want to peel sunchokes so the soup has a smooth texture), simmer cut-up sunchokes in broth and milk or cream until tender and then purée. And to make addictive sunchoke chips, fry thin slices in peanut oil.

However you prepare them, keep the seasoning mild and minimal to allow the sunchokes’ subtle flavor to shine. Vinaigrettes, cream, butter, goat cheese, garlic, nuts, herbs, nutmeg, mace, coriander, fennel seed, mushrooms, bacon, and lemon juice all pair well with sunchokes.

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You can find the river in the strangest places!

The other day I was out working on the farm, running to and fro, getting ready for the record whopper of a flood they say is coming my way.  Now when you live near the mouth of the river and your farm is just barely above sea level, you’re often wondering, “will this be the one that soaks my farm?!”

You see, all the water begins its accumulation in the mountains and then makes it way via the watershed in an ever increasing volume…right by us lowlanders.

Well they (those in the know), were prognosticating the end of the life in the valley as we know it. Of course, I knew better, but then, I just live here.  After the waters had been pouring across the fields and over  the road for 16 hours, I sent Aaron, my trusty 16 year old, over to the part of the road that usually drains first to see if we could get Mom out to her ladies tea on Camano that night.  Now, Aaron has one of those trucks that everyone loves to have when it is snowing or flooding, but eats your paycheck the rest of the year.  So he went out, and headed over, walking through the water to check its depth. When he came back, he reported “It’s just over my rubber boots, I can get out!”

So we made a plan to get out, which, of necessity included driving all the way through Smokey point to get to Camano Island and then be back again in a few hours.

Well, just after dinner, and before the two were going to fjord the flood waters (mind you only farmers or idiots should attempt this!), I went out the front door and put on a pair of rubber boots to go to check the horses. WATERRRRRR!  Cold river water! They were full of water! I went sloshing through the house, in my wet socks, looking for a clean pair, and asking Aaron why he didn’t dump out the water after he had reported back that he could make it through the flooded road.  He smiled, a rather Cheshire cat smile, and said, “I thought I did?”

Sometimes there are just too many boots to choose from when you have 9 children and several pairs of the same size boots available on the porch.

Merry Christmas,


PS. To see some videos of the flooding please visit:

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Fun holiday decorating ideas w/KFF produce

Deck The Door

For a simple door decoration, hang a juicy red pomegranate from ribbon Create a hanging loop by pushing the ends of a short length of florist’s wire into the pomegranate. Thread red ribbon through the loop and tie in a bow at the top of the fruit. Photo & Idea from:

Fragrant Fruit Bowl

This festive display adds color as well as spicy citrus fragrance to your holiday home. To make your own, press cloves into Clementine’s or Satsumas and arrange them in a bowl of cranberries garnished with a few sprigs of rosemary. Photo & Idea from:

Cranberry Bouquet

Cut a bouquet of ivory poinsettias for a table centerpiece. Cranberries in the clear glass vase hold the stems in place. Mingle the blossoms with Christmas greens if you wish. For a longer-lasting arrangement, insert each stem into a water-filled floral pick before adding them to the vase. Idea & Photo from:

Pear Place Cards

For each place setting, choose an apple or a pear with a sturdy stem—if necessary, cut a slice off the bottom so it sits straight, or make a knife slit and insert the card into a pear placed on its side (shown). To make name tags, cut green (or color of choice) paper into a holiday shape, square or that of a leaf will be perfect, punch a hole at one end with a toothpick, and write each guest’s name or initials with a gold metallic marker. Tie the name tag to the stem with a gold string or ribbon. Idea from: Photo from:

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Let us help you get some names checked off your Christmas shopping list this holiday season. Food is just one of those universal gifts that everybody enjoys. Even those people that are just hard to find something for will be pleased with a gift of produce or a food gift basket. Even more, gifts from Klesick Family Farm send the message of care for the recipient (organic), our communities (local, when possible), and our environment (sustainable practices). For delivery the week of Christmas, orders need to be received no later than 12/16.

Produce Gift Boxes

A delivery of healthy organic produce makes a thoughtful gift! You can have us deliver a one-time gift of one of our standard produce boxes or give away a month’s worth of deliveries to be enjoyed throughout the season. We can either make the delivery for you (subject to our delivery area) or we can deliver the box to you so that you can give it away yourself. When placing your order please specify which box you would like to give. Gift certificates also available.

Gift Baskets

All gift baskets come in a decorative 7.5”x10”x3.5” chocolate-colored scroll print tray and packaged in a clear cello bag, tied up with a festive ribbon. Eco-friendly gift card included…just let us know if you want a message sent with your gift!

For pictures and details of our Gift Boxes please click the link below:

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Fresh This Week Tips 12.07.10


STORE: 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature; 2 months in the refrigerator.
PREP: Cut the crown end off a pomegranate, removing with it some of the white pith. Lightly score the skin in quarters, from the stem to the crown end. Firmly yet gently break the sections apart, following the score lines. Bend back the skin and gently scoop the seed clusters into a bowl; remove any pith.
USE: Pomegranate juice can be used in drinks, syrups, and jellies. The liquid stains, so wear an apron and wipe up spills immediately. Sprinkle the gorgeous, sweet-tart seeds into salads, rice dishes, or even glasses of Champagne.

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Yellow Onions

STORE: Store whole onions in their mesh bag (or any container that lets air circulate) for up to 2 months in a cool, dark, dry space. Don’t store onions under the sink or near potatoes, because moisture and the gases emitted by potatoes will cause the onions to rot. Refrigerate a cut onion, skin on (it will last a bit longer) and tightly wrapped, for up to 4 days.

PREP: The best way to reduce tears when chopping an onion is to minimize the amount of time you spend working with it. Watch this video to learn how to chop the versatile onion properly, quickly, and efficiently.
USE: We consider this the all-purpose onion, and personally, it’s the one we use most often. Yellow onions have a nice balance of astringency and sweet in their flavor, becoming sweeter the longer they cook. They are usually fist-sized with fairly a fairly tough outer skin and meaty layers. Spanish onions are a particular kind of yellow onion and we find them to be slightly sweeter and more delicate in flavor. Check the back of this week’s newsletter for a tangy onion jam recipe from Chef Ashley Rodriguez…the perfect handcrafted holiday gift!

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Bunch Beets

STORE: Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves (which leach moisture from the roots), leaving an inch or two of stem at the top. Store the beets and the leaves, unwashed, in separate bags in the refrigerator’s vegetable compartment. The greens will last for only a few days, but the roots stay fresh for up to 3 weeks.
PREP:  Beet juice can stain, so protect your countertop when cutting. Keeping the skin on while cooking (it comes off easily afterward) preserves flavor and color.
USE: Small, young beets are tasty grated raw in salads. All types are delicious steamed or boiled, but to best bring out the flavor, roast them at 400º F for 45 minutes, then slip off the skins, slice, and top with goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

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STORE: in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. Ideally, they should be kept out of the refrigerator in a cool, dry, dark place not above 60˚F /15˚C, which would fit the characteristics of a root cellar. Yet since most people don’t have root cellars, we’d suggest just keeping your yams loose (not in a plastic bag, but if desired, a brown paper bag with multiple air holes punched in it will work) and storing them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated cupboard away from sources of excess heat (like the stove).

PREP:  Wash the skins with a soft cloth so you don’t peel the tender skin off just before use. As the flesh of yams will darken upon contact with the air, you should cook them immediately after peeling and/or cutting them. If this is not possible, to prevent oxidation, keep them in a bowl covered completely with water until you are ready to cook them.

USE: Yams are delicious just baked and then dotted with butter. Often you can use a yam for recipes calling for Baked potatoes. Since these are certified organic you can enjoy them, tasty skins on! Steamed, they make a great side to chicken, pork or fish. Try shedding them and cooking like “hash browns” for breakfast, or add to a slaw with raisins and peanut sauce.  You can also make “sweet potato chips by cutting peeled yams into 1/8” rounds, place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary. Bake in a 350°F oven until crisp. For a homemade “fries” see