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A Real Simple Spinach Pesto Recipe

1 pound fettuccine
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 pound baby spinach (about 10 cups)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the walnuts and garlic until chopped.
Add the spinach, oil, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary.
Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and remaining ¼ cup Parmesan before serving.
Original recipe from:
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A Time to be Slow

There is a time and season for everything. There is a time when life demands speed—deadlines to make, schedules to keep, and appointments to meet. There is a time to be slow—reading bedtime stories to your children, a conversation with your spouse about the day, and a vacation where soft-sanded beaches and frilly blended drinks run plentiful.

Our culture tends to be experts on speed, but when it comes to slowing down we need much practice. My natural speed is fast. I get a thrill when I multi-task. It pains me to watch my young son take what feels like fifteen minutes to put on his jacket and shoes as I watch the clock tick on. I frantically push him along, creating tension that really doesn’t need to exist. Something inside of me naturally wants everything in life to move quickly.

There is great beauty in slow. In his book, In Praise of Slow, Carl Honore writes, “Slow is calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaningful connections – with people, culture, work, food, everything.” Doesn’t that sound incredible?

There is so much to learn in the presence of being slow that can be easily overlooked when we’re moving too fast.

For me, being slow is a conscious decision. When feeling the desire to speed up I have to ask myself, “Is this a time I need to be fast?” If not, I breathe deeply and rethink how I’m approaching the situation.

This is true in the kitchen too—especially in the kitchen. Weeknight meals are often quick, simple, and prepared in the presence of three hungry children pushing me to hurry up. But it is in the process of slowly preparing a meal that I’m reminded of why I love food and cooking so much. I take the time to smell the fresh ingredients, enjoy the process of dicing a pungent onion, and joyfully stirring the pot as the flavors fully develop in the presence of much time.

There is a time to be slow—probably more time than we allow. Find time for slow, its company will reward you.

by Ashley Rodriguez

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Healthy by Choice

Joelle and I just got back from two power packed days of good farming information. Yes, the information was good, but I am talking about how to farm to produce good food. We went with three other growers who work with us. It is nice to be saturated with material that gives information on how to work with nature. One would think that working with nature would be a “duh,” but in the world of agriculture most farmers are at war with nature.

This conference was hosted by Tainio Technologies (makers of Biogarden products). I have been using their products for years. Instead of better farming through chemistry, they focus on better farming through working with and enhancing nature’s biological systems. And you know what, it works, hands down, bar none with better yields (important) and healthier food (more important).

Growing healthy food is my passion. I am obsessed with feeding my soil everything it needs, so it (the soil) can feed the crops everything they need, so I can come back later and harvest nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables for your box of good. The soil is everything! If your soil is rich in nutrients, so is your food. And isn’t that the goal—nutrient-rich food that feeds our bodies, brains, circulatory system, etc.?

We have to eat and we are going to eat, so why not choose food that is alive and bursting with nutrition! Of course I am talking to the choir, since you are already getting your box of good. But what about your neighbor, associate or other family members? Referrals are the best source to build our healthy food communities. As our consumers increase, we are able to grow more food and also support more farms. We can make a bigger impact in our local food bank systems and we can take a bigger bite out of the GMO food world.

Your referrals have a huge impact. As a thank you for every referral we will send you a “Thank You” gift and your friend who signed up a welcome gift. And to top it off, Mike gets to call you and say, “Thanks!”—those of you who have had a conversation with Mike know how special that is.

Our farm and company are committed to only offering food that is GMO free. Eat away!

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Winter: a time to reflect

The farm is anything but quiet during this time of year. The trains rumble by, the coyotes join in the chorus and trumpeter swans trumpet as their wings carry them barely above the house. Ah…the sounds of a farm at rest.

The pruning is finished and if all goes well there will be lots of pears, apples, plums and raspberries. The garlic is making its presence known as the sentinels of the garden. The potatoes have been ordered and other seeds are on their way.

We are installing two new greenhouses this winter in attempts to provide more local food earlier and later for you. We are busy fixing fences, building fences and getting ready for the grass-fed beef to arrive in April. In addition to mending fences, we are making compost and servicing our equipment. Right now we are focusing on the things we know that need repairing and we will worry about what we don’t know later, when it becomes obvious (sigh).

But mostly, winter for us is the calm before the storm. It is the warm up before the symphony begins—lots of tuning of the strings and tightening of the bows. For me, it is the time (lots of time) I spend with my children, reading and reading and reading and playing lots of games—right now mainly Mexican train dominoes and Settlers of Catan.

I am purposely investing in them, because I know that in a few weeks to a month the weather is going to change. We are going to be farming and outside from sun up till sun down. We will still have lots of fun as a family, but it will be busy fun, not the quiet fun that we get to have right now. Thankfully, the transition from winter to spring is a gracious one and gradually comes upon our farm like the incoming tide. But I also know that our younger children will become young adults before I know it and I want to enjoy them as much as I can now.

I am looking forward to tomorrow evening when my kiddos pick a book out and we all somehow, four or five of us, will snuggle into that easy rocking chair and read together.

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The Klesick "k" Quest

Klesick Family Farm is proud to announce that we are partnering with The Great Northwest Glass QUEST once again to give our customers the chance to win a beautiful, limited edition, hand-blown glass snowball (5” diameter) by Mark Ellinger, world-renowned hand-blown glass artist. We, however, are creating a virtual quest, so that instead of having to physically go out and search for clues to find a snowball, you get to search on our own website!

Each day of the quest we will hide the Klesick “k” (our green seedling logo) on a new page within our website. When you find it, click on the “k”, enter your name and e-mail address, and you will be entered into the prize drawing (one entry per day per customer). Follow Klesick Family Farm on Facebook daily to receive clues on where to find the hidden “k”.

The quest will take place February 17-26, 2012. The prize drawing will be February 28th and the winner will be notified immediately thereafter. Happy Quest!

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Dating … at Home

When Gabe and I were first married we continued to date. Nearly every Friday we would eagerly anticipate dinner made for us by a restaurant we had yet to try. We loved trying new places, new foods and spending that time together away from our harried schedules.

Then three kids came and we found ourselves much more removed from the dining out experience while still needing that time together. We do make time to go out on occasion, as we realize its importance for our friendship and the health of our marriage, but we also feel the need to limit the number of those evenings in order to preserve our budget.

So we found ourselves with a need to date, but with a desire to not pay hundreds of dollars in childcare and fancy dinners a month. Thus, the in-home date night was created.

It’s a simple idea really, but one that has brought us closer together, created a beautiful model for our children and saved us quite a bit of money. First of all, let me say that we find it is still important to get out of the house every now and again. There is something about seeing the dirty dishes and the leaning tower of laundry that can often distract from good conversation and a pleasant date.

For me, the date at home starts in the morning. I scour blogs, cookbooks and magazines to create a menu that is simple, yet special enough to be noticeably different than our regular weekday meals. Throughout the planning process I’m anticipating our date and praying for our time together. I find great joy in knowing that I’m planning this meal for my husband  and loving him in the process.

We sit down to a nice meal after the kids have gone to bed. Their voices still linger in the air while we do a good job of pretending not to hear. Eating at our own pace provides much more room for conversation than when three young children are present. We’re relaxed, comfortable and not too worried if the dishes don’t get done until morning.

With Valentine’s Day approaching and a beautiful box full of fresh produce, an in-home date is a beautiful option. Even if you aren’t married, giving yourself the opportunity to try something new in the kitchen provides the opportunity for a wonderful evening and sets apart that time as something special, which we all need every now and again.

Special food doesn’t have to be complicated—part of the pleasure is in the process. With stunning produce there is little that has to be done to make it distinctive and memorable.

by Ashley Rodriguez

Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom. Read more of her writings at