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Welcome to September

It has been an incredible summer! While we still have a month to go, August has felt more like September. Here at Klesick Family Farm, we love September. Next week, we start to dig our potatoes—it has been a super “spudtacular” season—I am eager to get those reds and yellows out of the field and onto your plates. Plus, with everything being early, most of the winter squash crop is ripening up as well. We are also starting to see a trickle of our fall raspberries and strawberries, plus a nice crop of apples and pears. September is also soccer season, when Farmer Tristan becomes Coach Tristan to a rambunctious group of six year old boys. This September, we have two other great events/initiatives planned to make our/your September even more fun.

GMO Labeling:
For the month of September, the Klesick Family Farm is going to donate up to $5,000 towards GMO labeling initiatives. We firmly believe that everyone has the right to know if their food is GENETICALLY MODIFIED or altered or engineered. So, I need your help. Here is what I am proposing:  For every new customer that signs up in September, KFF will donate 50% of their first delivery to a labeling initiative. Also, as a thank you for every referral we receive from our existing customers, we will donate 50% of the referring customer’s next delivery as well. Back to school is a great time to encourage our friends to eat more local organic fruits and vegetables, so let’s partner together—you share our service and we make a donation towards GMO labeling!

Water Wells in Kenya:
As a family and a farm, we partner with Crossway International in the drilling of fresh water wells. We believe that access to fresh water is the first step to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease. So this year we are ultra-excited to host the Harvest 5k Fun Run on Saturday, September 28th. This is going to be an on road/off road run. (It may even be a mudder run, depending on the weather.) 100% of the proceeds generated will be donated to Crossway International to drill a well in a community in Kenya. Visit www.harvest5k.org or Facebook “Harvest 5k Run Stanwood” to get more details. Let’s make this a big splash for a local community in Kenya!

The Klesick family is only able to be a partner in accomplishing good because you are our partners. Without your “box of good” purchases, we wouldn’t be able to plow our profits back into these types of great causes. Let’s make September 2013 “the month of good.”

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Our Right to Know

I always thought of myself as a food purist: I believe food should be natural, local and seasonal. Recently, I have learned that all those “labels” do not ensure my diet is as “pure” as I thought it would be. Unfortunately GMO-free is a whole new category. 

Running the risk of sounding ignorant, up until a few years ago, I was not aware of GM foods. Earlier this year I decided to adopt a “mostly” vegan, “mostly“ gluten-free eating lifestyle after a friend of ours, challenged my husband and I to go on a 30-day challenge. No animal products, no sugar, no caffeine, no gluten, no alcohol and exercise. After the 30-day period was over we decided to adapt these new eating habits to our lifestyle but that did not ensure we would stay away from GM foods.

A few documentaries such as, Hungry for Change and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, served as inspiration and education to reinforce our decision. It has not always been convenient; we have to plan our meals ahead of time, shop for groceries every couple of days and read every label. The frustrating part is that doing all of this homework does not ensure our food is GMO-free.

GMO-free was not part of the challenge but almost every documentary talked about the impact GM foods have in our health as a society. But, what is Genetic Modification of food? In short, the transformation of an aspect of an organism’s DNA blueprint, often using recombinant DNA technology. There is current evidence that alteration of plant DNA results in many hazardous effects such as poor crop performance, toxic effects, allergic reactions, and damage to the environment. [Source: GM Crops – Just the Science, 2009] – and that to me does not sound natural. The promise of 100% natural, preservative free, coloring free, etc … does not ensure GMO-free! Shouldn’t genetically modified organisms be considered unnatural? The name itself says Genetically Modified Organisms. 

GM foods have been on the market only since 1994, and research on their long-term effects on humans is scarce. To date most studies have been done on animals; worryingly, some of those studies link GM foods to altered metabolism, inflammation, kidney and liver malfunction and reduced fertility. Why are we willing to offer ourselves as test lab subjects? Shouldn’t we have the right to know what we feed our families? Shouldn’t it be OUR decision what we put in our bodies?


Sara Balcazar-Greene
Food Blogger
PeruvianChick.com

For more information on Yes for the 522 Campaign on Labeling please visit: http://yeson522.com/

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PERUVIAN STUFFED POTATOES

Ingredients:
 
¼ cup raisins
2 lb potatoes
Salt to taste
pepper
1 fresh egg 
3 hard boiled eggs
6 tablespoons oil
½ k ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika 
6 black olives (optional)
½ cup tomato, peeled, chopped and seeded
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

Preparation:

Wash potatoes. Cook in a pot with water and salt. Once cooked, remove and peel. Mash potatoes and let cool. Mix with a fresh egg, salt and pepper until smooth. 

To prepare the filling, put 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot or medium saucepan. Brown the onions and add the garlic. Add ground beef and chopped tomato. Cook for 5 minutes and add parsley, cilantro, chopped olives, 3 chopped boiled eggs and raisins. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.

With floured hands take a portion of potatoes (about ½ cup) and put it in the palm of your hand, flattening. Place in center a portion of meat filling (1 tablespoon) then fold and press the edges to create an oval shape. Lightly dust the potato with flour and set aside. 

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a skillet. Brown the potatoes, turning carefully. Serve with rice.

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Annual Farm Festival and Vintage Market!

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Come on out to Klesick Family Farm this Saturday and join us for an old fashioned farm celebration!

Celebrate the season with us by enjoying a fun-filled day with live music, vintage market, wagon rides, pioneer play area, tug-o-war, balloon toss, gunny sack race, raffle prizes, farm walks, BBQ, espresso and produce stand – all set in the picturesque Stillaguamish River Valley.

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Summer’s Kindness

CopyofDSC_7365"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."  Oscar Wilde 

A friend shared this quote with me this week. In the context of it she was talking about food, more specifically the sweetness in the ease of cooking during the summer. I’m not even sure if the word “cooking” is necessary. It is more a matter of assembling when the sun does the hard work of ripening the fruit while it still dangles from the branch. The quote was a reminder that sometimes simplicity is enough. There is no need to overwhelm your dinner guests with a dish that took all day and part of last night to prepare. How about a plate of tomatoes with a little salt and olive oil and more time to spend with them at the table?

Those who know me and are reading this are quite possibly laughing in their kitchens. When I cook for people it can be quite the fanfare. Homemade breads, long-simmered braises, elegant salads with fine shavings of local produce and often there’s a homemade soda to wash it down with. Then there is dessert—always dessert. Part of the pomp and circumstance is because when I experience a good meal I experience love. The sort of love that loves unnecessarily, that goes beyond what it’s called to do. And when I feed others I want those who are nibbling on the bruschetta topped with homemade ricotta and slow-roasted tomatoes to feel inexplicably loved too. 

When I eat alone, however, I am perfectly content with the plate of tomatoes and perhaps a few pieces of cavernous bread, toasted lightly in a hot pan with butter. The surface is then rubbed with raw garlic and suddenly my kitchen smells Italian. And yet I feel no less love. Actually, now that I think about it, it is in that simplicity where the love can really permeate, as I don’t get in the way of how the food was created to feed us. 

I can’t get away from the fanfare completely. Some occasions, like my birthday perhaps, where I choose to lavish my closest friends with homemade sausages, vegetable terrines, salmon rillettes, homemade crackers and cheeses and an ice cream cake lined with candied cocoa nibs. But there are times when the simplicity of sliced fruit on a plate is “worth more than the grandest intention.” And it is in the summer, where our job as preparers of the food is mostly done for us in the fields, making it the perfect season for simple acts of kindness. 

Yesterday’s lunch was a peach so soft the knife nearly crushed the flesh. Juices ran down my arm then back onto the plate as I tried desperately to catch every drop. I then sliced a tomato that felt much heavier than its size led me to believe. Together they wove a pattern on the plate. Then there was burrata—a ball of mozzarella that is folded over some cream in the process of it being made, which creates an incredibly milky center that makes a sort of sauce as it puddles into the tomato and peach juices. There was a touch of olive oil, lemon juice, fresh basil and salt. That meal was mostly consumed with my eyes closed so I could focus on the complex melody that was created with a few simple things. 

Ashley Rodriguez
award-winning food blogger
www.notwithoutsalt.com

Simple Summer Dish Ideas 

from Ashley Rodriguez

Here are a few ideas: With what you have in your box this week, there are plenty of options for simple dishes that satisfy.            

·       Sliced peaches with toasted hazelnuts and crème fraîche or mascarpone.

·       Sautéed chile peppers with oil. While hot, sprinkle with salt and a touch of lemon juice. Finish with roughly chopped parsley.

·       Apricots with a good amount of sugar or honey, roasted in a hot oven, then spooned over bread. This is my new way of making jam. In the oven, the fruit gets caramelly and more intensely flavored.

·       Carrots, peeled thinly then tossed with olive oil, salt, lemon juice and loads of whatever herbs you have on hand. For a creamy salad, throw in a bit of plain yogurt.

·       Cucumbers get salted and splashed with vinegar—whichever one you have around, except balsamic. Again, fresh herbs if you have them.

·       Broccoli is roasted or steamed, then served with a briny vinaigrette. If you aren’t fearful of anchovies, use those here. Or, mash olives to a paste then mix with olive oil, lemon, and chile flakes until a clumpy, yet pourable mix forms.

Isn’t simplicity delicious?