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A Summer List

So you have a summer list? You know, the thing you write at the beginning of summer when everything feels possible. For the past several years we’ve had a summer to-do list only to come to the start of a new school year and find all the things we didn’t cross off. Suddenly our wonderful and full summer felt unsuccessful because we didn’t cross things off our list.

Even with those silly end-of-summer disappointments brought on by the list I still have a summer list for this year.  But this list is different. It’s just enough so that if a day has no plans we can turn to it for inspiration but it’s loose enough that we will have no problem crossing off its items. Like picnics on the beach, read a good book and eat cherries by the handful.

We can cross off that last one a dozen times already as June’s massive heat has brought our prized cherries earlier than usual this year. More often than not our cherries never make it into anything except our mouths and I imagine you’re much the same. But I still wanted you to be tempted by this recipe because it uses the sweetness of cherries to balance a tart and savory salad that goes beautifully with anything you may be pulling off the grill this summer.

Pomegranate molasses adds an exotic tanginess that is makes it worth seeking out this ingredient but if you’d rather put time into crossing something off your summer list than seek this out then you can leave it out and add a bit more lemon and a touch of honey in its place.

Whether you are making a list or not I hope your summer days are filled with handfuls of cold cherries and leisurely picnics. Hopefully with this salad included.

ashley rodriguez

Photo property of Not Without Salt. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Couscous Salad with Fresh Cherries

Serves 6-8 as a side.

Ingredients

 

3 cups Israeli couscous

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cherries, pitted and quartered

1 cup (4 ounces) marcona almonds

1/2 red onion, diced

1 1/2 cups, packed fresh parsley and mint leaves

1/2 cup crumbled feta

 

Directions

  1. Cook the couscous in boiling water that is seasoned with salt and a glug of olive oil. Drain the couscous while it’s still al dente, about 7-9 minutes but each variety is different so continually check the doneness.
  2. Rinse the couscous with cold water to stop the cooking then set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the pomegranate molasses, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add this to the couscous.
  4. Mix in the cherries, almonds and onion.
  5. Finely mince the fresh herbs and add those to the salad. Finish with fresh feta.
  6. Taste and adjust to your liking, adding more salt or lemon juice if needed.

Ashley Rodriguez

Chef, Mom, Creator of Not Without Salt, Author of Date Night In 

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Preserving Food and Farmland with La Conner Channel Lodge

6/29/2015

Have you heard? You may have seen the exciting news in our weekly specials email, but just in case you missed it: we’ve teamed up with one of our favorite local vacation destinations to add some fun to our mission to support more local farms. We’re bringing you the opportunity to win a two night stay at the La Conner Channel Lodge Enjoy one of the Deluxe Queen Water View rooms. Relax with the sun kissed color palette, luxurious linens, fireplace, WI-FI, & gourmet continental breakfast!  Fir accents and slate flooring give the rooms a natural richness. And the best part? It’s only a short drive away!    

8Lodge Balcony View

 Here’s how you can participate in the sweepstakes, while helping to support local farms and farmland:

♦ Refer your friends to a box of good. 
The more people who eat intentionally, the stronger our local food infrastructure will become! For each friend (or co-worker, or family member!) you send our way that signs up for produce deliveries, we’ll enter your name in the drawing!

♦ Buy more local food. 
Check our weekly box menus. Each item marked with an asterisk is locally grown in the Pacific NW. If you order extra of that item, you’ll be directly supporting local food. Each week we’ll highlight one item grown in the Northwest you can purchase for a bonus entry. This week, choose local Rainier cherries to get your name entered into the drawing an additional time.
♦ Share about Klesick Farms on Facebook and TwitterBe sure to tag us in your post, so we can see your post and credit your share with another submission!
Note: By entering the sweepstakes, you’ll also be entered to receive special offers and discounts from La Conner Channel Lodge. You can opt out of these any time. The drawing will take place after July 31th, 2015.
cherries

 

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Preseving Local Food Options & Farmland, Part II

Week of June 21, 2015

Preserving local food options and farmland should not be this hard! The United States has been blessed with some amazing Natural resources like good Farmland, Forest lands, grazing lands, minerals, water and waterways. And since the day this country was founded we pushed west.  Forward Ho! Surprisingly?!?!?!, we reached the Pacific Ocean and no longer can push west.  So what are we going to do now to wisely use the finite natural resources we have been blessed with to provide a quality of life for generations of future citizens?

Farmers are like any other member of our communities. We have kids, grand kids, we have to go to the dentist and doctor, save for weddings and retirement. We also have to manage a large community resource called farmland. And in the last 20 years that management has included an ever increasing regulatory burden, otherwise known as additional expenses to run our farms. And the closer your farm is to the city it gets more complicated, and if you happen to farm next to a river and a city, WOW!

Given the County Council’s appetite to not use Zoning or TDR as mechanisms to shift the Development pressure away from our farms at the moment, we need a different strategy.

I think fair pricing, not price gouging is a part of the solution, but supply and demand drive prices. Having more farms selling to more local folks will keep food prices affordable and have the biggest impact on saving farmland today.

To accomplish this, each of us will have to be intentional. I believe small-to-medium farmers are the key to feeding our local communities. Literally, bringing a box of good to more people is the solution. I have intentionally positioned Klesick farms to play a larger part in feeding our local communities. We have moved to a new packing facility, we have expanded our delivery days and are working with more local growers to get more local food to our customers.

The solution is to have more of you! Yes more of you: customers who are intentional about supporting local farms. It is that simple: the more local customers, the more local farms. So preserving local food options looks like eating locally from local farms! We need more intentional eaters!

Look for information on Facebook and in your inboxes this week as we roll out a new summer campaign to preserve local food options and farmland.

 

Together we can make a difference!

 

Farmer Tristan


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Preserving Local Food Options & Farmland, Part I

Week of June 14, 2015

Last week, Klesick Farms and you, our Good Food Community, teamed up with Kristin Kelly, the executive Director of Snohomish County Futurewise, and the Pilchuck Audabon Society to encourage our County Council to “preserve local food options and farmland.” In 2012 the County Council voted 5-0 to implement the current Transfer of Rights Development (TDR) program. Last week the Council voted 4-1 to essentially gut the TDR program and give the development community the “green light” to build more single family homes. So now the County Council has “caved” in to the developers’ wishes, meaning our urban areas will still receive most of the incoming population growth.

If the Council would have stood on their decision to support TDR, that growth would have still gone to our urban areas, but we would have been able to preserve, forever, thousands of acres of farmland at the same time. The Council, except Dave Somers, didn’t want to hold the line and require the development community to use TDRs. Council members Ken Klein, Terry Ryan, Brian Sullivan, and Stephanie Wright voted against TDR. So now Snohomish County residents will still get the extra growth, but the developers will get more profits and no farmland is protected. That is not a win-win; it is a windfall profit for a few landowners and developers.

Also, in 2012, Council members Brian Sullivan and Stephanie Wright voted for the TDR program. If they would have voted the same way this time or committed to stand with TDR, I wouldn’t have had to ask for your help. Ironically, Council members Brian Sullivan and Stephanie Wright were not running for reelection in 2012, but they are this year.

What really bothers me is the lack of integrity that exists in our political process. This change to the TDR program “came out of nowhere” and was timed to limit public participation and placed into legislation where there is no repeal process. Where is the transparency in that!

This week Kristin and I will be asking for your help again to send one final email message to the County Council expressing our dissatisfaction with their vote and a desire for more transparency in the process. Please join us in sending a strong response for the Council to preserve our local food options and farmland by implementing wise growth policies going forward.

Kristin Kelly and I both believe that the Snohomish County can balance the need to accommodate the future growth with protecting our farmlands. It is more than doable. Click here to send your response to the Snohomish County Council.

Respectfully submitted,

Farmer Tristan


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Tristan's Letter to the County Council

Tristan is headed off this morning to talk to the Snohomish County Council.
Here’s the letter he’s bringing with him.

A huge “Thank you” to each of you who have responded so far. And for those of you who haven’t, there’s still time. Don’t wait, today, June 10th, 2015 is the close for the discussion. Add your voice to protect Snohomish County Farmland!

 

Good Morning, My name is Tristan Klesick and I am a local farmer from Stanwood. Before I begin, I wanted to say “thank you for choosing to be leaders”. Leadership is a rare commodity today and those who are willing to make the final decision are also rare.

I have been in the food and farming business for over 20 years and the last 15 years I have been involved with the TDR issue. The County has sent me to Maryland and California with then Councilman John Koster and Senior Planner Tom Niemann to study what worked and didn’t work in the TDR world. I was also co-chair of the Snohomish Agricultural Economic Development Action Team or SAEDAT.  The Current TDR program is a solid policy.

Local farmland is an economic driver that provides local, regional and national food, helps keep taxes lower, provides habitat and flood storage.

I appreciate the tension surrounding Amendment 13. This issue is important enough to me that I engaged my community of customers and asked them to help me preserve local food options and farmland. I sent an email to 8000 people on my list and posted it on my FB page. As of this morning, that FB post has been seen by over 20K people and shared over 225 times.

My customers understand that growth is going to happen, infrastructure needs to built, but preserving the ability to feed our citizens is equally important.

The current TDR program is a good start at managing that growth and also ensuring that local citizens will have local food.  Snohomish County needs the Development community to build the infrastructure to handle the growth and the TDR program, as it is, should also streamline that process for them. I understand that it is a new paradigm, but planning now to feed the current and future residents of our county is a part of that new paradigm.

This year I have seen the need for my farmland to produce more fruit and vegetables, because the local demand is increasing, but also because the “traditional” vegetable producing regions like Arizona and California are in major droughts. If things don’t return to somewhat normal precipitation, Snohomish County Farmland will be even more important to our county and this region.

My constituents, who are also your constituents, will want to hear how Council members Somers, Klein, Wright, Sullivan and Ryan voted. I will report back to them. I would love to report back to them that each of you led on the issue of managing growth and preserving local food options and farmland by voting no on amendment 13!

Thank you

 

tristan-sign

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Pre-Order Your Local Berries, Canning Veggies, and Herbs!

bulk produce 2015

 

For 17 years, we’ve been bringing the local harvest to you.

Each season, while the Northwest harvest is at its peak – we deliver it to your door!

How can you get your share of the local good? It’s simple. Contact us to let us know which of the bulk fruits and/or veggies you’d like, and we’ll put your order on our reservation list. When the harvest is at its peak. We will contact you before sending out your order, so that you can prepare for its arrival.

locally and organically grown

 

Please note, all harvest dates are approximate and are subject to the laws and whiles (and wiles!) of nature. 

  • Strawberries: Half Flat (6×1 pint): $24 – Available now!!
  • Harvest dates: June-August (note, some gaps in between harvests to be expected)
  • Blueberries: Full flat (12×1 pint): $40
  • Half Flats (6×1 pint): $22
  • Harvest dates: late June-August.
  • Raspberries: Half-flats (6×1/2 pint): $22.
  • Harvest dates: late June-August.
  • Pickling Cucumbers: Order as many as you need!
  • 5-lb. units. $7.50/ 5 lbs.
  • 40 lb. boxes. $50
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Dill: 1 bunch is a 2-3 inches in diameter. $4/bn.
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Green Beans:
  • 5 lbs. $15
  • 20 lb. boxes. $45
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Bulk Basil: available in 1 lb. units (about a grocery bag full). $8.50/lb.
  • Harvest dates: August

Click here to email us your order.

*Important note: delivery week for these bulk orders are determined by harvest dates. If you will be away on vacation during specific weeks this summer, please let us know so that we don’t schedule your delivery while you are away. 

These items are served on a first-come, first-serve basis. Availability may be limited. 

Bulk orders will be delivered on your regular box of good delivery day. 

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Summer is Busy

Even if you are not a farmer, summer has got to be one of the busiest times of the year! From September to June the routine is fairly stable, but when school gets out – ALL BETS ARE OFF. Moms everywhere go from chauffeurs to program directors. Maybe the year ‘round school concept would make more sense in our post agrarian society?

Why do we send our children to school from September to June? Primarily because summer break was once needed to grow food, put up food, mend fences and cut firewood. A productive summer meant a comfortable winter! With the shift to a non-agrarian based calendar, maybe school should shift as well – just a thought. As a local farmer, a year round schedule would open more markets and more locally grown food could find its way into the school system. And that would definitely be a good thing for our children, local farmers and the health of our nation. Since that isn’t happening anytime soon, Klesick Farms and their band of local growers can save you some time by letting you skip at least one trip a week to the grocery store. This time of year, when the kids are running the asylum, time is definitely high on my families list.

Next on my list is eating well. I know you would think that eating well is more important, but truth be told, most moms (& dads) wouldn’t mind a little “me” time (just a little). Your box of good is almost as fresh as a garden (even I can’t beat a garden for freshness), and even if you have a garden, it probably wouldn’t hurt to supplement with peaches, melons, beans, cherries or other family favorites you aren’t growing.

For those of you who have chosen to skip the garden, Summer arrives every delivery day with your box of good. We make eating healthy – simple, fun and affordable. We do it all year long, and especially during the summer when we are showcasing the bounty of our local growers. A box of good is also convenient! If you love watermelon or grapes or basil, you can add that to your delivery every week and it will arrive at your door. Imagine, the next time you “go shopping” you simply pull out your phone, order what you like at klesickfarms.com and then we hand pick it, hand pack it and hand deliver it to your door.

I have been working with the same growers for almost 20 years, we know what we are doing and we like to do it. We like farming and helping you feed your family well is about as satisfying as seeing plump, juicy sugar snap peas or ripe red raspberries ready to harvest.

Enjoy your box of good, we enjoy getting it to you!

 

tristan-sign

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Please help me preserve local food options and farmland in Snohomish County

Dear Friends,

This is Tristan Klesick of Klesick Farms writing you today with Kristin Kelly, Smart Growth Executive Director of Pilchuck Audubon Society and Snohomish/Skagit Program Director for Futurewise, asking for your help with an important issue that will preserve our local food options and farmland, both today and in the future. 

We know, and I believe you will agree, that protecting farmland and helping farmers will ensure a healthy, local, and safe food supply for our county and region, as well as maintain a quality of life we all are thankful for and enjoy.

A few years ago our Snohomish County Council members made a very wise decision about the future of our growing county.  Growth is inevitable, but wise growth is the goal.  The County Council adopted a countywide Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program, which will give the development community the ability to increase densities in our urban growth areas to accommodate the future growth.  The developers would need to purchase a development certificate from our county farmers in order to get increased densities in parts of the county that are better equipped to handle more growth. 

Even though the TDR program was put together with an array of stakeholder consensus from farmers, the development community, environmental community and businesses, the development community no longer wants use the TDR program (to preserve farmland) for the increased housing density.

This is why we need your help!

We believe the current TDR program is a win-win for local citizens, developers, and farmers!   We (Tristan and Kristin) have spent years working on an equitable solution to preserve farmland.  We have shared our views on the proposed changes to the current TDR program, but sadly it is becoming apparent that we will need local voters to help us convince the County Council to not cave into the desires of the development community.

Help us convince the County Council that any change in our current TDR program is unacceptable.

Kristin and I have written an email to the Council and now is your chance to share your voice.  Please Click Here to add your voice to the discussion by sending an email the County Council before June 10th, when they reconvene for a public hearing.  You can add your story and your own thoughts to the email, urging the County Council to protect our local food options and farmland today and into the future.  

Also, calling your council member will help as well.  Just leave a message on their voice mail… call 425-388-3494.

Snohomish County Council District 1–Ken Klein

Snohomish County Council District 2–Brian Sullivan

Snohomish County Council District 3–Stephanie Wright

Snohomish County Council District 4–Terry Ryan

Snohomish County Council District 5–Dave Somers

Together we can ensure a bright future for our children. Click Here to send an email to the County Council today

Tristan Klesick, Klesick Family Farms

Kristin Kelly, Futurewise and Pilchuck Audubon Society

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Picnic Basics 101

strawberries-552238_1280

Lately I have been a little obsessed with picnics. There’s something about sitting out in nature enjoying a plate full of delicious food that gets you thinking: “Life does not get much simpler than this!”  Whether it’s spur-of-the-moment sandwiches or well-planned out menus, what’s not to love about packing up a basket, inviting some friends and enjoying the great outdoors?

If you are a fan of the PBS series Downton Abbey, you have probably lost yourself in the lavish picnic settings and feasts. Even though in real life we don’t have Mr. Carson serving our every whim, that does not take away from the magic that happens when we disconnect from technology and simply enjoy each other’s company. In reality, a picnic is nothing more than a portable party, so it is just a matter of choosing a great location, putting a guest list together, planning the menu, and bringing something to sit on.

So today, I share with you some of my “Picnic Basics 101” to make the best of your next meal al fresco.

Where: When thinking of location, also think of how you will be transporting the food. Is there a hike? Are you biking there? Pack it up accordingly. If your pets are joining, consider whether this is a pet-friendly location. How popular is this place? Do we need to show up early to save a spot?

When: What time of the day would the picnic be? Should you pack an extra blanket or two? Is this an evening picnic? Electric lanterns or appropriate lighting may be needed.

Who: Think of your guest list. Is Grandma joining us? Hopefully so, so let’s pack a folding chair so she doesn’t have to sit on the ground. Kids? How many? Time to come up with some creative games! I always pack a ball, because you can place two rocks on the ground on each side of the “field” and you have a soccer game. Frisbees and kites are always great too!

What: The menu. For me the simpler is always the better. Pre-cutting your fresh fruits and vegetables makes for easy snacking. Salad-in-a-Jar is always popular. Stop by the local bakery and pick up a loaf of bread, cheeses, and cured meats and you are ready to go! When kids are part of the party, I find that sandwiches are always a must. One of my favorite sandwiches (or wraps) is the Veggie Sandwich: hummus, shredded carrots, chopped olives, Feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado on whole wheat bread or in a wrap!

Whichever menu you settle with, remember to keep the food at the proper temperature to avoid any food illness. While we’re on the subject, baskets are pretty to look at but coolers are practical. Plan for how long you’ll be staying out and try to keep your food at a cool temperature for as long as possible.

As for the drinks, they get heavy quickly so I like to pack individual bottles of water, lemonade or juice and when possible make each guest to carry or bring their own.

Last but not least, there are some other essentials you might want to pack: of course a blanket or a picnic rug, insect repellant, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, condiments (salt and pepper), paper towels, matches, band-aids, zip-lock bags, garbage bags and if you are like me: baby-wipes, they clean everything! Trays are great for setting drinks on so they don’t tip easily. Eating utensils, paper plates, bottle openers and maybe an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.

Now it is time to have fun and relax. A good book, magazines, and the right music are the last details to make your picnic adventure unforgettable!
Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
instagram.com/peruvianchick
facebook.com/theperuvianchick

 

sandwich-498379_1280

Veggie Sandwich

 

Ingredients

2 slices whole-wheat bread or a tortilla wrap

1/4 cup hummus

1 tbs chopped olives

1 tbs feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/4 coarsely grated carrot

1/2 tomato, thinly sliced

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

 

Preparation

Spread 2 slices of bread or the wrap with hummus. Top hummus all other ingredients and voila Wrapping this sandwich in wax paper instead of plastic wrap will prevent the bread from absorbing too much moisture and will keep the sandwich fresher.

 

Homemade Hummus

 

Ingredients

30 ounces EDEN Garbanzo Beans, 2 cans, do not drain

1/4 cup organic roasted tahini (sesame butter)

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 1/2 Tbsp EDEN Umeboshi Paste, or to taste (optional)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 lemon, juiced and seeds strained out

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

 

Preparation

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy, adjusting the consistency with a little cold water if needed.

 

Photos property of The Purple Turtle, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.