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We're Digging!

Last week, Joelle and I and a few kiddos went out for our usual walk on the farm.  We started out at the sunflowers, headed over to winter squash, then grazed on a few raspberries, and checked out the pears, plums, apples and potatoes.  The potato plants looked ready for harvest, so we pulled up a few plants and WOW! We dug reds, yellows, and purples. The yellows, which you are getting this week, were the most ready.

We always like to dig a few potatoes right away. When you dig potatoes early, the skins tend to be “loose” or not “set”.  Our normal strategy is to dig a few rows early in the season and let the remaining potatoes “set” their skins. It takes about six weeks from when we mow the tops of the potatoes to start the process. Mowing the tops stops the growth and sends a signal to the plant to get ready for winter.

I am thoroughly amazed at the earliness of the potato crop this season. The plants didn’t grow as large as I usually expect, but the flavor is outstanding and the quality matches it. If you are new to Klesick’s, these potatoes are like nothing you will ever see in the grocery store. The skins will be loose or flakey because, as mentioned earlier, these are ultra-Klesick Farm fresh.

We like our potatoes cut into small pieces, 1 inch x ½ inch, and oven roasted at 425 °F with a little olive oil and salt. Simply delicious!

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The Nature Conservancy

This weekend the Nature Conservancy is hosting an open house at the Port Susan Bay Preserve. If you have time check it out. The Port Susan Bay Preserve is beautiful and serene, truly a treasure and I am glad that it has been preserved for generations to come. If it works into your schedule come on out and enjoy the Stillaguamish River Valley.

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Fresh Caprese Salad

Klesick Farms Caprese Salad

With so many of the tomatoes coming in from local farms right now, we had to try and capitalize on the beauty and flavor that is a summer tomato.

Our take on Caprese salad comes together in a flash. You can eat it plain, spread it on bread, pile it on chips, or stir it into pasta. It’s that versatile! With tomatoes as good as we have right now, it will be have everyone at the summer BBQs and picnics coming back for seconds!

Note: make this ahead, and let the flavors mingle for a couple of hours in the fridge for optimum flavor.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar (if you have balsamic, that may also be used)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

black pepper

1 clove minced summer garlic

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (1 bunch)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 jalapeño chil pepper, minced

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, cubes

1 pint grape tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

In medium bowl, combine cheese pearls and tomatoes.  In separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and chopped basil.  Stir to blend evenly.  When dressing is evenly mixed, toss over cheese and tomatoes, stirring gently to coat.
allow to sit for at least 20 minutes to 4 hours for flavors to mingle and bring the salad together.

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black cherry tomatoes
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Progress. One Bite At A Time.

This week we start delivering to the Kenmore, Lake Forest Park and Inglewood communities on Wednesdays. And on Thursday we are going to be delivering to North Seattle or 145th Street North to Snohomish County.

This is very exciting news for us here at Klesick Farms. For the last 17 years we have been growing, sourcing, and delivering only organically grown fruits and vegetables. We haven’t deviated from our mission or our message of helping growers stay on the land and helping our customers eat well.

We are passionate about healing our Nation through farming and believe that the health of our Nation is tied to the health of our food supply and helping more customers eat healthy food is a big part of the solution.

Over the years, what was a dream to be a family farm became a good food community; a community of passionate growers and urban allies, working together to build a better food system for future generations. This is a community of folks who believe that the environment and farming can do more than coexist, the two can thrive together. Folks who see the through ruse of the GMO proponents and believe that world can be fed using organic growing practices AND SHOULD BE!

I love what we do, I love that we have done it every day, with every delivery to every customer for so many years. We believe that by working in unison, Klesick Farms, our growers, and you, we are making a difference locally and beyond.

And as a local good food community we are also a part of a larger difference that is being played out in communities across America and the world.

We are turning the tide of a corporate driven food system one bite at a time.

 

Farmer Tristan

 

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Join Me in Protecting the Integrity of Our Food Supply

Locally, we have been fighting to preserve farmland and now I need your help to convince our two Congress Representatives to vote NO on HR1599: the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. This bill essentially prevents states from adopting their own GMO laws and REVERSES any laws that have already passed. That is the wrong kind of leadership on this issue.

The anti-GMO community is calling this the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know Act).  I have spoken with Congressman Rick Larsen and Congresswoman Suzan Delbene’s office and neither of them are committing at this time on which way they are going to vote. The vote is in two days – I know how I would vote!

Please click on the link and express your opinion. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday. Also, please share this and let’s let our representatives know that GMO’s are not the future and should not receive preferential treatment from the federal government. ASK them to vote NO on HB 1599, aka the DARK Act.

 

Tristan

 

 

Act Now on GMO Labeling to Stop the “DARK” Act

Contact your Representative in Congress today!

From the National Organic Coalition 

The innocuously named HR 1599: the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act has been dubbed the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right-to-Know Act) by members of the good food movement. The DARK Act will be voted on in Congress next week.

The DARK Act will:

  • Prevent states from adopting their own GMO labeling laws and reverse laws that have already passed.
  • Prevent state or county laws regulating GMO crops.
  • Prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring companies to label GMO ingredients and instead continue a “voluntary” labeling policy. In 14 years, not one company has voluntary labeled products containing GMO ingredients.

Take action now to stop the DARK Act!

  1. Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask for your Representative’s office where you can leave her or him a message.
    Click here to find out who your Representative is.
  2. Click here to send an email: Tell Congress to oppose the DARK Act and support mandatory GE food labeling!

Below is some sample language for your message to your Representative.
Please customize this to fit your voice.

Please oppose HR 1599 (the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”). Congress should focus on the labeling solutions that Americans are asking for – not legislation written by and for big food and chemical companies that only serves to keep Americans in the dark.

You may also thank legislators who have come out against the Dark Act and for labeling:

Chris Gibson of New York
Peter DeFazio of Oregon
Barbara Boxer of California

For more information, and to send a message today, click here.

GMO food labeling is important to Americans, with over 90% consistently supporting transparency in the marketplace. In 2013 and 2014 there were over 70 GMO labeling bills introduced across 30 states, with laws being passed in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont.

View this post on Cornucopia.org

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Stonefruit 101

Stonefruit 101

“Stonefruit” refers to members of the genus Prunus, which includes peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, cherries, and apricots. The season for summer stonefruit is short-lived, and delicious! With the fruit coming and going so quickly, we don’t want you to miss out by having to toss spoiled or improperly ripened fruit. Here’s some info on proper storage in order for you to make the most of these short-season gems.

Care – Store unwashed fruit at room temperature until ripe (usually only 1-2 days), then place in sealed container in the fridge.

Ripeness – Gently press around stem and when flesh gives slightly to pressure fruit is ripe. Stonefruit ripens from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe.

Tips for Preventing Spoilage – Stonefruit’s biggest enemy while ripening is moisture coupled with lack of airflow. Set ripening stonefruit on a cloth or paper-covered countertop or in a place where it gets plenty of airflow. Try setting them stem side down to ripen. This lessens the chance of then rolling and bruising. Once your stonefruit is ripe, it deteriorates very quickly. Within a day of being fully ripe, if left out of refrigeration, you can have overripe/spoiled fruit and some very attracted fruit flies. Check daily and place in refrigerator as soon as you notice the stem area has begun to soften. Take special care when handling your stonefruit – never squeeze to check for ripeness! Even a small bruise will be cause enough to turn into a rot/bruised spot on your fruit as it is still ripening.

Use – Once fruit is ripe, and you’ve placed in the refrigerator, plan to use within a day or two (this gives you a total keeping time of about 4-5 days). Stonefruit is refreshing as a healthy breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. For grilling, or for topping green salads: use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. All Stonefruit bakes up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

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Klesick now serves Shoreline & Inglewood Communities

We have exciting news! We are expanding our delivery zones to serve Shoreline and Inglewood communities next week!

Let your friends, co-workers, and family know that we are now offering a box of good to the Inglewood/Bothell communities to 116th St. on Wednesdays and to the North Seattle/Shoreline communities down to NE 145th St. (Hwy 523) on Thursdays.

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, due to the disappointing vote from The Snohomish County Council a few weeks ago, concerning farmland preservation, I am now working on a different strategy. If the county won’t help us preserve farmland, we will have to do it ourselves – one intentional bite at a time. The strategy is simple: deliver more fruits and vegetables from local farms to local eaters.

Throughout this last year we have been preparing to expand our delivery service and areas in order to build strong bonds between local farmers and local customers.

In October we moved into a new packing facility in Stanwood, nearer to our farm and to other farms that we work closely with in the region. At that time we added more infrastructure to better serve local farmers and you, our customers. We added additional cooler space and freezer space as well as expanding our packing capacity.

Last month we expanded our delivery days from 4 days to 5 days.

Last week we updated our shopping cart to be more mobile-friendly than ever. Ordering organic, local, and GMO-free produce just got easier.

This brings you a fun referral opportunity: For every person you refer from anywhere, you will receive a free bar of Theo Chocolate and your name will be entered for a chance to win a free two-night stay at the beautiful La Conner Channel Lodge.

Farmer Tristan

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Keep Multi-Family Zones at Higher Densities and Preserve Farmland

A few weeks ago you received an action alert from farmer Tristan Klesick and I, asking for your help in telling the Snohomish County Council to not adopt changes to the County’s Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program. Unfortunately, the County Council did not listen.  Instead, Council’s decision was a missed opportunity and allowed exemptions for single family homes and townhouses from the TDR program, and preserving valuable farmland and local food sources.  

If that wasn’t bad enough, now the County Council is considering removing even more land and development from the TDR Program!

The County Council is considering reducing minimum density requirements in multi-family zones–even those multi-family zones around Highway 99 are perfect for transit-oriented, mixed use redevelopment.  This would allow for single family homes and townhomes in areas that are best suited for higher densities.  It would also remove more land from the TDR program, which would reduce opportunities for protecting critical farmlands in Snohomish County.

If the Council approves, we will lose opportunities for affordable housing near transit; we will lose receiving areas for TDR development credits to preserve farmland, and we’ll have further expansion of our urban growth areas into our rural lands.

That is a lose-lose-lose situation.  Ultimately, if the Council decreases densities in our Multi-Family zones, we will also be adding more and more cars to our roads creating more traffic nightmares, adding more pollutants into our air and water, and giving the developers exactly what they want…open season on our rural lands for more sprawling development!  And we won’t be helping our farmers preserve farmland!

Please CLICK HERE to send a message to the Snohomish County Council today to tell them NO to reducing minimum densities in our Multi-Family zones, and YES to keeping TDR receiving areas intact for these zones to help preserve farmland and local food sources.  

Our Council needs to hear from you!  They need to know that you want housing choices for all income groups and higher densities in the multi-family zones that will help jumpstart transit-oriented development.   We need long-range planning regulations that will house our growing population near transit and urban centers, reduce car trips that are polluting our air and water and clogging our roads, and save farmland from urban sprawl.

The hearing is at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15th!  Please CLICK HERE  to send the message before the hearing.  If you can, please attend the hearing and speak directly to the Council.

Thank you for your help!

Kristin Kelly, Snohomish/Skagit Program Director, Futurewise

P.S.  If you would like more information about how to support your local farmers and about Klesick Farms, contact Tristan by Clicking Here.

Join, Renew, Give | Facebook | Twitter @FuturewiseWA

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Kristin Kelly
Email: [email protected]
Phone:
Address: 1429 Avenue D, #532
City: Snohomish WA 98290

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Our New-and-Improved Shopping Site!

As of today, the online shopping experience at Klesick Farms just got a whole lot better! Try it out here! The first thing you will notice is that all of our pages now look like they belong to the same good food site, but there also have been a couple of other useful changes. Here’s a quick overview of what our site update means for you.

  1. Mobile-Friendly

Ordering your box of good or adding on that bag of apples while you’re on your phone just got easier. Shopping for your produce now works equally well on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

  1. Simplified Checkout

With everything on one page while checking out your order, you can easily see all that is required to submit your order.

  1. Improved Order Management

On the view/edit orders page, all of your items on order are grouped by delivery date so you can easily see what is coming each week and change your delivery date if needed.

If you experience any problems with our site, please let us know!

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Newsletter: La Conner Channel Lodge & Local Farms!

As a part of Klesick Farms’ strategy to grow, source and deliver more locally grown organic and GMO-free fruits and vegetables, we have teamed up with the La Conner Channel Lodge to have a fun summer campaign. Joelle and I consider the La Conner Channel Lodge our go-to get away. Sometimes it is in the middle of winter and other times it is in the middle of summer! With the all the craziness of life’s comings and goings, when I see a break in the schedule, I check with Joelle and if it works I make a reservation. We love that the lodge is beautiful, peaceful, serves a great continental breakfast, and that it is in nearby La Conner!

After the disappointing vote from the Snohomish County Council a few weeks ago, essentially caving to developer’s wishes (you can read more about it on our blog), I shifted gears and began working on a different  strategy. It is a simple strategy – deliver more fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms. If the County won’t help us preserve farmland, we will have to do it ourselves – one intentional bite at a time.  And with the La Conner Channel Lodge offering Klesick customers a chance to win a two-night free stay, it makes this strategy even more fun!

 

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How the campaign works:

♦ 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. Each week in our specials email, we’ll highlight one item grown in the Northwest that you can purchase for a bonus entry.

♦ Share about Klesick Farms on Facebook and Twitter! Be sure to tag us in your post, so we can see your post and credit your share with another submission! For an easy way to share, visit our blog and share the post titled “Preserving Food and Farmland with La Conner Channel Lodge.”