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Klesick’s Special Thanksgiving Holiday Box

Every Thanksgiving holiday season we offer a special Holiday Box ($40) full of traditional organic Thanksgiving meal items for your celebration. Not only can you schedule a Holiday Box to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving, but it is available for the entire month of November (available Nov. 1-Dec. 5). You can have this box delivered along with your regular order or in place of your regular order (please specify your preference when placing your order). The box menu is as follows:

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Remembering Neighbors in Need.

If your celebration includes helping the less fortunate who live in our community, we would like to partner with you by giving you the opportunity to purchase a discounted Holiday Donation Box for only $32, to be given to local food banks the week of Thanksgiving. Last year 122 Holiday Donation Boxes were distributed and this year we’d love to have a greater impact. The volunteers at the food banks have expressed again and again how wonderful and satisfying it is to be able to supply people with fresh produce. You can order a Holiday Donation Box online or by contacting our office.

Special Thank You Offer!

For every Holiday Donation Box you purchase, Klesick Farms will send you a copy of Matty Ride’s Christmas CD

KF Christmas CD Art

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Tristan Klesick

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Creamy Homestyle Veggie Soup

Soup weather is here to stay! This week’s box of good contains a staple soup ingredient: Celery. Celery is an often-neglected veggie, but it tastes absolutely delicious in soups, especially in a poultry or vegetable-based broth. Avoid letting it slip out of sight and out of mind in your vegetable drawer: rinse, slice and dice, then add it in as the star of this tasty soup!

Recipe adapted from: The Daring Gourmet

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup) OR 1 medium leek, greens removed, white parts well-rinsed, and finely chopped
  • 2 cups celery, very finely chopped (about 5 large stalks, organic recommended for optimal flavor).
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • About 2 purple carrots OR parsnips, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1½ cups whole milk (or use ¾ cup milk and ¾ cup cream for even tastier results)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste (if you use a low-sodium broth, you may need to add more salt)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced, optional, for garnish

Pairing Suggestion

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and cook the onions (or leeks if using), celery and until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots (or parsnips if using) and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the milk/cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat, dish into soup bowls and garnish with optional parsley. Serve alongside warm or toasted slices of buttered bread. Enjoy!
  2. If using this soup as a base for other recipes, this soup will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days.

Notes

One batch of this soup is roughly the equivalent (in quantity) of 2 cans canned condensed cream of celery soup. Enjoy as a stand-on-its-own soup or you may use in any recipe calling for prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup.

If you’d like this soup to be thicker, use an immersion blender or food processor to process part or all of fully cooked soup (working quickly, to keep hot soup from cooling off too fast) until desired consistency is reached and then serve with garnishes.

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A Farmer’s Perspective

This past week has been a blur in the valley. It felt like all the farmers were busting it! Spring and fall are two seasons that really are critical to the farmer. We have to get our early spring crops in and we have to get our fall crops off. We then replant with either a cover crop to protect and nurture our soil biology or get another crop planted for spring harvest. It is a cycle of farming that never rests.

In our valley we also have flood pressure. It was October 2003 and we had just moved to the valley. I remember it clearly. Rain was coming, but no worries – it’s only October. Our neighbor calls, “Looks worse than predicted.” It was and most farmers were caught off guard. We expect flooding November through February, but not October.

Our valley was full of crops that needed to be harvested. They were in rotation and were to be out by November. There were also winter ditches to dig and fields to plant. The weather, however, had another plan—the end of the season, with water everywhere and covering everything. So for us, October is a month that we pay attention to because it has left an indelible mark on our souls.

Late last week, coming home from town, it was dark and I noticed all the headlights in the fields. A lot of my neighbors were “pushing” it around the clock to get ahead of the weather. So with that picture of my neighbors working around the clock, I penned this:

Headlights in the Field

Headlights in the Field
Headlights in the field tonight.
Working ground – discing, plowing, planting.

Headlights in the Field
Old man winter is coming soon
plant the wheat, the barley, the rye
before he shows,
before he sends the rain.
The weather windows are small,
the clock keeps ticking,
planting has to get done.

Headlights in the Field
I will see you at the crack of dawn
after the fields are planted.
Headlights in the fields tonight.

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Tristan Klesick

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GMOs Then, GMOs Now.

My dad has been talking about GMOs for a long time. I dug up this newsletter from October 2000. Enjoy! ~Andrew

The Genetically Engineered Foods (GEF) debate appears under other names like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or Frankenstein Foods. GMOs are around today primarily because of a societal problem: DEPENDENCE and SHORT SIGHTEDNESS. What do we do when we’re sick? We run to the doctor. We do this because we are hoping for some cure-all that will take care of the problem NOW! Never mind that we have been abusing our bodies with a poor nutritional diet for years.

We, as a people, have long forgone the ability to think for ourselves. If it is in a package and says “low fat” or “natural” and the picture is appealing we will put it in the shopping cart. It doesn’t matter that the manufacturer has added a huge amount of sugar to make the flavor palatable or some sort of chemical to replace the natural fat. We trust a product just because it says natural, without reading the label. And when we pass through the checkout stand another vote is tallied for nutritionally poor food. After all, the USDA and the FDA have assured us that if it is in the store it is good for us or if it is in the pharmacy it is safe to use. I’m afraid that the GMO products are no different. Many will pull them off the shelves, trusting the government for their health.

GMOs are the panacea for poor farming practices that have plagued this country for 60 years. In the beginning of this petro-chemical age, around the early 1940s, there were a few farmers experimenting with chemical fertilizers. The chemicals were used as “vitamins,” if you will, to provide a boost to the plants, and they did. However, the reason that the chemicals provided the boost was because the farmers had been adding compost and manures back into their fields maintaining its fertility levels.

The problem occurred when the farmers decided to forgo sound farming practices and just start using chemicals to grow crops. This type of thinking is similar to living on vitamins only. After a few seasons the health of plants started to deteriorate (and so did their nutritional value) and the pests arrived to feed on these unhealthy plants.

What was the solution? Was it to return to farming organically? Unfortunately, not. Instead, pesticides were developed. We also decided that we needed herbicides to chemically control weeds. Can you see the parallels in the American population due to poor food, easy living, convenience, etc? The farmers pressed ahead; after all, the USDA said the chemicals were safe to use, the universities said they were safe to use, and of course the fertilizer sales people said they were safe to use. While the farmer is partially to blame for using the chemicals, the government, industry, and the consumers are equally to blame. Today many farmers are trying to switch to better farming practices, now that they have found their land basically dead, with no microorganisms left.

It sounds a lot like people. When a life-threatening disease occurs, it is usually then that we decide to eat more naturally and become motivated to change our lifestyle. Each small step we take towards a healthier lifestyle the easier it becomes and the more satisfying life is.

Together, we are making a choice for a better, healthier food supply, for now and for our future.

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Tristan Klesick

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An Eagle, Fog, Dew…and a Farmer.

As a farmer, the seasons are ingrained into my psyche. Day length, temperature, dew, clouds, every element, every nuance speaks to my soul.

One morning last week the moon was just hovering above the cottonwoods, a light fog was lifting, and the sun was just about to crest above the Cascades when I entered this predawn scene. As I stepped out of the old white farmhouse into a new day, I came into the beauty of the Stillaguamish River Valley—its stillness, quietness, and peacefulness. I was alone with my Creator in His creation, basking in all of it.

Stepping off the front porch and taking a few more steps towards the west, there was that brilliant globe suspended above the tree line. I stopped, mesmerized by its beauty and my smallness in it.

Not more than 100 feet above was a bald eagle circling. The same sun that illuminated the moon caught the bald eagle’s white head glistening as it glided through the fog. Its majestic wingspan and silhouette were shimmering with every turn, around and around, lower and lower, filled with grace and power, effortlessly sifting through the predawn sky.

Just at the tip of the tree line the bald eagle straightened out and sailed through the trees. At that moment I, too, returned to my home at peace, excited for what this day would bring.

An eagle, fog, dew, and the early morning dance of the moon and sun. As a farmer, moments like this speak to my soul. They remind me that I am the steward of this farm. My purpose is to balance growing food for you and for all the other creatures that call this place home. This is my work, this is my passion.

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Tristan Klesick