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It is Getting Closer!

We are slowly working our way towards the starting line. We just planted some sugar snap peas that will be transplanted mid-March, we are finishing up on the last minute maintenance that needs to be done on our equipment, we are checking seed supplies, and we will be “pulling” soil samples in the next few weeks.

The soil sampling is important. It helps us monitor nutrients in our soil and know what organic nutrients we need to order for our crops. We also take leaf samples throughout the growing season to check how well the plants are absorbing the nutrients from the soil. Based on the soil and leaf tests, I will foliar feed my crops to give them some extra nutrition.

You might be saying to yourself that is a lot of “fussing” over nutrients. So what’s all the “fuss” over soil and plant health really about? It is about you! Growing food for you is a privilege, and I want the food I grow for you to help you live a vibrant and healthy life. And food grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides is better for you, the farmer, and the environment. But food grown with nutrition at its foundation is the prize! And that is what I grow for you – nutrient rich food. Bon Appétit!

But I have another prize for the next two weeks!

We are running a Share the Good Food campaign for the next two weeks.* We have teamed up with Theo Chocolate to offer a month’s worth of their 70% organic dark chocolate for every one of your friends who signs up for a box of good food. And as a thank you for referring your friend, I will send you a month of Theo dark chocolate with each of your deliveries, too. A month of free chocolate for you and your friends—now that is worth sharing!

*If a friend you refer signs up for delivery between 2/28-3/13, you will both receive a bar of chocolate with each of your deliveries that fall within the next four-week period, starting with when your friend signs up for delivery. The more friends you refer, the more chocolate you receive!



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We're headed to a home & garden show near you!

Come show your support for the community and share your passion for healthy homegrown food with your fellow Green-Thumbs. We’ll be there too, so be sure to find us and say “Hi!” We’ll be hosting a raffle each day to give away organic produce at the show (including for current customers) – you won’t want to miss it! Here’s the details so you can put it on your calendar.


Everett Home and Garden Show

March 11, 12 & 13

xfinity arena at Everett Broadway & Hewitt Everett, WA 98201

Show Hours: Fri: Noon – 7 PM Sat:10 AM – 6 PM Sun: 10 AM – 5 PM (Click image for tickets and more info.)


Skagit Island Home and Garden Show

March 18, 19 & 20

Skagit County Fairgrounds, 1410 Virginia Street, Mount Vernon, WA

Show hours: Fri, 11AM-6PM Sat,10AM – 6PM Sun, 11AM- 4PM (Click image for tickets and more info.)


Port Susan Home and Garden Show

March 19

Camano Center – Camano Island WA

Show Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM

FREE ADMISSION (click image for more info)

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Houston, We have a Problem

That is a classic line from the Apollo 13 movie, starring a very young Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon. I hear that line playfully bantered around a lot when there are minor nuisances or inconveniences. But in the movie, “Houston we have a problem” was referring to a calm and calculated response to a very serious situation.

As a parent, I feel like Washington, D.C., isn’t getting it.  Our nation’s health is spiraling out of control. America has a serious health crisis that is going to impact every area of our nation: health care, military, political, family, the environment and education. Since the 1970s, when Jane Fonda was encouraging us to “exercise,” to the “Biggest Loser” today, what has changed?

We have been encouraged to exercise, eat low fat, and eat lots of grains and carbs, regardless of where those calories are coming from. And what has been the direct result of following the recommendations to exercise, eat low fat and a grain-based diet? More childhood obesity, more cancer, more heart disease, more diabetes, more health issues.

Yes, Washington, we do have a problem! And your pandering to the food, farm and biotech lobbies is at the heart of it.

I believe the underlying issue is sugar! It is in practically everything. There are over 600,000 grocery items in our stores and 80% of them have sugar added to them. Sugar is in our cereals, our coffee, our sodas, our breads, and our ice cream. If a food is processed, some company is trying to add sugar to it.

I contend our nation would be a lot healthier (and skinnier) if we swore off sugar or at least 90% of it.

But here is where good health meets dark health. The grocery manufacturers of America like to sell groceries, and since 80% of their products have sugar they lobby to protect themselves and their constituents.

To complicate the matter, the sugar beet and corn farmers also have a stake in the fight because they grow the sugar for the grocery manufacturers. If Congress makes any meaningful change in legislation that would curb the use of sugar or call it out as a health issue, they will get an earful from these farmers. To complicate the issue even more, the farmer’s primary supplier to help them grow all that sugar is none other than Monsanto and other biotech companies who have shoved genetically modified technology down our throats.

And so it goes. Our senators and congress people have to stand up against the grocery manufacturers and the farm and biotech lobbies if they are going to make any meaningful food policy changes. Ironically, these lobbies also happen to be the same ones that spend millions of dollars to make sure that GMO labeling never gets a foothold.

This situation hasn’t changed for decades, and it doesn’t matter whether the Clintons, Bushes, or Obamas are in office or the Bushes or Clintons are in back in office. They didn’t improve our food when they had an opportunity and I sincerely doubt they will this time around either.

The only thing that is going to make a difference is not supporting that food system. That food system doesn’t care about your family’s health, they care about profits, and no sales equals no profit! The less we eat of their food the healthier our family will be.

Thanks for supporting a different food system. Let your friends know where you get your real food!

Real food grown here!


Farmer Tristan

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I Really Like Farming!

I can hardly contain my excitement! Every year I get a little winter’s rest and then the first crocuses show up and I am chomping at the bit to get out there and get going. As a matter of fact, I already planted my two green houses to spinach and radishes. I am planning on another early and warmer spring.

Do you know what my favorite crop is to grow? The one I am harvesting! If my plantings make it to harvest (most do), that is always my favorite crop at the moment. Picking it at the height of nutrition and flavor, packing it, and getting to you—that is exciting! And the nice thing about growing vegetables and fruit is there is almost always something to harvest.

I was just out in my fields, checking in on some overwintering curly parsley and chives, and you know what I found? Beets! Those beets were too small to harvest last fall, so we left them in the ground and now they are ready. The tops aren’t in the best shape, but the beets are solid and tasty. I wish I had planted more! Which is another nice thing about farming—I get to try it again next year! So, I will plant beets a little earlier (mid-August) and I will plant more of them, then I will have more beets to sell in the spring.

Now I might be the only farmer writing this newsletter, but a whole lot of you are chomping at the bit to grow some vegetables, too. Which is why Klesick Farms is now carrying vegetable seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds. This is where I buy most of my seeds. I recognize that if we are going to have healthy food for generations to come, we are going to need genetic diversity in our seeds.

There are two ways to support organic seed production:

1. You can buy vegetables from growers who use organically grown seeds (if you are reading this letter you can check

that off!).

2. Or you can plant them yourself and still buy some of your vegetables from me.

If you are a gardener and would like to support organic seed production, you can buy them through our website or you can go to: and order them directly. Either way, shipping is free.

Also, we have arranged with Michael, at Rents Due Ranch, to have organically grown tomato, peppers, basil, and strawberry plants available this spring, so stay tuned for updates in early March for their availability.

Bring on spring!



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Pacific Northwest Salmon

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest it would seem that a love of salmon would be in my DNA, but unfortunately I didn’t fall for the Omega-3-filled fish until adulthood. Now I look forward to its bright pink flesh and eagerly hope that an appreciation for our region’s mascot will become engrained in my children.

Why? Well, because first (and this is always my priority when it comes to food) it’s delicious, delicate in flavor, far less “fishy” tasting than other fish, and lends itself to a wide variety of ingredients (like my Thai take on Salmon Chowder in this issue’s recipe). Also, it’s incredibly nutritious, particularly if you enjoy wild salmon, which is lower in fat and calories than farmed salmon and is higher in iron, potassium, and zinc.rowing up in the Pacific Northwest it would seem that a love of salmon would be in my DNA, but unfortunately I didn’t fall for the Omega-3-filled fish until adulthood. Now I look forward to its bright pink flesh and eagerly hope that an appreciation for our region’s mascot will become engrained in my children.

In the summertime, when the grill is always at the ready, I love to slather my salmon with mayonnaise, brown sugar, salt, and a good bit of lemon. Now, I realize that that sort of treatment may negate all the health benefits of salmon, but those concerns melt away as the sugar caramelizes, the lemon brightens and the mayonnaise creates a rich sauce, coating the perfectly flaked salmon. This time of the year salmon makes a healthful addition to a hearty and warming soup.

Chowder isn’t often thought of as health food, but this version uses coconut milk as its base instead of cream and is scented with lemongrass, ginger, and lime leaves (lime zest works in a pinch if lime leaves are too hard to find). To put this soup over the top, we finish with a piece of salmon skin crisped in a hot skillet and seasoned with salt. The perfect crunch to this satisfying soup.

No matter the season, salmon is a great place to start for a simple, healthful, and delicious weeknight meal.

by Ashley Rodriquez
Chef, food blogger, & full-time mom



Serves 4 to 6


2 tablespoons oil

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

1 tomato, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, large dice

2 stalks lemongrass, outer layer removed and cut into 3-inch pieces

10 kaffir lime leaves

1 quart chicken stock

1 can ( 13.5 ounces) coconut milk

8 ounces salmon, skin removed (but save for later), cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

For serving: Cilantro Lime wedges Crisped salmon skin


Set a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the oil and heat until it starts to shimmer.

Sauté the mushrooms until deeply bronzed, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.

Stir in the tomato, bell pepper, lime leaves and lemongrass. Cook until the tomatoes soften and release their juice and the bell peppers start to wilt.

Add the chicken stock and coconut milk and bring the whole pot to a simmer. Reduce the heat to keep a steady simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the salmon, fish sauce and lime juice and cook for just a minute or two, until the salmon is just cooked. It will continue to cook with the residual heat so be mindful of that.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. I tend to like the soup very bright and sour so you may want to start with a bit less fish sauce and fresh lime juice.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. To crisp up the salmon skin add a small splash of oil to a large cast iron pan or skillet. Add the salmon skin to the pan set over medium high heat and cook until the sizzling steadies and decreases. Flip and do the same to the other side, about 3 minutes per side. Add a small pinch of salt to the skin. Cook until crisp.

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Meat – The Way It Was Meant To Be

A few years ago, I was invited by the director, Robert Kenner, to attend a screening of Food, Inc., in Los Angeles. This invitation was all thanks for my brother who filmed much of the movie. I jumped at the opportunity to see the film.

What struck me the most while viewing the film is that food works best if we let it do what it was created to do. Tomatoes left to ripen on the vine are sweeter, have a much greater nutritional value and a flavor that cannot even compare to the tomatoes that were plucked while still green and left to ripen on the truck while in transit. The same goes for cows.

Cows were created to eat grass. Their digestive systems were designed to consume grass and yet lately, due to ease, cost and control, many cows are being fed grain. Now we all know that grain, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, but when cows start eating something other than grass things start to go wrong.

As things have started to go wrong for cows because of their unnatural diet, science has solved the problem by creating antibiotics that combat the diseases that arise. Rather than solving the problem by changing their diet, which would eliminate the need for antibiotics, we are now consuming meat from “cows that are essentially being kept alive by drugs” (

So now that we got that out of the way, let’s focus on the benefits of grass-fed beef. For me the most important part is that it just plain tastes better. Richer, meatier and more complex in flavor. But there are other reasons as well. “The animal itself thrives because it is getting the food it was designed to eat and it converts that food to muscle and fat that is higher in minerals, vitamins, CLAs (conjugated linoleic acid) and Omega 3 fatty acids, and lower in cholesterol and fat” ( Even though grass-fed beef isn’t injected with antibiotics you have a much lower risk of getting diseases associated with beef such as E-Coli and Mad Cow Disease.

To learn more about this and in general where our food comes from, I can’t recommend the film Food, Inc. enough. Also, any of Michael Pollen’s best-selling books, like the Omnivores Dilemma, provide a very thorough look into the world behind the food on our plate.

In the meantime, I highly encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity to purchase and enjoy grass-fed beef. Not only can you eat it in good conscience but you will be thrilled with the wonderful taste that comes from cows that eat a diet they were created for.

by Ashley Rodriquez, Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom.

You can read more of her writings at