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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 5/28/17)

Fennel:

Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

Garnet Yams:

Technically sweet potatoes, in the United States, we refer to the orange specimens as “yams” to differentiate from the sweeter white colored version. Technical terms aside, Garnet Yams are one of the most versatile veggies out there! Eating them just for Thanksgiving is a thing of the past, they can be simply baked like a potato, poked with a fork and roasted for about an hour at 400 degrees and then eaten as is, or stuffed with any number of ingredients, including, but not limited to traditional chili, cooked veggies, sour cream, or curry. Slice them into 1” cubes, toss with a little olive oil and your favorite spice (I like paprika, or tandoori marsala seasoning), and bake on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or so, salt as needed, and you’ve got super tasty breakfast side or a topping for that green salad lunch the next day. Peel, cube, and boil until fork tender, like a potato if you’re trying to cut down on vegetable oils. You can also slice them into “fries”, but if you do so, we recommend frying in a high-heat stable oil like coconut oil.

Radishes:

A favorite among farmers and gardeners because they can be grown and harvested virtually before any other crop, radishes deserve a place in the kitchen too! Crisp and peppery, they begin with a mild flavor, and have a spicy finish, which is why they’re a natural salad toppers. Another, not as well-known method is braising them, which softens their spicy profile and makes them calmer for those of us who don’t enjoy their spicy side.

 

Featured Recipe: Braised Red Radishes

Braising softens the bright red of radishes to a pretty pink and gives them a sweet turnip-like flavor. Ingredients:

– Kosher salt

– 10 red radishes with greens (about 1 bunch), greens trimmed to ¼-inch and radishes halved lengthwise – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

– 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. Put the radishes in a medium saucepan and add a generous pinch of salt (just over ¼ teaspoon), oil and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to moderate, cover and simmer until the radishes are tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the radishes to a serving bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/8 cup, about 8 minutes. Season with salt if preferred and pour the liquid over the radishes.

Recipe adapted from “Across the Street Red Radishes” by foodandwine.com

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Never Plough More Than You Can Disc in a Day

This is sage advice from a bygone era of time. Yet, like most advice that has stood the test of time, it is timeless. Essentially it means don’t start what you can’t finish. Anybody relate to that???? As a farmer in the Stillaguamish Valley who is blessed with “heavy” (more clay and less sand) soils, you learn a lot about patience. If you happen to be travelling through the valley, you will notice that the farmers are busy as anyone can be. Often, they work around the clock or use two or three tractors at a time in the same field. Of course, most are still using humans to drive the tractors, but many are using GPS systems to steer them. It is only a matter of time before driver-less farming takes hold on the mega operations.

But I digress. You might notice on your trip to the valley that the farmers sure spend a lot of time working the soil before they plant. Soil preparation is pretty foundational to what we do. But, if you were to drive by that same field a few days later, you might take a double take. You might even say, “Didn’t they just work all that soil a few days ago?” And you would be right. Because our soil is so heavy, the farmers in this valley work the top 6 inches and get it ready to plant. Then they plow it over and repeat the process. This gives them about 12 inches of deeply worked soil. Then they plant the potatoes or carrots or cabbage.

The only wrinkle in the operation is the weather. If it rains too much, we get to start all over again. And this year, we have had lots of “practice” working our soils and even replanting a few times. The other reason many farmers use multiple tractors is that if you plow too much ground up and let it sit for a couple days, the clods that are plowed up become as hard as rocks and you will spend a lot more time trying to bust up those clods. So, when a farmer plows a field, most of the time we start discing the soil immediately. Better to do a little well than a lot poorly.

Of course, if you have light (sandy) soil, none of this matters. Instead, you will spend a whole lot of time moving your irrigation. 🙂

Good Food Farm Tours

Our first farm tour is this weekend. Tours start on the hour at 10am and 11am. On this tour, we will be focusing on the orchard (apples, pears, plums) and the berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and kiwi berries). Please register for a tour time here, for planning purposes. Every tour this summer will be different and will reflect the changing seasons. Looking forward to seeing you on the farm!

 

Tristan Klesick, Farmer and Health Advocate

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 5/21/17)

Spinach:

Spinach is one of those handy vegetables that can be used raw or cooked. Used in salad,

it’s a nice change from the norm. Try using thinly sliced green onions, cucumber, and

apples from this week’s box in yours! For dressing, vinaigrettes go well with spinach. I like

to mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil but just about any dressing will do.

Spinach is used in cooking just as often as it is used fresh. It makes a great addition for

scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, pasta, or sauté. Some like to sauté it up in just

a little olive oil and garlic and eat it like Popeye. I even enjoy adding a handful to my

smoothies.

Cauliflower:

There are so many ways to use this vegetable I don’t even know where to start. They can

be chopped up and added to salad or soup, roasted in the oven, tossed in a stir fry, boiled

and pureed as a stand-in for mashed potatoes or to make a creamy soup, baked into a

pizza crust as a flourless alternative, or simply eaten raw. The options are endless! You

don’t even have to cut it up. Try baking it whole by simply cutting off the leaves and stem

so it can sit upright, baste in olive oil, salt and spices of your choice, and bake on a cookie

sheet or cast iron skillet at 450° for about 45-60 minutes or until a knife can be inserted

easily. Because of its mild flavor, cauliflower goes well in spicy dishes or curries as it soaks

up all the other flavors.

 

 

Recipe: Baked Eggplant

Ingredients:

• 1-2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch slices (no thinner or they’ll burn)

• 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• Sea salt and pepper, to taste

• 1/8 cup Italian parsley

Directions:

1. While the oven is preheating to 475-500 degrees Fahrenheit, lay the sliced eggplant

in a single layer on lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush each slice with the olive oil.

2. Press garlic slices into the eggplant and season with the salt and black pepper.

Make sure the garlic is pressed as much as possible into each slice to ensure the

flavor soaks into the slices.

3. Bake the eggplant for 20 to 25 minutes. They should be golden brown. Remove

them from the oven and let them cool.

4. Once they are cool, sprinkle with the parsley, if desired, and serve.

Try adding cherry tomatoes or topping with a slice of tomato. Topping with mozzarella

cheese is also a great addition, either cold, or boiled until melted.

Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

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Summer Fun at Klesick Farms

The weather has finally turned in our favor and we are thrilled to get out and work the dirt! It’s the first step in getting delicious, healthy, organically grown produce from our farm to your dinner table! We love what we do here at Klesick Farms and we are wanting to share the wonder of it all with our amazing customers! We would love for you to join us in any one or all our farm events this summer. The great line up of events and farm tours will run from June through September! We have events including farm tours, an on-farm painting class and a local floral design class. It is an eclectic offering of fun on our farm.

June 3rd Klesick Good Food Farm Tours, 10am – 12pm (tours start on the hour) – Free event – Please register for planning purposes: REGISTER HERE!

July 8th 10am –11:30 Good Food Farm Tour with NW Healthy Mama Angela Strand – Free event – for planning purposes, please R.S.V.P. through NW Healthy Mama. Click for more info. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

July 29th ‘Mountain & field landscape’ Acrylic on canvas, 11×14 Painting Class with Nancy Hansen. Limited availability – materials provided Cost: $35/person. Registration required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

August 12th Good Food Farm Tour 10am –noon (tours start on the hour) – Free event – Please register for planning purposes. REGISTER HERE!

August 22nd 6pm –8:30 Flower Design with Deanna Kitchen from Twig and Vine – limited availability – materials provided Cost: $65/person. Registration required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

September 30th 10am- 4pm Squash Fest – Free event **CANCELLED**

In addition to these exciting events, stay tuned for more spontaneous adventure! Watch for “Volunteer Opportunities”. We’ll be offering random farm experiences for the entire family. You will have a chance to work alongside us as we cultivate, plant, weed and harvest! Know your farm, know your farmer, and better yet, join your farmer! Consider laying aside the everyday demands of life and come rejuvenate. Experience the quiet thrill of working with nature in all its wonder and beauty!

 

Looking forward to seeing you here on the farm,

 

Tristan and Joelle Klesick

 

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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 5/14/17)

Red Bell Peppers:

Red Peppers are a great way to add a bit of color to your food which is not only appealing to the eye but good for your eyes! Literally, they are packed with vitamin A, which is essential for good vision. These bright red veggies pair well with most savory dishes and can be added to soups, stir fries, salad, shish kabobs, or as a part of a veggie tray. They are also commonly used for stuffing because of their perfect cup shape. It’s best to eat your peppers right away, while still fresh. Don’t let them sit around too long as they lose their crunch and can become rubbery….bleh.

Mangos, Ataulfo:

Unlike other mangos, Ataulfos should be soft and slightly wrinkled when ripe. They change color from green to a beautiful rich yellow when they are at their sweetest. They also have a creamier texture and don’t get those annoying stringy fibers like other mangos do. Eat them raw or try adding them to one of your favorite cooked savory dishes. Fried rice with mango is simply amazing! Mangos also are great on salads, stir-fries, or added to sauces or in salsa. If you have a dehydrator they are so good dehydrated, or made into fruit leather. You can order a whole case and dehydrate them or freeze to use in smoothies.

Artichokes:

Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. The recipe below gives instructions on boiling but they are also great when baked. To prepare, cut about an inch off the top and stem of the artichoke. Then cut it in half and remove the fuzzy part in the center with a spoon. Rub the cut side with a half a lemon, squeezing some juice into the fold and the middle. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 425°. Melted butter or mayonnaise mixed with a little balsamic vinegar is commonly used for a dip but you can be creative and use whatever your taste buds desire!

Recipe: Steamed Artichoke with Lemony Aioli

Ingredients:

-2 artichokes, stems, and tips of leaves trimmed to remove any prickly edges

-1/2 cup light mayonnaise (preferably made with sunflower or avocado oil)

-1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

-pinch of whole cloves (2-4)

-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

-Water, for cooking

Directions:

1. In a large sauce pan (large enough to fit the artichokes side by side upright), bring about two-three inches of water to an aggressive simmer.

2. Cut the stem off each artichoke so it can sit upright on its own, and place the artichokes upright in the pan. Sprinkle the whole cloves over the top so that they settle among the artichoke leaves. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes until the leaves are tender. (Test by poking with a fork) Add more water as needed so that it doesn’t run dry and the artichoke doesn’t burn.

3. While the artichoke is cooking, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

4. Once cooked, remove the artichoke carefully with tongs into a platter (cover if not serving immediately), and serve with the aioli.

Recipe adapted from honeyandspiceblog.com

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Moka Joe Coffee

This week we are introducing a new line of Coffee from Moka Joe in Anacortes. Their coffee is Organic, Fair trade, intentionally sourced and locally roasted.

Here is what Dan, the Owner of Moka Joe, forwarded to me about their company values:

“Moka Joe is a local, family owned company in Anacortes, Washington. Our goals are to provide Organic, sustainably grown, and Fair Trade coffee. We also aim to provide livable wage jobs for career oriented people. We source coffees from over 14 countries based on relationship and quality farming practices. When you purchase our Café Femenino coffees a portion of that money directly affects the farmers and their families. We believe in supporting family and community.”

At Klesick’s, we are “all in” with Dan’s mission and message. Great company focus, great coffee and intentionally making a difference in the lives of the Coffee farmers they source from.

Just like BIJA chocolates, Moka Joe works hard to source and find great products that are locally produced, but does so with an intentional focus to add financially to the lives of the producers and farmers that raise the base ingredients for great chocolate and coffee for all of us to enjoy.

I’m also excited about the switch for another reason. It will allow us to bring you even fresher coffee because we will be picking it up twice a week. That’s right. We will be going to Anacortes to get it twice a week. This accomplishes two things for you:

1. Order dates are streamlined. Same order date for Coffee and Milk. The new cutoff days to order fresh Roasted Coffee or fresh bottled Twin brooks Creamery Milk are Fridays at 8 a.m. for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday customers and Wednesdays at 8 a.m. for Friday and Saturday customers.

2. Fresher ingredients. With the change in order dates, your coffee will be as fresh as possible, just like your fresh produce and milk.

For the next 3 weeks we are going to be featuring Moka Joe 12oz. and 2lb bags of ground or whole bean coffee. We will also be adding a line of K-Cups for Keurig 2.0 machines. Order today and enjoy locally roasted coffee that tastes great and puts more money in the hands of the coffee farmers. A win-win.

SHOP MOKA JOE!

SHOP TWIN BROOK CREAMERY!

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 5/7/17)

Limes

There are so many ways to enjoy limes! The traditional way is to use them in drinks, guacamole, etc. One of my favorites ways is to make quick pickled onions: thinly slice red onions and rinse. Add lime juice, salt, pepper and a touch of sugar. Let it sit for 30 minutes and enjoy over tacos, rice or salads!

Avocado

Guacamole is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds, but you can also enjoy avocados in smoothies, add it to toast, make a creamy salad dressing, chocolate mousse, or avocado fries. No wonder we go crazy for avocados!

Jicama

The options are endless: steam them, add them to stir-fry, or simply enjoy as a healthy snack lightly sprinkled with lime and chili powder. I love them in salads for that added crunch!

 

 

 

Cashew Cauliflower, by The Peruvian Chick

Recipe: Cashew Cauliflower

by Sara Balcazar-Greene (The Peruvian Chick)

Ingredients:

1 small onion (diced)

1 cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 red bell pepper (diced)

1/2 yellow bell pepper (diced)

1 carrot (sticks)

1/4 cup cashews.

Directions:

1. Drizzle olive oil and sesame oil in a hot pan, add onions, cauliflower and carrots.

2. Once cooked, add peppers, and cashews. Add 1 tsp ginger powder, 2-3 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs honey and more sesame oil.

3. Separately, dissolve 1 tsp cornstarch into 1/2 cup cold water and add to vegetables. If it gets too thick, add more water. Rectify seasoning.

4. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and enjoy!

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Mother's Day

I love that we set aside a whole day to honor and celebrate the women who raised us. My mom is an amazing mother who dedicates her life to her four kids. She is selfless, strong, and the most energetic woman I’ve ever met.

Every year as Mother’s Day gets close, I get a little nostalgic that we are not closer (geographically) but then I am quickly reminded that we are close in our hearts. Being 3000 miles away is not always easy. Those are the moments I am most thankful for the technology that brings us together. I always think of the things we would be doing if were celebrating together. This holiday has so much room for thoughtfulness and personalization; making a meaningful and memorable Mother’s Day is an attainable task.

TIME:

* Giving the gift of your time can be more valuable than any material item. As we get older, our lives get busier. Plan something with mom that gives you both some quality time together.

* Brunch Basics ~ Take her to brunch at her favorite restaurant (make reservations ahead of time), or if you’re handy in the kitchen, give her the gift of a home-cooked meal.

* Live far away from your mom? Really treat her and fly her out to visit you for a few days; show her around your city!

* Can’t be there in person? Plan a video-chat dinner date with mom and share a virtual “toast” together!

GET MOM CONNECTED:

* Set your mom up on Facebook or Instagram (and patiently give her a quick tutorial). It will let her peek into your daily life and see the moments that are special to her.

* If your mom isn’t super tech-savvy, put together a small album of your favorite photos over the past year. If she’s not online, chances are she hasn’t seen those day-to-day photos of what’s going on in your life.

HANDMADE:

* Make a greeting card from scratch! The handwritten note is becoming a lost art, and it shows that you care enough to write something in your own words. Don’t worry — you don’t have to be a poet. Simply expressing a few things about what you’re thankful for will mean the world to her.

A DAY OF RELAXATION:

* Let your mom have a day to herself to relax, rest, and recharge. Give her a gift of bath salts (homemade if you have the time), and a good book. Then leave her alone while you take on some of her errands, prep dinner or do the dishes. (Mom’s should never do dishes on Mother’s Day!)

These are just a few ideas, but make it your own. Have fun with it, keep it thoughtful, and it will be a day she’ll remember for years to come!

If you are a mother too, I hope you feel loved and celebrated this Mother’s Day. And no matter what season you find yourself in, just know that you are loved and appreciated.

With love and gratitude,

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)

Peruvian Food Ambassador

peruvianchick.com

instagram.com/peruvianchick

facebook.com/theperuvianchick

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How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 4/30)

Bosc Pears:

Don’t be fooled by the Bosc’s rough exterior and firm touch, they are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than most other pears. Their full flavor is best enjoyed before their flesh softens. Bosc pears are crisp and hold their shape well even when baked. They are an ideal candidate for a poached pear: In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups of water and a cup of sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved. For extra flavor, you can add a cinnamon stick, a vanilla bean, fresh ginger, or a half a lemon if desired. Peel, core and quarter pears and add them to the mixture. Because the pears won’t be completely submerged, they can be covered with a piece of parchment paper (cut to fit with a whole in the center to let steam escape). Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid. These are best served warm or at room temperature. You can eat them with breakfast, as a desert, or as a side/topping with cake and loosely whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Beets:

Beets can be cooked just about any way you like. They are great boiled, baked, sautéed or stewed. I usually cut them into bite size pieces to bake in the oven because I love roasted beets! Simply coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 400° for about 35 minutes. But they can just as easily be cooked in a frying pan along with other veggies. The beet greens are great sautéed as well, so don’t throw them out! Try cooking the greens in a little olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bright green. Don’t let cook them too long though or they’ll get slimy.

Recipe: Lentil & Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 tbsp curry paste

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 cup red or yellow lentil

34 oz. low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock (made with 2 cubes)

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets

1 large potato, diced

3 tbsp coconut yogurt

small pack coriander, chopped

juice 1 lemon

4 oz. cooked brown rice

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until soft, about 5 mins. Add the curry paste, spices and lentils, then stir to coat the lentils in the onions and paste. Pour over the stock and simmer for 20 mins, then add the cauliflower, potato and a little extra water if it looks a bit dry.

2. Simmer for about 12 mins until the cauliflower and potatoes are tender. Stir in the yogurt, coriander and lemon juice, and serve with the brown rice.

Recipe from www.bbcgoodfood.com

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It's All About Doing Good

The big picture is that growing organic food and being a steward of the land is just the beginning. Providing excellent customer service and incredibly fresh fruits and vegetables is also a part of the big picture. We want your family to be as healthy as possible and eat the freshest foods available. Joelle and I believe in and are committed to bettering the lives of people everywhere.

Locally, our passion manifests itself through our organic network (growers, suppliers, customers) we work with every week. Then we extend our reach into the local food bank community and our cancer/heart disease initiatives, partnering with many of you to meet these community needs.

Internationally we work with Crossway International to drill water wells in African communities. In India we support the work of She is Safe to establish women community groups that help women escape sex trafficking. They also have safe houses where the children can be placed, cared for, and educated, effectively breaking that horrible cycle.

And now, Joelle and I, are excited to add another partner and their mission to our Box of Good community (ever wonder why we call it a box of good – now you know). A few months ago, Joelle and I had a chance to sample BIJA Chocolate and spend some time with the owner. We instantly knew that we wanted to support their mission, the chocolate and ultimately the women run Chocolate Cooperatives they support.

BIJA owners Ari and Paul

For Joelle and I, we want to support businesses with a passion for quality and for making the lives of others better. BIJA Chocolates is a great addition to our product offerings. For the next two weeks, Klesick Farms is featuring BIJA Chocolate at 25% off. My favorite is the Peruvian Inca berry and Joelle likes the Wild Ginger and Cayenne. Incredible!

Peruvian women’s cooperative

Suffice it to say, their mission is near to our hearts. Please check out their story at www.bijachocolates.com and I guarantee their chocolate will taste even better.

Tristan Klesick, Farmer, Health Advocate

Photos: BIJA Chocolate. All rights reserved. Used with permission.