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20 Years: 1998-2018

It is hard to believe that it was back in 1998 that Klesick Farms first opened its doors. That was a long time ago! Since the first day of business our family has been providing and delivering organically grown produce. Our mission has always been your health and organic fruits and vegetables. And it has been a very rewarding run.

The Klesick family is a first-generation farm family. We wanted to farm and found a way to do it. We did it because of customers like you that wanted organically grown farm fresh produce delivered directly to your home. In 1998 home delivery was original, novel, and definitely “outside-the-box” type of thinking. In fact, when we started you were lucky to have dial up (my grandparents still had a “party” line), you couldn’t GOOGLE anything, and copiers were the size of a Ford Fiesta. To place an order for fresh produce you had to call the office or email us. You can still call or email us, but now you can also text, IM, DM or PM and we will get back to you!

Facebook what was that??? Instagram, Snapchat or Pandora, Spotify and Hulu. I thought Hulu hoops (wink) were something you rotated around your hips in P.E. class. I was never very good at that!

A lot has changed, but a few things still remain the same—we still deliver organically grown fruits and vegetables to local families and we still answer our phones.

Here is a fun fact. Since our first week of 50 home deliveries of fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables in 1998 we have delivered over 700,000 boxes of good food. That is amazing! That is over 2 million apples, 600,000 bunches of carrots and thousands of strawberries, blueberries, cherries etc. Farm fresh produce delivered to one family at a time over 20 years has had a huge impact on our communities’ health, your health and has blessed a lot of organic farm families.

#Celebrate20

To celebrate our 20 years of delivering farm fresh fruit and vegetables, we have a special offer for our existing customers and your friends. Between March 1 and March 20th (20 days) we are going to be giving you a $20 credit on your account for each friend that signs up for weekly or every other week delivery. If 5 friends sign up you will get $100 credit, 10 friends $200 credit. We will apply your credits immediately to your account and your friends will get their $20 new customer credit spread over their first 4 deliveries ($5/delivery).

Let your friends know that now is the time to sign up and remind them to mention your name in the referral box so you can get your $20 credit. Have them use the coupon code: CELEBRATE20 to redeem their gift.

 

Thank you for making 20 years of Klesick’s a reality and thank you in advance for telling your friends about Klesick’s Box of Good!

 

Tristan Klesick

Health Advocate, Farmer, and Small business owner for the last 20 years.

 

 

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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 2/18/18)

Italian (Lacinato) Kale:

Kale is just wonderful and it’s so good for you!

Try it: in the Tuscan soup (recipe below), or, in a salad. One great thing about kale as a salad is that it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make ahead of time and not worry about it wilting. To prevent kale from becoming bitter, make sure to make sure to remove all large ribs and stems (They make a great addition to a stir-fry though!). Chop the leaves small; Sprinkle with salt to cut the bitterness; “Tenderize” the leaves by massaging them with your hands (only takes about half a minute); And lastly, massage in the olive oil or salad dressing. This turns the kale bright green and keeps it evenly covered. Use an olive oil & vinegar combination for the dressing.

Toppings: try with apple or pear slices. Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries also taste great with this combination!

Broccoli:

Baked broccoli is one of my favorite dinner sides. I like it best roasted to crispy perfection with a little garlic, salt and pepper. Try tossing chopped broccoli florets with olive oil, salt and seasonings of choice. Bake on a cookie sheet at 450° for about 20 minutes, until edges are crispy and the stems are tender. For extra flavor, drizzle with lemon juice or top with parmesan cheese.

Broccoli is also great in salad, stir-fry, soup, or raw with your favorite veggie dip.

Bosc Pears:

Bosc pears are firm when ripe but you can tell when they are ready to eat when the area around the stem yields to light pressure and are lightly fragrant—usually after 2-3 days on the counter top. Try adding pears to a salad this week! Cut into wedges or cubes they would make a great addition to this week’s salad mix. For dressing, try mixing a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a little bit of Dijon mustard and about an eighth cup of maple syrup. Mix together with a wire whisk and beat in an eighth cup of olive or avocado oil. I would probably double the recipe if serving more than 3 people. Can also be topped with gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese and pecans (or walnuts).

 

Featured Recipe: Zuppa Toscana

Serves 6

Ingredients:

 

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 lb. Italian Sausage (or sub 15 oz. Cannelloni Beans for vegan option)

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper flakes (or to taste—we advise don’t skip these!)

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Onion, diced

4 cups Chicken Broth (or, sub Vegetable Broth for vegan version)

3 Russet Potatoes, thinly sliced

2 cups Italian Kale, finely chopped

1 cup Heavy Cream (feel free to sub Half and Half or Whole Milk OR sub Coconut Milk OR Coconut Cream for vegan version)

salt and pepper to taste (note, because potatoes are salt-stealers, you’ll need more than you think you will)

Instructions:

Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Brown the sausage until no longer pink (if using cannelloni beans, skip this step and add in along with the potatoes). Add the red pepper flakes and onion and cook, stirring often for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook, stirring often until the onions a translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn or it will add that flavor your soup.

Add in the chicken or vegetable broth and potatoes. Bring the broth to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

At the end of cooking, add in the kale so that it just wilts and turns bright green—no need to overcook it.

Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the cream or cream substitute of your choice (whole milk, half and half, coconut milk or coconut cream), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

 

Adapted from recipe by alaskafromscratch.com

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#LoveLocal

I love that title #lovelocal! It resonates deeply with who Klesick’s is and why we do what we do. We are passionate about healthy communities and that starts with a healthy family—one delivery, one meal, one bite at a time. And going deeper, for our communities to be healthy we need local farmers and purveyors of healthy food, and we need our local natural resources to be as healthy as possible: healthy farmlands, rivers, estuaries, mountains, valleys and clean air. The whole package needs to be healthy to have healthy communities. 

As a local business owner and local farmer, I am blessed to be able to work on the entire healthy community spectrum. When I am not writing a newsletter or planning your menus, you might find me at my farm. It is pruning and planning season. Or you might find me at a salmon/agricultural meeting trying to strike a balance for food and habitat. Or you might find me working to get more organic food into the local food banks and kitchens that serve the “hungry”.  

We are just a small company, a dozen employees, but we can be a part of the solution to help families get real nutrition through the food bank system. I need your help to take a bigger bite out of hunger. 

  1. Just being a Klesick’s customer helps provide the infrastructure to serve local food banks. How? 
  2. Because we have customers, we have food and we generate #2 quality produce that we sort and save for food banks.
  3. And since we are a delivery company too, we can deliver this food to local food banks. 
  4. This week we are adding our first school backpack outreach program. Super excited! As a part of the Providence Live Healthy 2020 campaign I was able to connect with the Edmonds School District’s Nourishing Network. Currently they are serving 145+ students in 23 schools weekly and they would like to receive organic produce for these students.  
  5. We also offer our Neighbor Helping Neighbor program as an additional item you can purchase. You can actually purchase #1 quality produce, the same quality we send you, to send to a local food bank at a discounted price. You can even specify which food bank.  
  6. Here is our current list: Anacortes, ArlingtonCamano IslandEverett & Everett Recovery Café, Marysville, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Oak Harbor, Snohomish, and Stanwood. We deliver to 10!  
  7. These 10Food banks are open for serving the less fortunate at the time we deliver to these communities. 

If you would like to join Klesick’s on taking a bigger bite out of hunger at the local level, you can purchase a Neighbor Helping Neighbor box at the discounted price of $28 by clicking on any of the hyperlinked communities mentioned above. You can order a weekly, or every other week or monthly Neighbor Helping Neighbor box and we will do the rest. And to top it off, for every Neighbor Helping Neighbor box you purchase, we will send you a yearend tax donation receipt. 

This year we are celebrating 20 years of farming and delivering good food—more to come on that. In the last 20 years with your help, Klesick’s has delivered over 11,000 boxes of good food to local food banks! That is amazing and humbling all at the same time. Klesick’s (you and us) have made a difference in the lives of local families—one family, one delivery, one bite at a time. The need is still great. Please consider adding a Neighbor Helping Neighbor Box and help take a bite out of local hunger. 

 

Thank you,  

Health advocate and farmer, 

Tristan 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 2/5/8)

Mangos:

Mangos also are great on salads, stir-fries, or added to sauces or salsa. Try adding mango to fried rice—we think it’s pretty amazing. If you have a dehydrator they are so good dehydrated or made into fruit leather snacks, or peel, slice and freeze to add to smoothies.

To peel a mango: using the tip of the mango as a guide, slice the two cheeks of the mango off, cutting around the stone in the center. Then place the edge of the mango against the lip of a glass and slide it down one of the halves, so that you’re using the glass like a giant spoon to scrape the mango from its skin. If your mango is ripe (yields to soft pressure, fragrant), you can get the glass to slide through it and separate the skin with ease. If you want to get the part around the pit, we advise going at it with a paring knife, or if you have a toddler, handing it over to them (the pit, not the knife!) will keep them busy for a while. Then, you can eat the half of mango, or, if you’re sharing, slice it up, cut it into cubes, and dump into a bowl, ready to serve!

 

Pears, d’Anjou:

The d’Anjou is a truly all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartletts, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

 

Artichokes:

Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. To bake, 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!           

    

Roma Tomatoes:

Store tomatoes in a single layer at room temperature and away from direct light. Refrigerate only after cutting, as refrigeration makes tomatoes lose their flavor. Romas are great for cooking (especially soups and sauces) as they don’t have the seeds and excess water that many other tomatoes tend to come with. You can also eat them raw, roasted, fried, or broiled; they are great paired with a little olive oil and salt, herbs such as basil and cilantro, and fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta. And yes, you can totally freeze those extra tomatoes for fresh flavor all year (slice first). According to studies done at Cornell University, cooking tomatoes actually increases the lycopene content that can be absorbed in the body as well as the total antioxidant activity.

 

Featured Recipe: Quinoa & Bell Pepper Salad

Servings: 6 cups

Ingredients:

For 2/3 cup quinoa*

1 1/3 cups water

5 cups romaine lettuce leaves

1 avocado pitted and diced

2/3 cup chopped cucumber

2/3 cup various (mixture of red, yellow, orange) bell pepper strips

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

Bring the quinoa and 1 1/3 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.

Top lettuce with quinoa, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and feta cheese.

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, and black pepper.  Pour dressing (or toss) over salad right before serving.

*Feel free to substitute the quinoa with cauliflower rice if desired.        

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Adapted from recipe by thegirlwhoateeverything.com

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Change is a Good Thing

The biggest factor in losing weight probably has more to do with what you eat than any other factor. I just got back from the gym and burned 200 calories in an hour. In effect I burned a 16 oz. Grande from the coffee stand! That is a pretty steep price for an hour of my life. And how many of us are hitting the gym to burn a latte every day?

The resting or basal rate of metabolism is how most of our calories are burned–70-80% of a 2000 calorie diet for a woman or 2500 for a man. These are the calories burned by thinking, by cell divisions and processes. Hence it is referred to as resting metabolism. Another 10-15% is tied to digestion, just processing what we ate. And the last 10-20% is tied to movement of some sort. For sure, exercise is a part of it, but so is vacuuming, walking, or answering the phone. Of course, there are always a few outliers, and you can massage the percentages a few here or there, but most of us fall into these categories. 

I pick up my kiddos from school a few times a week, and the size of middle schoolers ranges from skinny to “normal” to heavy. American kiddos are trending towards heavier, much like the adult population. The trend towards heavier is not a good trend. What is the solution? Have the kids exercise, make them run around a track??? Yes, it is important to get their heart rate up and get fitter, but to reverse the heavier trend for American kiddos (and, dare I say adults) it would make more sense to change what they eat while they are at school rather than hope that exercise will solve the dilemma. 

If it is accurate to say that we burn roughly 70% of our calories doing nothing physical, it would stand to reason the biggest gains in losing weight will probably come from eating less and not from exercising more. But eating less is only a part of the solution. We also need to eat the right kinds of foods and eat them in the right quantities. This is not a popular opinion in the food manufacturing world or with their congressional lobbyists. Their mantra is: All calories are equal. If you are overweight, that is your problem–exercise more. 

That thinking gets under my skin! America has a calorie problem–too many and the wrong kinds! If we want to win with food and win on the scale and win at the doctor’s office, we will have to eat fewer calories and better calories. Of course, that would put a serious dent in Coca Cola or Pepsi or Nabisco or Hershey’s or Starbucks profits, but I don’t care and for this father, farmer and health advocate that would be fine by me. 

Turns out your Mom was right. Eat your vegetables, just don’t boil them to death (please). Eating more vegetables, fruits, quality proteins and fats would go a long way towards reversing the American health crisis. As usual the solutions are simple, but the commitment to changing is where the rubber meets the road. Change is up to us. 

Klesick’s is here to support your healthy food choices.

 

Health Advocate and Farmer,

Tristan