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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 3/25/2018)

Pumellos:

Also referred to as pomelos, these giant citrus fruits are closely related to grapefruit. Pummelos have a much thicker pith area than other citrus, but other than that, are much like a milder (non-bitter) grapefruit. We think you’ll like it! Store up to one week in the refrigerator. To eat: remove the thick rind and peel the membrane from around the segments. Pummelos can be eaten fresh, tossed into salads or salsa, used in a marinade, or juiced for a cocktail. Enjoy them nearly any way you eat your favorite citrus fruits.

Mangos:

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. 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.

Dandelion Greens:

Among the list of bitter greens that we talked about earlier in the season, dandelion can also be used in recipes calling for kale or chard. Try balancing them out with milder greens like leaf lettuce or spinach. To use, rinse well, and trim the thicker stems away. Dandelion greens make a great garnish (add to the recipe below) and can be parboiled if you’re looking to make the bitterness go away. Try it: Sauté in with a little olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, then sprinkle with a soft mild crumbled cheese and pair with flat bread and hummus.

 

Featured Recipe: Lentil Niçoise Salad with Shallot-Herb Dressing

Cook the lentils ahead for a quick protein-packed plant-based weeknight meal. Vegan and Gluten Free. Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

 

2 tablespoons finely diced shallots

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppers

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon herbs de providence

1 lb. small potatoes (halved or quartered if large)

2 cups steamed lentils (cook according to package directions)

0.75 lb. green beans

1/4 cup niçoise olives (or other black/green olives)

8 cups shredded green leaf lettuce

1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced

 

Instructions:

Steam potatoes in a steamer basket for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. They should be fork tender when cooked. Remove from steamer basket and rinse under cold water. Retain the potato water for steaming the green beans.

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the shallots, Dijon, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and 1 teaspoon of herbs de providence. Set aside.

 

Add green beans to the steamer basket and steam for 2 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water.

Divide the steamed potatoes and beans, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, and lentils among 4 bowls. Toss with shallot-herb dressing and serve.

 

Adapted from recipe by damndelicious.net

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Thank You

I still remember the day that Joelle and I made the bold decision to offer home delivery of farm fresh produce and started delivering to those first 50 customers.  In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and in other ways it seems just like yesterday! And we are always excited to see another local family sign up and make a decision to take charge of their health.

The American food system is broken and anything but healthy. Political and profit motivation have left Americans sicker and sicker with each new generation. Many Americans prefer a pill to solve their health/dietary issues, whether it be a prescription or vitamin. Slick advertising campaigns selling us more energy or added vitamin C, E, Calcium, blueberries, cherries, aronias etc. enticing us to buy their products. Like that will make all the added sugar or fat in their blueberry muffins healthy and good for us! Anyone ever make jam at home and think, “WOW! 4 cups of white sugar to 1 cup of fruit.” That is certainly good for the Sugar industry, marginally good for the blueberry farmer, but not so good for us. Sadly, that is how most of the food industry operates – best for the manufacturer, okay for the farmer and not so good for us.

For the last 20 years, Klesick has stood for real food, grown without chemicals that adds value to your life. It is not easy being a small business and it is certainly not easy being a farmer, but it is a privilege. It is a privilege growing, sourcing and delivering farm fresh organic fruits and vegetables directly to you, giving you an organic food choice that is fresher and healthier—fresher and healthier for you, your family and our planet.

For Joelle, myself and the Klesick team we want to extend a deep and heartfelt thank you for supporting our organic farm, organic farming and the organic food alternative. Together we, you and the Klesick team, are sending a strong message to the large multinational farms and food processors that we value local farms, we value local companies and we value nutrition rich food.

 

Together we are making a difference.

 

Tristan

 

Health Advocate and Farmer

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 3/18/18)

Blood Oranges:

With ruby-red to maroon-colored flesh, blood oranges are a surprise when you cut them open; taste-wise, they’re tart-sweet and slightly berry-like.

Storage tips: To keep these ruby gems fresh longer, choose refrigeration over the fruit bowl―they’ll only last only a couple of days at room temperature, but up to two weeks in the fridge.

How to eat them: Blood oranges are best eaten fresh―out of hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. If you’re following a recipe you may be asked to section the fruit. To do so, peel the orange, cut between the white membranes to expose the flesh, and remove the sections (for more juice, squeeze the leftover membranes).

Health benefits: Oranges are rich in antioxidants―vital for healthy cells―including vitamin C, which aids in healing, boosts your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and even helps reduce the risk of cancer. This citrus fruit is also a good source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and, like vitamin C, reduce your cancer risk. (To maximize your fiber intake, be sure to eat some of the spongy white pith right under the skin.)

 

 

Mangos:

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, this 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!

 

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.

 

Green Onions:

Also known as scallions, green onions are milder than regular onions but add a nice pop of flavor and color to almost any dish. They are commonly used as a topping for baked potatoes or salad, but can also be used to liven up your Asian style soups like egg drop or ramen noodle. They are also a great addition to omelets or quiche. You can even grill them whole like spring onions and serve as a side dish with a little lemon, salt & pepper.

 

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Yams

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 

2 large yams

1 tablespoon honey

1-2 teaspoons crushed red-pepper flakes (or to taste)

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup plain Greek-style yogurt

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, approximately 2 limes

2 green onions, both green and white parts, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions:

Heat oven to 425. Cut the yams lengthwise into 4 wedges per yam. Put them in a large bowl, and toss them with the honey, ½ tablespoon of the crushed red-pepper flakes, the smoked paprika and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, tossing once or twice to coat, as the oven heats.

Transfer the yams to a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and then bake until they are deeply caramelized around the edges and soft when pierced with a fork at their thickest part, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

As the yams roast, combine the yogurt, lime juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl, and whisk to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

When the yams are done, transfer them to a serving platter, drizzle the yogurt over them and garnish with the remaining pepper flakes, the green onions and some flaky sea salt.

 

Adapted from recipe by cooking.nytimes.com

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Spring Is Here

Does anyone else have a little extra spring in their step? I know I do. The sunshine draws you outside and the increasing day length, WOW, what a gift that is! Every year many of the PNW folks wander around in a mental fog from November to February – and farmers are no different.

It always amazes me that I will be busy all winter and then as soon as the days start to lengthen and the weather starts to warm, “BAM!” It is as if I was Rip Vanwinkle. I get a deep breath, start to notice how the ground is drying out, the spring birds are making an appearance, the ladybugs and other insects that call this place home are flittering about. The whole farm awakens from its winter rest! Now it is time to farm, for the local season to begin.

On our local farm we are still a few weeks away from actively farming the soil. It is ironic, that I consider driving my tractor and getting the seed beds ready for planting as active farming?!?!?!

Haven’t I been farming all winter? I have planned our planting rotations and ordered seeds and moved and repaired the greenhouse (thank you wind and snow). I have purchased different equipment, sold other equipment and done maintenance on said equipment. Our family is seeding 800 lettuce transplants every week. We also have been pruning and have just landed 4 dump truck loads of compost.

Sounds like we have been actively farming all winter, but…. There is something about “turning” the soil for a vegetable farmer that signals it is time to farm. Working with nature, discerning when it is dry enough to help the soil get ready to grow food, to feed (fertilize) the soil so the soil will feed the plants, so the plants can grow.

My job as a farmer is to help the soil, enhance the soil and work with the soil. The soil’s job and its host of helpers (bacteria, fungi, earthworms, etc.) is to feed the plants. That is why I just landed 4 dump truck loads of compost to help feed the soil, so the soil can grow the plants as healthy as possible, so the farmer can harvest the healthiest plants and deliver them to you, so you can eat the healthiest plants.

This is why I farm -the eater, the farmer and the soil working together in a mutually beneficial and respectful partnership.

 

Cheers to your health,

 

Tristan

 

 

 

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 3/11/18)

Grapefruit:

Think you need to dowse grapefruit with sugar before you partake of its immune-boosting properties? Think again. The bitter component of grapefruit is actually mostly found in the white membrane surrounding the juicy segments. The simplest and healthiest way to enjoy grapefruit is to simply slice it in half horizontally, which exposes the segments while giving you access sans the pith. Take a paring knife and loosen the fruit from the sides, working around the circle. Then, take a spoon and dip out the fruit. You might be surprised at how good it tastes, all on its own.

Swiss Chard:

Both the leaves and stalk of chard are edible, although the stems vary in texture with the white ones being the most tender. When you get your box, give your chard a quick rinse in cold water, spin dry, and store in a Ziploc bag to use in smoothies, salads, stir fry’s, and as a wrap for tacos. Unless you’re using the chard as a wrap, you can take your meal prep a step further and tear the leaves into fork-friendly pieces to speed up your meal prep all week long.

Rainbow Carrots:

Twist the tops off those carrots as soon as they arrive so that they stay nice and crisp in the refrigerator. If you’re reading this, you’ve chosen organically grown carrots, so give yourself a fist bump. ? Carrots are so important to get organic because conventionally grown carrots are often a concentrated source of heavy metals, nitrates and pesticides. Eating carrots is a healthy alternative to junk food, and just one carrot can boost your willpower that is in resistance to those processed foods. Consider adding bunch carrots on to your order on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your body will thank you!

 

Featured Recipe: Swiss Chard and Fingerling Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 

1 lb. fingerling potatoes washed and halved (do not peel)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1-2 bunches of Swiss chard cut into 2″ wide strips

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

Cook potatoes in salted water, about 10 minutes

While the potatoes are cooking, in a large non-stick pan, sauté onions over low heat until fragrant. About 1-2 minutes

Turn up the heat to medium and add Swiss chard. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, until greens are just wilted and stalks are tender.

Drain the cooked potatoes and add to the greens. Stir-fry potatoes with the greens for 1 minute or until the potatoes and greens are well mixed.

 

Adapted from recipe by onlyglutenfreerecipes.com

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The Earth Does Matter

Suelo in Spanish, Sol in French, Suolo in Italian, Aferi in Ethiopia, Boden in German, Soil in English. Every country has it and everyone needs to care about it. The top 6 inches of the earth’s crust is where we get most of our nutrients to live. It is also the home to millions of microscopic bacteria and fungi and also the home to a host of insects, insect eaters, eaters of insect eaters, plant eaters and eaters of plant eaters. Everything starts with the soil, suelo, sol, suolo, aferi or boden. We have to protect it, nurture it, and feed it. Basically, we have to respect it.

For the last 20 years, Klesick Farms has done just that. We have never used synthetic chemicals on our fields and only supported farms that had the same passion. My friend Dave Hedlin tells a story that his mom would always share when anyone used the word “dirt” when referring to the soil.

“My mom worked with a soil scientist at Oregon State University in the 1940’s, and whenever one of his students would refer to the soil as dirt, he would correct them and say, ‘Dirt is what you sweep off the kitchen floor; soil is what you grow food in.’” Dave is full of wisdom like that and obviously, his mom was too. It comes down to respect. If we respect the soil, we are in a very real sense saying that we understand how interconnected life is—not only for us today, but for those who came before us and those still to come.

Organic farming is at its core a statement of RESPECT. Organic farming stands against a tide of easy, cheap and government subsidized food production that disrespects the soil and our health. Sure, it is easier to kill every good and bad pest, bacteria and fungi, and treat the soil like a sterile medium, but that is so short sighted. Nature always makes a comeback, but with more ferocity and determination. And our response to this natural correction by nature? Stronger chemicals and more toxic chemistry! For the most part since WWII, we have turned our attention to killing Nature to grow food. Why?!

That is a good question for another newsletter, but essentially, we don’t believe that health starts with the SOIL! Without soil, every culture has diminished or died out. We have this gift, a life changing, life sustaining gift—the Soil. The Soil is foundational to health. Change your food, change your life. It works both ways. Live on processed foods and that will change your life. Live on Organic produce, legumes, grains, nuts, proteins (and in that order) and that will change your life.

The health of the soil and our health is inextricably interconnected. Separate the two and you have what America has today—a health crisis. I am passionate about your health and my soil’s health. What we eat does matter! Organic is better for you and for the soil. And thankfully, we still get to pick what food system we support. Thank you for choosing the organic food system.

 

Tristan Klesick

Health Advocate, Farmer, and Small Business Owner for the last 20 years

 

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Connecting

All business is about connecting consumers with products or services that they need. It is as old as time. Commerce is its official name, but really it is helping you get what you want or need the moment it is desired. Pretty simple.

Of course, there are a whole lot of details in between all those steps, but the concept is simple – make the connections. That is what we have been doing for the last 20 years – making connections.

We didn’t start out with a goal to deliver 700,000 boxes of good food back in 1998, but that is what happened as we connected local farm families with local families. We figured out a way to help you eat healthier and get fresher produce to you.

Before Joelle and I ventured into business for ourselves, we were living in Vancouver WA and I was working at a specialty produce store- 1994. It was here that I learned about produce, how to take care of it, what was in season and when. It was also the place where I met my first organic farmers. Back then I had no land and no knowledge about farming, but I had gotten the bug and started my first vegetable garden –32 sq. ft.

Fast forward to 1998 and we had a whopping ½ acre to farm and a fledgling home delivery service. A few years later we were farming 2 acres and 3 years later we moved to Stanwood and started farming 23 acres. In a few more years we started farming another 15. Crazy! Most small businesses are busy with one venture. Not us, we did two – a farm and home delivery! But we wanted to farm, and home delivery seemed like the right avenue to sell our produce to local families like you.

But we do more than farm. We also source organic produce from our neighbors and other organic farms. Remember, I was a former produce person and so I combined my love of working with fresh produce and our family desire to be an organic farm and Voila – a box of good food ends up on your door every week out of the year.

It has always been about organic and getting you the freshest organic produce available. We are your connection to the organic farming world and some of those relationships go back before Joelle and I started Klesick Family Farm – 24 years to be exact.

It is such a privilege to serve you and your families by connecting the organic farm community with you. It is at the heart of what we do best!

 

Tristan Klesick

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

 

 

#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.

Thank you in advance for telling your friends about Klesick’s Box of Good.

 

 

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 3/4/2018)

Portabello Mushrooms:

Did you know a single Portabella can contain more potassium than a banana? They’re versatile in the kitchen, too. Flip the caps over, place in a baking dish, drizzle on some olive oil, stuff with veggies (try spinach and tomatoes, with mozzarella for a spin on caprice) or cooked grains such as quinoa and bake until tender about 20 minutes at 425F. You can also slice them up and added to salad or cooked in a skillet with some onion and garlic as a yummy sautéed topping for a breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. Portabellos are a great substitute in recipes calling for steak. Seriously, ask one of your Vegan friends. ? So, get out there and eat some fungus already!

Asparagus:

Asparagus is best cooked as fresh as possible but if you need to store it for 3 to 4 days treat it like a bouquet of flowers. Trim a small amount from the bottoms of the stalks with a sharp knife and place them in a tall glass with a little water in the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. This will keep the stalks firm and crisp until you are ready to cook them.

To prepare; the smallest spears will only need to have their very bottoms trimmed off before cooking. However, the bottom portions of larger asparagus spears can be chewy and woody; they will either need to be snapped off or peeled. To snap off the tough portion, simply grasp the stalk with both hands and bend the bottom portion until it breaks off. The asparagus will naturally break off at the point where the tender portion ends and the tough, stringy part begins.

Zucchini:

Zucchini is more often used as a cooking vegetable but is also be enjoyed raw. It makes a great addition to salad or veggie trays with dip. When sent through the spiralizer this vegetable makes a sort of noodle which is often used as a substitute in paleo diets in spaghetti or noodle soup. To cook, simply heat oil over medium heat (sauté a little onion or garlic before adding the zucchini if desired), add zucchini noodles and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened. If you don’t own a spiralizer you can use a vegetable peeler and make long, flat noodles instead of round ones.

Serve as the bed to your pasta sauce and meatballs or add to your favorite vegetable soup.

 

Featured Recipe:

Portabello Baked Eggs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large Portabello mushrooms, stem removed, wiped clean

Olive oil spray

½ teaspoon garlic powder

4 medium eggs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

4 tablespoons chopped parsley OR spinach ribbons for garnish

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

Preheat broiler to high. Set oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet.

Spray the mushroom caps with olive oil cooking spray on both sides. Sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and pepper and ¼ teaspoon of the garlic powder. Broil 5 minutes on each side, or until just tender.

Remove mushrooms from oven. Drain any liquids. Switch oven from broil to bake, setting temperature to 400 degrees F.

Break an egg into each mushroom. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 15 minutes, until egg whites are cooked.

Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Garnish with parsley or spinach and serve.                                                                                                                             

 

Adapted from recipe by healthyrecipesblogs.com