Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Scrub the potato and pierce the
skin several times with a knife or fork. Rub the skin with olive oil, then with
Place the potato in the preheated oven, and bake for 90 minutes,
or until slightly soft and golden brown. Slice the potato down the center and
serve with toppings of your choice. Here are a few suggestions!
It is officially farm season. Normally our
first crop of every season is chives. This year we had garlic greens and kale
from our farm earlier than chives, but for me and my “biological farming”
clock, harvesting chives is when I think farming has begun. This culinary
delight has been gracing tables for 5000 years. Of course, even though I am
north of 50 years old, I am not able to verify exactly how many years it has
been cultivated. I am good with 5000 though.
Now, mind you, we
grow around 400 linear row feet that we harvest several times throughout the
growing season. We also weed it several times throughout the season. This year
I wasn’t sure that the chives were going to come out of the winter very well.
About a month ago,
I was quietly lamenting the loss of the chive crop. It just didn’t look normal,
but really how many of us
were starving for a little warmth this last winter too. But like the champion
of Spring they are, they came roaring back! These chives have been cultivated
from one 4″ pot that we planted in 2003 in our herb garden.
Chives love to
multiply; no, they EXCELL at multiplying. Every few years, when the weeds begin
to take over and compete with the chives, and the grasses move in, we dig up
the healthiest clumps and break them apart and replant one lonely single chive
every six inches. And within a few months one has become 6. Last week I spoke
about the miracle of seeds. Plants that propagate by multiplying are equally
All this to share
that for some of you who have been customers for over 15 years, we have been
harvesting and tending this crop of chives for your health. It is rewarding to
think that with a little attention, and intention, such a healthy allium can
feed thousands of families in its life.
onions/alliums are incredibly healthy and are off the charts as a health food.
Scallions, leeks, red, yellow, white, and sweet onions, and shallots all have
incredible cancer fighting components. I know that the saying is an apple a day
keeps the doctor away, and that is true,
but adding an onion or garlic to your daily plan will definitely keep
you healthier than not.
Chives, unlike its
other onion relatives, are best added at the end of the cooking process. For
soups or potato dishes cut them in into 1/8” sections and add them on top. For
scrambled eggs and souffle’s add them at the end as well. And for a salad, mix
To keep your chives
fresh, treat them like flowers and keep them in a vase.
I am always in awe. We planted Super Sugar snap pea seeds two
weeks ago and last Saturday, they emerged. The miracle reminds of a children’s
book that we read to our kids. The book was called “Look What God Made.” Every page
was filled with a natural wonder and the toddler exclaimed, “look what God
made!” That deep “WOW” moment when a little one discovers something new is so
That is how I feel
every time I see seedlings emerge. One would think that after a lifetime of
growing vegetables, I would know what is about to happen. But something happens
every spring. Every time I plant a seed, the excitement grows. The
anticipation increases every day, and then it happens! Germination!
I check every day; I know
that the first few days the seeds are gathering moisture to burst and push
through their coats. It is all happening, but nothing appears to be happening. I dig a
few seeds and the once dry shriveled seeds are now plump and soft. A few
more days and a tiny sprout is breaking
through, and then a few more
days, I gently brush back the soil and now there is a green shoot ready to
It happened! I
know, I know it is going to happen, but every year, every crop, they are so
special. It doesn’t matter if it is peas, or cucumbers, or apples, or raspberries. The amount of simplicity, and
complexity, and diversity that working with nature
manifests every season of every year is a miracle.
And even though I
know what will happen every time I plant a seed. Even though the seed packet
tells me when to plant, how deep to plant, and how long it will take to
germinate, I feel like that little one in the book that Joelle and I read to
our little ones, and I find myself saying, “WOW! Look
what God made.”
There is a whole bunch more work between emergence and harvest, especially with Sugar snap peas, but when you bite into a Klesick Farm hand planted, hand trellised, hand weeded, and hand harvested Super Sugar snap pea it is as if the world stops for a moment. A pause where something so special, so beautiful, so nutritious has culminated at that moment. And at that moment, your farm team relishes in a job well done as your taste buds relish in the simple, sweet, and juicy organic goodness of the Sugar snap pea.
That’s it, but it sure feels like more. It is
more…productive hours. Our bodies adjust to the extra energy coming from the
increased day length and we get more done. Or different things done, anyway.
Now is the time to banish social media, cable, and electronics, and embrace
Spring. There is so much to do and before you know it… well let’s not go
Taking advantage of
beautiful weather is such a gift. The warmth, the sunshine, and the outdoor
chores! Now it is time to mow the lawn, weed the flower beds, add the compost,
mow the lawn, go on a hike. Oh! I forgot sleeping and eating! We will
need those two elements to maintain our strength.
This time of year,
eating outside is the best! less mess, and you are outside. We tend to
gravitate towards salads and fruit. Eating raw veggies and fruit is so simple
and can be a great strategy to maintain your health. Also, eating fruit and
veggies is really good for our
bodies, and eliminates a lot of packaging. Sadly, the packaging companies are
the winners of the time crunch we experience during the nice weather, since
many folks go for convenience and, convenience often means less healthy and
The beautiful thing
about our service is that you can tailor your order to your preferences. You
can shift to veggie boxes or fruit boxes. You can add additional fruit or
veggies to meet your families changing schedules and taste. You can even call
us a few days before your delivery, and we will
help you place an order.
We have several
families that routinely check in with our office team to add additional items
to their order. If that sounds like something you might like, please don’t
hesitate, call us and we will help you. Serving you and helping you reach your
health goals is a privilege for us.
Tis The Season:
The first round of Super Sugar snap peas is in the ground! And the second round, which was our first round, is still in the greenhouse. But those transplants will be ready in a week or two to go in the ground. With this nice weather, we decided to direct seed an extra crop of peas. If things go well, we will have some, big, fat, juicy peas in early June. Peas have to be the most heralded crop of the spring. Carrots are awesome, cucumbers are incredible, but peas have such a short window that when they are ready for harvest, it is as if time stands still and everything magnificent is encapsulated in a little green pod full of sweetness!
1/2 cup assorted whole fresh herb leaves (such as tarragon,
chervil, parsley, and cilantro)
vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste
with salt and pepper.
Cut cores from heads of lettuce, keeping heads intact; rinse
and dry. Arrange 1 head of lettuce on each of 2 plates, forming rose shape.
Tuck radish and avocado slices between lettuce leaves. Scatter fresh herb
leaves over lettuce on each plate. Drizzle salad with dressing and serve.
This kind of weather really
messes with the farming community. Fortunately, we had a plan to start the
season, so we are able to take advantage of the heat wave. I will confess that I
have an uneasy feeling about the Spring, I’m not sure if it is going to stay
hot from here on out or if it will moderate to intermittent warm and rainy.
I realize that the weather is out of my control so,
as I have shared in earlier newsletters, we try and affect the margins and work
with the weather. Everything is a little later this year. As of last Wednesday,
the Asian pear trees have not blossomed yet. The Asian pears bloomed at early
March last year. Which means that the harvest will be pushed back a little,
too. Thankfully, the trees have lots of fruit buds. The Orchard is absolutely
beautiful when it is in full bloom, which will be soon.
We are also taking advantage of the dry stretch to
put compost down on the farm. Lenz Sand and Gravel in Stanwood is our supplier
and the quality of their products are really good. We like to apply the compost
in the spring and then “work” the soil. We have tried many different
farming systems on our farm. It can take several years to factor in the
variables and develop a cohesive plan.
The greenhouses are starting to fill up with lettuce
plants and sugar snap peas. The cold weather set back the greenhouse transplant
production, but I am fairly confident that those tender plants will catch right
Lastly, we planted a crop of garlic greens. We have been digging those the last few weeks as they have come ready. Hopefully, you enjoyed this early taste of garlic.
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter an 8×8 baking
dish, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add chopped apples, granulated sugar, 3/4
tsp of the cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir to combine, then transfer to
prepared baking dish.
In a separate mixing bowl, add topping ingredients (brown
sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and diced cold butter). Use a
pastry cutter to cut the butter into the oat mixture, using a slight downward
twisting motion, until mixture resembled pea-sized crumbs. Alternatively,
you can use two forks or even your hands to cut butter into the mixture.
Spread topping over apples in baking dish, and gently pat to
even it out. Bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
It is really hard to
believe that our family has been serving our local community with organic
goodness for that long. One crop of garlic leads to another and before you know
it 21 years have snuck right up on us. Joelle and I have had the privilege of
serving many of you for 2 decades. Some of you even remember us when we opened
the Organic Produce Shoppe at Manna Mills in 1998.
I met my first organic growers in Portland
Oregon in 1994. Who knew that meeting a farmer selling lettuce would have such
an impact on our life? We still buy vegetables from that farm today. Ironically,
lettuce is my favorite crop to grow. Really, I just love to grow food and I
love to serve people.
It was hard to start our little farm business
back in 1998. Home delivery was so new, only a few of us were doing it. We
transitioned to home delivery in 1999 full time and started with just 50
customers, but I believed it would work. Absolutely crazy! Our first crops were
garlic and sugar snap peas. We still grow those today plus lettuce.
I remember one time when Andrew, who was 3 at the
time, went missing. And so was Chaps, our golden retriever. At this time, we
had a much smaller home and farm in Machias. When I look back on that first farm it was really just a big backyard, but we were farming! It
must have been the end of June or so and the search was on! We wandered towards
the pea patch and found him and
Chaps. Chaps was laying down in front of him with his head up, crouching down,
but ready to jump at a moment’s notice. And Andrew had not one but two handfuls of
sugar snap peas, which he was sharing with his “babysitter.”
Fast forward a few years and we had finally
found our farm, 39 acres in the beautiful Stillaguamish River Valley. Chaps
made the trip, of course, and while we were remodeling the old farm house he
continued his babysitting duties. Like most dogs, he loved us, and we loved him. One day the kids were
tired from throwing the ball for Chaps. Like any retriever, if you took the
bait and started throwing the ball…Let’s just say you would wear out before
he would. One time, Micah decided to put the ball in the Walnut tree out of
jumping distance. Wouldn’t you know it, Chaps climbed that tree.
A lot of life has happened in these last 21
years. When we started, we had 5 children. Now we have had 5 weddings and added 5
grandkids. We have been blessed to journey with so many of you for so many
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium
heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and
crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or
In a separate skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil
over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until
creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.