Posted on

21 Years

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 years.  

Thank you for allowing our family to serve yours,

Tristan

Posted on

Escarole and Beans

Yield: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 40 Minutes | Source: www.allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large heads escarole
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, undrained
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. 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 until tender.
  2. 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.
Posted on

Eat To Heal

The organic food movement is in transition again. It is always a challenge to stay current in a constantly changing environment. So many new fads, trends, and research reports. How does one settle in and choose a course? What we eat affects so much of our lives, and if the current health trendline continues, Americans are still choosing the wrong course and eating the wrong things. The Standard American Diet is appropriately abbreviated SAD, and the food processors and pharmaceutical companies are really “giddy” that Americans overwhelmingly choose their food offerings. In the end big Pharma reaps the long-term gains. 

Crazy as it sounds healthy food is important, really important. It is really important to our health. Healthy food is really important to our local, regional and international ecosystems, too. With plastic islands emerging and tainted water supplies from chemicals/pharmaceuticals, it is even more critical than ever to choose organic and less packaging. 

By shifting our dollars to local farms and sustainable products, we are investing in both our personal health, and the environment. Every choice we make has an impact. The more we shift dollars towards companies we believe in, the greater our impact will be.  

And you know what is really amazing? Eating more fruits and vegetables is the solution to our national (personal) health and our environmental woes. And I believe that the human body wants to nourish itself every time we take a bite, and I also believe that the environment begins to heal itself every time we choose organically grown fruits and vegetables. We are made to be resilient! 

Resiliency is such a gift, we have to embrace it and feed ourselves the best food, and the benefits will follow.

For the last 21 years, Klesick Farms has partnered with other local organic farmers and organic suppliers to deliver healing foods to your family that impact your health, and at the same time impact the health of the environment.

We love being a part of something bigger and definitely better.

Thanks for choosing Klesick’s!

-Tristan

Posted on

Rapini With Garlic and Red Pepper

Yield: 2 Servings | Prep Time: 7 Minutes | Source: www.williams-sonoma.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pepper, diced (red, orange, or yellow)
  • Minced Cashews
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously. Add the rapini and cook for 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the rapini to the ice water and let cool, then drain well in a colander.
  2. In a large nonstick sauteuse or sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and diced peppers and sauté until golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes, cashews and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the rapini and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and serve immediately.
Posted on

Still A Bit Chilly Out There

Winter is still hanging on in this part of the world, but for some crazy reason the lawn is “asking” to be mowed. Mowing the lawn is a sure sign that spring is on the way. Now all we have to do is determine if it is going to be a wet one, dry one, or a combination of the both.  

I am sure we will have ample moisture to work with from the snowy deposits. Ironically, the moisture can be “sucked” right out of the field if we get a few hot weeks in April! You never know the weather you are going to wrestle with until you are in the midst of it! I suppose that is why they say, “hindsight is 20/20.” But the past helps to inform the future and we are planning on a glorious summer. And, given the weather trends, we have made some bold predictions, like we are exclusively growing all our tomatoes outside! 

We like growing tomatoes, and it is way more enjoyable to be harvesting them outside than inside a sweltering greenhouse. But even more than that, the tomatoes are growing just fine for us outside and, as mentioned a sentence ago, farming outside is rather enjoyable!  

So, what do we do with our greenhouse? We use them to grow cucumbers and start our transplants.  We have started seeding lettuce and will keep that up for the foreseeable future. We grow a red leaf, a green leaf, and a green romaine. Pretty exciting stuff! Really, it is pretty exciting. We exclusively delivered Klesick lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes to you for several months last year. We also support several other organic growers throughout the growing season and deliver their produce to you, too.  

Klesick is a good food hub of activity year-round, and it is all possible because of our customers who say “yes” to local farms and want to eat healthier foods grown organically.  

Soup. I love to make it and I love to eat it. And a hearty bowl of soup is just what is needed to warm a person up! Soup is great because it is so easy to make and can be a good use of leftovers. You can make a broth one day, add veggies another, then add some rice, or quinoa, or a protein. Literally, soup can be a ready-made base to feed any family for a few nights during the week. And there is absolutely no way that a homemade soup would ever need to have 1000 milligrams of SALT per serving!  

If I have learned one thing about eating healthy, it is way easier when you cook at home! 

-Tristan

Posted on

Arugula And Mango Salad

Yield: 2-3 Servings | Source: www.ideahacks.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 mango, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. To make the dressing, stir together apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey or agave, and extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the arugula and mango. Drizzle in some of the dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing if it’s too dry but try not to overdress the salad. You can always serve more dressing on the side.
  3. Top with sliced almonds and serve. Enjoy!
Posted on

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pummelo Salad

Yield: 4 Servings | Source: theviewfromgreatisland.com

Ingredients:

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 star anise (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large pummelo
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • large handful cilantro leaves
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper

  • For the Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp reserved pomelo marinade
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. set oven to 425F
  2. Put the sugar, 7 tablespoons of water, the cinnamon stick and star anise in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and then bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 minute, then take off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  3. Cut the thick skin off the pomelo, being sure to get off all the white part, and segment the fruit with a small serrated knife. Cut the fruit into bite sized pieces and put in a bowl.
  4. Pour the cooled syrup over the grapefruit and let sit for about an hour. After that, remove the cinnamon and anise, and strain the pomelo, reserving the liquid.
  5. Rinse and trim the stem ends off the Brussels sprouts. Peel and chop the shallots into bite sized pieces. Lay the sprouts and the shallots out on a baking sheet. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to taste. Roast for about 20 minutes, and then set aside to cool.
  6. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Put the sprouts and shallots, along with the pomelo and cilantro, in a large salad bowl.
  7. Serve right away.
Posted on

It Is Almost Time

We mostly grow crops outside of a greenhouse! Our greenhouses are more akin to propagation houses, especially this time of year. The first week of March is when we sow our first lettuce plants. We typically use what are called 128’s. 128 is an abbreviation for transplant trays that have 128 cells in a 10”x20” tray. 

We will seed lettuce in trays every two weeks from March till the end of June, and hopefully plant 1000 plants every other week. Of course, that is the plan on paper. And I can guarantee one thing: farming with a pencil is a whole lot easier than the real deal! 

But without some planning, the odds of having a successful year get a lot slimmer.  I know that if I don’t have a plan to grow food for you, I won’t be as successful.   

The trick is to recognize that that plan is just a plan, and implementation is where the plan meets reality. Our farm plan allows us to flex when needed, but our farm plan is not designed to be always in flex mode. That is subtle a difference, but it is important to not always be in “flex” mode. Flex mode is used when a deviation is needed to course correct and then get back to the plan.  

We try to stick to our farm plan. It has been honed from years of trial and error. For us, we grow lots of staples. Our main crops are lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, beans, raspberries, pears, plums, apples, and garlic.Last year’s plan worked awesome! The weather cooperated, and the weeds were manageable. If I could only order last year’s weather! 

-Tristan

Posted on

It Has Been Over a Decade, Maybe More

I honestly can’t remember the exact date we had a snow storm that disabled the PNW. I do remember as a kid walking on Lake Stickney in the late 70’s. Even the Snohomish River froze over that year! But that was a snowy cold snap that lasted for days. This recent one was mostly cold, but not a deep-freezing, prolonged kind of cold. I do remember the storm in ‘97 that left its mark on our communities. 

In 21 years, we have only missed deliveries due to snow one other time. It was the week after Christmas in ‘05 or ’06. The weather forecast was for snow and then a deep freeze that wasn’t going to thaw in the foreseeable future. That year we cancelled all deliveries for the week. The hard part is that when we cancel deliveries, we have to make the decision 5 days in advance. The other hard part is no deliveries, no revenue – ouch! 

When we cancel deliveries early in the process it accomplishes a few things. First, it lets our suppliers know that we won’t be buying produce. Then it allows us to communicate with you to give you ample time to make other plans. And lastly, it keeps our drivers and packing team safe. 

We will make every effort to make deliveries, but safety is our number one priority when it comes to adverse weather. Fortunately, we live in the NORMALLY MILD PNW. Thankfully, for this last event, the weather prognosticators have really upped their game, and I am able to rely on their near-term forecasts better than ever before. It does make the unpleasant task of cancelling deliveries easier. 

The good news is that the Klesick Driving team (Mikey, Nate, John and Kathryn) did an excellent job! We were able to deliver all but four of our routes in the last two weeks. That was an amazing feat!  

Snow Geese: 

I wanted to give my beautiful wife, Joelle, a shout out. She captured some amazing winter images of nature at work on and around our farm. Thousands of snow geese descended upon our farm last week. Their black tipped wings glistening in the foreground of the Cascade Mountains. Breathtaking! 

I might write the newsletters, but when you notice an amazing photo, she is more than likely behind it. I am in awe of her ability to see things that I never notice. If you haven’t scrolled through our FB page or Instagram, take a “gander.”  

On this organic farm, not only do we raise food, we also coexist with nature.

Tristan

Posted on

Creamy Artichoke Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings | Time: 23 minutes | Source: www.askannamoseley.com

Ingredients:

For the topping

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, chopped
  • 3 TBS mayonnaise
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1½ cups flour
  • Salt and pepper
, to taste
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, minced

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the topping ingredients together, set aside.
  2. Take the chicken and butterfly each one, also making crisscross marks with a knife on the bottom of the breast to make it more tender.
  3. Mix flour, salt, pepper and rosemary in a gallon size zip lock bag.  Add chicken and toss to coat.
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat with 2 TBS olive oil.
  5. Cook chicken for about 5 min on each side until golden brown and no longer pink inside.
  6. When chicken is done place on a baking sheet.  Place a heap of the topping on top of each chicken breast, covering most of the breast.
  7. Broil chicken until the topping starts to bubble and turns golden.  This should take between 3-5 min.
Artichokes Powerhouse