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Wow!

It is finally here! Thanksgiving came so early that Christmas seemed like a longways off and BAM! Well hopefully, you are mostly ready for this Holiday Season because it is happening now! I know that for us it can get a bit crazy at the Klesick home. At any given moment we can go from a few of us at home to 25 people and it looks like Christmas is trending towards 25 at the farm.

Last week, the Klesick team took a field trip to the WSU Bread Lab in Burlington. We rolled up our sleeves and prepared a meal with Niels Brisbane, WSU Culinary Director. We made pasta, lots and lots of pasta. We made all sorts of shapes and sizes of pasta. The roasted vegetables with a hazelnut, roasted chili pepper and olive oil dressing – incredible! As was the fennel and onion sauce for the pasta, OH MY WORD! I would have never thought to cook onions and fennel together and then blend them to make a pasta sauce. I love to cook and eat really good food and it was fun to bless my team with a fun cooking/Christmas party. They even stayed and helped with the dishes!

This week’s newsletter (found here) features a hummus recipe (found here) which is a perfect side dish to bring with your vegetable platter to all the holiday parties you have scheduled for the next few weeks 🙂 Be sure to stock up on chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and whatever spices you want to mix in!

Lastly, keep in mind the upcoming delivery day changes for the week of Christmas. Some minor adjustments have been made with the holiday falling on a Tuesday, so double check your day. And of course, if you have travel plans for the next couple weeks, be sure to change your next delivery date from your account online, or contact us and we’ll handle it for you.

We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season!

See you after Christmas!

Your Farmer and Health Advocate,

 

Tristan

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 7/15/18)

Kohlrabi

Mike (our customer caretaker) is Kohlrabi’s biggest fan so if you need some convincing to try this alien-like vegetable, give him a call;) Kohlrabi is typically eaten raw—peeled, sliced and added to a salad or used for serving with a dip. You can also steam, boil, bake, grill, or roast them. Just peel away the outside thick skin first. Add them to soups or stews. Try grating them and toss with grated carrots or apples to make a slaw!

You can also boil and mash them with potatoes or other root vegetables. Stir-fry them with other vegetables, or julienne them and fry them like potatoes. Look for Indian recipes using kohlrabi as they are often used in Indian cuisine.

Peaches

Test for ripeness by fragrance and by gently pressing around the stem – it should give to light pressure when ripe. Place in sealed container in the fridge when ripe – if you leave them exposed to the open air in the fridge, they will wrinkle from dehydration. Peaches, like other stonefruit, ripen from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe. Try peaches for breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. Peaches are also great on the grill, but be sure to use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. And of course, peaches bake up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

 

Featured Recipe: Kohlrabi, Carrot and Lettuce Slaw

A fresh slaw made with kohlrabi, lettuce and carrot, perfect as a side dish or a light lunch.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large kohlrabi bulbs peeled

2 large carrots peeled

2 cups finely chopped lettuce or combination of lettuce and kale

handful chopped green onion (or diced sweet onion)

1 cup almonds chopped

1 lemon juice retained

salt and black pepper to season

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

your choice of dressing

Instructions:

Grate both the kohlrabi and carrot roughly in a large mixing bowl.

Add the lettuce and toss to mix.

Add the green onion, almonds, lemon juice, seasoning and sesame seeds. Mix well.

Serve your salad with your choice of dressing.

RECIPE NOTES

Great as a light lunch, and quick to prepare as a side dish with your main dish.

Recipe adapted from aninas-recipes.com

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From Peas to Beans

I can’t remember a year when I went from picking peas to picking beans. I wish I had more of those wonderful sugar snap peas, but…they love the cool weather and July is about when they decide to call it quits. This has a been a particularly good year for leafy vegetables and peas. I am always amazed at the fortitude of plants. Their whole purpose is to reproduce and as a farmer my whole purpose is to keep harvesting so that the plant will continue to keep producing, in this case, peas.

We have picked peas 2-3x a week for the last three weeks and even though I try and stagger my plantings, they all finish up around the same time. When it comes to peas, I have learned to plant once. The challenge with that is you can lose a crop when the weather turns south or, as in this year, hit a home run!

Now we are transitioning to Beans. My hamstrings are hurting just thinking about picking them. We grow a bush type bean that concentrates the harvest over a two-week period. Beans unlike peas handle staggered plantings pretty well. I have found that the April plantings are only a week a head of the early May plantings. There are also June and July plantings of beans. Those July plantings always make me a little nervous because most of my summer help heads back to school and Soccer season starts up about the time I need to pick them. They’re planted now!

We are also in the throes of raspberries and blackberries. We pick them every day and put them in our menus. This time of year, the menu planning is a little “squirrely”! Have you ever gone to a restaurant and the menu says, “Seasonal Vegetables or Seasonal Fruit”? Around here that is how we roll. I am constantly bringing up a few more random fresh vegetables and the packing team is tweaking the menus to fit it in and get out to you.

A good example of this in action is raspberries and blackberries. The season starts with raspberries and then blackberries start a week later and then both are on at the same time and then raspberries slow down and the blackberries keep trucking which is where we are right now. So, we will plan to bring you either raspberries or blackberries depending on which is ready on a given day.

This is probably too much information, but it is a glimpse behind the curtain of a working farm. And I believe that getting you the freshest fruits and vegetables is my primary job and sometimes it works itself out like “Seasonal Vegetables or Seasonal Fruit”, but all of it is organic and good for your health!

Thank you,

 

Tristan

Farmer and Community Health Advocate

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 7/8/18)

plums

Plums

Great in fruit salads, atop green salads (think Balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, walnuts, red onions) because they’re firm enough to hold up with a little tossing. Try them atop plain Greek or coconut yogurt with a drizzle of honey for breakfast. Plums are particularly delicious in fruit galettes as baking them brings out their sweet-tart flavor. If too firm to use, place in a closed paper bag at room temperature for one to two days. Once ripe, plums can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to three days.

Sugar Snap Peas

The sweetness of these crunchy veggie lies in their shell. Unlike shelling peas, sugar snap peas are best enjoyed fresh, shell and all. Simply “snap” off the stem bit, and you’re good to go. Great just on their own, they also go well on top of salad, in with pasta, sautéed (lightly) with any Asian-inspired dish or casseroles. Use within 5 days for best flavor and freshness.

 

Featured Recipe: Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowls

This Healthy Veggie Quinoa Bowl has freshly-sautéed corn, peas and broccoli mixed with cooked quinoa over a bed of lettuce and a side of avocado! It is vegan and gluten free and perfect for a light healthy lunch. Two choices of dressings. Can be made ahead and eaten cold.

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked quinoa

2 ears fresh sweet corn (kernels removed—stand cleaned ears on end on a cutting board and slice from the top down, beginning at the base of the ears towards cutting board with paring knife. Continue to cut off the all corn kernels)

0.5 lb. fresh sugar snap peas (rinsed)

2 cups of broccoli (rinsed, roughly chopped)

1-2 green onions, entire part, diced

DRESSING(s):

Version one:

3 tbsp olive oil

½ a squeezed lemon

½ a squeezed lime

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp onion powder

Version Two, Asian-inspired:

2 tsp olive oil

Low sodium tamari sauce to taste (or soy sauce)

½ a squeezed lemon over the top

Instructions:

Cook quinoa according to directions on your package. Once done cooking, use a strainer and rinse the rice.

Chop your broccoli, remove corn kernels from cob (or use frozen), halve peas, and dice onion then place in a sauté pan on medium heat (wait until the quinoa only has 15 minutes left before starting this step as you don’t want to overcook your veggies).

Once quinoa is done add it to the sauté pan with the veggies, stir together and add your sauce/seasoning of choice. Remove from heat.

Serve with a side of lettuce and avocado or radish slices for extra fiber and to make your meal more filling, healthfully. Serves 4-6 depending on if you serve as a side or main meal.

Recipe adapted from tworaspberries.com

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Oh My

peas, opened pod

I feel like we are in the middle of an energetic piece of music. Every instrument is playing and playing hard and I while I can play almost every instrument, I have been relegated to the position of Maestro because of my knee injury!

I don’t relish that spot. I much prefer to be a part of the orchestra and conduct on the side. But as with most things, when your attention is divided, so is the work and so is the result. I am still working around the farm—mostly checking on what to do next, picking a few berries, monitoring the health of the crops, what needs water, what needs weeding, what is going in the ground next and when and what we will harvest in the near future.

As with most good pieces of music, the Farm season starts out slow. First, the planning, studying and selecting the vegetables: How will I modify the system this year? What works best for our farm, climate, crew? So many pieces before a single piece of dirt is plowed. As with most things, a little planning goes a long way and a lot of planning can really help.

I will say that with farming, though planning is critical, you hold onto them loosely because farming is a living system and is impacted by the weather in a very real way. As an example, last year it stopped raining June 15th and started raining September 15th. This year it didn’t rain in May and mostly rained in June. On the farm that means it has been a great year for lettuce, beets, peas, but cucumbers and tomatoes are not as happy. Of course, this year I planned for a lot of tomatoes. I still believe we will get a hot summer and my tomato crop will come.

The planning is done for the year. Now we are modifying the plan. Currently, I am weighing whether to plant a Fall crop of leaf lettuce or let the season play out. I will probably do both—some more plantings, but not as much. That’s primarily due to more warm weather, but also school starts up and fall soccer kicks in which can make it hard to find enough help to weed and harvest.

But for now, it’s all hands on deck. It is the busiest time of the season. The local crops are being harvested daily and delivered to you as fresh as possible. My poor packing crew. They almost run the other way when I roll in from the farm or neighboring farms, because they know that I will bringing something that needs to be fit into the menus, something that’s fresh, nutritious and just needed to be picked!

I love this season, but when Fall rolls around, I am more than ready for the Farm to quietly resolve and end peacefully. Although this year as your fulltime Farming Maestro I am not sure what that season will look like, I imagine that in September I will already be thinking about January’s planning of next year’s Farming season. Hopefully, with a fully functioning knee!

 

Tristan

Your Farmer and Community Health Activist

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 7/1/18)

Red Cabbage

Cabbage is a handy thing to have around. Don’t let it be that vegetable that sits in the bottom of your refrigerator drawer for months on end. There are endless opportunities to use it up. I’m constantly pulling mine out and adding it to my “just about anything”. I like to make cabbage “shavings” by first cutting the cabbage in half, then simply shaving off pieces from along the edges. Also, if you’re like me and rarely use a whole cabbage in one sitting, keep the cut edges from drying out by rinsing and storing in a sealed plastic bag.

Good source of Thiamin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese.

—nutritiondata.self.com

Berries

NW berries need to be treated a little gentler than their California counterparts. Always wait to wash until ready to eat, gently pat dry to avoid soggy berries, and try to eat within 3 days of delivery.

Sweet Onions

Sweet onions lack the sulfuric pungency of yellow onions. The best part? They won’t make you cry when you cut them up! This is also why they taste “sweet” – not because they have more sugar than regular onions, but because they lack the Sulphur. Sweet onions are best eaten fresh – cooking them wastes their delicate flavor and you won’t get the “onion-y” flavor that you want with a cooking onion. The mild flavor of these onions makes them perfect for your raw in salads and relishes or chopped as a garnish. If you do cook them, either roast them to caramelize their flavor or make homemade onion rings.

Sweet onions will keep for a week or two at room temperature. For longer storage keep them in an open paper bag in a cool, dark place. You can put them in the veggie drawer of a fridge in a paper bag or on layers of newspaper, but don’t keep them wrapped in plastic, since their juicy constitution makes them susceptible to rot and mold.

 

Featured Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Protein Rice Bowl

Fiber-rich and full of protein. Serves 4

Ingredients

1 small head of red cabbage

1 large sweet potato

1 sweet onion

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas

4 handfuls of red leaf lettuce, rinsed and chopped

1 1/2 cups of rice

8 ounces 2% yogurt

1 handful of cilantro

1 lime

Olive oil

Spices for Veggies: Onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and some red chili flakes

Kosher salt

Optional: Feta Cheese

Instructions

Pre-heat your oven to 400F

Note: You can either chop and toss the sweet onions in with the veggies to roast, or, if you are fine with the crunch, serve them raw as a topping. For the veggies, cut the cabbage in 8 wedges. Cut large chunks of sweet potato so they cook around the same time. Cook for about 20 minutes or until al dente-tender. Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and toss in some olive oil to coat and a couple shakes of the spices and a couple pinches of kosher salt. Throw on a lined baking pan and place in the oven (can bake at the same time as the veggies, but try for 10-15 minutes at 400F.

Meanwhile, cook the rice on stove top or in a rice cooker.

While veggies, chickpeas, and rice are cooking, make the cilantro yogurt sauce. Mix together the yogurt, cilantro, juice of the lime, shake of onion powder (or add in some fresh minced sweet onion!), garlic powder and some salt in a food processor or blender, blend, taste, adjust seasonings.

As soon as the veggies, chickpeas, and rice are done cooking, place everything in a bowl including the red leaf lettuce (optionally, you can mix everything else and dump on top the greens) and mix well, then cover for a few minutes, season with some salt and mix some more.

 

Recipe adapted from susanstable.com

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Protection or Free Trade

Last week we delved into the benefits of farmland and having farmers to work the land. Having local farmland is a national security issue, a national health issue and national environmental issue. Let’s face it, if we do not control our food supply we will be at the mercy of those countries that do. And food will become more like oil. And our presence in other countries becomes more important as other countries control or supply important commodities that America needs or thinks it needs. But whether it is a real or perceived need, if Americans (corporations) think it is important, there will be a demand to protect and ensure its supply/availability.

We are seeing this play out in a real time. Steel and aluminum are front and center. President Trump and this administration is deciding that protecting these industries are important to American security. Manufacturing jobs are good jobs and ironically, good union jobs, too. How did a Republican President of the free trade party take this stance??? We will have to leave this topic for another newsletter or newsletters.

Free trade, which is the issue under attack, is like most things; the pendulum swings one way and eventually swings back. We have been allowing Corporations to move jobs from America to other countries for decades, good jobs, but because it would be cheaper to produce somewhere else. Cheaper is an interesting word. Cheaper for the companies and the consumers who buy their products, but there were losers in the mix, too. Whole regions were shuttered and shoved aside and became “welfare” recipients.  One could argue that the consumers and corporations won, but consumers also had to pick up the tab for the loss of jobs, retraining, mental and emotional stress, shifting environmental damage to other parts of the world, etc. So much to talk about. 

This week, president Trump is trying to reestablish and protect American workers and the industries that remain. And other countries who have benefitted from Free Trade and developed industries to compete and supply steel or aluminum are fighting back because they need to protect their good paying jobs and their national security, economies, etc. 

It is also interesting that Agriculture is going to be the big loser. Farmers are always the first to get tariffs slapped on them, because America mostly exports food and imports everything else. So as this “reset” takes place, it is going to be a rocky road for a while as the world leaders try to figure out how to protect their own interests/corporations/consumers. 

So, to me, it looks like everyone at the table is looking out for their own interests and no one has the high moral ground. 

What I do know is that local food comes from local farms and having locally grown fruits and vegetables are vital to the health of every single person, regardless of where they live – America, China, Kenya, France, etc. And I hope that citizens everywhere invest in their health and strengthen their own local food economies. For most of us, voting with our dollars, does have local, national and international outcomes.

Thank you for your conscious choice to invest in your health and partner with Klesick Farms to keep local food and local farms viable and a part of our local communities.

 

Tristan Klesick

Your Farmer and Community Health Activist

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/3/18)

Apricots:

Ripen apricots in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Unripe apricots can be stored at room temperature up to 5 days. Refrigerate ripe apricots in a sealed container up to one week. (Be sure that they are ripened first, as they will not ripen in the refrigerator.)

broccolini

Broccolini:

Broccolini is tender enough to enjoy stems and all. 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. Steaming broccolini, until al-dente is a great non-oil alternative. Broccolini is also great in salad, stir-fry, soup, or raw with your favorite veggie dip.

crimini mushrooms

Crimini Mushrooms:

Great raw on salads but absolutely fabulous when sautéed. There really isn’t a better ingredient around that works just as well in a breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. To sauté, heat oil or butter in a skillet on medium high heat. Clean and slice mushrooms in half inch pieces. When oil is hot add them to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

 

Roasted Yam and Asparagus Lentil Salad (vegan, gluten free)

Hearty and filling, this roasted yam and asparagus lentil salad is great on its own or as a side dish. Lentils add some healthy plant based proteins. Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Yams, cut into quarters

¾ cup lentils

8 oz. bunch of asparagus

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 generous handful chopped spinach or kale

6 sundried tomatoes in oil (roughly chopped)

FOR THE DRESSING:

1 garlic clove, crushed and minced

1/2 tsp of salt

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1 shallot (optional)

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

Toss yams with 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil and place on a tray, in the oven for 40 mins. Assemble dressing ingredients while yams are cooking.

Heat some water in a saucepan. When the water is boiling, add the lentils and cook for 10-15mins until soft (they should still have a bite). When done drain the lentils and set aside in a large salad bowl.

Snap off the tougher ends of the asparagus and discard. Chop the rest of the asparagus in thirds. 10 to 15 mins before the end of the potatoes cooking time, add the asparagus to the oven tray to roast. When all the vegetables are cooked, add them to the lentils. Toss together with the dressing. Leave everything to cool for 5 mins, then add the chopped spinach leaves and sundried tomatoes. Toss again until everything is well mixed together. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Recipe adapted from www.theflexitarian.co.uk

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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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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