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It will be a sad day when the Farm’s black lab passes from this life to the next. I remember the day we got him. I took two sons to visit Debbie and her new litter of black labs.  Our intention was to get another dog to be a companion to our Golden Retriever, Chapps. Chapps was getting on in years, and I thought that staggering the ages would be a good strategy.

I had Goldens all my life, which just happened to be City life. Well, when we moved to the Stillaguamish Valley and onto our current farm, it became obvious that a light brown dog quickly became a dark, almost black dog in the winter.  In fact, when he would go swimming in the sloughs around here, he would definitely be a black dog with “brown roots” :).

That fateful morning, Micah, Aaron and I headed over to get our new puppy. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. When we got there and saw all those puppies running around and playing, it became obvious that I was going to be BRINGING HOME TWO puppies. Okay, call me soft, but they were sure cute and those two boys of mine definitely wanted one each.

Ironically, I let the boys pick out their own dogs and wouldn’t you know that each picked out a black lab with a personality completely different than theirs! I know this often happens in a marriage, but I never made the connection between dogs and dog owners.

Another connection I didn’t make was that when those boys moved out, their dogs wouldn’t. And then I would become the proud owner of two black labs. Lightning is no longer with us, but Chungo still is. However, 13 is mighty old for a lab and his hips are just not what they use to be. He is super sweet, sleeps a ton and still wags that tail like only a lab can.

The writing is on the wall. His days are fewer than more, his strength is fading, and his hearing is mostly gone. But, as long he is able, he will always be welcome on my farm, by my side. And when he finally passes, there will be a big section of Marginalia written on the margins of my life. Thankfully, this isn’t the final chapter yet. When I get home tonight, Chungo will be waiting, wagging that tail like only a black lab can, standing right in my way to make sure he gets some loving on my way to the front door. That’s living the good life.


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Marginalia refers to 1) marginal notes or embellishments (as in a book) or 2) nonessential items. Marginalia are very personal. The notes that are made in the margins of books or articles reflect the moment in time for that individual as they are engaged in reading or learning or reflecting. Highlighted sections or a few scribbled notes capture those unique inspirational moments. A family cookbook filled with smudges and stains and several generations worth of marginalia guide us through a recipe, but also remind us of a family member who left the note. Just seeing my grandma’s hand writing brings me back to the Oso farm, rope swings, the over gown apple tree in the back 40…

The margin notes of our lives are anything but marginal. If we compare our lives to a book, an unfinished book, filled with several chapters, what would be some of the marginalia that have been written? For many of us our books span decades and multiple generations. The books themselves are chock full of wisdom and life lessons, but the marginalia of our lives are where we find deep meaning, joy, sorrow, life.

Many of the notes speak out to us from the midst of a full, but oft chaotic life. The birth of a child; the loss of a child. Cancer; cancer in remission. A wedding; a divorce. The first dance recital; the last dance recital. A first word; a last word.

It is in such places that the marginalia have been highlighted or written by life. Very important places. Places filled with deep love and pain, hope and sorrow, joy and sadness. And we can’t really know either without knowing both. I contend that in the marginalia of our lives there is very little of the nonessential. Rather, there we find the foundation of knowledge and experiences that can be used to create more love, more hope, more joy to heal the pain, the sorrow, and the sadness of our own lives and the lives of others.

Yet, are we willing to let others read the marginalia of our lives? All of us can use our margin notes to write on the lives of others, but what and how we share our marginalia will determine whether we have a positive or negative impact. Let us strive to write or speak words of hope and life. Let us do acts of kindness on purpose with intention to make the life of another better tomorrow than it is today.



Tristan Klesick

Farmer/Health Advocate 

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One would think that after almost two decades of farming I would have this farming game figured out! I do have the basics mostly down, but every year, around Father’s Day, I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with what? Thanks for asking. WORK! All of the sudden, everything needs to be harvested: lettuce, spinach, peas. Everything needs to be weeded: lettuce, spinach, peas, beets, tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, strawberries. And more needs to be planted: lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, squash, beets, kohlrabi, corn, etc. I know it is coming, but it always catches me off guard, like a sneaker wave at the beach – all of the sudden you’re wet.

A lot of this has to do with timing and trying to figure out the changing climate patterns and the changing availability of willing workers. The climate impacts are just unpredictable. Last year at this time we were burning up and this year we have had huge swings in temperatures and a fair amount of rain.

This year I got out early and planted some summer loving, heat loving crops in early May, expecting it to get hot early, but June is looking more like “Junuary.” Although hitting a high of 58 degrees in early June really slows down the crops, it also keeps things from bolting, like spinach and lettuce, and peas from burning up. This is farming though: I do my best, I get the weather I get, I adapt, then I get to harvest what crops liked the weather best.

But the weeds, well, they love all types of weather. On our farm we are a hand-weeding operation, and it is hard to find people excited about rows and rows of vegetables to be weeded, sometimes with a hoe, other times on your hands and sometimes we just throw up our hands and use a tractor and start over. We have managed to stay almost caught up, but you can see the “tide” of weeds rising. This week will be the week to stem that tide!

As always, we work hard to grow the healthiest, tastiest and freshest fruits and vegetables for you and your family. We want to be that bright spot in your week, where on your delivery day a box of good food brightens your day and nourishes your body.

More locally grown good food is on its way.

Cheers to your health!



Recipe for this week’s box: Asian Cucumber & Carrot Slaw

Serves 2 to 4


1 cucumber

2 medium carrots, peeled

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or other oil of choice)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Using a julienne peeler or grater, shred the cucumber and carrots into long strips.
  1. Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl, along with the vinegars, water, sugar, and sesame oil.
  1. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.
  1. Chill until ready to serve. Best served cold.

Recipe adapted from


Know Your Produce: Stonefruit 101


“Stonefruit” refers to members of the genus Prunus, which includes peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, cherries, and apricots. The season for summer stonefruit is short-lived, and delicious! With the fruit coming and going so quickly, we don’t want you to miss out by having to toss spoiled or improperly ripened fruit. Here’s some info on proper storage in order for you to make the most of these short-season gems.

Care – Store unwashed fruit at room temperature until ripe (usually only 1-2 days), then place in sealed container in the fridge.

Ripeness – Gently press around stem and when flesh gives slightly to pressure fruit is ripe. Stonefruit ripens from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe.

Tips for Preventing Spoilage – Stonefruit’s biggest enemy while ripening is moisture coupled with lack of airflow. Set ripening stonefruit on a cloth or paper-covered countertop or in a place where it gets plenty of airflow. Try setting them stem side down to ripen. This lessens the chance of then rolling and bruising. Once your stonefruit is ripe, it deteriorates very quickly. Within a day of being fully ripe, if left out of refrigeration, you can have overripe/spoiled fruit and some very attracted fruit flies. Check daily and place in refrigerator as soon as you notice the stem area has begun to soften. Take special care when handling your stonefruit – never squeeze to check for ripeness! Even a small bruise will be cause enough to turn into a rot/bruised spot on your fruit as it is still ripening.

Use – Once fruit is ripe, and you’ve placed in the refrigerator, plan to use within a day or two (this gives you a total keeping time of about 4-5 days). Stonefruit is refreshing as a healthy breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. For grilling, or for topping green salads: use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. All Stonefruit bakes up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

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The Recipe Box Gets A Makeover!


For darn near 20 years Klesick Farms has been helping folks just like you eat better and feel better. I remember when organic was just an idea where the proponents were those who most likely did not use deodorant or shave. Well, fast forward 30 years and we now find that organics is big business. You can find organic food at Walmart and Marshall’s, as well as farmer’s markets and home delivery companies. One thing is clear, consumers want organic food and the business community has made it as easy as possible to find, purchase and eat organically.

We started a home delivery company so we could get our produce directly to consumers and help busy families eat better. But we have come a long way since those early days. Our first boxes of good food were named Small, Medium and Large. Today these boxes are known as Small, Family and Harvest. We also have an Essentials line with four boxes. Then we have the Recipe, Fruit, Vegetable, Northwest, Juice Cleanse and Juicer’s Assortment, and even the option for you to create your own box. With all of this, and the ability to order organic groceries, grass-fed meats, wild salmon or coffee for delivery right to your doorstep, we have made eating healthy as easy as pie (or quiche).

And now we are expanding our Recipe Box category! The Recipe Box option gives our customers the convenience of ordering a box that contains all the main ingredients necessary to prepare a healthy main course for about four people. Starting this week, customers can now select between 20 of our favorite Recipe Box recipes. There are breakfast recipe boxes and dinner recipe boxes, and vegetarian and non-vegetarian boxes. And more importantly, you can order whichever recipe your family loves or multiple recipe boxes. You can even order a recipe box in addition to your regular order of a Family or Small Box. And just because we can, we will be adding recipes and seasonality to the category to spice it up! Check out our new recipe assortment here.

Yes, a lot has changed since I started farming and delivering our produce, but one thing hasn’t – our commitment to your health, the environment and customer service! 

Bon appétit

Farmer Tristan