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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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What’s Cooking

What are you cooking up for the holidays? What are your family favorites? So often food is at the center of our holidays, birthdays, summer picnics…. A favorite dish is tied to a favorite season which ties everything back to memories.

I know for our family the one thing that gets made every year is pumpkin roles. Flour everywhere, every cookie sheet is filled with pumpkin bread waiting to be rolled up in kitchen towels and then filled with a healthy version of cream cheese filling. They are beautiful and tasty.

Roots and Fruit: 

This week we are building boxes filled with fruit and roots. Not really, but we are purposely omitting lettuce from the boxes of good. The lettuce world is sorting out the premature move to Arizona and Southern California from Mid California.

Every fall produce starts to head back down I-5 as the local produce season starts to wind down and more produce is sourced from Oregon and Northern California and then Mid California and finally down to Southern California, Arizona and Mexico. Of course, there is some local produce available year-round, but the weather for growing fresh crops is primarily down south. About mid-May fresh produce begins its return to the Northwest, reversing its course and comes back up the I-5 Corridor until we are in full production in the Northwest again. We are so blessed to have so much incredible fresh produce available year-round and much of it local.

The recent food warning on Romaine lettuce, that has since been lifted, caused a wrinkle in production. Most of the Romaine lettuce had been growing in Mid California regions and was nearing its growing cycle when the CDC issued its warning. So, the lettuce growers, basically, tilled in a lot of good food and shifted to Southern California a little earlier than was planned for. Which has caused a gap in production of leafy greens since Southern California and Arizona were not quite ready to harvest.

The long and short of it is. Lettuce is scarce and expensive, so I decided to build a menu around roasted vegetables and a Dill, cucumber, tomato salad recipe. And by next week, lettuce will be more reasonably priced and back in the menus.

While I was doing some research on dill for our plant powerhouse feature, we do weekly, I was like, “WOW, I should eat Dill every week”. Dill is definitely an amazing herb and offers so much healing potential from tying up free radicals to aiding digestion. I might even add it to my list of crops to grow for next year!

Enjoy,

Your farmer and health advocate

Tristan

 

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Delicata

This week we are featuring Delicata Squash and, oh what a crop we have had! This might have been one of the top two or three growing seasons!  

I love that…by just eating fruits and vegetables our bodies can get an incredible amount of nutrition and phytochemicals. Delicata and all winter squash are nutritional powerhouses! Low in Calories, low on the Glycemic Index and high in everything important. If Americans would just commit to getting enough daily fiber in their diets from plants, we would avert the looming health crisis of diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer, obesity. Just using the goal of 30grams of fiber a day you would also tap into a plethora of phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins that also nourish and heal our bodies. 

Just look at the nutritional profile for winter squash and this is only 1 cup and only 1 item in your box of good this week. Organic fruits and vegetables are super foods, super healthy and super tasty!  

Enjoy! 

Tristan 

Your Farmer and Health Advocate 

 

 

DELICATA, APPLE AND GREENS SALAD 

Serves 4 

INGREDIENTS 

1 delicata squash, seeds removed and cut into chunks (½”x1”)

2 small apples, largely diced  

1 carrot, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups of Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage or Kale or a mix of all them
The juice of 1 lemon
3 Tablespoons tahini

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 avocado, diced 

DIRECTIONS 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add cut delicata squash and apple to baking tray (optional – line a large baking dish with parchment paper) and drizzle with Olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Use your hands to fully coat squash and apples. Roast for 20 minutes or easily pierced with a knife/fork.  

While delicata and apple are roasting, combine lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and maple syrup together. Drizzle the mixture on the salad ingredients (lettuce, cabbage, kales, spinach, carrot, etc) in a large bowl.  

Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Use your hands to gently work in the liquids into salad mix for a minute or two – a little less for lettuce and a litt

le more for kale and cabbage. 

Add pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and diced avocado to the salad mix. Top with roasted apple and delicata squash and mix once more. Enjoy! 

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Farming and Family!

Anyone else have summer chores that just didn’t get done?!!!! I have a few that are pressing, but I am content with what we did get done. And often what is left over or unfinished would have been nice to finish, but in reality, those projects could wait.

I also have noticed that as I get older, my energy or appetite to tackle as many big projects is waning. When I look back over the last 20 years, I think “we did that”. We resurrected a dilapidated farm house, rescued a farm from the chemical agriculture world, planted habitat for wildlife, planted a 200-tree orchard, built farm buildings, poured concrete, fenced and refenced 40 acres, and farmed with Belgian Draft horses. All the while having babies and raising children, seeing them grow to adulthood and find their spouses. It is overwhelming just recounting that and I am sure we were overwhelmed while we were doing that! For that season, Joelle and I had the energy of 30-year old’s!

But now that I am turning another year older and I look back I can only smile at all the memories, all the hard work and heartache, all the love and all the life. And because I am an eternal optimist, I can hardly wait for the next 20 years to unfold. What will this life bring, what changes are on the horizon?

For sure, life is not static, and I know that Joelle and I will continue to live rich meaningful lives surrounded by our family and grandkids! And those grandkids are running circles around us, it just seems like it was yesterday that our parents were playing ball or games with my children, and now it is Joelle and I that are playing ball with our grandkids. And they are quick, I mean way quicker than my children ever were!

John Maxwell tells a story about parenting. My paraphrase. John says, “you want to let your children live to adulthood, so you can get grandkids and that is the real prize for being parents! When you see your first grandchild, ‘you think to yourself, this is the smartest human being ever born.’” As the story goes, John was at a conference sharing this story and his son was in the audience. Well John proceeded to tell everyone that Intelligence skips a generation and that his grandkids were considerably smarter than his own children. Of course, the audience, which was primarily grandparents completely understood John’s sentiments. His son caught up with him behind stage and John said, “now son that stuff about you not being as smart as your children, is all fun and..” But his son stopped him and said, “Dad, I think you are onto something, Grandpa and I were just having the same conversation about you last week!”

If I have learned anything in the last 5 decades, it is that every season of life is meaningful and important and so is every generation!

Cheers to your health,

 

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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 8/19/18)

Apples:
Apples are one of those quintessential healthy eating choices! You can dice them up and throw them into your hot cereal with some cinnamon for a fresh take on breakfast, toss them in smoothies, slice them atop green salads to sweeten them up and add texture, dip them in nut butter or yogurt for a snack, roast with savory fall veggies, bake with a topping of your favorite granola…so many ways to enjoy them! And perhaps the best part? Antioxidants and phytochemicals in apples have been linked to help prevent a number of chronic diseases, including: Alzheimer’s, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes and more. Store unwashed apples in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Be sure to store separately. See healthline.com for more nutrition information on Apples!

Green Beans:
Greens beans make a great side for dinner, especially if you sauté them in little olive oil and garlic. To cook more evenly blanch first by adding to a pot of boiling for 2 minutes. Then drain and put in ice water to stop the cooking process. Sauté garlic in olive oil and add green beans, sautéing until lightly seared. Add salt and pepper to taste. Green beans can also be easily baked in the oven like any other vegetable. Simply spread out evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and toss to coat. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Take out after about ten minutes and shake to turn. Sprinkle with some parmesan and serve.

Frisée

You’ve no doubt seen frisée before, perhaps without realizing it, tucked away inside a mesclun baby greens mix. Also called curly endive, the curly, pale green leaves are frizzy in appearance. Frisée is a variety of chicory, as you’ll be clued in to with the first solo bite: it’s one of those bitters we were talking about in last week’s newsletter. Store: in the fridge for up to five days (rinse first), in plastic or other non-breathable material, so it doesn’t wilt. Use: most often served fresh in salads, try it wilted or sautéed to mellow its bitterness. Frisée pairs well with flavor-packed ingredients and fats: Dress leaves with a warm vinaigrette of roast-chicken pan drippings and sherry or red wine vinegar, toss in browned bits of thick-cut pancetta, ham, or steak bits, or top with a poached or fried egg.

 

Featured Recipe: Farmer’s Market Salad

This dish combines all of those wonderful summer veggies with a creamy, yet light, dressing that is full of flavor. This version has cooked chicken, but this salad can certainly be served on its own. Likewise, feel free to swap in your favorite vegan dressing if dairy isn’t in your diet. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

2 medium (about 1 lb.) summer squashes (zucchini, yellow crookneck), sliced thin

1 bell pepper, sliced

2 cups tomatoes cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups frisée, chopped

½ cup green onions, sliced

1 ear fresh corn, off the cob or 1 cup

6” length of cucumber, sliced

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or sliced, this would be 3/4 uncooked boneless chicken breast

DRESSING:

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup soy-free mayonnaise

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

If you are starting with uncooked boneless chicken breast, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the chicken with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast for 15-20 minutes until cooked though. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

Let cool and either slice into thin strips or shred with a fork.

In a large bowl combine the summer squash, bell pepper, tomatoes, frisée, green onions, corn, cucumber, and shredded chicken.

In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the salad. Combine well. Serve at once.

 

Recipe adapted from anothertablespoon.com

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When Time Flies By…

When I was younger I thought I had the “tiger by the tail.” I had unlimited amounts of energy and ideas and was constantly moving and doing. But now I have a little more seasoned appreciation for life and where to invest my limited energy and unlimited ideas.

Farming is one place where an unlimited amount of energy has served me well. When Joelle and I started farming over 20 years ago, you couldn’t even “google” us and “earthlink” was our internet dial up provider.  That’s akin to shopping for school clothes at Montgomery Wards or Sears! If you are lost about now, you can “google” it and get a history lesson. 🙂

We have chosen to stay small, local and control our own deliveries. It is an important distinction that we control so much of our offerings. When your name is on the Box of Good, you want it to be as perfect as possible.

“Mr. Klesick is a passionate person” or “He cares about the big picture.” These sentiments come across my desk quite frequently. It stems from my desire to bring you the freshest and healthiest organic fruits and vegetables because the freshest and healthiest vegetables are what fuel our bodies to serve our families, friends, and communities. Eating is important as is eating the best of the best and that is what the Klesick team tries deliver to you every week.

I also believe that Americans and the world are eating less vegetables and fruit and less diversity of vegetables and fruit. Consequently, these important nutrients are missing in a majority of Americans’ diets. Sadly, they are being replaced with more shelf stable and processed foods. I firmly believe that if Klesick’s is going to be a part of the solution to America’s nutritional crisis and the host of maladies that come from eating a diet low in vegetables and fruit, our boxes of good need to have a diversity of fruits and vegetables to maximize our health.

This is no easy task because all of us have different taste buds and all of us to one extent or another have been “tricked” by our taste buds (or corporate America), to prefer sweet and salt and not the subtle taste profiles of greens or plums.

For me, I use a “crowd out” strategy to eat healthy. On my plate I “crowd out” room for the more processed foods by filling my plate with a lot of vegetables and fruit. It takes a while to get use to eating this way, but by leading with the healthier fruits and vegetables my body says, “thank you.” And this body is the tool that I get to use to serve my Lord, my family, my community and you! I want to be as healthy as I can, so I can serve others as long as I can.

Tristan

Your farmer and Community Health Advocate

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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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Wedding Bells

Wedding season or farm season? It’s BOTH around here! It is a very special week at Klesick’s. Joelle and I are excited to welcome Abigail into our family. We have known her parents and family for years and have had the pleasure of watching Abby grow up before our eyes. She is a beautiful young lady and Andrew, our son, has definitely found the love of his life. We think she is pretty special, too.

What makes this wedding unique, is that Abby is Mike’s youngest daughter. Yes, the very same Mike, who responds to your emails and returns your phone calls is the proud father of the bride and future father-in-law to our son, Andrew.

Our families are excited for our children and their future.

 

Tristan Klesick