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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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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 12/24/17)

Yellow Straight Neck Squash:

Use them just like you would zucchini. Yellow squash are most often used as a cooking vegetable but can easily be enjoyed raw. It makes a great salad when sent through the spiralizer and tossed with carrots, cucumber, and snow peas. Like cucumbers, summer squash are good when marinated for a couple hours in the fridge. Simply toss in lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, cover and let sit in the fridge for a time. Add freshly chopped basil or parsley right before serving.

Bunch Carrots:

Twist the tops off those carrots as soon as they arrive so that they stay nice and crisp in the refrigerator. If you’re reading this, you’ve chosen organically grown carrots, so give yourself a fist bump. ? Carrots are so important to get organic because conventionally grown carrots are often a concentrated source of heavy metals, nitrates and pesticides. Eating carrots is a healthy alternative to junk food, and just one carrot can boost your willpower that is in resistance to those processed foods. Consider adding bunch carrots on to your order on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your body will thank you!

Yams:

Baked yams make one of my all-time favorite snacks. They are also a great added to soups, stir fries, burritos, you name it! Or, just eat them all by themselves as a snack/side dish. I like to dice mine up into small cubes, toss in a little olive oil with a pinch of salt and bake at 425° for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender and edges are browned. Also, very good when sprinkled with cinnamon. Yum!

Featured Recipe: Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables

Loaded with herbs and bursting with flavor. Add them to a hearty grain (rice, quinoa, tempeh, etc.) bowl for optimal nutrition! Serves 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb. potatoes, cut into 1” pieces

2 yellow straight neck squash, cut into 1” pieces

1 onion, cut into 1” pieces

1 bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp crushed red pepper

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. In Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Layer potatoes, yellow squash, onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, on two medium baking sheets.
  3. Mix olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, dried thyme, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper to small bowl. Mix to combine, then drop spoonfuls of seasoned oil over prepped veggies on both baking sheets, use hands to toss and coat.
  4. Roast in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until all vegetables are cooked through, be sure to check the potatoes with a fork for doneness. Remove both pans and stir after 10 minutes of roasting.
  5. Serve as a side or toss in a power/grain bowl.

 

adapted from recipe by lemonsandbasil.com

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How to Eat Your Box! (Week of 5/14/17)

Red Bell Peppers:

Red Peppers are a great way to add a bit of color to your food which is not only appealing to the eye but good for your eyes! Literally, they are packed with vitamin A, which is essential for good vision. These bright red veggies pair well with most savory dishes and can be added to soups, stir fries, salad, shish kabobs, or as a part of a veggie tray. They are also commonly used for stuffing because of their perfect cup shape. It’s best to eat your peppers right away, while still fresh. Don’t let them sit around too long as they lose their crunch and can become rubbery….bleh.

Mangos, Ataulfo:

Unlike other mangos, Ataulfos should be soft and slightly wrinkled when ripe. They change color from green to a beautiful rich yellow when they are at their sweetest. They also have a creamier texture and don’t get those annoying stringy fibers like other mangos do. Eat them raw or try adding them to one of your favorite cooked savory dishes. Fried rice with mango is simply amazing! Mangos also are great on salads, stir-fries, or added to sauces or in salsa. If you have a dehydrator they are so good dehydrated, or made into fruit leather. You can order a whole case and dehydrate them or freeze to use in smoothies.

Artichokes:

Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. The recipe below gives instructions on boiling but they are also great when baked. To prepare, cut about an inch off the top and stem of the artichoke. Then cut it in half and remove the fuzzy part in the center with a spoon. Rub the cut side with a half a lemon, squeezing some juice into the fold and the middle. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 425°. Melted butter or mayonnaise mixed with a little balsamic vinegar is commonly used for a dip but you can be creative and use whatever your taste buds desire!

Recipe: Steamed Artichoke with Lemony Aioli

Ingredients:

-2 artichokes, stems, and tips of leaves trimmed to remove any prickly edges

-1/2 cup light mayonnaise (preferably made with sunflower or avocado oil)

-1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

-pinch of whole cloves (2-4)

-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

-Water, for cooking

Directions:

1. In a large sauce pan (large enough to fit the artichokes side by side upright), bring about two-three inches of water to an aggressive simmer.

2. Cut the stem off each artichoke so it can sit upright on its own, and place the artichokes upright in the pan. Sprinkle the whole cloves over the top so that they settle among the artichoke leaves. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes until the leaves are tender. (Test by poking with a fork) Add more water as needed so that it doesn’t run dry and the artichoke doesn’t burn.

3. While the artichoke is cooking, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

4. Once cooked, remove the artichoke carefully with tongs into a platter (cover if not serving immediately), and serve with the aioli.

Recipe adapted from honeyandspiceblog.com

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The Recipe Box Gets A Makeover!

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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

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Breathe

There is a brief lull in the action coming my way soon. Most of our first plantings are in. Round two for the beans, summer squash, and corn will start in another week. Also, we are seeing blossoms on some of the early sugar snap peas! I am thinking that probably next week we will have a lighter load before we start harvesting lettuce, weeding everywhere, and more plantings.

A few years ago, I planted a new blackberry variety called Black Diamond. This season is its first fruiting and it is way earlier than I expected. I also grow some Doyle blackberries and they come on considerably later than the raspberries, but I am thinking that the Black Diamonds may be earlier than the raspberries—time will tell.

Why did I plant blackberries? Because I like them! And I also like not having to fight with the wild blackberries that engulf a mile of my property line. The Black Diamond is a “thorn less” variety that I can contain, farm, and harvest much more reliably. Harvest is an important consideration. It is hard enough trying to find farm help and it is even harder to find farm help to pick wild blackberries!

Blackberries and raspberries also grow upright and this older 6’ 2” frame of mind appreciates harvesting while standing up. This provides a nice break because practically everything else we grow on our farm is grown and harvested at ground level (e.g., lettuce, strawberries, cucumbers, squash, etc.)

The local season is upon us and local food will be finding its way into your boxes of good food from now on!

Enjoy!

Farmer Tristan

 

 

Recipe: Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved

1 bunch baby spinach, trimmed

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable stock)

1 cup canned chopped tomatoes with juice

2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked (substitute with rice for gluten free option)

Directions:

1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

2. Add the olive oil and heat.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside.

5. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Remove from the pan and set aside.

7. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.

8. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

9. Place the couscous in a serving bowl.

10. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe from foodnetwork.com

 

Know Your Produce: Bartlett Pears

Did you know that Bartlett Pears contain probiotic benefits that support your gut health? New research has found that pears can balance beneficial gut bacteria. Check our blog this week for more info on the benefits of pears!

Ripened pears can be used at once or put under refrigeration (35º to 45º F) until you want to use them. Refrigeration will delay further ripening but will not stop it altogether, giving you adequate time to include fresh pears in your menu planning. Remember, pears need to ripen at room temperature, so don’t refrigerate an unripe pear!

A ripe pear is a sweet pear. A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.

Store: Place under ripe pears in a fruit bowl at room temperature near other ripening fruit like bananas, which naturally give off ethylene and will help speed up the ripening process. And if you find yourself with a few too many overripe pears, blend them into smoothies, soups, sauces and purees!

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It is so Simple

At Klesick Farms we say, “Healthy eating made simple.” We also say, “Eat Better, Feel Better.” Sadly, most Americans are eating out of a plastic bag, a can or a box (ouch!). A lot of the food budget goes to packaged food, fast food or packaged fast food, and as a result our national health is getting worse.

Ironically, the antidote is to not eat “their” food. What is “their” food? The stuff in the middle of the grocery store—high carb, high sugar and low fat. Just try walking through the grocery store and try to buy a snack without sugar in it!

When a family makes an intentional choice to not eat packaged food, nutritional benefits go up. They go up because the family will be eating something to replace those carbohydrate-heavy foods with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and proteins. (The proteins can be vegetarian or meat-based—based upon your choice.)

Close your eyes and just imagine the calm around all the schoolyards of our communities if PROCESSED SUGAR was not on the menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bedtime snack. Shoot, just imagine the calm around the house!

Last week, I actually brought in an old fashioned sugar bowl filled with sugar for a talk I was giving. I also brought in the makings for an old fashioned lunch – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a low fat single serving chocolate milk. Do you know how much sugar is in this good old fashioned lunch? Remembering that 4 grams = 1 teaspoon, and assuming the body processes carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), here’s what I found:  2 slices of wheat bread = 28 grams; 2 tablespoons peanut butter = 15 grams; 2 tablespoons strawberry jam = 20 grams; 8 oz. low fat chocolate milk = 24 grams; total carbs (sugar) = 87 grams divided by 4 grams (1 teaspoon) = 21.75 teaspoons of SUGAR!

We would be better off putting the sugar bowl back on the table and adding our own sugar to our plain, unsweetened food.

There is no way that we could pour that much sugar on our cereals, sandwiches or in our coffee!

I think the sugar bowl in America has moved from the table to our waistline!

The good news is that the waistline can “trend” the other direction if we eat more vegetables, fruits and non-packaged foods. In fact, if we committed to eating the recommended 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day (yes, a day!), we would see dramatic health changes in ourselves and other Americans!

But eating healthy is a spiritual decision. It takes will power and determination to eat differently. As far as I can tell, eating more vegetables, fruits and non-packaged foods looks like a good strategy to be healthier. If we are healthier, we are more than likely happier!

 

Providing good food for you and your family,

Tristan

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Thanksgiving

Do the words of thankfulness come rolling off your tongue like a swift flowing stream or do you have to pause and reflect like a calm beautiful pond? Is your list brief or overflowing? Does your list include immediate loved ones, friends, your employment or retirement? Does it include your pets or the environment? Are you thankful for our Government or parts of the government, like fire fighters, police officers or politicians? Are you thankful for everyday conveniences, like hot and cold water, electric heat and ranges or overflowing amounts of food year round? Are you thankful that you have the freedom to vote, exercise free speech and run for elected office?

I think if each of us were intentional about our thankfulness, took a few minutes and began to log what we are thankful for, the list and its length might be very surprising

Thankfulness is a perspective—it is a choice. I know that this year has had many challenges for many families—hard things like cancer, death, job loss or loved ones moving away. But, if you are reading this newsletter right now, you are still “in the game” and right now it is your turn to bat.

As the pitch called Thanksgiving approaches your plate this week, are you going to swing with all your might and hit a homerun? I believe you can, in fact, I know you can, because hitting a Thanksgiving pitch is the easiest one to hit. It starts out like this, “I am thankful for….” Then watch joy begin to flood your heart and a smile appear on your face, and that joy and that smile, well, they are downright contagious. Before you know it, there will be more genuine smiles all around—smiles that begin with your thankful heart.

May this Thanksgiving be the best because we all have so much for which to be thankful!

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Tristan Klesick

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Stonefruit 101

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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Our New-and-Improved Shopping Site!

As of today, the online shopping experience at Klesick Farms just got a whole lot better! Try it out here! The first thing you will notice is that all of our pages now look like they belong to the same good food site, but there also have been a couple of other useful changes. Here’s a quick overview of what our site update means for you.

  1. Mobile-Friendly

Ordering your box of good or adding on that bag of apples while you’re on your phone just got easier. Shopping for your produce now works equally well on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

  1. Simplified Checkout

With everything on one page while checking out your order, you can easily see all that is required to submit your order.

  1. Improved Order Management

On the view/edit orders page, all of your items on order are grouped by delivery date so you can easily see what is coming each week and change your delivery date if needed.

If you experience any problems with our site, please let us know!

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The Story of Bandit and the Cows

Week of May 10, 2015

It never fails! No matter how much I plan, farming never seems to happen at a leisurely pace!  You spend all winter preparing, all spring dodging rain storms and waiting for the ground to dry out, and then when it does, inevitably it is either Easter or Mother’s day weekend! The nerve! One would think that “mother nature” could time the farming season to be a little more hospitable.

Actually, nature has a lot more things going on than farming. Spring time is an amazingly long season from crocuses to daffodils to lilac and apple blossoms. Nature has to provide a lot of food and shelter for all the other critters in our local communities and the Klesick Farm is as a welcome and hospitable place as they come. One of our friends just told me he saw a river otter traveling across the road by our farm! I’m thinking that this could explain why Bandit, our collie/lab puppy, has been hanging around the river more lately.

The other day when I was coming out of the house I about tripped over Chungo, the older lab, and Sapphire, the kitten, who were lounging around in the sun on the front porch! Now I always make the mental note of how many animals are out in the yard, so I start counting: 1, 2…where is Bandit? I start my usual whistle and call and wait. No Bandit. Usually, no Bandit means only one thing: MISCHIEF! A little more whistling and a little more calling and walking and as I turn the corner around the house, 3 football fields away I saw him!  He was running in circles around all 30 COWS! The cows had been here for a few weeks and today he finally discovered them.

Stephen and I head out to the cows to get Bandit. Oh boy was he ever happy to see us: tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping. The next day I turned Bandit out in the morning and headed out myself an hour later. I started counting: Chungo, Sapphire, and…where’s Bandit? This time I skipped the whistling and calling and walked to the back of the house (Bandit is not the only one learning new tricks around here). As sure as my name is Tristan, I saw him 300 yards away. This time all the cows had moved to the upper part of the pasture; Bandit had 29 all balled up and there was one rogue noncompliant cow about 40 yards off the herd. Bandit was equally positioned between them with his head switching back and forth, back and forth looking from the 29 to the one.

All of the sudden, he bolted towards the noncompliant cow, moved him toward the herd, and then moved them all back to where they were the last night! That is some serious natural instincts. This time I get the breakfast bowls and start clanging them together. And Bandit comes bounding home, tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping.

 

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