Last week, Joelle and I and a few kiddos went out for our usual walk on the farm. We started out at the sunflowers, headed over to winter squash, then grazed on a few raspberries, and checked out the pears, plums, apples and potatoes. The potato plants looked ready for harvest, so we pulled up a few plants and WOW! We dug reds, yellows, and purples. The yellows, which you are getting this week, were the most ready.
We always like to dig a few potatoes right away. When you dig potatoes early, the skins tend to be “loose” or not “set”. Our normal strategy is to dig a few rows early in the season and let the remaining potatoes “set” their skins. It takes about six weeks from when we mow the tops of the potatoes to start the process. Mowing the tops stops the growth and sends a signal to the plant to get ready for winter.
I am thoroughly amazed at the earliness of the potato crop this season. The plants didn’t grow as large as I usually expect, but the flavor is outstanding and the quality matches it. If you are new to Klesick’s, these potatoes are like nothing you will ever see in the grocery store. The skins will be loose or flakey because, as mentioned earlier, these are ultra-Klesick Farm fresh.
We like our potatoes cut into small pieces, 1 inch x ½ inch, and oven roasted at 425 °F with a little olive oil and salt. Simply delicious!
The Nature Conservancy
This weekend the Nature Conservancy is hosting an open house at the Port Susan Bay Preserve. If you have time check it out. The Port Susan Bay Preserve is beautiful and serene, truly a treasure and I am glad that it has been preserved for generations to come. If it works into your schedule come on out and enjoy the Stillaguamish River Valley.
This week we start delivering to the Kenmore, Lake Forest Park and Inglewood communities on Wednesdays. And on Thursday we are going to be delivering to North Seattle or 145th Street North to Snohomish County.
This is very exciting news for us here at Klesick Farms. For the last 17 years we have been growing, sourcing, and delivering only organically grown fruits and vegetables. We haven’t deviated from our mission or our message of helping growers stay on the land and helping our customers eat well.
We are passionate about healing our Nation through farming and believe that the health of our Nation is tied to the health of our food supply and helping more customers eat healthy food is a big part of the solution.
Over the years, what was a dream to be a family farm became a good food community; a community of passionate growers and urban allies, working together to build a better food system for future generations. This is a community of folks who believe that the environment and farming can do more than coexist, the two can thrive together. Folks who see the through ruse of the GMO proponents and believe that world can be fed using organic growing practices AND SHOULD BE!
I love what we do, I love that we have done it every day, with every delivery to every customer for so many years. We believe that by working in unison, Klesick Farms, our growers, and you, we are making a difference locally and beyond.
And as a local good food community we are also a part of a larger difference that is being played out in communities across America and the world.
We are turning the tide of a corporate driven food system one bite at a time.
We have exciting news! We are expanding our delivery zones to serve Shoreline and Inglewood communities next week!
Let your friends, co-workers, and family know that we are now offering a box of good to the Inglewood/Bothell communities to 116th St. on Wednesdays and to the North Seattle/Shoreline communities down to NE 145th St. (Hwy 523) on Thursdays.
As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, due to the disappointing vote from The Snohomish County Council a few weeks ago, concerning farmland preservation, I am now working on a different strategy. If the county won’t help us preserve farmland, we will have to do it ourselves – one intentional bite at a time. The strategy is simple: deliver more fruits and vegetables from local farms to local eaters.
Throughout this last year we have been preparing to expand our delivery service and areas in order to build strong bonds between local farmers and local customers.
In October we moved into a new packing facility in Stanwood, nearer to our farm and to other farms that we work closely with in the region. At that time we added more infrastructure to better serve local farmers and you, our customers. We added additional cooler space and freezer space as well as expanding our packing capacity.
Last month we expanded our delivery days from 4 days to 5 days.
Last week we updated our shopping cart to be more mobile-friendly than ever. Ordering organic, local, and GMO-free produce just got easier.
This brings you a fun referral opportunity: For every person you refer from anywhere, you will receive a free bar of Theo Chocolate and your name will be entered for a chance to win a free two-night stay at the beautiful La Conner Channel Lodge.
Image from the Maine Food & Lifestyle blog
- Potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place with good ventilation. the ideal storage temperature is 45 to 50 degrees F. At these temperature, the potatoes will keep for several weeks. Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator, as a temperature below 40 degrees F. will cause the potatoes to develop a sweet taste. This is due to the conversion of starch to sugar, which causes potatoes to darken when cooked.
- If you store potatoes at room temperature, use them within a week or so.
- Wait to wash potatoes, until you are ready to use them, as they will keep longer & this prevents loss of nutrients.
- It is not recommended that you freeze cooked potato dishes, as they tend to become watery after reheating. As the potato is 80% water, this water separates from the starch causing the reheated potato dish to be watery.
- Potatoes are easier to prepare and healthier for you when cooked with their skins on. Always rinse and scrub the potatoes thoroughly before using.
- When you are using cut up potatoes in your cooking, preserve the color by place them in cold water. Limit the water soaking time to two (2) hours to retain the water-soluble vitamins. Color discoloration (pinkish or brownish) happens from the carbohydrates in the potato reacting with oxygen in the air. Potatoes that do become discolored in this way are safe to eat and do not need to be thrown. Usually the color discoloration will disappear with cooking.
- Sometimes potatoes will get a spot that is a greenish hue. A potato in this condition is “light-struck” which causes a build-up of a chemical called Solanine. This is a natural reaction to the potato being exposed to too much light. (store out of light!) The green part, if eaten in large quantity, can cause illness. If there is slight greening, cut away the green portions of the potato skin before cooking and eating.
For more tips on boiling, baking and making mashed potatoes.