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To 2017 and Beyond!

Week of April 17, 2016

Yes, I am looking ahead. On the farm I always have the past, present, and future on my mind. I am referring back to previous years, concentrating on the weather windows to do things on the farm the current year, and preparing for future years. So this year, with an eye towards the future, we are planting more plums, pears, raspberries, and strawberries again. Here is a little update on what we are growing for the future.

Plums.  The Yellow Egg plum, is a European plum that produces an abundance of large, oval, freestone, golden yellow fruit with a golden interior that tastes like honey. The Yellow Egg has juicy flesh and is very sweet and is grown for the outstanding quality of the fruit which is excellent for dessert, cooking, and canning. This addition to the Italian plums and Green Gages will round out our plum plantings. We will have Italian and Green Gages in September, but look for the Yellow Eggs in 2018.

Pears. This year we relocated our Stark Crimson pears and added some Orcas pears and a few Asian pears for pollination. The Orcas pear was discovered by horticulturalist Joe Long. He discovered this tree growing on his property on Orcas Island, Washington and it has become a regional favorite. The fruit is large, flavorful, scab resistant, and loaded each year with yellow fruit with a carmine blush. The pears are great for canning, drying, or eating fresh. Look for them in 2018. We will have Bosc and Conference pears this fall.

Raspberries. Tulameen is the “go to” choice for fresh market farmers. These fresh market berries are large, have good sugar content, and are bred for hand picking. We pick them every two days during the season. Our new plantings will produce in 2017, but really come on in 2018. For this season we will have Tulameen from our plantings in 2014.

Strawberries. Albion is an ever-bearing type with long, conical, symmetrical, and firm fruit bursting with sweetness. This strawberry produces from June to October. We love this berry because it is sweet, but also does well in August (when there is less rain!). Look for these in August 2016, with them really producing in 2017.

I have selected these fruit varieties for three reasons: 1) they grow well in Stanwood, 2) they work with my organic approach to farming, 3) I personally like the flavor and am excited to eat them!

Lastly Tomatoes. There’s nothing like a tomato fresh from the garden. We are planting hundreds of them, but for you home gardeners we will be offering plants very soon! These plants are grown by our friends at the Rents Due Ranch. We will start selling tomatoes (slicers, pears and cherries) and pepper plants in early May. The May window to plant tomatoes will be perfect this year, given the colder and wetter spring we have had. Stay tuned for more information!

Back to the farm, I am sure I can find something to do. 🙂

Tristan Klesick

 

Recipe for this week’s box menu.

Sautéed Parsnips and Carrots with Honey and Rosemary

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into slices 3 inches long by ¼ inch thick

1 pound parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored (if large), cut into same size as carrots

Coarse kosher salt

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 tablespoons honey (such as heather, chestnut, or wildflower)

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  1. Add carrots and parsnips.
  1. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper.
  1. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes.
  1. Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables.
  1. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes.
  1. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

 

Know Your Produce 

Radishes

Benefits: Radishes are a good source of vitamins C and B6, folate, riboflavin, and potassium, as well as many other trace nutrients. Due to their dietary fiber and diuretic properties, radishes promote healthy digestion and purify the kidney and urinary systems.

Storing: Remove the green leaves and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Preparation: Wash radishes and trim the roots just before using. You do not need to peel radishes. Soak red radishes in ice water for one hour to crisp before serving. You can grate or slice them for salads, or add as a garnish.

Search online to find new ways that you can add this power vegetable into your diet.

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Pre-Order Your Local Berries, Canning Veggies, and Herbs!

bulk produce 2015

 

For 17 years, we’ve been bringing the local harvest to you.

Each season, while the Northwest harvest is at its peak – we deliver it to your door!

How can you get your share of the local good? It’s simple. Contact us to let us know which of the bulk fruits and/or veggies you’d like, and we’ll put your order on our reservation list. When the harvest is at its peak. We will contact you before sending out your order, so that you can prepare for its arrival.

locally and organically grown

 

Please note, all harvest dates are approximate and are subject to the laws and whiles (and wiles!) of nature. 

  • Strawberries: Half Flat (6×1 pint): $24 – Available now!!
  • Harvest dates: June-August (note, some gaps in between harvests to be expected)
  • Blueberries: Full flat (12×1 pint): $40
  • Half Flats (6×1 pint): $22
  • Harvest dates: late June-August.
  • Raspberries: Half-flats (6×1/2 pint): $22.
  • Harvest dates: late June-August.
  • Pickling Cucumbers: Order as many as you need!
  • 5-lb. units. $7.50/ 5 lbs.
  • 40 lb. boxes. $50
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Dill: 1 bunch is a 2-3 inches in diameter. $4/bn.
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Green Beans:
  • 5 lbs. $15
  • 20 lb. boxes. $45
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Bulk Basil: available in 1 lb. units (about a grocery bag full). $8.50/lb.
  • Harvest dates: August

Click here to email us your order.

*Important note: delivery week for these bulk orders are determined by harvest dates. If you will be away on vacation during specific weeks this summer, please let us know so that we don’t schedule your delivery while you are away. 

These items are served on a first-come, first-serve basis. Availability may be limited. 

Bulk orders will be delivered on your regular box of good delivery day. 

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Farm Update

This is the part of the season where farmers are planting, weeding, and harvesting as well as planning for the next season. Last week, the harvest rotation was cucumbers, snow peas, snap peas, raspberries and zucchini. This week, we have the same harvesting schedule, but less of some and more of others. Raspberries will taper off, with peas, cucumbers and zucchinis kicking in to high gear. We will also be harvesting red leaf lettuce and kohlrabi and a few bunches of chives and sunflowers. Once the harvesting is finished, we have weeding, and lots of it.

Now we are adding irrigation. Irrigation—some farmers lovingly refer to it as “irritation” J. No water, no crops, no food—funny how that works. Fortunately, our soil has a good water-holding capacity, so we get by with a lot less “irritation” than most folks.

Wedding

Our second son, Aaron, has found the love of his life and asked her to be his wife. We are delighted to add Emily to our family and host their wedding in late August on the farm.

The wedding date has precipitated a change in our annual farm festival, which has traditionally been the third weekend in August. As parents and hosts of our son’s wedding, we have decided to change the festival to a series of educational farm walks and events.

So, in lieu of our annual farm festival, we are hosting two farm tours, a fun run (tentative), our squash fest and a garlic planting day. We are excited to share our love of farming and our farm with each of you through these fun, interactive and informative farm days. Each of the listed events are free to our customers, except the Harvest 5k Fun Run. If your school group, church group, book club, etc. would like to come see the farm on a different day, give the office a call and we would love to schedule a farm tour.

Schedule of farm events:

Friday, August 1st, 7pm and 8pm, 1 hour farm tour with wagon ride through the farm.

Thursday August 28th, 7pm and 8pm, 1 hour farm tour with wagon ride through the farm.

September 27th Harvest 5k Fun Run, supporting the Port Susan Food and Farming Center.

September 27th (same day as the Harvest 5k Fun Run) noon to 5pm. Come and help farmer Tristan harvest winter squash and potatoes.

October 12th Garlic Planting, 9am to noon. It will be a clove-popping, garlic-planting party.

See you this summer,

 

tristan-sign

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Farm Update Wednesday

Every week for the last few months, I have been vlogging (video blogging) on Wednesdays about something on the farm.  It has taken me a few years to warm up to the idea of vlogging. I have been writing a weekly blog since 1998, but vlogging that took some coaxing. But eventually Marty, our social media and menu planner, was able to talk me into it. And she is quite faithful to send me reminders, but this week I beat her to the punch and sent one in before she even asked!

 

I have covered berries, apples, pruning, potatoes, chives, sunflowers, winter squash, and greenhouses. It has been a lot of fun to chronicle what is happening at that moment and what is going through my mind at that same moment. If you could hear the bloopers! I usually take three or four videos before I get an acceptable 45 – 60 second “winner”. I always seem to start with, “Hey, Klesick Family Farm customers, Tristan Klesick here……”  Last week, we talked about raspberries. This week’s topic will be decided on Wednesday morning, where I will find something that catches my eye and get to vlogging.

 

My hope is to communicate how we grow your food and the importance of growing good food.  It is about a way of farming that nourishes you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our message is one of hope through good farming and good food, hope through good customer service and hope through being a part of a community that cares about the environment now and in the future.

 

So when Wednesday rolls around check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and see what is on my mind and what is growing on the farm!

 

See you Wednesday,

 

tristan-sign

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Berry Time!

The berry season started early this year. I shudder to even mention the weather, but we could use a drink for a lot of our crops, but it would be a disaster for hay farmers and berry farmers now. But it is what it is and if we get rain, great, and if we don’t we will drag out the drip tape and get to watering.

I have already dragged out the drip tape for the strawberries to keep the moisture sufficient to keep those berries growing. We plant a variety called Albion. It is a day-neutral variety, which means that it is not affected by the increasing day length like many of its June-bearing cousins. The advantage of day-neutral varieties is that they produce all season, well into October. The disadvantages are that the fruit set or production and they do not have that classic NW flavor. So we end up picking a little all season instead of a bunch in June.

The June bearing varieties produce copious amounts of strawberries in June and have that classic NW flavor, but are extremely delicate to handle. The disadvantage here is that if it is a rainy June, mold becomes an issue and you can lose a year’s worth of work pretty quick!

While I love the Albion berry for a lot of reasons, I find myself missing the bigger harvest of June bearing berries. So I decided last week to order 3000 plants of Puget Crimson. It is a newer variety developed by WSU for northwest growers. In addition to the Puget Crimson, I am also ordering Black Diamond Blackberry plants to trial them on our farm. We will start with 200 feet and go from there. The Black Diamond is also a newer variety that seems to do well in our climate and to top it off it is “thornless”!

May your health be vibrant and days be merry!

 

tristan-sign

 

Local Organic Berries & More!

Blueberry Flats…. Full $38, Half $22

Raspberry Flats…. Full $38, Half $22

Strawberry Flats. Full $36, Half $20

Pickling Cucumbers……. 5 lbs. $7.50

Bulk Basil……………………… 1 lb. $7.50

Green Beans……………….. 20 lbs. $40

Garlic & Dill will also be available – notify us to request some with your pickling cuke or other bulk order!

To place your order, please call our office (360-652-4663) and we will add your name to our reservation list. Once the items are ripe and ready, we will contact you and schedule a delivery. Orders are on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Rhubarb & Strawberry Lemonade

Makes around 8 cups of Lemonade

We’ve used raw honey here, but you can also replace it with raw cane sugar or grated palm sugar or maple syrup.

4 cups (1 lb.) rhubarb, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces

2 cups (12 oz.) strawberries, divided in half

3 inch ginger, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

3/4 cup raw honey (add more if you prefer it sweeter)

1 vanilla pod, sliced open

4 cups water

1 lemon, peeled into strips

Juice from 1 lemon

20 fresh mint or 15 basil leaves

In a medium size saucepan, combine rhubarb, lemon strips, strawberries, ginger, honey, vanilla pod and water. Bring it to a boil and then lower the temperature. Add the lemon juice and the mint leaves. Simmer for 20-25 minutes while stirring occasionally. Strain the lemonade through a sieve, removing the pulp. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

If left in an air-tight container the lemonade can stay fresh for about a week. Serve in a pitcher with lots of ice, a handful of fresh rhubarb, strawberries and more slices of lemon.

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Hang On To Your Hats, It's Time To Farm!

Hang on to your hat, because these next few weeks are going to be a class 5 kayak ride!  We were behind a few weeks ago, but now we are getting nervous.  If the weather doesn’t break soon so that the rain lets up, I won’t be harvesting anything until August.  At least we have snuck in (mudded in) a few plants in between rain storms. Our first plantings of peas are up and our second plantings are just emerging. The strawberries and raspberries are sending out new leaves every day and those two nice weekends we had gave the bees enough warmth to get out and work in the orchard.   Now,it is a waiting game to see if (and how much of) the fruit will set. 

After last year’s horrible spring, I decided to diversify and plant some more perrienels , like raspberries, strawberries, apples, pears, plums as well as herbs.  Even the beef help to mitigate springs like these. Every season has its ups and downs, challenges and triumphs. By diversifying we are able to cover expenses and even out the waves of life or seasons.  Looking forward to calm waters ahead.

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Fresh Fruit Parfait

INGREDIENTS:

1 large banana, sliced
1/2 cup fresh strawberries sliced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup apricot sliced
2 cups nonfat frozen yogurt
1/2 cup of granola cereal

DIRECTIONS:

1. Rinse fruits delicately under water, place fruits in a bowl and toss gently.
2. Into each parfait dish, layer 1/4 of fruit mixture, 1 tablespoon granola, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup fruit mixture, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon granola and then garnish with a strawberry.
3. Use single blueberries, strawberries, apricot slices, or raspberries as a garnish and enjoy!

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Fresh This Week Tips – June 7, 2011

PEARS

Store: Stand pears, unwashed, on their bottoms and let them ripen at room temperature for up to 5 days. When they’re ready to eat, the flesh on the neck will give a little when pressed. Refrigerate ripe pears for up to 5 days.

Use: Pears take well to baking, roasting, sautéing, or poaching in wine; when cooking, use the pears that are still most firm.

Prep: If you’re serving uncooked pears, cut them just before using; sprinkle the flesh with lemon juice to prevent browning.

PEACHES

Store: Even firm, unripe peaches are delicate, so handle them carefully to avoid bruising. Ripen hard fruits at room temperature, stem-side down, until the flesh feels soft when pressed and they begin to emit a subtle fragrance. Refrigerate peaches only after they’ve ripened, which can prolong freshness for up to 5 days.

Use: Grilled or roasted peaches make an excellent accompaniment for pork, fish, and chicken.

Prep: If baking, look for freestone peaches, whose pits are easier to remove. To slice, cut through to the pit all the way around the seam, twisting each half to dislodge the stone. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can prevent sliced fruit from browning. To remove the fuzzy skins before baking, submerge whole fruits in boiling water for 10 seconds, then slip off the skins.

STRAWBERRIES

Store: Pick through the berries and discard damaged or moldy ones. Wrap the container of remaining unwashed berries loosely in a plastic bag or paper towel and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Use: Strawberries are perfect in pies, just right in jams, and a sweet-tart touch in salads. But they’re at their best raw, served at room temperature, topped with freshly whipped cream.

Prep: Wash the berries and trim the caps just before using.

STRAWBERRY PEACH SMOOTHIE Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened sliced peaches
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (For a healthier approach we recommend substituting 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey.)
  • Dash ground cinnamon

Directions

  • If desired, set aside a few strawberry slices for garnish. Place the remaining berries in a blender; add peaches, yogurt and sugar or honey. Cover and process until smooth.
  • Pour into chilled glasses; sprinkle with cinnamon. Garnish with the reserved berries. Serves: 2.

*Recipe taken from Taste of Home

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Fresh This Week Tips – May 17th, 2011

STRAWBERRIES

STORE: Leave strawberries unwashed and loosely wrap the container in a plastic bag or paper towel and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

PREP: Wash the berries and trim the caps just before using.

USE: Strawberries are perfect in pies, just right in jams, and a sweet-tart touch in salads. But they’re at their best raw, served at room temperature, topped with freshly whipped cream.

GREEN LEAF LETTUCE

STORE: Refrigerate in a loosely closed plastic bag; do not seal tightly. If roots are attached, wrap them in a damp paper towel before placing the lettuce in the bag. Lettuce is delicate and should be eaten within 5 days (iceberg lasts up to 2 weeks); discard any leaves that are wilted or slimy. Do not separate the leaves from the head or wash until just before using.

PREP: To toss a picture-perfect salad, first tear (don’t cut) leaves from the core, then clean and dry them well. The best way to do this is with a salad spinner. Fill it with cold water, add greens to the basket, and swish. Lift out greens, dump the water, and repeat until the water is grit-free. Spin the greens until thoroughly dry (in batches, if necessary). Excess moisture dilutes the dressing. Oil can cause greens to wilt, so dress them just before serving with only enough dressing to nicely coat the leaves without pooling in the bottom of the bowl.

USE: Perhaps the most versatile vegetable in existence, lettuce is a great accompaniment to almost anything your heart desires. Most notably found in salads, check out this recipe for a strawberry green leaf salad that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

FRESH STRAWBERRY SALAD

4 c. leaf lettuce

1 pt. strawberries

2 kiwifruit

DRESSING

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. wine or tarragon vinegar

1/4 c. salad oil

1/2 tsp. dill weed

  • Wash, dry and tear lettuce. Wash, hull and quarter strawberries. Peel and slice kiwifruit. Toss gently in bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed. Drizzle over salad.

RHUBARB

STORE: Keep unwashed stalks in a loose plastic bag, leaves attached, in the vegetable drawer. Rhubarb will last up to a week; use it before the stalks become soft.

PREP: Just before using, wash the stalks and remove the leaves (they contain oxalic acid, which is toxic if eaten in large quantities). If you’ve got a tough bunch, you can peel them with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler.

USE: Rhubarb is quite tart and is best cooked with sugar in sauces or compotes or used as a filling in pies, crisps, or cobblers. It is lovely paired with the sweetness of strawberries or raspberries.