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All You Get is 24 Hours!

That’s it, but it sure feels like more. It is more…productive hours. Our bodies adjust to the extra energy coming from the increased day length and we get more done. Or different things done, anyway. Now is the time to banish social media, cable, and electronics, and embrace Spring. There is so much to do and before you know it… well let’s not go there yet.  

Taking advantage of beautiful weather is such a gift. The warmth, the sunshine, and the outdoor chores! Now it is time to mow the lawn, weed the flower beds, add the compost, mow the lawn, go on a hike. Oh! I forgot sleeping and eating! We will need those two elements to maintain our strength. 

This time of year, eating outside is the best! less mess, and you are outside. We tend to gravitate towards salads and fruit. Eating raw veggies and fruit is so simple and can be a great strategy to maintain your health. Also, eating fruit and veggies is really good for our bodies, and eliminates a lot of packaging. Sadly, the packaging companies are the winners of the time crunch we experience during the nice weather, since many folks go for convenience and, convenience often means less healthy and more packaging.

The beautiful thing about our service is that you can tailor your order to your preferences. You can shift to veggie boxes or fruit boxes. You can add additional fruit or veggies to meet your families changing schedules and taste. You can even call us a few days before your delivery, and we will help you place an order. 

We have several families that routinely check in with our office team to add additional items to their order. If that sounds like something you might like, please don’t hesitate, call us and we will help you. Serving you and helping you reach your health goals is a privilege for us.  

Tis The Season

The first round of Super Sugar snap peas is in the ground! And the second round, which was our first round, is still in the greenhouse. But those transplants will be ready in a week or two to go in the ground. With this nice weather, we decided to direct seed an extra crop of peas. If things go well, we will have some, big, fat, juicy peas in early June. Peas have to be the most heralded crop of the spring. Carrots are awesome, cucumbers are incredible, but peas have such a short window that when they are ready for harvest, it is as if time stands still and everything magnificent is encapsulated in a little green pod full of sweetness! 

-Tristan

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Butter Lettuce and Radish Salad with Fresh Herbs

Yield: 2 Servings | Prep Time: 40 Minutes | Source: www.bonapetit.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 small heads of butter lettuce
  • 4 thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup assorted whole fresh herb leaves (such as tarragon, chervil, parsley, and cilantro)

Instructions:

  1.  Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut cores from heads of lettuce, keeping heads intact; rinse and dry. Arrange 1 head of lettuce on each of 2 plates, forming rose shape. Tuck radish and avocado slices between lettuce leaves. Scatter fresh herb leaves over lettuce on each plate. Drizzle salad with dressing and serve.
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Extremes

This kind of weather really messes with the farming community. Fortunately, we had a plan to start the season, so we are able to take advantage of the heat wave. I will confess that I have an uneasy feeling about the Spring, I’m not sure if it is going to stay hot from here on out or if it will moderate to intermittent warm and rainy.

I realize that the weather is out of my control so, as I have shared in earlier newsletters, we try and affect the margins and work with the weather. Everything is a little later this year. As of last Wednesday, the Asian pear trees have not blossomed yet. The Asian pears bloomed at early March last year. Which means that the harvest will be pushed back a little, too. Thankfully, the trees have lots of fruit buds. The Orchard is absolutely beautiful when it is in full bloom, which will be soon.

We are also taking advantage of the dry stretch to put compost down on the farm. Lenz Sand and Gravel in Stanwood is our supplier and the quality of their products are really good. We like to apply the compost in the spring and then “work” the soil. We have tried many different farming systems on our farm. It can take several years to factor in the variables and develop a cohesive plan.

The greenhouses are starting to fill up with lettuce plants and sugar snap peas. The cold weather set back the greenhouse transplant production, but I am fairly confident that those tender plants will catch right up.

Lastly, we planted a crop of garlic greens. We have been digging those the last few weeks as they have come ready. Hopefully, you enjoyed this early taste of garlic.

-Tristan

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Old Fashioned Easy Apple Crisp

Yield: 6 Servings | Prep Time: 1 Hour | Source: www.thechunkychef.com

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced into cubes
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Butter an 8×8 baking dish, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add chopped apples, granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp of the cinnamon and lemon juice.  Stir to combine, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, add topping ingredients (brown sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and diced cold butter).  Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the oat mixture, using a slight downward twisting motion, until mixture resembled pea-sized crumbs.  Alternatively, you can use two forks or even your hands to cut butter into the mixture.
  4. Spread topping over apples in baking dish, and gently pat to even it out.  Bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!
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21 Years

It is really hard to believe that our family has been serving our local community with organic goodness for that long. One crop of garlic leads to another and before you know it 21 years have snuck right up on us. Joelle and I have had the privilege of serving many of you for 2 decades. Some of you even remember us when we opened the Organic Produce Shoppe at Manna Mills in 1998.  

I met my first organic growers in Portland Oregon in 1994. Who knew that meeting a farmer selling lettuce would have such an impact on our life? We still buy vegetables from that farm today. Ironically, lettuce is my favorite crop to grow. Really, I just love to grow food and I love to serve people.  

It was hard to start our little farm business back in 1998. Home delivery was so new, only a few of us were doing it. We transitioned to home delivery in 1999 full time and started with just 50 customers, but I believed it would work. Absolutely crazy! Our first crops were garlic and sugar snap peas. We still grow those today plus lettuce. 

I remember one time when Andrew, who was 3 at the time, went missing. And so was Chaps, our golden retriever. At this time, we had a much smaller home and farm in Machias. When I look back on that first farm it was really just a big backyard, but we were farming! It must have been the end of June or so and the search was on! We wandered towards the pea patch and found him and Chaps. Chaps was laying down in front of him with his head up, crouching down, but ready to jump at a moment’s notice. And Andrew had not one but two handfuls of sugar snap peas, which he was sharing with his “babysitter.” 

Fast forward a few years and we had finally found our farm, 39 acres in the beautiful Stillaguamish River Valley. Chaps made the trip, of course, and while we were remodeling the old farm house he continued his babysitting duties. Like most dogs, he loved us, and we loved him. One day the kids were tired from throwing the ball for Chaps. Like any retriever, if you took the bait and started throwing the ball…Let’s just say you would wear out before he would. One time, Micah decided to put the ball in the Walnut tree out of jumping distance. Wouldn’t you know it, Chaps climbed that tree.  

A lot of life has happened in these last 21 years. When we started, we had 5 children. Now we have had 5 weddings and added 5 grandkids. We have been blessed to journey with so many of you for so many years.  

Thank you for allowing our family to serve yours,

Tristan

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Escarole and Beans

Yield: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 40 Minutes | Source: www.allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large heads escarole
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, undrained
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In a separate skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.
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Eat To Heal

The organic food movement is in transition again. It is always a challenge to stay current in a constantly changing environment. So many new fads, trends, and research reports. How does one settle in and choose a course? What we eat affects so much of our lives, and if the current health trendline continues, Americans are still choosing the wrong course and eating the wrong things. The Standard American Diet is appropriately abbreviated SAD, and the food processors and pharmaceutical companies are really “giddy” that Americans overwhelmingly choose their food offerings. In the end big Pharma reaps the long-term gains. 

Crazy as it sounds healthy food is important, really important. It is really important to our health. Healthy food is really important to our local, regional and international ecosystems, too. With plastic islands emerging and tainted water supplies from chemicals/pharmaceuticals, it is even more critical than ever to choose organic and less packaging. 

By shifting our dollars to local farms and sustainable products, we are investing in both our personal health, and the environment. Every choice we make has an impact. The more we shift dollars towards companies we believe in, the greater our impact will be.  

And you know what is really amazing? Eating more fruits and vegetables is the solution to our national (personal) health and our environmental woes. And I believe that the human body wants to nourish itself every time we take a bite, and I also believe that the environment begins to heal itself every time we choose organically grown fruits and vegetables. We are made to be resilient! 

Resiliency is such a gift, we have to embrace it and feed ourselves the best food, and the benefits will follow.

For the last 21 years, Klesick Farms has partnered with other local organic farmers and organic suppliers to deliver healing foods to your family that impact your health, and at the same time impact the health of the environment.

We love being a part of something bigger and definitely better.

Thanks for choosing Klesick’s!

-Tristan

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Rapini With Garlic and Red Pepper

Yield: 2 Servings | Prep Time: 7 Minutes | Source: www.williams-sonoma.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pepper, diced (red, orange, or yellow)
  • Minced Cashews
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously. Add the rapini and cook for 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the rapini to the ice water and let cool, then drain well in a colander.
  2. In a large nonstick sauteuse or sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and diced peppers and sauté until golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes, cashews and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the rapini and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and serve immediately.
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Still A Bit Chilly Out There

Winter is still hanging on in this part of the world, but for some crazy reason the lawn is “asking” to be mowed. Mowing the lawn is a sure sign that spring is on the way. Now all we have to do is determine if it is going to be a wet one, dry one, or a combination of the both.  

I am sure we will have ample moisture to work with from the snowy deposits. Ironically, the moisture can be “sucked” right out of the field if we get a few hot weeks in April! You never know the weather you are going to wrestle with until you are in the midst of it! I suppose that is why they say, “hindsight is 20/20.” But the past helps to inform the future and we are planning on a glorious summer. And, given the weather trends, we have made some bold predictions, like we are exclusively growing all our tomatoes outside! 

We like growing tomatoes, and it is way more enjoyable to be harvesting them outside than inside a sweltering greenhouse. But even more than that, the tomatoes are growing just fine for us outside and, as mentioned a sentence ago, farming outside is rather enjoyable!  

So, what do we do with our greenhouse? We use them to grow cucumbers and start our transplants.  We have started seeding lettuce and will keep that up for the foreseeable future. We grow a red leaf, a green leaf, and a green romaine. Pretty exciting stuff! Really, it is pretty exciting. We exclusively delivered Klesick lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes to you for several months last year. We also support several other organic growers throughout the growing season and deliver their produce to you, too.  

Klesick is a good food hub of activity year-round, and it is all possible because of our customers who say “yes” to local farms and want to eat healthier foods grown organically.  

Soup. I love to make it and I love to eat it. And a hearty bowl of soup is just what is needed to warm a person up! Soup is great because it is so easy to make and can be a good use of leftovers. You can make a broth one day, add veggies another, then add some rice, or quinoa, or a protein. Literally, soup can be a ready-made base to feed any family for a few nights during the week. And there is absolutely no way that a homemade soup would ever need to have 1000 milligrams of SALT per serving!  

If I have learned one thing about eating healthy, it is way easier when you cook at home! 

-Tristan

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Arugula And Mango Salad

Yield: 2-3 Servings | Source: www.ideahacks.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 mango, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. To make the dressing, stir together apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey or agave, and extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the arugula and mango. Drizzle in some of the dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing if it’s too dry but try not to overdress the salad. You can always serve more dressing on the side.
  3. Top with sliced almonds and serve. Enjoy!