Klesick’s vegetable delivery service takes top honor
By SARAH ARNEY
Staff Reporter for Stanwood Camano News
A new website promoting local agriculture, CSAFarms.com, named Stanwood’s Klesick Family Farm the state’s best community supported agriculture (CSA) farm last week.
“It’s an honor,” said owner Tristan Klesick from Spokane Thursday, where he was attending a conference on healthy food. However, he said that his business is not strictly a CSA.
Technically, he said, community supported agriculture means that clients pay the farmer in advance for a season of fresh-grown produce from his farm. “We’re a bit of a hybrid,” he said. Oranges do come from Florida, while bananas and avocados are from Mexico. Still, everything is organic. Klesick said it’s not possible to grow produce in the Stilly Valley all year long, but he is planning to extend the growing season with new hot houses. He said hot houses could help extend the season for broccoli and lettuce. “Being in the flood plain is an issue,” he said.
Once it floods, we can’t sell the produce.” Currently, an all Northwest box at this time of year would include squash, parsnips, and potatoes, as well as apples, and pears from Eastern Washington, but no greens. “Tristan’s philosophy is to buy local as much as possible,” said Jim Coleman, manager of the packing plant.
For Cody Barrus, co-founder of CSAFarms.com, that was not a critical issue. With more than 185 CSAs in Washington, it was a tough choice to pick one, Barrus said. “When the dust settled, it was agreed that Klesick Family Farm was indeed the best,” he said. Barrus added that his list of 185 farms includes several farms that are not strictly CSA’s but they all stand by the CDS values of fresh and local first. “The Klesick Family Farm’s mission is to grow and deliver nutrient-dense food for consumers who value local. healthy and sustainably-farmed foods.” Barrus said. CSAFarms.com was founded in 2011 by Cody Barrus along with Denny Chapin and James Schergen.
Klesick has been growing vegetables on his 37-acre family farm on Miller Road since 1997. He employs more than 25 people, including six family members. “Some have grown out of it, he said” he said. His mission is to provide good healthy food for people and make their lives either. “As consumers, there are very few things that we can control in this world, but what we can control is what we put in our bodies,” Klesick said. “If we can help a family eat healthier, we have done our job.” To that end, in Spokane, Klesick was learning about the biology of bacteria and fungus. “It’s a refresher course for me,” said Klesick, who added that he is excited about the Port Susan Food and Farming Center in the works for Stanwood. “Stanwood is unique in its effort to create a local food system,” he said.
A client in Lake Stevens, Kerri Hale Russell, is a fan of Klesick. “They’ll deliver right to your door if you live most anywhere in Snohomish County, and the price is definitely right,” Russell said. Runners up in the competition were Helsing Junction Farm in Rochester, Schreiber and Sons Farm near Pasco, Jubilee Farm, and The Root Connection, the state’s first CSA.
This article was published by the Stanwood Camano News. Used with permission