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COVID-19

We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves to the hundreds of new families that have signed up in the last few weeks. We are Tristan and Joelle Klesick, a local family living, and working on our farm in Stanwood.  We’ve been sourcing, growing, and delivering fresh organic produce for 23 years in our community. We believe that fruit and vegetables are vital to health and only deliver organically grown high-quality produce. Over the years we have developed loyal relationships in the food industry, and because of those relationships we have been able to serve additional families during this tenuous time. 

I am so proud of our packing team (Joanna, Tasha, John, Maleah, and Stephen).  This week they just kept working and working and working to keep up, as we added 50, 75 or 100 new families to our delivery service each day. The driving team (Nate, Stephen, Hanna and Preston) must have wings on their shoes. And last Saturday, we had to split a route because there was no way it would all fit in our vans. 

Alaina and I manned the phones, took orders, placed orders, answered emails, and worked long after the team was gone to make sure we would have the produce to be able to deliver to families the next day. And wouldn’t you know it, our grocery supplier called at 3pm on Friday and said, “See you Saturday instead!” Because they too are experiencing extra ordinary demand and couldn’t keep up. We needed those groceries for Saturday orders, but…  We appreciate your patience!

Even for a seasoned produce veteran as myself, I have never experienced such volatility in produce supply and pricing. This is happening for a few reasons.

First is the COVID-19 and self-quarantining that has been asked of our communities. And with the uncertainty, the extra ordinary demand from every corner of our country has placed a lot of unplanned stress on the produce/food system. Please remember, growing vegetables requires 2 to 3 months of lead time to ramp up, and no one was expecting this!

Secondly, this time of year is always a difficult season for the produce industry. The “salad bowl” of America is leaving Arizona and transitioning back to California. And to complicate matters, it has been raining nonstop in California and Mexico, impacting harvesting schedules.

This really is an unruly storm condition given COVID-19 uncertainty, and the rain in our southern growing regions.

I’d like to explain pricing, especially if you are new to our service.  For the last 23 years we have always provided our customers with high quality produce at fair pricing.  This will not change!  But naturally, as wholesale prices increase for individual items, retail prices need to increase, as well. Given the extreme volatility of product and pricing, we are actively working with our suppliers in order to get families the best pricing possible during this time. When a customized order is placed the price listed reflects the current price, but prices may change between the day your order was placed and when you receive your delivery. Pricing on our pre-selected boxes will remain the same, but the menus may flux daily, as needed, based on availability and value.  So, even though we pre-publish our menus, know that they are subject to change, but the value will always be the same.

We are honored to serve your family during this time of uncertainty.  Thank you!

Tristan

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Roasted Parsnips

Roasted Parsnips

  • 3 Lb Parsnips
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

  2. Peel the parsnips, then cut into evenly sized matchsticks.

  3. Place in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  4. Evenly distribute the parsnips on a baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they have a little room on the sides to brown and caramelize.

  5. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the parsnips are starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Toss the parsnips to redistribute, then roast for another 10-15 minutes, until tender and golden.

  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Sauteed Broccolini with Garlic and Kale

Sauteed Broccolini with Garlic and Kale

  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 bunch broccolini (cut into 1-inch pieces with ends removed)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 bunch curly kale leaves (removed from ribs and roughly chopped)
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. In a large skillet, bring extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat and sauté garlic for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.

  2. Add broccolini to the skillet and sauté for aminute more. Add water to the skillet and cover for about 3 minutes, allowing the broccolini to steam.

  3. Once most or all of the water is gone, uncover the skillet and add chopped kale. Evenly combine the kale with the broccoliniand sauté for a few minutes more, until the kale is soft and wilted.

  4. Add a pinch of salt and serve warm.

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Asparagus, Cabbage, and Chicken Stir-Fry

Asparagus, Cabbage, and Chicken Stir-Fry

  • 1 Lb chicken breasts (cut into strips)
  • 1/2 cabbage (sliced into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 Lb asparagus (washed, and bottom 2-inches removed)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon black cherry (or other) jam
  1. Heat the oil and add the cabbage, soy sauce,jam and red pepper flake.

  2. Cook on high 3-5 minutes until cabbage has started to wilt.

  3. Add the chicken, ginger, asparagus and bell pepper.

  4. Cook on high heat the entire time and stop once the asparagus is slightly tender, about 10 minutes.

  5. Serve with white or brown rice.

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Health and Safety

We’d like to take a moment to address the COVID-19 concern.   

The US FDA has put out this statement regarding food handling and the virus.  “We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.” 

Please be assured that we are meticulously following the CDC’s guidelines. We are implementing all our usual sanitation practices and our employees are going above and beyond our strict standards to keep all our loved ones safe.   

What Can You Do to Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy? 

The CDC guidelines:  

  • Take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures. 
  • Stay informed. CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary will be updated regularly as information becomes available. 

We would encourage you to follow the CDC guidelines for avoiding sickness, and also purpose to provide your body with immune boosting support. Staying positive, exercising, taking quality supplements and eating lots organic fruits and vegetables are all important and empowering strategies to implement during this season!

Coming together prayerfully with our community,

-Tristan and Joelle Klesick

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

“The peas are coming on strong.   My nine-year-old son, Micah has beaten his dad with the first blossoms of the season.  Come to think about it his carrots are coming on sooner than mine, too. Around here there’s a healthy amount of weeding to do, and it is just plain work.  Some can be done with hoes, but a good portion is done by hand.  A few weeks ago the kids and I made a game of it.  We all started weeding and then after a bit, I would yell “tag” and then everyone would start running, very carefully of course, and I would try and catch them.  It was a “hoot”.  The other day we had some more weeding to do and the first thing Emily asked was, “Can we play that tag game, again?”  ~Tristan, May, 2000 

“I love Sugar Snap Peas. We like to grow big juicy peas that are bursting with flavor.  I remember one year when we farmed in Snohomish and Andrew was about 2 years old (that was 6 years ago, my oh my!!!!!).  Anyway, that little rascal had wandered off to the garden, without us knowing it.  After a headcount and a short panic, we went looking for him.  Guess where we found him?  He was smack in the middle of the Sugar Snap Peas, holding on to two fistfuls of peas and he had one in his mouth.  The whole scene was quite a sight!  We were all relieved and decided to sit down and join him for a nice evening snack.  And when we were done, Andrew got to ride back home in Dad’s arms.”  ~Tristan, May 2006

There’s something special about looking back and reading the newsletters my dad wrote to our customers over the last 22 plus years. There are so many fun memories I cherish. I was blessed to grow up with parents who were family-focused and passionate about health and farming! And now I don’t take for granite being able to bring MY kids to the farm and watch them enjoy all that grows during the summer. Hadlee, (4) is so excited for summer!  At each glimpse of sunshine, she excitedly asks if it’s summertime yet. She remembers last year running out into the fields and eating strawberries, raspberries, peas, and just about anything she could get her hands on.  She would often use the bottom of her dress like a basket and bring her finds to the house to share.  I think I can speak for all of the grandkids and say that one of the best things about summer is being able to go to grandma and grandpa’s house -AKA- “the farm”. This will be our 5-month-old son, Bazil’s first summer, and Hadlee is so excited to show him everything that grows on the farm. It brings me joy seeing my little ones enjoy the farm; from the pea patch to watching the sunset. I only hope we can continue to teach this generation, at a young age, the importance of organic farming, eating healthy foods and just simply enjoying the freedom of frolicking in the great outdoors! 

Thank you for allowing our family to bring you organic produce over all these years!  We appreciate each one of you!

Alaina Klesick

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Carrot Broccoli Salad

Carrot Broccoli Salad

  • 6 medium carrots (shredded)
  • 1 small bunch broccoli ((about 12 ounces) chopped)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2/3 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/ pound chicken (cooked and shredded)
  1. In a large bowl,combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise,sugar and mustard. Add to vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Stir in chicken just before serving.

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Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

  • 1.5 Lbs Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and use a mandolin slicer to cut the sweet potatoes into paper-thin rounds. (I set mine to the thinnest setting).

  3. Combine olive oil,salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary in a large mixing bowl. Add sliced sweet potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat.

  4. Spread sweet potato slices into a single layer on the baking sheets, and leave space around them.Bake about 10-12 minutes on each side turning them once, until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the sweet potato chips on cooling racks for about 5-10 minutes. They will crisp up a little more as they cool.

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Green Bean Stir-Fry & Sesame Butternut Squash

Green Bean and Stir-Fry Sesame Butternut Squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 cups green beans (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
  1. Chop butternut squash and green beans into pieces.

  2. Set a skillet on medium high heat and add sesame oil.

  3. Once the skillet is hot, toss in butternut squash and green beans and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the veggies begin to sear.

  4. Then, add minced ginger, apple honey and low sodium soy sauce. Stir quickly, ensuring all the vegetables are coated in the sauce and that the sauce does not burn.  If you notice the sauce is burning, reduce the heat.

  5. Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy with quinoa or basmati brown rice.

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Italian Prunes

I have been contemplating many changes on the farm. For the last several years our apples and pears, always have a good fruit set, but for some reason the Italian Prunes, aren’t as happy here. Italian Prunes are mostly self-fertile, meaning that they do not need an additional plum variety to cross pollinate.  

Our plum blossoms are awesome, the trees are loaded with white flowers. But they start blossoming earlier than the apple and pear trees. The new weather pattern seems to be warmer earlier, waking up the trees followed by a cold snap. The new weather pattern for our farm appears to be not as favorable for early plum blossoms and fruit set.  

I love Italian Prunes, but when they don’t pollinate and set fruit it is disheartening. Then the trees switch to growth mode and instead of growing fruit, they grow more WOOD! And as much as I love pruning and its peacefulness, pruning to prune is not a productive use of a farmer’s time.  

We have been getting a crop every 3 to 4 years. I could spray pollen, but even that requires pollinators to spread it from tree to tree. And I am the type of farmer that works with nature and, if I need to manufacture an environment to grow something, I am less willing to do it. There are plenty of other crops that like to grow around here. 

I think if my farm was on a hill, the plums may pollinate better. Farming in the valley bottoms is colder and damper and, maybe, the reason they are less conducive to an early fruit set. When Gary Lund at S & S Mowing was out this winter to mow the blackberries around the fence line, (no Roundup used around here) I asked him, “do you have bucket attachment for that mower?” If you know Gary, he got that smile and asked me, “Why?” At that moment the die was cast and the next day he dug up all 36 trees. Ten years of work gone in a few hours and all that was left was a pile of branches that would make every beaver west of the Mississippi green with ENVY! 

When you farm, making choices like this come down to dollars and common sense. This year I am going to grow lettuce and cucumbers where the plums trees once graced our farm. It is good, a new chapter if you will.  

And our first seedlings of lettuce are already up and will be ready to go out at the end of March. Let the growing begin! 

-Tristan