Posted on

How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/25/17)

Apricots:

Ripen apricots in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Unripe apricots can be stored at room temperature up to 5 days. Refrigerate ripe apricots in a sealed container up to one week. (Be sure that they are ripened first, as they will not ripen in the refrigerator.)

 

Braising Mix:

Braising is a method of cooking where the main ingredient is first seared in hot oil and then simmered in liquid. However, braising mixes do not have to be braised. They can also be sautéed, stir-fried, blanched, steamed or mixed into stews and soups. They can be eaten alone, added to pasta dishes, quiches, rice dishes or burritos, and they can be served with most any other vegetable, especially potatoes. The simplest method of preparing greens is to sauté them in olive oil with a little garlic and serve them with a splash of vinegar.

 

Garlic Scapes:

You can use Scapes just like you would garlic; their flavor is milder, so you get the nice garlic taste without some of the bite. Use them on top of pizza, in pasta, in salsas, and as a replacement for garlic in most other recipes. There are many things you can do with scapes, but my personal preference is to turn them into garlic scape pesto. It’s a sharper, greener take on traditional basil pesto that can be used to add a fresh garlicky zing to just about anything – Spoon it into soups, spread it on sandwiches, toss with cooked pasta, beat it into scrambled eggs, and (best of all) slather it onto pizza dough before adding on the toppings. It freezes beautifully, too, so it’s easy to make an extra-large batch to tide you over until next spring.

 

Garlic Scape Pesto

Spread on pizza, add to pasta, use anywhere you would regular pesto – makes a great dip!

 

Ingredients:

8-9 garlic Scapes, roughly chopped (~1 cup)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbs. minced garlic

1 /4 – ½ cup olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine the garlic Scapes and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the Scapes are finely chopped.
  2. Pour in 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and continue processing until the mixture is smooth, adding more oil 2 tablespoon at a time if needed to get the proper consistency. Add salt to taste and blend in. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. You can also make pesto cubes by spooning the pesto into a clean ice cube tray. Place the tray in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until the cubes are frozen solid, then pop them out of the tray and into a zip-top bag. Return to freezer, to be used as needed anytime over the next 6-12 months.

 

Recipe adapted from crumbblog.com

Posted on

Snohomish Farm-Fish-Flood Initiative: Finding Common Ground

Published in the Everett Herald, Sun Sep 11th, 2016 1:30 am

Since the retreat of the Vashon Glacier 13,000 years ago, the area that is now Snohomish County has been one of the best places on earth to live. A rich tribal salmon culture flourished here for millennia; settlers came for timber, fish, and fertile farmland; cities grew up around natural ports on our protected inland sea.

But the “resource lands” of Snohomish County – the farms, forests, natural habitat, open space and parks – that make this such a productive and beautiful place to work and live are facing historic challenges. An additional 200,000 people are expected to move here within 30 years; a changing climate – bringing droughts, floods, reduced snowpack, and sea level rise – is impacting agriculture, fish, forests, and communities; salmon runs are crashing; and the political and economic demands upon farmers, tribes, agencies, and developers are unprecedented.

Despite this complex landscape, groups are coming together in the spirit of “collaborative conservation” to work towards win-win solutions. The recent Farm-to-Table dinner hosted by the Sustainable Land Strategy (SLS) Agriculture Caucus, Snohomish Conservation District, and the Snohomish County Farm Bureau brought together a remarkably diverse 75-person group that included tribal leaders, flood control and drainage districts, big and small farmers, conservation groups, and high-level government officials, from County Executive Dave Somers to Puget Sound Partnership Director Sheida Sahandy and the Conservation Commission’s Mark Clark. On a pastoral 100 year-old farm on the banks of the Snohomish River, individuals shared their stories and their fears, listened to others’ perspectives, and experienced first-hand what exactly is at stake.

For over six years, the Snohomish County Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS) has been providing a multi-stakeholder forum for identifying “net-gains” for simultaneously preserving and enhancing agriculture and salmon habitat.

The SLS, and similar regional “multi-benefit” initiatives like the public-private Floodplains by Design partnership between TNC, Ecology, and the Puget Sound Partnership, are based on the premise that science, collaboration, and coordinated investment can begin to bring together historically opposed groups, and address fish-farm-flood needs in a comprehensive way.

The benefits of this approach are beginning to emerge. The SLS brought together Lower Skykomish farmers, Tulalip Tribes, and other stakeholders to utilize reach-scale assessments and GIS maps to overlay potential habitat restoration areas, flood mitigation and drainage projects, and water quality sites. The Stillaguamish Tribe worked with the City of Stanwood, the Stillaguamish Flood Control District, and farmers to create a package of seven multi-benefit projects that received full funding under the Washington State Legislature’s Floodplains by Design program.

The SLS and its partners are also developing innovative models around conservation easements and the purchasing of development rights, incentives for stewardship practices, and climate resiliency planning.

In recognition of the efforts to advance this collaborative conservation model, and the national significance of our resource land base, the President recently designated the Snohomish basin as one of four focus areas under the federal Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative. The timely potential for positive impacts within our communities and ecosystems has never been greater or more imperative. We are all coming to the table with different needs but a common agenda: the long-term stewardship of these lands, and of our future.

Tristan Klesick, Klesick Family Farms, SLS Co-Chair

Terry Williams, Tulalip Tribes, SLS Co-Chair

Monte Marti, Snohomish Conservation District Manager

Posted on

Our Magnificent Starry Heavens

The other night our family dog, Bandit, was barking to beat the band. This is a new phenomenon. Usually things are pretty quiet on the farm, but something is triggering his need to bark. Maybe coyotes, as they do tend to howl—a lot—when the train is going by. Sometimes you would think they are right off the back porch. Naturally, Bandit started barking just as I was getting into that all important deep sleep.

The moment he begins barking I usually lie in bed, asking the Lord to quiet him down. The answer always seems to be “no.” Then I ask, “How come I am the only one in the house that hears him barking?” Of course this is a rhetorical question. Everyone else in the house knows that Dad is the one who gets up to make sure things are okay and to quiet the dogs. This is so ingrained into their psyche that, if for some unimaginable reason, I chose to not get up, they wouldn’t even know that Bandit had been barking all night!

I do like to sleep, but I also like to make sure that my neighbors can sleep too. Which is another reason I get up when the dog is barking. Do you know how cold it is outside at 2 a.m.? Cold. So I put on some sweats and a sweat shirt, grab a flash light, and head out towards the barking. I found Bandit out by the greenhouses, barking away. After calling him over and we walked back to the house. Even though he was 100 yards from the house, he technically was still in our yard – at least in his mind! I would consider that to be more of the farm and not the yard!

One benefit of getting up to quiet the dog, even though it is freezing outside, is the quietness of the moment (after Bandit quits barking). In that stillness, I look up and the sky is full of stars. I see the Big Dipper shining bright, bold, and magnificent. As much as I would love to still be asleep, in that moment I stand there mesmerized by the night sky—its beauty, its depth, its brilliance. I soak it all in and say, “Thank you Lord for letting me see the stars tonight.”

I head back in, but since I am awake I thank the Lord again for providing me with some great material for this newsletter, which I finished at 3:23 a.m. Good night.

tristan-sign

Farmer Tristan

Posted on

Fall is Here

We’re in it now, aren’t we? Fall, I mean. I say that as I look out my rain-covered window and see a few leaves still clinging to the branches of my dogwood. Down the street another tree flaunts its ombre hues, beginning with a brilliant red cap until red fades to green underneath. Three little pumpkins stand as soldiers leading to our front door where I just waved goodbye to two football players and a bat as they headed off to school and on to their harvest party.

Yesterday, while squash, beets, and carrots roasted in the oven, I candied lemon and orange peel to dip into bittersweet chocolate. Today there are plans for a Brussels sprout salad, a gratin of squash, and white beans laced with nutty Gruyere. So, basically, I’ve fallen deep into the fall clichés and I couldn’t be happier.

That’s the beauty of living in the Pacific Northwest – we get to enjoy the seasons. Each one comes with its own pleasures, and just when the doldrums of one season start to sink in, we start another. I know from experience that today’s rain won’t feel cozy and inviting come February and March, but at that point I’ll be distracted with thoughts of spring gardening.

The point is, seasons come and seasons go and in them there are things we love and others we don’t, but for right now I’m relishing the new season, sipping my spiced cider with giddiness and delight, as I plan for pumpkin muffins and apple cakes.

Ashley Rodriguez

Chef, Mom, Food Blogger, Author

www.notwithoutsalt.com


Posted on

Here We Go!

Harvest is in full swing at the farm! At last I can start to recoup some of my investments from the spring. Sounds crazy doesn’t it – paying bills from the spring.  But that is how it works for most farmers. We spend a lot of money early in the season on fuel, seed, fertilizers, etc., hoping to nurture our crops through the season and get to harvest. That was no small task this year! But we are here.

Some CSA type farms charge their members $500 to $800 upfront and then manage the money for the remainder of the farm season. Our model is different, as we let you pay as you go and rely on earning your business with every delivery.

Sure, it would be nice to collect a pile of cash up front instead of digging into our savings every year, but that isn’t the model Joelle and I chose. We chose a pay-as-you-go model for several reasons, the primary one being access to organic food. I want as many families as possible and as many families that want to eat locally and healthfully to not be deterred by a hefty up front lump sum like $500 -$800.

Anyhow, now is the time that the Klesick farm starts to replenish our ability to farm next year. We have been harvesting all summer, but the peas, apples, raspberries, and garlic help us keep the cash flow positive. The potatoes and winter squash are the crops that really serve as the work horses to pay the bills. So now we are busy taking advantage of the remaining good weather to get those crops up and out of the field.

For folks that like to stock up (and there are a quite a few of you), the following Klesick farm items are online and available for purchase:

Bulk potatoes: red, yellow or mixed (unwashed) 50 lbs. for $50.00

Winter Squash Collection 30 lbs. for $37.50 (This would make a great harvest display on your table or porch, which is where Joelle stores our winter squash)

Winter luxury pie pumpkins (not pumpkin pie, but they make a mighty tasty oneJ) $5 each

SquashFest is October 3rd and 4th, at the farm from 11am to 5pm. Come on down and help us harvest some winter squash and potatoes. We will also be planting next year’s garlic that weekend and you are welcome to help us plant – many hands make light work.

Cheers to another Harvest!

Farmer Tristan

tristan-sign

Posted on

I am Grateful

 

Lately I’ve been noticing that every time someone asks me, “How are you?” or “How was your summer?” or “How have things been lately?” the response is always the same: “Busy.” In fact that’s been the response for quite some time.

At first I believe I viewed being busy as the sign of adulthood. As a kid I remember hearing adults responding in the same way so often that I grew to think that was the right answer or, at the very least, the answer to aspire to. To be busy is the goal then, I thought. Somehow I began to put value in being busy, so that when I would respond to those questions with “I’ve been busy,” it came with a certain bit of pride.

I’m not sure that summer could have any other answer than “busy” when you have three children to keep entertained and a freelance job to manage, but I have a new goal for the fall: I want to respond in a different way. For that to occur, I think there is a mindset shift that needs to happen. Busy is no longer the goal – joy is, satisfaction is, health is, gratitude is.

If we saw each other on the street and you asked me, “How are you?” and I responded, “I’m grateful,” what would we think? I think both of us may be a bit surprised at such an unexpected response, but that is my goal – to reach for grateful over busy, joyful over overwhelmed, and satisfied over frenzied.

Fall will indeed still be busy with birthdays to celebrate, school starting, and the holidays nestled in there too, but there will also be slow-simmered roasts and braises, pots of soup, and loaves of bread that can’t be rushed and aren’t too keen on busy days. They beg to be sipped, savored, and doted on with a sort of ease that causes me to pause.

May this next season, however busy it may be, remind us that there is more to life than the busyness. Let’s focus on that.

Ashley Rodriguez

Chef, Mom, Food Blogger, Author

www.notwithoutsalt.com

Posted on

Democracy in the Grocery Isle?

One of the more interesting takeaways from the state-based battle to enact GMO food ingredient labeling has been the deluge of money that Monsanto, their biotech allies, and Big Food corporate interests have been willing to spend to drown out your right-to-know about what you are putting in your mouth. Cornucopia’s research reveals that these supporters of ignorance have collectively showered more than $100 million on the four state referendums to date, in California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon.

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United, whatever constraints existed on corporate spending in elections have evaporated. Although state referendums are a different electoral animal, the willingness of corporate power to spend all that they need to prevail has been fully demonstrated. They have juiced the system and tilted electoral power in their direction.

While Monsanto and their allies have thus far proven successful—albeit narrowly in three of the four states—the handwriting may be on the wall. Good food activists are growing increasingly aware that they hold power in the marketplace that even the corporate behemoths must respect.

It is somewhat ironic that democracy may break out in the marketplace while it is being squelched at the ballot box. Clearly, the biotech forces and Big Food need us to buy their products in our consumer society. Yet in spite of their sophisticated, expensive advertising and packaging, increasing numbers of conscious consumers are doing their own food and product research (fueled by help from organizations like Cornucopia).

Using their heightened awareness and their focused purchasing power, these savvy eaters are forcing companies like Kashi (owned by Kellogg), WhiteWave, Organic Valley, Kraft, and Stonyfield to make healthier changes to products. Why? For the most part, these companies are terrified of how their investors and/or Wall Street will react and punish them for unresponsive arrogance and diminished sales.

Amplify your power as a conscious eater. Investigate our various food and commodity product scorecards (visit www.cornucopia.org), and then share this information and the related web links with your social network. This research is regularly updated so that you and your friends can make the best “vote” in the marketplace.

This story originally appeared in the spring issue of The Cultivator, The Cornucopia Institute’s quarterly print publication. Used by permission.

Posted on

FARM DREAMS

Originally Published in The Herald: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Story and photos by Dan Bates, Herald Photographer

THE HEART

Tristan Klesick may not be able to feed 5,000 people with a couple of fish and five loaves of bread, but he does possess strong Christian faith, unusually good food-growing skills and some great ideas for helping people bless other people.

“I know others have the heart to bless people with food,” Tristan says. “And with our farm staff and products, and our delivery vans, we have the means to help them do it.”

Tristan started a program called Neighbor Helping Neighbor about 10 years ago, but it isn’t advertised. He is low key about it and he won’t pressure others to use it. He merely would like to provide a conduit that people can use, by their own choice, to bless others with food.

It’s a not-for-profit function of the farm, something Tristan and his family believe in. They would do it themselves, anyway, but providing a way for others to use them increases the bounty for everyone. So far this year, about 340 family boxes and 100 holiday boxes have been donated.

People can purchase a box of food and have it delivered to someone they know who needs it. Or, what is more often the case, people ask the Klesick Farm to donate it to the food bank. The Klesick Family Farm matches every fourth box that customers donate.

THE SOUL

She is all too young, and alone, holding a baby in a carrier. She avoids drawing attention to herself as she nervously looks over the food at the Snohomish Food Bank.

It’s clear she can’t carry groceries and hold the 2-week-old baby at the same time.

Ed Stocker, 82, kindly invites her to set the baby down next to him. He’ll gladly watch the child.

She is reluctant to separate from that baby, even for a minute. Yet, she finally leaves the child, quickly gathers some food and carries it to her car.

The next time she arrives, she takes the baby right to Stocker and sets the carrier down next to him. Each time she returns, the women volunteering fawn over the baby while she gathers food. Her guard lowered now, the young mother chats happily with the women, and the old man.

The young woman hadn’t been afraid in the beginning, Stocker explained. She was embarrassed.

It’s not easy to seek help. It can be an art to give it.

THE BLESSING

Gail Brenchley of Snohomish donates Klesick boxes because she feeds her five kids produce grown by the Klesicks and sees the difference in how they eat.

“If people are getting fresh vegetables, they’ll eat them,” she said. “Their kids will eat them because they taste better.

“I like to give others the same thing I feed my own family.”

Eva Burns donates the Klesick Farm boxes because, she said, it’s the way she would like to be treated if she were in need.

The delivery is key, she said. Somebody else doing the lifting is what makes it possible for the 82-year-old Everett woman to bless others in this way.

Michele Payton said the Klesick Farm’s pre-order holiday box is a bargain at $30.

“You can donate a second holiday box to some family you know, or to the food bank for $25,” she said. “And you should see it!”

Still, the Camano Island woman cancelled her own Klesick Farm deliveries.

“Because of economics, I e-mailed the Klesick Farm saying I needed to suspend deliveries for a while, until things get better,” Payton said. “Tristan not only called and lowered the cost of my food box, but he counseled me on the economic situation; he’s very knowledgeable.

“It touched me. I was personally surprised by the generosity.”

“It isn’t ‘business as usual,’” Payton said. “It’s not just another good value, food-wise. What other place would call somebody?

“I’m not going to get a call from some CEO at Costco to say, ‘Hey, let me help you out for a while.’ ”

Vicki Grende, whose husband, Don, was on strike at Boeing for eight weeks with the Machinists union, recently e-mailed the Klesick Farm to thank them for charging them half-price throughout the strike and to let them know they would like to pay full price now.

The majority of the donated Klesick Farm boxes go to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank. Ed Stocker will pick up about 60 holiday boxes for the Snohomish Community Food Bank this week.

The food banks are accustomed to stocking fruits and vegetables from the big stores, product that is near the end of its shelf life, yet still good if consumed right away.

The Klesick boxes are different.

“The thing about the Klesick boxes is they’re fresh vegetables,” Stocker said. “They’re not culls. They’re strictly the best — the same food they deliver to their customers is what they send with me.”

“I will go any distance to pick up produce,” Stocker said. “With Tristan, that’s my trip because his kids and I like to talk duck hunting and goose hunting. Those kids, they’re just like my own.”

He thinks Tristan is OK, too. He notes that Tristan began farming as an adult, rather than growing up on a farm like everyone in the Stocker family.

“He has a different slant on agriculture than someone who grew up on the dirt,” Stocker said. “And that’s good!”

Posted on

Salmon Safe Certification 2014

We’ve renewed our Salmon-Safe Certification!

Salmon Safe Certification_web

This means that Klesick is:

  • Maintaining a buffer of trees and vegetation along the stream banks
  • Controlling erosion by cover cropping bare soil
  • Improving the passage for migrating fish
  • Applying natural methods to control weeds and farm pests
  • Using efficient and non-wasteful irrigation practices
  • Protecting wetlands, woodlands, and other natural areas
  • Promoting on-farm plant and wildlife diversity

Learn more about Salmon-Safe on Stewardship Partner’s website.

 

Posted on

Yes on I-522

yeson522Last week, I got a call from the Everett Herald who wanted interview me for an article about I-522. This is so important to the health of future generations that, as much as I prefer not to engage in the rhetoric, I accepted. Jerry Cornfield, from the Herald, is a very good writer and accurately captured my comments in the Sunday Herald article. Ironically enough, the “No” position farmer was Andy Werkhoven, a fellow farmer and friend—we just see this issue differently.

Why does this issue have to be so divisive? This issue is simple:  if it was created in a laboratory and has had foreign DNA implanted into it, label it. The real reason comes down to profits and lots of it. Large chemical companies and manufacturers of processed foods know that “full disclosure” will have an immediate impact on their bottom lines. For them, the status quo is to be preserved at all costs. Hence, the full out blitz to confuse and place doubt in the minds of the voters. They also have their hands full trying to get enough people to the polls this year since it is a non-Presidential election cycle.

Please join me in voting “Yes” on I -522 to label genetically engineered food (I use the term “food” loosely). A “Yes” vote will have a positive impact on so many important areas:
1.    It will impact the health of our citizens, by giving consumers the information to make informed choices to avoid these types of food.
2.    It will create a competitive environment for farmers to be able to grow non-GE seeds to meet the demand for food that is GE-free.
3.    The loss of potential market share by large food processors will alter the planting of GE crops in favor of non-GE crops, (this is huge!). Sadly, profits drive most of these companies.
4.    It will be a positive change for the environment with many ecological benefits.
5.    It will also “brake” the stranglehold that Monsanto and other multinational food and chemical giants have over the USDA and Congress.

Wow, these are some lofty expectations for one ballot measure in one state. But if we can pass I-522 here in Washington State, it will force the other Washington to deal with this issue nationally. The Congress and the President of our nation should be proactive and lead in this debate, but since they are choosing not to deal with it, it is happening state by state and community by community. 

A YES vote on I-522 will begin to tilt our national food policies in the direction of safer, non-adulterated food. And that will be good for everyone.

signature