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When Time Flies By…

When I was younger I thought I had the “tiger by the tail.” I had unlimited amounts of energy and ideas and was constantly moving and doing. But now I have a little more seasoned appreciation for life and where to invest my limited energy and unlimited ideas.

Farming is one place where an unlimited amount of energy has served me well. When Joelle and I started farming over 20 years ago, you couldn’t even “google” us and “earthlink” was our internet dial up provider.  That’s akin to shopping for school clothes at Montgomery Wards or Sears! If you are lost about now, you can “google” it and get a history lesson. ?

We have chosen to stay small, local and control our own deliveries. It is an important distinction that we control so much of our offerings. When your name is on the Box of Good, you want it to be as perfect as possible.

“Mr. Klesick is a passionate person” or “He cares about the big picture.” These sentiments come across my desk quite frequently. It stems from my desire to bring you the freshest and healthiest organic fruits and vegetables because the freshest and healthiest vegetables are what fuel our bodies to serve our families, friends, and communities. Eating is important as is eating the best of the best and that is what the Klesick team tries deliver to you every week.

I also believe that Americans and the world are eating less vegetables and fruit and less diversity of vegetables and fruit. Consequently, these important nutrients are missing in a majority of Americans’ diets. Sadly, they are being replaced with more shelf stable and processed foods. I firmly believe that if Klesick’s is going to be a part of the solution to America’s nutritional crisis and the host of maladies that come from eating a diet low in vegetables and fruit, our boxes of good need to have a diversity of fruits and vegetables to maximize our health.

This is no easy task because all of us have different taste buds and all of us to one extent or another have been “tricked” by our taste buds (or corporate America), to prefer sweet and salt and not the subtle taste profiles of greens or plums.

For me, I use a “crowd out” strategy to eat healthy. On my plate I “crowd out” room for the more processed foods by filling my plate with a lot of vegetables and fruit. It takes a while to get use to eating this way, but by leading with the healthier fruits and vegetables my body says, “thank you.” And this body is the tool that I get to use to serve my Lord, my family, my community and you! I want to be as healthy as I can, so I can serve others as long as I can.


Your farmer and Community Health Advocate

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Doing Nothing is Not Doing Nothing

Doing nothing couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you are “doing nothing”, that means you are doing something but just consider it not as valuable as doing something. For sure, even when you think you are doing nothing, your mind and body are still doing something. And we can all be thankful for that! If it was up to us to remember to breathe or have our heart beat or make another 225 billion cells every day, there would be a whole lot less of us just doing nothing. (Wink)

I spend a lot of time volunteering in the Salmon/Farm and Food (In)Security arenas. I use the term arena, because a lot of this work is like an arena of old. The decisions that have been and are being made have long term impacts. “Doing Nothing” in these two arenas is still doing something. It is still a choice being made and the outcomes of those choices will have impacts on our environments—the places we play or grow our food or where the wild critters live. Or, if we continue to hand out food freely or choose to subsidize food or decide to implement a “work for food” model, all those choices will have impacts too.

Here is a prime example. The steel workers (150,000) of PA and OH are really excited that President Trump is slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum. The soybean farmers (300,000) are not excited because China might slap tariffs on their products. In this case doing nothing would continue to benefit the soybean farmers and farmers in general, but still depress our steel industry. Choices do have impacts. Ironically, if soybeans have a tariff slapped on them, those farmers will have to sell the food to more Americans. Food prices will then drop (ouch/YAY), but your car prices will go up (as if they could charge anymore for a car)!

Nothing happens in a vacuum and change is hard. Just because a policy is not changed doesn’t mean that everything is better. We are just deciding to do nothing different and choosing to get the same results. That might be fine, but that is not doing nothing.

There are lots of broken systems in America today. They were implemented to solve a need and that need was solved, but at the same time we also created a whole industry around serving that need. It became an entitlement with elected officials, government employees, lawyers, doctors, community activists, universities and private businesses all lining up to keep meeting that need. Pick the need: agricultural subsidies, welfare payments, disability, education subsidies, defense contracts, clean air and water, etc. As one legislator shared with me, “Every program has a constituent.” I would add that every time we support/create a new government program, we also create the opportunity for that program to live on and on and on.

Unfortunately, there is 17 trillion dollars of debt in America demanding that changes happen. I want to be out in front of those changes and be working on local solutions to national problems that exist locally here, and I am investing my time to do so. Because I am farmer, I have a unique platform to affect change in both the farm/salmon and food security arenas.

I hope it is not lost on you that when you buy a box of good for your family or for the food bank, you too are also saying yes to leaving this community a better place for the next generations, a place with livable communities, good jobs, fresh air and clean water. Supporting a local business and local farms is not doing nothing – IT IS DOING SOMETHING!


Together we are making a difference, a local difference.


Thank you,


Tristan Klesick

Your Farmer and Community Health Advocate

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Summer Fun at Klesick Farms

The weather has finally turned in our favor and we are thrilled to get out and work the dirt! It’s the first step in getting delicious, healthy, organically grown produce from our farm to your dinner table! We love what we do here at Klesick Farms and we are wanting to share the wonder of it all with our amazing customers! We would love for you to join us in any one or all our farm events this summer. The great line up of events and farm tours will run from June through September! We have events including farm tours, an on-farm painting class and a local floral design class. It is an eclectic offering of fun on our farm.

June 3rd Klesick Good Food Farm Tours, 10am – 12pm (tours start on the hour) – Free event – Please register for planning purposes: REGISTER HERE!

July 8th 10am –11:30 Good Food Farm Tour with NW Healthy Mama Angela Strand – Free event – for planning purposes, please R.S.V.P. through NW Healthy Mama. Click for more info. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

July 29th ‘Mountain & field landscape’ Acrylic on canvas, 11×14 Painting Class with Nancy Hansen. Limited availability – materials provided Cost: $35/person. Registration required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

August 12th Good Food Farm Tour 10am –noon (tours start on the hour) – Free event – Please register for planning purposes. REGISTER HERE!

August 22nd 6pm –8:30 Flower Design with Deanna Kitchen from Twig and Vine – limited availability – materials provided Cost: $65/person. Registration required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

September 30th 10am- 4pm Squash Fest – Free event **CANCELLED**

In addition to these exciting events, stay tuned for more spontaneous adventure! Watch for “Volunteer Opportunities”. We’ll be offering random farm experiences for the entire family. You will have a chance to work alongside us as we cultivate, plant, weed and harvest! Know your farm, know your farmer, and better yet, join your farmer! Consider laying aside the everyday demands of life and come rejuvenate. Experience the quiet thrill of working with nature in all its wonder and beauty!


Looking forward to seeing you here on the farm,


Tristan and Joelle Klesick


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The Year in Review 2014

The Year in Review                                                                                                                 

Supporting Local Farms:  Since the inception of our home delivery business in 1999, we have always focused on purchasing our fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers first. Every week we contact our farmer friends to find out what they currently have available for our boxes. If we need to find more produce, we then source it from farms outside our area. As your personal farmer, I really appreciate your dedication to the local farm community. With your purchases this year, you have blessed several local farm families:

Apple Cart Fruit, Bartella Farm, Bunny Lane Fruit, Earth Conscious Organics, Blue Heron Farm, Edible Acres, Filaree Farms, Garden Treasures, Hazel Blue Acres, Hedlin Farm, Highwater Farm, Horse-Drawn Produce, Living Rain Farm, Middleton Organic Specialty Foods, Neff Farm, Northwest Greens Farm, Okanogan Producers Marketing Association, Madden Family Orchard, Ponderosa Orchards, Ralph’s Greenhouses, Rent’s Due Ranch, Skagit Flats Farm, Skagit Valley Farm, Viva Farms, and Klesick Family Farm.

Helping Local People:  Another core principle at Klesick Family Farm is to give back to our community. One of the ways we do this is by offering our customers the opportunity to donate a box of good to local area food banks. We currently support food banks in Anacortes, Camano Island, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Oak Harbor, and Stanwood. For every four boxes donated by our customers, we donate an additional box. This year, with the generous support of our customers, Klesick Family Farm delivered over 971 boxes of good (approximately $25,000 worth of quality organic fruits and vegetables) to local area food banks! This number includes the donation of 122 Thanksgiving Holiday Boxes and 33 Christmas Blessing Boxes.

Partnering With Our Customers: this year we also contributed over $7,700 to the Oso mudslide relief and $3,800 to the Pateros fire relief.

There is no way our farm could meet these needs without your help. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of our business. I love meeting local needs with local resources! Thank you for partnering with us.

If you would like to join us in helping provide quality organic produce to local food banks, either give us a call or order a food bank box under the Boxes category of the Product page of our website.

Thank you for a great 2014! We look forward to next year!



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Passing the Baton

John, Gordon, and Hugh come by every week and pick up some of our food bank donations. They are a part of a team that, for Klesick Family Farm (KFF), begins with you. Yes, you. Through your partnership with KFF, we are able to bless hundreds of families throughout our delivery areas. We are currently serving eight different food banks in Island, Skagit and Snohomish Counties weekly through our Neighbor Helping Neighbor initiative. With your help, so far this year we have been able to donate upwards of 650 boxes of organically grown produce and would love to see that number grow to 1,000 boxes of good for the year.

John, Gordon and Hugh are the middle legs of a relay race, where good food ends up in their vans on the way to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank or His Pantry food bank at Camano Chapel. Once there, the baton makes its way to many more volunteers who sort, merchandise and finally help our neighbors in need. But it all begins with the donation of a $26 box of good. For just $26 a month you can purchase a Neighbor Helping Neighbor food bank box and begin an act of compassion—one that will send a message of hope (and good food) all the way through the channel of volunteers on its way to a family in need.

Around Thanksgiving and the holidays, in particular, the sting of hunger hurts a little more. So for more than a decade KFF has sponsored a $26 donation Holiday Box. This is the same Holiday Box that we offer to our customers for their Thanksgiving meal, but we discount the donation Holiday Box in order to make it easier for customers to bless others in  our community.

Klesick Family Farm is committed to serving our neighbors in need. We are thankful to partner with you and John and Gordon and Hugh and the hundreds of other volunteers to offer a good food solution and an act of compassion to help others.

Would you consider joining us this Thanksgiving by starting another relay race and investing $26 to help our neighbors in need? We have made it super easy, just order online or contact our office and we will do the rest.

Thank you in advance for your continued partnership.



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

Story and photos by Dan Bates, Herald Photographer


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.


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.


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!”

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At Klesick Family Farm, we are defined by our community because we are a local family farm, a local family business and a local family. We are also defined by our commitment to quality, customer service and our service to our community. Where we live is more defined by geography, but for us, customer service, quality and how we invest our lives are choices we get to make every day.

It is the same with our donation programs or, if you will, our “box of good” initiatives. We have three ongoing initiatives in which we ask you to partner with us: Food Banks, Water Wells and Healing through Nutrition. We believe these also define us, and we would want them to define us. Because we are committed to good food, we are also committed to helping our neighbors in need get t his good food. Your partnership with us expands the message and access to good food and its impact locally and internationally.

Food Banks: We are currently delivering high quality fruits and vegetables to nine different food banks in our community. For every $26 food bank box you donate, Klesick matches it by 25%. Year-to-date, together we have donated 562 boxes of good. Many of you donate boxes on a regular basis and this makes a huge difference. However, we believe that even more good is possible. So, if helping the less fortunate in need is a passion for you, you can autopilot your impact by choosing to purchase a food bank box for delivery in Anacortes, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Oak Harbor and Stanwood.

Water Wells: Crossway International is our international initiative with orphanages and a water well drilling focus in Africa. Dean Chollars is a dear friend of ours and has donated his life to improving the lives of some of the poorest in the world. Your support of our farm business helps us help the poorest with fresh water.

Healing through Nutrition: This is an opportunity where you can contribute money toward customers fighting cancer or heart disease. Your funds allow us to offer these customers a discount on their orders, making healthy food more easily accessable to them in their fight. As a family and a farm we believe that good food is a big part of the solution and cure for these type diseases.

Lastly, we also try and support communities in the throes of a natural disaster. Currently, we are supporting an effort to help the Pateros/Brewster communities rebuild after the summer fires.

My family and business motto, when it comes to helping is: Always pray, decide whether to give money, time or both, and then do it.


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Memorial Day

We honor the memory of those in our armed forces who have laid down their lives to preserve our freedom. To these men and women we are forever indebted.


This is a hard week for most in the Oso and Darrington communities.  The amazing outpouring of local, regional, and national prayers and financial resources was incredible and showed the generosity of the American people.  But the Oso and Darrington communities also gave future generations a gift as well.

Because of the tenacity of the Oso and Darrington communities, FEMA has changed in its approach to local volunteers and how they are integrated into search and recovery teams.

On day two or three of the disaster, family and friends were “lobbying” (I am being PC) hard to get in there to find their loved ones and to try and rescue as many as possible. These families, of course, had a very vested interest in finding their loved ones and friends, but FEMA policy “had” been to allow only “professionals” to do the searching. But the local knowledge of the area and local fortitude of these communities forced FEMA’s hand and a decision had to be made. Were FEMA and the local leadership going to try and keep out the “locals” or integrate them?

Honestly, there was no option but to integrate because, short of military intervention, those locals were going to help. And because of their tenacity, FEMA now has a blueprint to integrate other local community members into search and rescue teams where appropriate.

While this disaster is still very raw for many of us, it has left a “path” for closure and healing for the untold number of natural disasters to come—all because one community and one government agency saw a way to work together and get more accomplished than either could do alone.

Oso Strong,