Posted on

Pre-Order Your Local Berries, Canning Veggies, and Herbs!

bulk produce 2015

 

For 17 years, we’ve been bringing the local harvest to you.

Each season, while the Northwest harvest is at its peak – we deliver it to your door!

How can you get your share of the local good? It’s simple. Contact us to let us know which of the bulk fruits and/or veggies you’d like, and we’ll put your order on our reservation list. When the harvest is at its peak. We will contact you before sending out your order, so that you can prepare for its arrival.

locally and organically grown

 

Please note, all harvest dates are approximate and are subject to the laws and whiles (and wiles!) of nature. 

  • Strawberries: Half Flat (6×1 pint): $24 – Available now!!
  • Harvest dates: June-August (note, some gaps in between harvests to be expected)
  • Blueberries: Full flat (12×1 pint): $40
  • Half Flats (6×1 pint): $22
  • Harvest dates: late June-August.
  • Raspberries: Half-flats (6×1/2 pint): $22.
  • Harvest dates: late June-August.
  • Pickling Cucumbers: Order as many as you need!
  • 5-lb. units. $7.50/ 5 lbs.
  • 40 lb. boxes. $50
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Dill: 1 bunch is a 2-3 inches in diameter. $4/bn.
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Green Beans:
  • 5 lbs. $15
  • 20 lb. boxes. $45
  • Harvest dates: August-September
  • Bulk Basil: available in 1 lb. units (about a grocery bag full). $8.50/lb.
  • Harvest dates: August

Click here to email us your order.

*Important note: delivery week for these bulk orders are determined by harvest dates. If you will be away on vacation during specific weeks this summer, please let us know so that we don’t schedule your delivery while you are away. 

These items are served on a first-come, first-serve basis. Availability may be limited. 

Bulk orders will be delivered on your regular box of good delivery day. 

Posted on

People Matter II

A few weeks ago, our family took a vacation/work trip to San Diego. I attended the Dave Ramsey business conference called The Summit while Joelle and kiddos hit the beach. For me, it was three powerful days of intense business encouragement. Of course, Dave and his team taught several sessions, but I also got to learn from John Maxwell, Dr. Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni and Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Oh my word!

If I could be so bold as to sum up three full days of sessions, I would have to say the theme was “Build Culture.” What a commission! I am pretty sure that every business owner there left with the encouragement to build their team’s culture. Why focus on culture? Because as a small business it is your competitive advantage and it is the right thing to do.  Most businesses focus on measurables like productivity, mistakes, sales per hour, etc. These are necessary, but they absorb a far greater percentage of the company’s focus. And quite frankly, it is easier to focus on something you can measure.

The benefits to building culture make the measureables more easily attainable. Why? Because it is your culture that accomplishes the goals of your company, when your team is treated with respect and valued, it spills over into how your customers are treated.

The other day I was talking with a friend, a local business that we both frequent came up and the conversation turned “south” quickly.  He had received poor and indifferent customer service, not once, but twice and now he won’t shop there and went as far as to say, “I don’t think the owner (he used his name) cares anymore.” I tried to defend the owner, but the lack of care extended not once, but twice, has turned my usually mild mannered, care free friend into a negative advertisement. Heart break .

From my friend’s perspective, the culture of that business has shifted. Building culture and maintaining culture is vital to the success of any business – it spills over into every area.

At Klesick Farms, our team is important and you are important. Our team can always accomplish more working together, so whether we are packing your boxes of good or delivering them, we are focused on making your experience with us friendly, efficient and enjoyable. We know you are busy and our goal is to help you and your family eat well and live well.

One of the best ways that I can serve your family well is to continue to build our team culture; to do that I have to get better as a leader (which is why I made the investment to go to this conference). I have to lead by example, continue learning, and also train and inspire my team to serve you well.

Thankfully for me, my team already wants to serve your family well!

 

tristan-sign

Posted on

People Matter

IMG_0040

Last week we sent an email to each of you asking for you to partner with us in our Neighbor Helping Neighbor program. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the big traditional pushes to rally around homelessness and hunger, but just because the calendar has changed doesn’t mean the need has changed. The volunteers who serve at the food banks are a part of the equation to solve this issue, but so are you. Your generosity in caring for local neighbors is also a part of equation. When we as people care for the physical needs of other people, what we are saying is that we want our neighbors to be whole.

IMG_0037

It is so humbling to get to serve the Klesick Farms community because “you get it”. You get that blessing others, caring for others is the right thing to do, and in the process, you too are blessed. Last week we sent 46 high-quality nutrient-rich boxes of good to eight different food banks. Your tangible generosity provided hope and nutrition to those less fortunate and inspiration to those who are on the front lines extending that hope and nutrition. Thank you.

 

Two weeks ago we were working double time on the farm to get potatoes, sweet corn, winter squash, and Maleah’s flower garden planted so that we could head off to San Diego for a Dave Ramsey EntreSummit business conference the following week. While in San Diego, I mostly sat in the conference and the kiddos enjoyed the sights and sounds of Southern California.

This conference was incredible: three days of practical business teaching perfused with a customer focus. Being in business is about serving people, about meeting a real need in your life, about partnering together to do something bigger than ourselves, and about building community. You and Klesick’s are doing this together through your support of our box of good.

IMG_0022

I used to farm with the Gentle Giants: Belgian draft horses, which are big, beautiful, and powerful animals. One Belgian horse can move 12,000 pounds – more than 5 times its weight – and two Belgians that are just randomly put in harness together are able to move up to 30,000 pounds. However, by working together they can pull and additional 6,000 pounds! That synergy is impressive. What is even more impressive is when you take a matched pair of Belgians that know each other, have worked together, and trust each other; this team, when it “leans” into the harness can move not 24,000, not 30,000, not 36,000, but they can move 48,000 pounds!

Together, you and Klesick Farms are like a matched pair of Belgian draft horses. Our synergy, created by a desire to feed our families good food and extend tangible compassion to others is as equally impressive. By working together, we are making a bigger impact in our local communities, in the lives of our less fortunate neighbors and the lives of the local organic farmers.

Together, we are creating something special!

 

tristan-sign

Posted on

The Story of Bandit and the Cows

Week of May 10, 2015

It never fails! No matter how much I plan, farming never seems to happen at a leisurely pace!  You spend all winter preparing, all spring dodging rain storms and waiting for the ground to dry out, and then when it does, inevitably it is either Easter or Mother’s day weekend! The nerve! One would think that “mother nature” could time the farming season to be a little more hospitable.

Actually, nature has a lot more things going on than farming. Spring time is an amazingly long season from crocuses to daffodils to lilac and apple blossoms. Nature has to provide a lot of food and shelter for all the other critters in our local communities and the Klesick Farm is as a welcome and hospitable place as they come. One of our friends just told me he saw a river otter traveling across the road by our farm! I’m thinking that this could explain why Bandit, our collie/lab puppy, has been hanging around the river more lately.

The other day when I was coming out of the house I about tripped over Chungo, the older lab, and Sapphire, the kitten, who were lounging around in the sun on the front porch! Now I always make the mental note of how many animals are out in the yard, so I start counting: 1, 2…where is Bandit? I start my usual whistle and call and wait. No Bandit. Usually, no Bandit means only one thing: MISCHIEF! A little more whistling and a little more calling and walking and as I turn the corner around the house, 3 football fields away I saw him!  He was running in circles around all 30 COWS! The cows had been here for a few weeks and today he finally discovered them.

Stephen and I head out to the cows to get Bandit. Oh boy was he ever happy to see us: tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping. The next day I turned Bandit out in the morning and headed out myself an hour later. I started counting: Chungo, Sapphire, and…where’s Bandit? This time I skipped the whistling and calling and walked to the back of the house (Bandit is not the only one learning new tricks around here). As sure as my name is Tristan, I saw him 300 yards away. This time all the cows had moved to the upper part of the pasture; Bandit had 29 all balled up and there was one rogue noncompliant cow about 40 yards off the herd. Bandit was equally positioned between them with his head switching back and forth, back and forth looking from the 29 to the one.

All of the sudden, he bolted towards the noncompliant cow, moved him toward the herd, and then moved them all back to where they were the last night! That is some serious natural instincts. This time I get the breakfast bowls and start clanging them together. And Bandit comes bounding home, tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping.

 

tristan-sign

Posted on

The Orchard, the Rain, and the Race

Week of April 26, 2015

I really enjoy being involved in my kiddo’s activities, so whether one is playing ball, running track, or at play practice I am “moving mountains” to make it to their events! And this time of year, when farming is pressing it literally feels like moving a mountain! I am sure most of you can relate! Who isn’t busy?! I find myself farming between games and practices and at night! I am hoping to get more peas in the ground next week in between rain events this and get a good chunk of potatoes planted. I remember thinking “Who needs headlights on their tractors?” A farmer who has active kids, that’s who needs headlights on their tractor!

Well the other night, Stephen and I had just returned from little league practice and as is our nightly custom, we wandered out to the orchard to check on the mason bees, blossoms, gold finches, sparrows and tent caterpillars.

I love the orchard this time of year; the trees are waking up and the blossoms smell incredible and look amazing. I love all the activity from the birds to bees. Stephen at the ripe old age of 8 has a good eye for the orchard and often beats me to our usual check points. Bandit our new lab/collie puppy (being a collie and being a puppy) is usually out ahead looking for moles, voles, or field mice while Chungo, our old timer lab, takes his time to get out with us. In fact more often than not, Chungo and I are traveling together and Stephen and Bandit are out in front J.

For this mission, the clouds were foretelling a wet adventure and we knew it. As the clouds were getting darker and filling with water, and as night was encroaching, the natural progression looked to be a downpour! We were busy hunting hard for those defoliating caterpillars, working to remove them from the trees, when one big drop hit, followed by another big drop and another until it was going to be a soaker of an event. Before us in the branches, there was one last caterpillar nest to pull off the trees, and then another and another! At last Stephen says, “My sweatshirt isn’t very good in the rain” and in an instant, he takes off for the house!

Since I have an equally strong desire to not get any wetter and also have longer legs, I was able to catch up and get back to the house first. Now, if truth be told, I had a little help here:  as soon as Stephen took off running, so did Bandit our mostly collie puppy, who quickly caught up to Stephen and then began to herd him towards the barn and not the house. VICTORY was mine as I arrived at the house first – marginally drier than Stephen, Bandit and Chungo!

 

tristan-sign

Posted on

Hold Your Horses!

That saying is so universal and it stems from another era, but the message still resonates and is applicable today.  When I farmed with Belgian draft horses, “hold your horses” took on a deeper meaning. Those “girls” of mine were big 1,700 lbs. of muscle and single-mindedness; gentle giants, for the most part.

However, getting them to stand still and wait could be a challenge. Shoot, getting me to stand still and wait is a challenge, and I don’t even have a bit in my mouth! Conversely, waiting and learning to wait is a necessary life skill for all of us.

This spring has been tough to wait! We have had incredible weather, warmer than expected and dryer than expected. I have had several non-farming folk in the community ask me how the farming is going: “Have you planted your peas yet?”  The look on their face is priceless when I tell them, “No”. They think I am joking with them, but I am not. I did work a little bit of ground to transplant some blackberries, but other than that, I am waiting.

I have learned to “hold my horses” and wait for April.  I remember a spring like this in 2005 and I had chomped right through the bit and started discing and plowing. I was appalled that my neighbors hadn’t started yet. After all the weather was perfect, but those 3 and 4 generational farmers who had farmed here for years were holding their horses.  I finally ran into one of those “slow out of the gate” neighbors. I asked him, “Why haven’t you started working the dirt?” His response was profound, “It is only March?” not a hint of superiority in his voice, his eyes, nothing derogatory at all. His answer was simple and, quite frankly, honest.

This year I was the one in the valley holding my horses, and all those multigenerational farmers got started early. Farming is akin to gambling and with the global warming as a new factor, it is hard to know if March will be the new April. And now? After a 1” rain event last week with more to come, I am glad that I have finally learned to hold my horses. After all it is only March!

 

tristan-sign

Posted on

Fresh Spuds

Last November we ran into two issues on the farm; rain and storage. The weather had turned bad and we were harvesting more mud than spud. J We’d also run out of room to store any more potatoes. So we left them in the ground, anticipating that the rainy and freezing last winter would kill the spuds.  Last week we “opened up” a few fields with the disc to start drying out the soil. As soon as we started down those left behind rows of potatoes, it was like we hit a brick wall. Bam! The disc sliced through some of the whitest, rock hard potatoes. I was not expecting to see that.

As a farmer, I spend a lot of time building my soil and my soil biology (microbial and fungal populations). I earnestly believe that having healthy soil and microbial activity helps my produce grow better and last longer. However, to have those spuds overwinter and be in as good of a shape as they are was not even on my radar. I called a few farming friends and shared what I discovered – radio silence. So I sent them a picture of the inside and then their responses came in as “WOW!” or “Nice!”

Of course we had to cook up a few and yes, they are good! So we geared up, got the digging equipment set up and headed out. Bummer! It turns out that the winter weather has caused our soils to pack together so tightly around the potatoes it is almost impossible to dig them. Ugh! As we ran the digger through the soil ever so carefully, we were cutting through more than we were harvesting! We have had to resort to hand digging to get the potatoes out. That is really the epitome of slow food!

Needless to say, what was going to be a pretty good harvest and a little extra profit has produced fewer high quality potatoes, which means I could only put them into a few boxes this week. That is painful for me! I love to grow food and love to get it to you.  We will keep digging, but it will be more of a slog than a jog!

I have definitely learned that digging potatoes in the spring is not going to work, but it was sure fun to find this buried treasure.

From local spuds to local speaking!

Last year, our team added a goal to have me spend more time out in the community sharing about organic farming, eating healthier and just visiting! I have spoken to Rotarians, preschoolers and at large farm conferences, and I have been to health fairs and community meetings.  So if you need some entertainment at one of your local meetings or events, just call the office and we will do our best to come and share about the importance of local farms and healthy eating. I will even bring a box of good to be raffled or auctioned off with the proceeds going to your group’s favorite charity.

The farm is waking up!

tristan-sign

Posted on

There is a New Superfood

I can’t quite get my mind around it, but Lettuce is the new super food. It is a new variety of lettuce created by a team of researcher breeders from Rutgers University. Nutritional breeding is the newest frontier, where in a lab a single plant cell is selected and “grown out”. From these single cell lettuces cultures, the cultures with the most desirable traits are selected and re-grown and re-selected until the Nutritional Breeders get what they are looking for. From there it is grown out as a plant to produce seed for the vegetable growers. While this new lettuce variety is not GMO, it is produced in a lab.

This process has the potential to really speed up the hybridization of vegetable breeding, shaving years off the process of bringing new varieties to market. And this new lettuce called Rutgers Scarlet is supposed to have as much nutrition as blueberries, quinoa, almonds and kale. Those are some hefty claims! Lettuce was chosen as the first vegetable to work with because it is the second most popular vegetable behind potatoes that we eat. And unlike blueberries, the season for lettuce is much longer, thus adding a nutritionally potent fresh food source available for a longer season.

I am still on the bubble on this concept of nutritional breeding. In this discussion, no one is talking about the soil, sunshine and the environment it is grown in. I believe that the soil is everything. I spend a lot of time focusing on my soil health, striking a delicate balance with nature and the ecosystem on my farm. I am hypersensitive to getting the soil as nutritionally charged as possible so that the food we grow can “do its thing”. I am not sure that food grown inside a laboratory can ever compete with food grown outside.

However, if the nutritional breeders can really produce a super food through speeding up the genetic selection within a lettuce plant and I can grow it in my organic system – I can make the mental leap to accept it. As long as the plant breeders are staying with lettuce to lettuce, carrot to carrot, apple to apple etc.

However if they start to add non lettuce traits to lettuce, I am out! I would never consider any crop that has a transgender component, which is what GMO technology uses.

I have other concerns about being so gene selective: vegetables are very complex and selecting certain traits will limit our genetic diversity of our seeds going forward. I understand the debate and the need that they are trying to meet, but maintaining a genetically diverse seed stock is also important for future generations to meet their nutritional needs.

tristan-sign

Posted on

March to Health

Reposted from a March 2014 newsletter.

Here we are in March, where days of sun give hope for spring and colorful crocuses push through the stiff dirt in protest of those long dark winter days. It’s also the month where we’re focusing on health.

I was asked to talk to you all about my tips for how I stay healthy and to be perfectly honest, at first I laughed. Me, talk about health?! I ate ice cream last night and have a roll of cookie dough lounging in the the fridge because you never know when the urge might strike. And then I started thinking a little deeper, beyond my sugar cravings, and realized that I do have a lot to say on the subject.

First of all, I have no rules. There was a time when I put a lot of limits on the way I eat. You know what happened? All I could think about was food. All day long I would sit, hungry, dreaming about the food I told myself was off limits. I’m terrible with rules. Give me a rule and I’ll obsess over it. I thought about food day and night and yet never felt satisfied. I limited myself so much that it became my obsession. When I broke a rule I felt terribly guilty and shameful. These rules took the joy out of food and nearly made it my enemy.

With a diet of no rules, however, I can think more clearly about eating that cookie. Do I really want it? Today, maybe yes. But I don’t sit around dreaming of the cookies I can’t have, so I don’t crave them nearly as much. When I do enjoy them, I savor it—feeling good about its sweetness. I don’t fret over the calories. I enjoy the moment and move on.

I also listen to my body. I know that I feel much better when I eat meals laden with fresh produce. There’s no denying it. I feel strong, alert, energetic and healthy. I like that feeling. So when I’m not feeling those things, I take it as a sign that I need more vegetables and good food. Those are the times when I pack the blender with fresh spinach and toss in an apple, carrot and lemon juice.

When you listen to your body you are also aware when it says, “I’m done.” There’s no need to keep eating when I’m full. Again, when there are no rules it’s much easier to avoid overeating because you have no reason for an unhealthy binge. You’re free to stop and look forward to the next meal when you’ll feel hungry again.

I practice radical moderation. What’s so radical about it? Sometimes even my moderation needs moderation. I’m a firm believer in Julia Child’s great quote, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” There are vacations, birthday parties and holidays which make healthy eating difficult. Enjoy the party then the next day, recover with salad. I’m not talking about plainly dressed greens here. Even salads can be fun (see recipe on back).

Just like everything else in life, it’s all about the little decisions. Do I really need to find the closest parking spot? Why don’t I take a few moments to walk around the block? Is that second latte the best idea? One cookie really is enough, mostly. These little decisions add up to big changes over the course of a few months, years and a lifetime. It’s not about big, radical changes that fall by the wayside before dinner is ready. It’s about a lifetime of little decisions that value yourself, your health and the health of your family.

One last thing before you go make the salad. People often ask how I teach my kids about health. I live a life following the advice I just gave you. My kids are watching. They see me choosing to walk to the store rather than drive, they see me happily enjoying a produce-packed smoothie and a colorful salad for dinner. They also see me enjoying a bowl of ice cream. I want my kids to see food for the gift it is. Not a burden or a set of rules that need to be governed. My desire is for them to respect food and to love their bodies well. I teach them by doing the same for myself.

Ashley Rodriguez

Food Blogger ~ www.notwithoutsalt.com

 

Recipe from Ashley’s new cookbook, Date Night In is available on Amazon.com: Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship. Recipe used by permission.

KALE WITH APPLES, CURRANTS, AND WARM PANCETTA VINIAIGRETTE

Ingredients                                                                                                                            Serves 2

4 ounces (110 grams) pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 bunch Lacinato kale or spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small shallot, finely minced (1/4 cup or 40 grams)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/2 apple, unpeeled and diced (I like something tart and crisp, like Pink Lady or Granny Smith)

1/4 cup (35 grams) dried currants

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 a small lemon)

Shaved Parmesan, for finishing

 

Instructions

  • Add the pancetta to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Cook until brown and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the pancetta to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Cook until brown and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.
  • While the pancetta cooks, wash the kale, remove the tough inner ribs, and cut into 1-inch ribbons.
  • Once the pancetta is brown, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the shallots and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shallots are golden around the edges and cooked through.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, mustard, and red wine vinegar.
  • Pour the warm vinaigrette over the kale. Add the apples, currants, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Use a vegetable peeler to shave large, thin wisps of Parmesan over the salad to finish.
Posted on

This has been fun!

A February like this is…just grand! Mowing my lawn in February – who would in their wildest dreams (or nightmares) have expected that?! Sure, it is only February, and the other coast is buried in snow, but not us! We might as well enjoy it while it lasts. As a farmer, I always have my eye on what I think the weather is doing and might do.

Okay, I am not quite doing cartwheels (Maleah is though), because it is February and we usually don’t start working the dirt until mid to late March. More often than not I hold off starting early, because the ground isn’t dry enough to really start. Also, more often than not I have to redo work when I’ve gone and jumped the gun. Now I know Diesel is amazingly cheap right now, but starting early in the fields can really harm the land and cause problems later.

That was a roundabout way to say that I am tempted to fire up the tractor and work the ground…but probably won’t.

President Abraham Lincoln said, “[Good] Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Amen, President Lincoln! The art of knowing when to wait and when to hustle is a fine line. When I was younger, I would have been considered an early adopter, an opportunist always hustling. As I have become more “seasoned” through the years, I have learned when to wait and when to hustle. Right now, waiting to start the tractors is the prudent choice. As a caveat, if the weather is still this nice in early March, then I will need to get after it and start hustling.

 

But right now? I will take my time “warming up” to the weather and enjoy it (maybe even go canoeing!).

 

tristan-sign