Posted on


It is finally here! Thanksgiving came so early that Christmas seemed like a longways off and BAM! Well hopefully, you are mostly ready for this Holiday Season because it is happening now! I know that for us it can get a bit crazy at the Klesick home. At any given moment we can go from a few of us at home to 25 people and it looks like Christmas is trending towards 25 at the farm.

Last week, the Klesick team took a field trip to the WSU Bread Lab in Burlington. We rolled up our sleeves and prepared a meal with Niels Brisbane, WSU Culinary Director. We made pasta, lots and lots of pasta. We made all sorts of shapes and sizes of pasta. The roasted vegetables with a hazelnut, roasted chili pepper and olive oil dressing – incredible! As was the fennel and onion sauce for the pasta, OH MY WORD! I would have never thought to cook onions and fennel together and then blend them to make a pasta sauce. I love to cook and eat really good food and it was fun to bless my team with a fun cooking/Christmas party. They even stayed and helped with the dishes!

This week’s newsletter (found here) features a hummus recipe (found here) which is a perfect side dish to bring with your vegetable platter to all the holiday parties you have scheduled for the next few weeks 🙂 Be sure to stock up on chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and whatever spices you want to mix in!

Lastly, keep in mind the upcoming delivery day changes for the week of Christmas. Some minor adjustments have been made with the holiday falling on a Tuesday, so double check your day. And of course, if you have travel plans for the next couple weeks, be sure to change your next delivery date from your account online, or contact us and we’ll handle it for you.

We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season!

See you after Christmas!

Your Farmer and Health Advocate,



Posted on

Holiday Stressors

Six Holiday Habits That Cause Heart Attacks  

Some traditions make for merriment and fun – but these six can literally stop your heart. 


“Christmas Coronary.” It sounds festive, doesn’t it? Like something you’d hear in a holiday movie. Unfortunately … no. The term was coined by doctors who noticed a disturbing patternHeart attacks and heart-related problems peaking every year over the winter holiday season — specifically on Christmas, the day after Christmas and on New Year’s Day.  Of course, health emergencies at this time of year seem to stick out more in our minds — the dad who had a heart attack just after the family dinner or the grandfather who experienced severe chest pain after shoveling snow. But it’s more than just anecdotal. Studies show that the number of heart attacks increases by over 30% in the winter. This number holds true for all ages (young people can manifest as having dangerous heart rhythms) and genders.

What’s behind this increase? These six stressors specifically surrounding the holidays put us at greater risk: 

  1. Cold temperatures. Cold weather causes your blood vessels to constrict in your arms and legs, making your heart work harder. It can also cause the blood vessels to your heart to spasm, temporarily depriving the heart of oxygen.
  2. Overexertion. Even those who are sedentary during the rest of the year may increase their physical activity over the holidays — shoveling snow, trudging through snowdrifts or going sledding with the kids. Suddenly becoming active in the cold weather causes a spike in demand on your heart. In addition, the mere act of lifting a heavy snow shovel increases your blood pressure, which makes someone with heart disease even more at risk of having a heart attack. 
  3. Nonstop food feasts.A study from Switzerland showed that in the winter, people had higher blood pressure and cholesterol — the very factors that drive a heart attack.
  • What to do: I know—the parties, family gatherings and treats are half the fun! And we all need a little fun. You can still enjoy the festivities, albeit with some caveats. Give yourself some boundaries—for example, you’ll only eat two pieces of mom’s special fudge or one piece of apple pie. Or maybe you’ll allow yourself to indulge at one party, but not the other. I try to keep my nutrition in check on weekdays and then allow myself to cheat a little on the weekend. That works for me, but everyone is different so try some strategies to see what works for you. 
  1. Alcohol. Holiday spirits can lead to “Holiday Heart Syndrome” if you’re not careful. I remember last holiday season taking care of a 34-year-old guy who had come home for the holidays, gone out with his friends and noticed that his heart was suddenly racing. His heart rate was 180 when EMS brought him in. It took hydration and medications to stabilize his heart rate.
  2. Ignoring symptoms. It’s a common excuse: “All the family is here right now” or “I don’t want to spend Christmas Eve in the ER” or “I have 30 guests coming this evening.” Health problems never come at convenient times, and the holidays make those surprises seem even more inconvenient.
  3. Catching a bug.‘Tisthe season for gifts, family — and the flu. A disease like the flu can put excess pressure on your heart — especially if you already have heart problems — increasing the risk of a heart attack. 

With a little extra caution, you can enjoy the holidays while staying your healthiest.  


May you keep the holiday spirit in your heart year ‘round, avoid “Holiday Heart Syndrome” and always and forever remain young at heart. 


This week’s newsletter is excerpted from an article that can be read in its entirety at 


Let’s commit to a good food strategy that is heart healthy this holiday season.  


your farmer and health activist


  • 1/4 cup lime juice 
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey 
  • 1 tsp. sea salt 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley 
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 2 fresh pears, cut into chunks 
  • 1/2 cup dried wild blueberries (optional) 
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup shaved carrots 
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber 
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper 
  • 1/4 cup red onions, diced 

DIRECTIONS: Mix lime juice, honey, salt, olive oil, and vinegar in a bowl; set aside. 

  1. In large bowl, mix together quinoa, fruit, vegetables, nuts, dried blueberry, then pour over dressing. 
  1. Place in refrigerator to chill, then serve cold! (Optional to serve with chicken.) 

All images and text ©Sandy Coughlin for Reluctant Entertainer. 

Recipe Permalink: 




Posted on

Oh My

peas, opened pod

I feel like we are in the middle of an energetic piece of music. Every instrument is playing and playing hard and I while I can play almost every instrument, I have been relegated to the position of Maestro because of my knee injury!

I don’t relish that spot. I much prefer to be a part of the orchestra and conduct on the side. But as with most things, when your attention is divided, so is the work and so is the result. I am still working around the farm—mostly checking on what to do next, picking a few berries, monitoring the health of the crops, what needs water, what needs weeding, what is going in the ground next and when and what we will harvest in the near future.

As with most good pieces of music, the Farm season starts out slow. First, the planning, studying and selecting the vegetables: How will I modify the system this year? What works best for our farm, climate, crew? So many pieces before a single piece of dirt is plowed. As with most things, a little planning goes a long way and a lot of planning can really help.

I will say that with farming, though planning is critical, you hold onto them loosely because farming is a living system and is impacted by the weather in a very real way. As an example, last year it stopped raining June 15th and started raining September 15th. This year it didn’t rain in May and mostly rained in June. On the farm that means it has been a great year for lettuce, beets, peas, but cucumbers and tomatoes are not as happy. Of course, this year I planned for a lot of tomatoes. I still believe we will get a hot summer and my tomato crop will come.

The planning is done for the year. Now we are modifying the plan. Currently, I am weighing whether to plant a Fall crop of leaf lettuce or let the season play out. I will probably do both—some more plantings, but not as much. That’s primarily due to more warm weather, but also school starts up and fall soccer kicks in which can make it hard to find enough help to weed and harvest.

But for now, it’s all hands on deck. It is the busiest time of the season. The local crops are being harvested daily and delivered to you as fresh as possible. My poor packing crew. They almost run the other way when I roll in from the farm or neighboring farms, because they know that I will bringing something that needs to be fit into the menus, something that’s fresh, nutritious and just needed to be picked!

I love this season, but when Fall rolls around, I am more than ready for the Farm to quietly resolve and end peacefully. Although this year as your fulltime Farming Maestro I am not sure what that season will look like, I imagine that in September I will already be thinking about January’s planning of next year’s Farming season. Hopefully, with a fully functioning knee!



Your Farmer and Community Health Activist

Posted on


This spring has been quite the start to the farming season. Springs like this sure can test your mettle. Thankfully, we have a long growing season in the PNW!

Seriously. I just kept planting, replanting and replanting. I figured that eventually, we would get 4 days of dry weather and one of my spinach seedlings would germinate and not have to rise through a rain compacted layer of newly formed mud.

It all works out though. Because I need to plant more green beans, I will just plant that quarter acre of what was supposed to be spinach to my 3rd planting of green beans. Green beans are a bright spot on the farm. I think every one of those seeds germinated on the first planting. Who would have ever thought that would happen this year??? ME! Every time I plant something, I think it is going to be my best crop ever. ?

The other day, when I was taking my kids to school, we got behind a tractor (it’s Stanwood) and it was going as fast as it could, maybe 10 MPH. One could feel the tension rising as line of cars began to grow–5 cars, 10 cars, 15 cars. I knew that there were going to be some frustrated people. Having been in this situation many times as the tractor driver myself, the tension was palpable to me, especially on a 50 MPH road! At this point, I started talking out loud to myself and my daughters, “Oh the nerve. That tractor is slowing everyone down, going to make us late for school, probably get someone killed trying to pass them on a corner, folks swearing at him and waving with their middle finger and… we would all be a whole lot hungrier if that farmer wasn’t doing their job.” That’s when my daughters looked up from their phones, and I said, “Oh, you were listening to me.” 🙂 We waved at Nathan, the farmer, and continued on our way.

Good Food Farm Tours!

Joelle and I are hosting several events on our farm this summer. This last weekend we kicked off the first of our Summer of Fun Good Food Farm tours, and I’m pretty sure we have the best customers. We visited as we leisurely strolled through our farm talking about farming, biodiversity, and what not. A few folks got to plant spinach and beans. Others sat in a tractor for photo ops. Hope to see you at the next tour! CLICK HERE TO VIEW TOURS. Joelle and I are grateful, and consider it a privilege, to be your farmers and share our farm with you. Eating healthy and being healthy takes a little planning and effort, but so does growing healthy food–the fresher, the better. That’s why we love growing vegetables and fruit – they are the foundation to a healthy, vibrant life.


Cheers to your health!

Tristan Klesick, Farmer, Health Advocate

Posted on

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


Posted on

Moka Joe Coffee

This week we are introducing a new line of Coffee from Moka Joe in Anacortes. Their coffee is Organic, Fair trade, intentionally sourced and locally roasted.

Here is what Dan, the Owner of Moka Joe, forwarded to me about their company values:

“Moka Joe is a local, family owned company in Anacortes, Washington. Our goals are to provide Organic, sustainably grown, and Fair Trade coffee. We also aim to provide livable wage jobs for career oriented people. We source coffees from over 14 countries based on relationship and quality farming practices. When you purchase our Café Femenino coffees a portion of that money directly affects the farmers and their families. We believe in supporting family and community.”

At Klesick’s, we are “all in” with Dan’s mission and message. Great company focus, great coffee and intentionally making a difference in the lives of the Coffee farmers they source from.

Just like BIJA chocolates, Moka Joe works hard to source and find great products that are locally produced, but does so with an intentional focus to add financially to the lives of the producers and farmers that raise the base ingredients for great chocolate and coffee for all of us to enjoy.

I’m also excited about the switch for another reason. It will allow us to bring you even fresher coffee because we will be picking it up twice a week. That’s right. We will be going to Anacortes to get it twice a week. This accomplishes two things for you:

1. Order dates are streamlined. Same order date for Coffee and Milk. The new cutoff days to order fresh Roasted Coffee or fresh bottled Twin brooks Creamery Milk are Fridays at 8 a.m. for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday customers and Wednesdays at 8 a.m. for Friday and Saturday customers.

2. Fresher ingredients. With the change in order dates, your coffee will be as fresh as possible, just like your fresh produce and milk.

For the next 3 weeks we are going to be featuring Moka Joe 12oz. and 2lb bags of ground or whole bean coffee. We will also be adding a line of K-Cups for Keurig 2.0 machines. Order today and enjoy locally roasted coffee that tastes great and puts more money in the hands of the coffee farmers. A win-win.



Posted on

It's About to Begin…

It has been a hard Spring. The weather windows have not been in our favor so far. As I write, I am wracking my brain trying to figure out if I have been spoiled the last few years and have forgotten when Spring normally starts.
Last year was early. We had lots of spinach, beets, lettuce, and peas up and growing by this time. This year not so much, not so much. Last year was also a welcome relief as more normal summer weather patterns returned. But, when it started raining in the Fall, it just didn’t quit and still hasn’t. But, as a farmer, if I had to pick, last year’s weather was pretty good.
Two years ago, ugh. I shudder even to talk about it. There was no Spring. Just went right to Summer. It was great. Everything got going early, but it was a ton of management to keep crops alive and grass growing. Not my favorite year.
You might say that 2015 was a year where good farmers struggled to break even. I have often described the two seasons like this: in 2016 farmers made money by just getting out of bed; in 2015 farmers lost money when they got out of bed. When the weather is unpredictable, it really complicates the already delicate dance that farmers do with nature and the environment.
Every Spring, western Washington farmers pray for less water in order for our fields to dry out, and then, we pray for a little water later in the season so we don’t have to turn on the irrigation. Then we start praying for an Indian Summer so we can harvest the fall crops. Aren’t Indian Summers incredible?
Now that I am thinking of it, I imagine many of you have a similar prayer schedule too!
Change is inevitable and the weather is constantly changing. After 20 years of growing vegetables, I have realized that every farm season is different. And as a farmer/steward of the land, I make the best choices I can, with the best information I have, to do the best possible job I can, to grow food.
This year’s farm season is just beginning and a few more days of dry weather will go a long way towards erasing the rainy past few weeks.
Good food is always coming your way. Local food will be a little later, but it will be coming.

Tristan Klesick, Farmer, Health Advocate

Posted on

Planning for Your Holiday Meal

Planning for Your Holiday Meal

Every Thanksgiving holiday season we offer a special Holiday Box ($40) full of traditional organic Thanksgiving meal items for your celebration. Not only can you schedule a Holiday Box to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving, but it is also available the week before and the week after (available Nov. 13-Dec. 3). You can have this box delivered along with your regular order or in place of your regular order (please specify your preference when placing your order). The box menu is as follows:

Holiday Box Menu

Granny Smith Apples, 5 each.

Green Beans, 1 lb.

Cranberries, 7.5 oz.

Garnet Yams, 2 lbs.

Navel Oranges, 4 each.

Carrots, 2 lbs.

Breadcubes for Stuffing, 1 lb.

Yellow Potatoes, 3 lbs.

Celery, 1 bunch

Yellow Onions, 1 lb.

Delicata Squash, 2 ea.

Remembering Neighbors in Need.

If your celebration includes helping the less fortunate who live in our community, we would like to partner with you by giving you the opportunity to purchase a discounted Holiday Donation Box for only $32, to be given to local food banks the week before Thanksgiving. Last year 122 Holiday Donation Boxes were distributed and this year we’d love to have a greater impact. The volunteers at the food banks have expressed again and again how wonderful and satisfying it is to be able to supply people with fresh produce. You can order a Holiday Donation Box here.


Tristan Klesick, Farmer/Health Advocate.


Read this week’s How to Eat Your Box! here.

Posted on

Save the Date

Hey Klesick Farm Community!

We are hosting a brand new event. We are calling it: Inspire: A Community Be Healthy Event. This will be a health fair focusing on good food, wellness, fitness, naturopathic, homeopathic, chiropractic, etc. There will be cooking demonstrations, educational classes, and vendors. This is going to be a lot of fun and super informational.

There are two ways to participate:

1. Plan to come, learn and share: Saturday January 14th (2017) from 11am – 4pm at the Lynnwood Convention Center. Bring the whole family and bring the neighbors, too.

2. You can also participate as a vendor. If you have a health business, follow the links below and sign up. We only have 30 vendors spaces available. Follow the link below.

Vendor information:

Klesick Farms is pleased to invite you to participate in. This unique one-day event is to be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center on January 14, 2017 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm – and is open to the entire community. For additional information and to register, click here.

Who Should Participate?

* Suppliers of products and services for individuals, families and professionals to support journey to wellness.

* Publishers and distributors or books, video and curricula for wellness and fitness.

* Outdoor and indoor play and fitness equipment companies.

* Resources for families and teachers for children’s wellness and fitness.

* Health coaching services for individuals, families and professionals.

* Farm to table, organic non-gmo food providers.

This is going to be a great community event, so plan to come and join us!

Farmer/health advocate,




Recipe: Baby Bok Choy with Cashews


2 Tbsp olive oil 1 bunch chopped green onions, including green ends 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, larger leaves separated from base, base trimmed but still present, holding the smaller leaves together 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil Salt 1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted cashews


Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add onions, then garlic, then bok choy. Sprinkle with sesame oil and salt. Cover, and let the baby bok choy cook down for approximately 3 minutes. (Like spinach, when cooked, the bok choy will wilt a bit.)

Remove cover. Lower heat to low. Stir and let cook for a minute or two longer, until the bok choy is just cooked.

Gently mix in cashews.

Recipe adapted from


Know Your Produce: Parsnips

Parsnips are related to carrot and celery and have a slightly celery-like fragrance and a sweet and peppery taste. They have a high sugar content and in the 16th century, Germans realized the high sugar content of the parsnip and used it to make wine, jams, and flour.

If the parsnip root gets cold, either before or after the harvest, its flavor will be much sweeter. Parsnips are a good source of folate and Vitamin C, and one bite, no matter how they are prepared, will convince you of their fiber content.

You can steam and mash parsnips like potatoes, but their best flavor is emphasized by roasting or sautéing. If you have very large parsnips, trim out the woody, bitter core before or after cooking.

Parsnips are generally a good substitute for either carrots or potatoes in most recipes, although they have a slightly stronger flavor. Herbs are especially nice with parsnips including basil, dill, parsley, thyme, and tarragon.

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