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At What Price

Fresh salad with hummas and walnuts

I love what we do. I love that our team gets to grow, source, and deliver health. I love that everything we deliver is better for your heath and better for the environment. For the last twenty years we have been offering nutrient rich fruits and vegetables to families like you every single week. That is a long run! Many of you reading this newsletter have been a customer for a decade or more and more than a few of you have been customers from the beginning since 1998.

For us, doing business is more akin to serving our neighbors. We want everyone to eat healthy and be healthy. We want each of you to have access to the freshest and healthiest foods to nourish your body and provide energy to accomplish everything on your to do list – everyday!

I firmly believe that health and health care start at the farm and our forks. When we choose a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, our bodies tend towards a normal weight as does our A1C, lipid panels and blood pressure. We also introduce a lot of antioxidants into our bodies that just love to tie up damaging free radicals.

The other day I saw this ad in the Everett Herald – “Ready to Get Healthy”. There was a picture of a smiling obese person. The sub text said, “Sign up to attend a free seminar on Bariatric surgery.” To be perfectly clear, Bariatric surgeries can work, but so can sewing your jaw shut! Our stomachs are about 1 liter in size. That is not very big and to go through an intense and invasive surgery to limit our ability to overeat seems extreme.

I think it would be better for insurance companies to invest the thousands of dollars that this surgery costs and spend it on a one month stay at a health clinic where a person could get educated about a healthy diet, be fed a healthy, primarily plant-based diet and given an appropriate exercise regime – all monitored. The same money would produce better, less intrusive results and would impact other people in the immediate family and circle of friends.

Of course, the FDA and USDA could just require purveyors of junk food to pay for the medical bills out of their obscene profits instead of expecting the taxpayers or insurance companies to pay for the medical costs as they use their profits to sicken more. Or, the USDA and FDA could just ban known junk food that is contributing to the health crisis, but don’t hold your breath for these changes.

Unfortunately, legislating health is not likely, but we get to choose health one bite at a time, 3x’s a day. Even having just one salad a day can have immense health benefits.

I also want to share that is both hard to eat healthy and easy to eat healthy. So, where ever you find yourself on the continuum of eating healthy or being healthy, that is where you are. You can’t change that.

You can’t go backward, only forward. So today, tonight, pick up that fork and make a healthy choice and another and another.

The culmination of all of us saying yes to healthy food will have a powerful impact on our personal health, our family’s health and eventually our Nation’s health.


Tristan Klesick

Your Farmer and Health Advocate

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Month of October is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. In doing research for this article I came across this article from Cancer is complicated and if you or a someone you know is battling cancer, you are in a fight. I have copied and pasted the opening paragraph from the article below.

A cancer diagnosis can often be directly linked to your family medical history, your lifestyle choices, and your environment. You can’t control your family medical history, and only some aspects of your environment are up to you. But lifestyle choices like diet, weight, activity level, and smoking are yours to manage.

“Preventive measures are so heavily underutilized by people. And yet they work. Everything in moderation really works,” says Richard R. Barakat, MD, chief of the gynecology service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. (Emphasis mine)

Diseases like Cancer are heart-wrenching and emotionally, physically and financially devastating. I hate what it does to individuals and families. I know that “hate” is a strong word, but what Cancer does to an individual and their family is devastating.

At Klesick farms, we have a plan to come alongside and help. Our Klesick Farms Cancer fighting plan is:

  1. We pray on a daily basis for our customers. If you would like us to pray specifically for you or someone you know who is fighting Cancer (or anything else) Email [email protected] He organizes our prayer time and customer interactions. All of us care, but Mike is gifted when it comes to caring.
  2. Everything we sell is a part of the solution. We don’t carry GMO products and 95% of what we provide is fruits and vegetables.
  3. Some customers have joined together to fund a families account that is fighting cancer so that they don’t have to shop or think about it. Home delivery is great way to come along side and add tangible help. Call us to set up an account for a friend, co-worker or family member.
  4. Lastly, we have discount program for families fighting cancer or heart disease. If you are in the fight of your life, let us know so we can add the health discount to your account. If you would like to donate towards this, we will make sure your donation gets applied to a family fighting Cancer. We are here to help and be a part of the solution.


Farmer/Health Advocate




Recipe: Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion, and Garlic


6 slices bacon, chopped

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large head cabbage, cored and sliced

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon paprika


Place the bacon in a large stockpot and cook over medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion caramelizes; about 10 minutes. Immediately stir in the cabbage and continue to cook and stir another 10 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes more.

Recipe adapted from



Know Your Produce: Sugar Pie Pumpkins

It’s October and pumpkin season is in full swing (or maybe just pumpkin spice season?). Sugar Pie pumpkins are a dwarf variety pumpkin bread specifically for use in cooking, especially pies, cheesecake, pancakes and flan. One of the sweetest varieties, its bright orange flesh is known not only for its flavor but for its firm flesh that cooks down to a smooth consistency.

Hollow out, stuff and bake as you would an acorn squash. Cubed and roasted, it makes an excellent side dish. Slice into wedges and grill. Cooked down it can be used to make gnocchi, chili, empanadas and curries.

Nutritionally, pumpkins are low in calories & fat, high in fiber, vitamin A and alpha & beta carotenes and packs in some protein. Tasty and good for you!

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Have You Heard of Turmeric?

If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone! Little did I know, growing up in Peru, that I ate many Peruvian dishes that use turmeric, thanks to our African influence. In its powder form we call it “palillo.” I was over-the-moon ecstatic to find out that Klesick Farms offers fresh turmeric root! Although it’s not in the Klesick boxes this week, it is an amazing product you can add to your future orders. Let’s take a look at this popular ingredient in Indian, Asian and African cuisine. Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5,600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies!

Also known as curcuma, turmeric belongs to the ginger family. It gives curry its peppery taste and characteristic yellow color. Curcuma, which is responsible for turmeric’s yellow color, is also its most active medical component. Studies show that raw turmeric contains higher curcumin content in comparison to its counterpart turmeric powder.

According to studies, turmeric contains components that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, making it useful for treating arthritis, inflammatory conditions and possibly cancer. As a strong antioxidant, turmeric is rich with a substance believed to protect body cells from damage caused by oxidation. In promising, but very early research results, curcuma has kept several kinds of cancers from growing or spreading.

Okay, so how you can use raw turmeric? I’ve included a recipe (below), but you can also use raw turmeric to:

* Make golden milk: Heat 2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste (if desired). Great before going to bed!

* Add to curries and rice

* Add to juices and smoothies

* Add to salads and stir fries, and so on…

One newsletter is not long enough to list the many benefits of turmeric. As per how to use it, the list is endless and just limited by your imagination!

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador



Recipe: Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps


1 2½ to 3-inch piece ginger root

1 3-inch piece turmeric

1 small shallot, peeled

2 small potatoes, diced

2-3 medium cloves garlic

½ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (optional)

Juice of one large lemon

2 tablespoons water

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into approximately ½-inch strips

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

2 large carrots, shredded

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 head of butter lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried


1. Using the small holes of a grater, finely grate ginger, turmeric, garlic and shallot into a large glass mixing bowl. Add soy sauce, Sriracha, lemon juice, water and whisk to incorporate.

2. Add chicken strips and toss well to coat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken is coated.

3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add potatoes until they are cooked half way though. Add chicken and sauté in a single layer; turning pieces with a spatula as they cook. Continue stirring until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a serving dish; cover to keep warm. To serve, place 4-5 chicken strips inside a lettuce leaf.

4. Top with approximately ½ tablespoon of shredded carrots and sprinkle with a pinch of cilantro.


Know Your Produce: Bartlett Pears

Did you know that Bartlett Pears contain probiotic benefits that support your gut health? New research has found that pears can balance beneficial gut bacteria.

Ripened pears can be used at once or put under refrigeration until you want to use them. Refrigeration will delay further ripening, but will not stop it altogether, giving you adequate time to include fresh pears in your menu planning.

A ripe pear is a sweet pear. A little known fact about the pear is that it is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree. The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.

Place under-ripe pears in a fruit bowl at room temperature near other ripening fruit, like bananas, which naturally give off ethylene and will help speed up the ripening process. And if you find yourself with a few too many overripe pears, blend them into smoothies, soups, sauces and purees!

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If only I had been paying attention…

This has been a remarkable farm season. The weather has been neither too harsh nor too kind. We have had to irrigate very little and the crops have grown well.

It has been a crazy three weeks. We just finished harvesting green, yellow and purple beans. Originally, I had planted two different plantings, with a fairly healthy gap between them. The cool weather in May/June essentially slowed one planting down and so the later planting caught right up. It is sort a like when the outgoing tide meets the incoming tide and everything rises at that moment!

Thanks for eating green beans. We picked over 2,000 lbs. and our customers ate most of them. I can say most of them because green beans are one of those crops that gets “grazed” on a regular basis. They might not be as sweet as raspberries, but when beans are on, they are the preferred snack at Klesick Farms!

This week is a little quieter from our farm. Italian prunes and chard in most boxes; walnuts, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers in smaller quantities. Then there are the cucumbers. This year we planted a new variety called Silver Slicers. They are a white-skinned cucumber and super delish! I planted about 100 seeds at two different times and, oh my word, those little cucurbits make cucumbers faster than rabbits make rabbits, if you get my drift. They are the most productive cucumber I have ever grown.

Ironically, I would have never grown these, if I had been paying attention. Early in the spring I was talking with Ada, my seed representative from High Mowing Organic seeds. We were talking back and forth about what varieties grew well in greenhouse environments and did well in last year’s seed trials. We decided on Manny, a beautiful smooth green-skinned cucumber. Ada also mentioned that Silver Slicers did really well in the trials, too. Because I am always willing to try a new variety, I ordered and split the plantings.

Well, since Ada and I were talking about cucumbers, it didn’t dawn on me that the Silver Slicers were not GREEEEN! Imagine my surprise when they starting “setting” fruit that was white! Talk about a mini heart attack! My mind raced through all the prep work, the fertilizer blend, weather patterns, and I asked myself, “What was wrong? How come they are not green? Is my soil deficient in nutrients?” Thankfully, a quick check-in with Ada calmed my mini crisis. She assured me that the Silver Slicer is a white-skinned cucumber.

I am now so thankful for that oversight. The world has plenty of green cucumbers, so I will make the Silver Slicer a staple for Klesick Farms and we can all enjoy them this year and next!

Thanks for eating locally grown food. You are making a difference one bite at a time for your health and the health of our community.

Farmer Tristan



Recipe: Mexican Style Grilled Corn


3-5 ears of corn, husked 6 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste ½ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper Cotija or feta cheese


Prepare a grill, with heat medium-high and rack about 4 inches from the fire. Put corn on grill and cook until kernels begin to char, about 5 minutes, then turn. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are slightly blackened.

Mix together mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice or chili powder if you like. Serve corn with chili-lime mayo and sprinkle with cotija or feta cheese.

Recipe adapted from


Know Your Produce: Plums

Domestic plums are crimson to black-red with a yellow or reddish flesh; they are in season May through October. High in vitamin C, plums are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re sweet and delicious—which is why highly desirable things are called “plum.”

Store: If too firm to use, place in a closed paper bag at room temperature for one to two days. Once ripe, plums can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to three days. Refrigerating plums before they’re ripe results in a mealy texture, so allow firm fruit to ripen at room temperature up to 2 days.

Prep: Remove the pit by slicing all the way around the fruit, starting at the stem end. Rotate each half and the pit should come free.

Use: Plums pair well with both sweet and savory foods and make an excellent accompaniment for cheese, chocolate, and dessert wines.

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One would think that after almost two decades of farming I would have this farming game figured out! I do have the basics mostly down, but every year, around Father’s Day, I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with what? Thanks for asking. WORK! All of the sudden, everything needs to be harvested: lettuce, spinach, peas. Everything needs to be weeded: lettuce, spinach, peas, beets, tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, strawberries. And more needs to be planted: lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, squash, beets, kohlrabi, corn, etc. I know it is coming, but it always catches me off guard, like a sneaker wave at the beach – all of the sudden you’re wet.

A lot of this has to do with timing and trying to figure out the changing climate patterns and the changing availability of willing workers. The climate impacts are just unpredictable. Last year at this time we were burning up and this year we have had huge swings in temperatures and a fair amount of rain.

This year I got out early and planted some summer loving, heat loving crops in early May, expecting it to get hot early, but June is looking more like “Junuary.” Although hitting a high of 58 degrees in early June really slows down the crops, it also keeps things from bolting, like spinach and lettuce, and peas from burning up. This is farming though: I do my best, I get the weather I get, I adapt, then I get to harvest what crops liked the weather best.

But the weeds, well, they love all types of weather. On our farm we are a hand-weeding operation, and it is hard to find people excited about rows and rows of vegetables to be weeded, sometimes with a hoe, other times on your hands and sometimes we just throw up our hands and use a tractor and start over. We have managed to stay almost caught up, but you can see the “tide” of weeds rising. This week will be the week to stem that tide!

As always, we work hard to grow the healthiest, tastiest and freshest fruits and vegetables for you and your family. We want to be that bright spot in your week, where on your delivery day a box of good food brightens your day and nourishes your body.

More locally grown good food is on its way.

Cheers to your health!



Recipe for this week’s box: Asian Cucumber & Carrot Slaw

Serves 2 to 4


1 cucumber

2 medium carrots, peeled

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or other oil of choice)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Using a julienne peeler or grater, shred the cucumber and carrots into long strips.
  1. Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl, along with the vinegars, water, sugar, and sesame oil.
  1. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.
  1. Chill until ready to serve. Best served cold.

Recipe adapted from


Know Your Produce: Stonefruit 101


“Stonefruit” refers to members of the genus Prunus, which includes peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, cherries, and apricots. The season for summer stonefruit is short-lived, and delicious! With the fruit coming and going so quickly, we don’t want you to miss out by having to toss spoiled or improperly ripened fruit. Here’s some info on proper storage in order for you to make the most of these short-season gems.

Care – Store unwashed fruit at room temperature until ripe (usually only 1-2 days), then place in sealed container in the fridge.

Ripeness – Gently press around stem and when flesh gives slightly to pressure fruit is ripe. Stonefruit ripens from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe.

Tips for Preventing Spoilage – Stonefruit’s biggest enemy while ripening is moisture coupled with lack of airflow. Set ripening stonefruit on a cloth or paper-covered countertop or in a place where it gets plenty of airflow. Try setting them stem side down to ripen. This lessens the chance of then rolling and bruising. Once your stonefruit is ripe, it deteriorates very quickly. Within a day of being fully ripe, if left out of refrigeration, you can have overripe/spoiled fruit and some very attracted fruit flies. Check daily and place in refrigerator as soon as you notice the stem area has begun to soften. Take special care when handling your stonefruit – never squeeze to check for ripeness! Even a small bruise will be cause enough to turn into a rot/bruised spot on your fruit as it is still ripening.

Use – Once fruit is ripe, and you’ve placed in the refrigerator, plan to use within a day or two (this gives you a total keeping time of about 4-5 days). Stonefruit is refreshing as a healthy breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. For grilling, or for topping green salads: use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. All Stonefruit bakes up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

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It’s a good thing there are only 24 hours in a day

Hustle, hustle, hustle! When the weather turns and the sun comes out, it is all hands on deck. I have to keep reminding myself that it is only April and that I will be planting crops until August. I used to think that vegetable farming was a marathon race, but now I am more inclined to think of it as a track meet.

Yes, the season is long, but it really feels like a series of sprinting events, and the starter gun has definitely gone off. We are getting the peas, spinach, beets, chard and lettuce planted. We are also getting the ground worked up for potatoes, corn and winter squash. So in the spring we are mostly preparing the ground for planting and then planting it.

As the season marches on we are still working the ground for summer crops, like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, but we add in weeding – lots of it (ugh!). We also add harvesting of those early planted crops of lettuce, spinach, etc.

About June we move into a weeding, watering and harvesting cycle. Life also begins to mellow and the days become more manageable (ahh! deep breath). Life feels normal. We are not quite there yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We have lots to do between now and November. This week we are planting strawberries and potatoes!


Sprinter (Farmer) Tristan





Order your grass-fed beef before prices increase!

Prices for our local, grass-fed beef will go up $0.10 per pound after April 30th, so place your order today!

June beef is sold out, but we still have shares available for August and October.


Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Chives


1 medium head cauliflower

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 clove crushed garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Trim the stem from the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and simmer just until tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Drain the cauliflower florets and transfer them to a food processor. Add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese to the food processor and pulse until creamy. Add the garlic and pulse for about 30 seconds.

4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the chives, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with additional chopped chives.

Adapted from Kelly Senyei’s recipe from

Know Your Produce: Beets

If you’re not a fan of beets’ famously bright hues, then cover your work surfaces before you start peeling, slicing, and grating. To store beets, cut the greens from the roots, leaving an inch of stem attached, and place the different parts in separate plastic bags and refrigerate. Beet roots will last at least a month, but you should use the greens within three or four days.

Roasted Beet and Fresh Greens Salad

2 1/2 lbs. small beets, trimmed and scrubbed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

4 cups leafy greens, with any thick stems removed

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets on foil lined with parchment. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; season with coarse salt. Wrap foil into a sealed pouch. Roast beets on a rimmed baking sheet until easily pierced with a skewer, about 45 minutes. Carefully open pouch; when beets are cool enough to handle, rub off skins with paper towels. Halve beets (or quarter if desired).

2. Arrange beets and greens in a serving dish. In a skillet, bring remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cumin seeds to a simmer; toss with beets and greens. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Recipe adapted from

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A Time To Plant

I was talking to a group of second graders the other day about farming. I found that they ask some amazingly insightful questions; an insight, I think, that comes from their simplicity. A few were already well on their way to a life of healthy eating.

But as we talked back and forth, I wanted to impress upon them that eating good food starts with the soil and ends with a choice. Choosing an apple or carrot (the most popular vegetable) will help them grow up smart, healthier and strong. I explained to them that healthy plants don’t get sick, and the healthier we are, the less sick we get. It was a delightful 30 minutes with young ones eager to learn.

I too have a choice. I choose to farm without chemicals and work with nature to raise food in a watershed, in a local community, on a family run farm.

Thank you for the choice you also are making. You have chosen to support a farm that raises food without chemicals, in your watershed, in your local community, run by a family on a farm. That choice will make all the difference in the world for your health, your family’s health and your community’s health.

That is why planting the first crops of spring are so special for me, because I get to raise food for local folks – who get it!

Last week we took advantage of the nice weather and got a goodly amount of healthy lettuce and peas planted! It feels so good to get some crops in the ground.

Hang on, the local season starts with planting and ends with good food on your plate!


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It is so Simple

At Klesick Farms we say, “Healthy eating made simple.” We also say, “Eat Better, Feel Better.” Sadly, most Americans are eating out of a plastic bag, a can or a box (ouch!). A lot of the food budget goes to packaged food, fast food or packaged fast food, and as a result our national health is getting worse.

Ironically, the antidote is to not eat “their” food. What is “their” food? The stuff in the middle of the grocery store—high carb, high sugar and low fat. Just try walking through the grocery store and try to buy a snack without sugar in it!

When a family makes an intentional choice to not eat packaged food, nutritional benefits go up. They go up because the family will be eating something to replace those carbohydrate-heavy foods with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and proteins. (The proteins can be vegetarian or meat-based—based upon your choice.)

Close your eyes and just imagine the calm around all the schoolyards of our communities if PROCESSED SUGAR was not on the menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bedtime snack. Shoot, just imagine the calm around the house!

Last week, I actually brought in an old fashioned sugar bowl filled with sugar for a talk I was giving. I also brought in the makings for an old fashioned lunch – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a low fat single serving chocolate milk. Do you know how much sugar is in this good old fashioned lunch? Remembering that 4 grams = 1 teaspoon, and assuming the body processes carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), here’s what I found:  2 slices of wheat bread = 28 grams; 2 tablespoons peanut butter = 15 grams; 2 tablespoons strawberry jam = 20 grams; 8 oz. low fat chocolate milk = 24 grams; total carbs (sugar) = 87 grams divided by 4 grams (1 teaspoon) = 21.75 teaspoons of SUGAR!

We would be better off putting the sugar bowl back on the table and adding our own sugar to our plain, unsweetened food.

There is no way that we could pour that much sugar on our cereals, sandwiches or in our coffee!

I think the sugar bowl in America has moved from the table to our waistline!

The good news is that the waistline can “trend” the other direction if we eat more vegetables, fruits and non-packaged foods. In fact, if we committed to eating the recommended 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day (yes, a day!), we would see dramatic health changes in ourselves and other Americans!

But eating healthy is a spiritual decision. It takes will power and determination to eat differently. As far as I can tell, eating more vegetables, fruits and non-packaged foods looks like a good strategy to be healthier. If we are healthier, we are more than likely happier!


Providing good food for you and your family,