Fall Share Week 2

Hello everyone!

Welcome to our very last newsletter of the year! We are delivering the last boxes of the fall shares this week, and then we’ll be off to San Diego for some much needed and loooooooong overdue R & R. Maybelle is so excited to celebrate her 3rd birthday in sunny California!

We are finishing planting our garlic this week-it’s a tough, cold, and muddy job but it’s always best to wait as long as possible before putting it into the ground. We’re planting about 8,000 so we look forward to having lots of garlic around next year. A special thanks to our late-comer, Johnna, for putting in so many hours getting this job done!

We have just a few more chores left to finally put the farm to bed for the winter, and we look forward to a time of rest, reflection, and the ability to spend quality time with each other once again.

Heather planting garlic on a cold snowy muddy day
Garlic cloves ready to go in the ground
Maybelle watching cartoons while Brandon picks brussels sprouts

What’s in the box:

Box 1:

Brussels Sprouts-1 1/2#

Kale-1 bunch

Cauliflower-1 head

Thyme-1 bunch

Kabocha or Buttercup Squash-1 each

Beets-3#

Cabbage-1 head

 

Box 2:

Carrots-2#

Potatoes-3#

Onions-2#

Garlic-2 heads

Delicata or Jester Squash-2 heads

Celeriac-3#

Recipes and Notes:

Storage: Much of these items are repeats of the first fall share box, and the storage instructions are the same. For the potatoes, it’s best to switch them to a paper bag so they can breathe a bit and have light blocked. A cool, dry spot is good, don’t refrigerate! The thyme can be used fresh or dried, in the same way as the sage: tie a string or piece of twine to the bundle and hang it from a cabinet knob in your kitchen. You could also try something fun like making herb-infused salt.

Winter Squash: The Delicata and Jester should probably be eaten first, if you can. The softer fully edible skins on these little squash make them the first of all the winter squash to get soft. If kept in a cool dry place they will last for many, many weeks, though. Here’s a nice article with recipes on Kabocha Squash. Here’s one on Buttercup squash!

Don’t forget to take advantage of our recipe page for great ideas on what to do with all your fall share items, and check out some of our favorite cooking sites for even more ideas: the Kitchn, NYTimes Cooking, Martha Stewart, and Heidi Swanson.

We have loved being your farmers for the year, and honored that you chose to keep getting our produce into the fall! We are grateful for your presence and support, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your membership. Have a blessed, warm and cozy fall and winter!

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Michele and Johnna

Fall Share Week 1

Hello good members,

The glorious warm fall days have come to an abrupt end. Planning for harvest this time of the year is a bit of a wild card. Generally we plan for crops to reach near maturity around late September/early October when a combination of cool temps and shorter daylight hours brings growing to a near halt. However, if the temps are warm, they can keep growing and over-mature pretty quickly. If the temps are too cold–say below 26 degrees–they will have frost damage. As you can imagine, the goldilocks state of just-right-weather doesn’t happen very often.  This year we are leaning towards the too warm side, and quickly flipping to the too cold side. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered–we plan for it being both too cold and too warm.

Don’t forget, you have two boxes to pick up this week.  Your share will be at your normal pick up site at your normal day and time. There will be no delivery next week (Halloween week), and then the last fall shares will be delivered the week of Nov. 7th.

 

Maybelle helping trim carrot tops
Carrot in the ground (the other long white root is a grass root)

What’s in the box, and storage tips:

Box 1:

Beets-3#-in bag, in fridge

Kale-cut the stems out, place in bag in fridge

Cauliflower-2 portions-keep in bag in fridge

Garlic-2 heads-store on the counter

Butternut Squash-1 portion-eat soon! Store in cool, dry place or in fridge

Sage-1 bunch-store in a plastic bag in fridge, or hang upside down from a cabinet knob and let dry

Box 2:

Cabbage-in bag in fridge

Turnips-eat the greens soon if you like them, otherwise cut them off and store the turnips in a bag in fridge

Brussels Sprouts-1 1/2 pounds-in fridge

Onions-2#-in a cool, dark, dry place

Delicata Squash-2-in a cool place, or on the counter. Can also be stored in fridge if you have the space!

Carrots-2#-in fridge

Mustard Greens-1/2#-in fridge

 

Notes and Recipes

Butternut Squash-Unfortunately the butternut squash was all damaged in harvest-they must have been jostled badly in the pallet box and the stems have pierced the skin in most of the squash. It would be best to eat this squash soon, and save the Delicata (the spotted/striped acorn looking squash) for a later date. We apologize for this-we sorted out the best we could find and it’s not up to our standards. The squash will still taste wonderful, it just won’t keep as long as it would if it hadn’t been damaged.

Sage-we gave out TONS of sage so that you could use some fresh and some dry. We like to attach a little piece of string to the rubber band and hang it off of one of our cabinet doors in the kitchen, air-drying it in about a week’s time. Once dried, place in a tightly sealed glass or plastic container and keep out of the light. It should last for 3-6 months if properly dried and stored.

Kale-We have had great success freezing kale. We simply strip the leaves off the stems, roughly chop it, and place it into a freezer bag raw. It thaws beautifully and will be a welcome addition to your kitchen in later months.

 

Recipes:

Brussels Sprouts-they’re a hallmark of the fall harvest! They’ve had at least one frost on them, which makes them taste even better! I like to give brussels sprouts a simple treatment: cut the ends off, cut them in half, toss with olive oil and salt and roast them in a 400 degree oven until tender enough for you. Done! If you’ve got a cuisinart-type machine and can shred your sprouts, I’d recommend this Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad. If you’ve got some time to get a little more involved with your cooking, how about this fabulous looking dish: Smoky Brussels Sprouts Gratin!

Beets-we like to make Borscht with our beets, and it freezes wonderfully, too. You can ignore the part about serving it cold now that it’s chilly outside, and just warm it up instead! These Brown Sugar Glazed Beets look like a great side dish, and so do these Harvard Beets. This Beet Risotto recipe is a great one for this time of year, too.

Salad Turnips-these highly sought after, and very expensive, Hakurei Turnips are just amazing raw. I wouldn’t do anything more with them than cut them into wedges or sticks and eat them raw. If you have a go-to veggie dip, you could try that, too. Feel free to peel or not peel, just give them a good rinsing first. The greens are edible if you cook them in a quick saute of olive oil and garlic. They are remarkably tasty roasted, too-here’s a good basic recipe. These glazed turnips from Epicurious sound pretty awesome, too.

Don’t forget to take a look through our awesome recipe page for other ideas on what to do with all your great produce!

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle and Michele

 

Week 18

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first frosty morning since spring today

Well folks, we’ve made it to the end of the regular season. This time of year is always bittersweet. It is sweet seeing all the planning and work come full circle-the satisfaction of completing the main objective of our year: providing you and your families with the absolute best food we can. Fall is nudging us to wrap up our work and tuck the fields in for the winter. And although this fall has been particularly mild, we know it will not stay that way for much longer. It is somewhat sad, of course, to have the season coming to an end, to have such an abrupt stop to all the sharing of goods from the fields, and to see the verdant green of the farm turn to crinkly browns. We are grateful that you have chosen to share the best parts of the year with us and hope you have enjoyed the bounty as much as we have.

We can’t say thank you enough for being part of the farm this year. Your support of small family farms is a boon to both rural and urban communities.

Empty Boxes: Please bring any boxes back to your drop site that you might have laying about. We will be stopping by all our sites in a few weeks to pick up any stragglers.

Extended Fall Shares: Extended shares are sold out for the season! We will be taking a week off of deliveries, so if you have an extended share, your first delivery will be the week of Oct 24th. It will be on your regular day (tuesday or thursday) at your regular location. We will send you an email next week with more details.

And now, a few of our favorite pictures from the year. A lot changes from spring to fall:

Maybelle in the garlic early spring
Napa Cabbage transplants, early spring

 

Kittens!

 

Ted and Hannah seeding in the greenhouse. That big hedge of plants in the middle are tomato starts
Maybelle watering broccoli starts that are overdue for transplanting

 

The fields starting to fill in, late spring
 Harvesting radishes into the evening, late spring
The crew about to eat lunch
Summer Squash!
Freshly transplanted mustard greens, summer
View from the top of the silos, summer
Ted and Hannah munching on sweet corn after a big harvest. summer
The stunning Kabocha Sunshine Squash, Fall

What’s in the Box:

  • Butternut Squash
  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic (medium & full)
  • Sage (medium & full)
  • Celeriac or Carrots (medium)
  • Celeriac (2 lbs full)
  • Carrots (1.5 lbs full)
  • Onions (1 lb full)
  • Bell/Sweet Peppers (1 for everybody)
  • Hot Peppers (1 for everybody)

Here’s a hot pepper run-down so you can see which one you got!

Jalapeno Pepper-red or green

Hungarian Hot Wax-yellow, orange, or maybe red!

Cayenne Pepper-all of ours are red!

Recipes & Notes:

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had as much fun cooking our produce as I’ve had sharing recipes with you. Let’s make this bittersweet final newsletter all about favorite recipes collected over the years!

As the weather turns crisp and eventually cold, we hope the memories of good food eaten well will help keep you warm. Here’s to happy kitchens everywhere!

Butternut Squash-Try one of my favorite recipes here-either Butternut Gnocchi with Sage and Brown Butter or Sausage, Onion and Squash Bread Pudding.

Kale-This Kale and Potato Stew is pretty great, and I always enjoy this Kale Caesar.

Beets-You can never go wrong with a warm bowl of Borscht or this creamy Beet Risotto!

Cabbage-It’s hard to decide on a favorite cabbage recipe-for me, it’s a toss up between Choucroute and Reuben Soup.

Cauliflower-Brandon and Maybelle made Cauliflower Parmesan two nights ago and I couldn’t believe how great it was! It’s a must-try.

All the best from all of us!

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Ted, Hannah, Nicole and Michele

 

 

 

Week 17

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 small share

The time has come! We are looking at our last two weeks of boxes, and we’re surprised as always by how fast the growing year is going. The tomatoes are all gone (what a great season we had! We gave out over 2,500 pounds!), the corn is mowed down, the packshed is full of winter squash and onions and garlic, and it’s really almost over.

Next week October 10th and 12th, will be the last regular season deliveries of the year. For those who are signed up for an extended fall share: we will be taking a week off from deliveries, then your first fall extension share will be delivered on the week of October 24th on your normal day (tuesday or thursday) at your normal site. We will send you an email with more information soon.

If you have any extra boxes still at home, now is the time to bring any empty boxes you’ve been hanging on to back to your site. We will be going to sites after the last shares are delivered, so if for some reason you forget this week you can always bring them next week, too.

We are excited to share another great fall-themed box with you, full of the stuff cold-weather culinary dreams are made of!

Hannah and Ted (way in the distance) harvesting carrots. Carrots on left, salad greens in middle, cauliflower on right.

 

Kids love kale.

What’s in the Box:

  • Pumpkins (medium & full)
  • Winter Squash: Delicata (smalls)
  • Winter Greens (5 oz)
  • Cauliflower (1.25 lb)
  • Potatoes (2 lb small, 2.5 medium, 3 full)
  • Carrots (1 lb small, 1.25 medium, 1.5 full)
  • Onions (1 lb small & medium, 1.25 lb full)
  • Parsley (medium & full)
  • Turnips (medium & full)
  • Garlic (medium & full)
  • Snap Beans: Dragon’s Tongue (1 lb full only)
  • Sweet Pepper (full only)
  • Cabbage (full only)

 

Recipes & Notes

I’ve just gotten my hands on the new Moosewood Cafe cookbook: The Moosewood Restaurant Table. From the chefs at one of the most revered vegetarian restaurants in the country, this book is full of modern takes on vegetable cookery. Needless to say, we’re going to see some of those recipes in future newsletters!

One of the first things the book inspired me to make was harissa. This is a smoky, rich spice paste that can be made in the blender or kitchen aid, and takes about 5 minutes to put together. Moosewood’s recipe for Harissa is definitely weekend cooking, but I highly recommend it. If you want something fast and easy, try this version. We’ve been drizzling it over anything and everything-fried eggs on toast, spooned over roasted squash or carrots, and stirred into our sauteed kale. It’s pretty limitless, and the best part of harissa is that it keeps in the fridge for at least a few weeks!

Pumpkins are going out this week, time to make pumpkin soup or pie! Pumpkins can be cooked just like you would most winter squashes and are a classic for baked goods like pies, bars and breads. Small shares are getting Delicata Squash this week. Don’t forget that unlike most other squashes, you can eat the skin of delicata (and it’s quite good!).

Cauliflower-We are swimming in Cauliflower! We’ve got purple, romanesco, and gorgeous white heads of cauliflower filling up the cooler. We’ve actually got nearly 400 pounds in the walk-in right now. There’s something about cauliflower that really lends itself to soup, so that’s what I’m sharing with you this week-Moosewood Cafe’s Golden Cauliflower Soup.

The Salad turnips in your shares this week are great! These gems are surprisingly sweet and soft. If you’re uncertain, just go ahead and slice one up raw for a snack, you will be a turnip convert, guaranteed! Salad turnips are great raw in a salad but can also be cooked. Since we’re expecting cooler weather all week, a Roasted Turnip and Israeli Couscous dish would be a great lunch or side salad. Since everyone’s getting greens this week, you could also try this Spring Turnip Salad with Greens and Prosciutto. Note: the greens are edible! You can saute them in oil or butter or chop them up as a garnish in a stew or soup.

Potatoes are making their way into boxes this week. From Jody and Mike Lenz’s farm, The Threshing Table, these potatoes are grown organically for us by professional potato growers. If you’ve ever hand-dug more than 100 pounds of potatoes before, you’ll understand why it’s better for people like us who don’t have specialized potato equipment to make arrangements with those that do! These beauties should be transferred to a paper bag when you unpack them and stored in a cool, dark place. DON’T PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE! For recipe ideas, see our Potato page on our website. I’m thinking about the Kale, Sausage and Potato Stew, personally! From the new Moosewood book, try Mashed Potatoes with Lemon and Parsley. It’s so simple: make mashed potatoes however you usually do, add some lemon zest and chopped parsley, and enjoy. Moosewood goes the extra mile and puts cream cheese in theirs, but I don’t think it’s a must-but I’ll probably indulge for Thanksgiving.

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • kale
  • butternut squash
  • beets
  • cabbage
  • onions
  • celeriac
  • cauliflower

All the best from all of us,

Brandon, Heather, Maybelle, Ted, Hannah and Michele

Week 16

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Greetings!

Thanks to everyone who came out for the member party, we had a great time! There was excellent food, good conversation and apple cider pressing.

Fall is really setting in this week, going straight from hot and sunny to cool and wet. The cooler weather is welcome, a lot of our fall crops depend on it not being too hot this time of year. That being said, things are looking really good in the fields. We should have some fantastic boxes coming up.  There’s only three weeks of regular boxes left, the last shares will be delivered the week of  October 10th.

 

What’s in the box:

  • Celeriac (2.5 lbs)
  • Cauliflower (1.25 lbs)
  • Kale
  • Thyme
  • Romano Beans: Dragon tongue or Dulcina
  • Beets (smalls & full only)
  • Winter Squash: Delicata (2 each mediums & fulls only)
  • Spring Greens (5 oz medium, 8 oz full)
  • Garlic (full only)
  • Peppers (full only)
  • Tomatoes (1 lb full only)

 

Recipes & Notes:

 

Romanesco (green) and Graffiti (purple) Cauliflowers
Purple of Sicily Cauliflower

Cauliflower-It looks like we’ll have some cool weather ahead so I’m going to steer you towards comfort food recipes that use cauliflower. If you haven’t made soup, please do! It’s pretty simple, as Ree writes on her blog. Or, try some version of roasted cauliflower-this will best preserve the color. Of course, to keep the most vibrant colors alive, you’ll have to eat it raw, dipping the florets in hummus or dukkah.

 

Celeriac-This one often throws people for a loop! This knobby, alien-looking root vegetable is also known as celery root-which is what it is! This is a variety grown specifically for it’s large, flavorful roots which grow underground. Many people, myself included equate the flavor of cooked celeriac with that of parsnip, celery, and parsley. It can be eaten raw, as in the uber-classical French slaw, Remoulade. If you’re making mashed potatoes, boil some celeriac and add that in-definitely a case of the sum is greater than the parts! If you’ve got a little time to make dinner, maybe this weekend, try one of these great recipes: Spiced Pork with Celery Root Puree and Lentils, Braised Chicken with Celery and Garlic, or this Slow Roast of Roots.

However you prepare it, trim all the rootlets off, peel the skin with a vegetable peeler, and if you’re eating it raw, keep it submerged in acidulated water (water plus a squeeze of lemon juice) to keep the flesh from discoloring. If you’re roasting it right away, or boiling it for mash, don’t worry about this step.

 

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • Winter Greens
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash

Week 15

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Good day all,

Well, after some nice warm weather it is starting to undeniably feel like fall.  We are officially done with planting for the season (yes, we were still planting up until last week!) and there are more fields that are mowed down than have crops in them. Things are starting to wind down on the farm and we are switching from production mode to clean up mode. Most of our time now is spent harvesting, removing trellising, fixing things we were too busy to fix during the summer, and getting ready to tuck the fields in for the winter.

And don’t forget, the fall member potluck party is this weekend:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH

MEMBER APPRECIATION/FALL HARVEST POTLUCK

803 60TH STREET-AMERY, WI.-54001

10 AM TO 2 PM

RSVP to sleepyrootfarm@gmail.com if you can make it and let us how many will be in your party. Bring a dish to share, we will make a big batch of soup and have an apple cider pressing! We look forward to seeing everyone.

A very full pallet box of Kabocha and Buttercup Squash
  Brandon and an unruly head of Purple of Sicily Cauliflower
A nice bed of spring greens ready to be harvested

 

What’s in the Box

  • Spring Greens (5 oz small, 8 oz med & full)
  • Winter Squash: Kabocha Sunshine (orange) or Buttercup (green)
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower (1.25 lbs)
  • Snap Beans (1 lb)
  • Green Peppers
  • Pac Choi (medium & full)
  • Onions (medium & full)
  • Tomatoes (1.5 lb full only)

 

 

Recipes and Notes

We have a few interesting and unusual cauliflower varieties that are starting to come to maturity. Above is the coveted Purple of Sicily Cauliflower. It is a rarely grown heirloom variety. Like many heirlooms, the plants produces mature heads over the course of several weeks instead of all the plants maturing at relatively the same time. This can make predictable production tough, but, boy, when they do produce the heads are beautiful with a delicate texture unlike any other cauliflower.   Another purple variety and romanesco cauliflower may start making it into Thursday boxes this week, too.

 

Kabocha squash (orange) and Buttercup (green) in the pallet box

Kabocha and Buttercup Squashes are two of my all time favorite winter squashes. Excellent flavor with a slightly drier and grainier texture than some of the other popular winter squashes. Great for soups, curries or just mixing with butter, a bit of brown sugar, and a little milk to thin it out for a mashed squash side dish.

Recipes

Squash-I love the taste of this week’s squash varieties. The Kabocha Sunshine, a deep orange Japanese type, is prized for the sweetness of the meat, and the Buttercup has a butter, slightly nutty flavor. They’re intense, and packed with nutrients, and their texture is like a sweet potato crossed with a butternut squash. Feel free to use them interchangeably in recipes. They both have a firmness that keeps its shape nicely when peeled, diced and cooked. For cooking, I’d recommend one of my favorite soups, Laksa. A great combination of textures, flavors, and absolutely perfect for a cool rainy day, this soup was brought to my attention by Nigel Slater. He’s one of the best cookbook writers out there, and if you don’t have his seminal Kitchen Diaries, do yourself a favor and get a copy! Another great way to cook this squash is to make my Squash and Sausage Bread Pudding. If you’ve got the time to browse, check out this blog entry from the Kitchn, or this article from Food & Wine.

 

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

Okay, I know I said beets the last two weeks in a row and they have not been in the box either time. So, I’m not going to say beets, but, folks, they’re out there and could show up anytime.

  • Celeriac
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower/Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Snap Beans
  • Winter Squash

All the best from all of us,

Brandon, Heather, Ted, Hannah, Michele, and Karen

 

Week 14

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Hello friends and members!

Welcome to Week 14! It’s the first fall box, featuring your first delivery of winter squash. Hooray! While it’s hard to say goodbye to summertime veggies like tomatoes and corn, I think most of us are ready to get cozy and have a less frenzied pace to our lives.

Honey Orders are going out this week. If you had ordered honey from us a few weeks ago it will come inside your CSA box. Those who ordered larger amounts of honey will have an extra box at their site with just honey in it. You will receive a separate email from us if your honey is in a different box than your veggies.

And don’t forget, in two weeks we are having our member fall party:

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH

MEMBER APPRECIATION/FALL HARVEST POTLUCK

803 60TH STREET-AMERY, WI.-54001

10 AM TO 2 PM

RSVP to sleepyrootfarm@gmail.com if you can make it and how many will be in your party. Bring a dish to share, we will make a big batch of soup and have an apple cider pressing! We look forward to seeing everyone.

 

Maybelle peeling garlic. For whatever reason, she really, really likes doing this!

Anybody need a sweet little kitty? Our intrepid barn cat, Nooney, just had a litter of 5! Let us know if you need one packed in your box!

 

What’s in the Box

  • Onions (about 1 lb)
  • Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes (1 lb)
  • Garlic (1 for everybody)
  • Basil: Green and Purple Italian (everybody)
  • Green Peppers (1 for everybody)
  • Brussel Sprout Leaves (medium & full shares)
  • Broccoli or Spring Greens (medium shares)
  • Broccoli (full shares)
  • Spring Greens (1/2 lb full shares)
  • Sweet Corn (2 ears full shares)
  • Winter Squash:Delicata (1 for small shares, 2 for medium and full shares)

Recipes + Notes

Brussel Sprout Leaves are an uncommon item. Every year we remove the tops of our brussel sprout plants. This signals the plant to stop growing upwards, and to fill out any sprouts that are growing on the stalk. Most places just compost the tops, but they are so tasty that we prefer to give them out. Use them like you would collard greens or kale.

This may very well be the last week for Basil and Tomatoes, so get your caprese salads and pestos in while you can!

Winter Squash-The first winter squash of the year is called Delicata. It’s named for it’s delicate and totally edible skin. We love this squash for it’s wonderful taste and texture, and also for how little fuss is involved. Just trim off the stem end (not much-like 1/8 inch), cut in half, scoop out the seeds and go! No peeling! No chopping necessary! Some of my favorite recipes involve cutting the squash into half-moons before roasting, but that’s not too hard. They aren’t as long lasting as other kinds of squash, but if you keep them in a cool, dark place they will surely last for several weeks. Now for some recipes!

Delicata Stuffed with Farro, Pecans, and Mushrooms-don’t be afraid to substitute ANY grain for the farro. Try rice, quinoa, barley, or even Israeli couscous.

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash-a mainstay in my house, I highly recommend this fast and easy dish.

Slightly Middle-Eastern Stuffed Squash-another pretty quick and easy one, and it reheats really well.

Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash-now, we don’t have RED onions this week, but your yellow onions will work just fine.

 

Broccoli-It’s fun to start thinking about cooler weather broccoli recipes! I always want to make a nice rich soup out of it this time year. Casserole is a winner, and this one is particularly good. I know it’s the cooler nights that are making me crave things like this Broccoli Orzo skillet-but doesn’t it look great?! They use broccolini in the original recipe, but using chopped broccoli is totally fine.

Have a great week,

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Ted, Hannah, Karen and Michele

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • Beets (I know, we said that last week, but this time for real)
  • Snap Beans (I think I said that last week, too, but this time for real, too)
  • Broccoli
  • Cut lettuce
  • Onions
  • Winter Squash