The Final Nitty Gritty Dirt

September 19, 2012  From the Farmers

It is true.  Farmers talk about the weather all the time!  We check the weather reports constantly, talk about the weather almost as constantly because the weather so determines everything we do as farmers.   Unless we were to grow under a sealed dome, the weather influences nearly every part of our work.   This week we’ve run the gamut from wind to frost (Monday night) to rain to cold to heat.  

We spent most of Monday, picking everything still unharvested that would not withstand the forecasted frost.   And we did get frost – nearly all the remaining basil is blackened as are the pepper and tomato leaves.  It seems as though the freezing was only for a moment because by sunrise the temperature was already up to 37 degrees.  And while we dread that first frost it is also true that nearly everything that might freeze is nearly finished anyway.   We look forward to some gorgeous fall days now that the first frost is behind us.

This is the last share you will receive. You do not need to unpack your box.  We would rather if you didn’t.  Take the box with you. We don’t need to get it back.  If you missed the last couple of blog posts, you should know that this is also the last vegetable share box that we will be packing at Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm. It has been a bittersweet week at the farm, knowing that this is the last harvest for the last box we will be sending out.  When we began the CSA eight years ago, we had thought we would only do this for three years.  As we come to the end of our eighth year, I don’t know how it will feel not to be planning what to grow next year.  I keep catching myself looking at seed catalogues, and planning and then realizing I will only be growing a small garden.  I’m not sure I know how to grow a small garden.   But I am excited about the possibilities and how it will give me opportunities to try some different ways to grow and cooperate with neighbors. We have also cut way back on the number of animals we will be keeping.  And while this feels relatively normal for this time of year, we don’t plan to add them back next spring like we have for the run of the CSA

We would love to end our season, with as many of you coming to the farm for our FINAL FARM FESTIVAL as possibleWe plan to show some power point slide shows of photos over the years of the CSA for anyone interested. 

Our END OF THE SEASON – END OF THE CSA – FESTIVAL  - will be Sunday, September 30 from 3:00 – 5: 30 pm.   Come celebrate with us as we call an end to this growing season and an end to 8 years of CSA farming.   As usual, there will be good food, good beverages, farm games and conversation.    Please let us know if you plan to attend. 

Hope to see you at the festival …………..Robin

What is in your share this week?

Watermelon – Mickey Lee [a few striped melons and cantaloupes too]
Squash – Avalon Butternut and/or Sweet Dumpling and/or Cream of the Crop Acorn
Potatoes – Yukon Gold
Onions – Copra (yellow storage), Red Zeppelin, Sierra Blanca
Hot Peppers –Serrano, Jalapeno, Long Red Cayenne [These are great peppers to string into ‘Ristras’ – just thread onto dental floss or heavy thread and hang to dry]
Sweet Peppers – last of the Snapper bells, Islander bells and Carmens
Rutabagas – Joan
Carrots – Mix of Dragon purple, Forto and Bolero orange and Cosmic Purple and Chantenay orange
Kale – Toscano dinosaur
Brocolli – Blue Wind and Bay Meadows
Apples – Honeygold and Sweet Sixteen
Herbs – Marjoram, Sage, Thyme, Epazote, Holy Basil, Thai Basil
Fennel – Orion


Use the addresses to google or mapquest or look up the drop site from your particular location. Keep in mind that the folks at the drop sites are volunteers, allowing us to use their space (and in some cases, their homes) as drop sites. Be nice to them. We couldn't do this without them. If you have any questions about your share etc., you should ask us, not them. They have enough to do....as do we all. All deliveries occur on Thursday afternoons. Approximate drop site times are listed below each location. The end times vary but you should pick up your share as early as possible. Look for the NITTY GRITTY DIRT FARM DROP SITE signs at your delivery locations along with lists to check your name off when you pick up, and a description of exactly what you should take.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm
10386 Sunrise Road (Cty Rd 9)
Harris MN 55032

35 north past North Branch to the Harris Exit. Turn Right.
Go into Harris, cross RR tracks to stop sign. Turn Left
Go 2 blocks to County Rd 9, also called Sunrise Road. (at Heartbreakers Bar) Turn Right. Farm is 4 1/2 miles out on left side of road. Look for Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm sign.
Shares available from 3:00 to 6:00

United Theological Seminary 3000 5th Street NW, New Brighton MN 55112
694 to Silver Lake Road exit. Go south to 5th and turn west (right). Go three blocks to UTS. Follow driveway (left) to the maintenance garage at the far north end of the parking lot. Shares available after 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

Pilgrims United Church of Christ
8801 Rice Lake Road, Maple Grove MN 55369
Just off of Weaver Lake Road across from Rice Lake Elementary School. Use main church door. Shares available from 3:30 to 6:00.

Acadia Cafe
329 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis
NW corner of Cedar and Riverside. Park on Riverside or
in lot behind the cafe.
Shares available after 3:15 PM until 6:00 PM

Vincent Avenue
3646 Vincent Avenue North, Mpls MN 55412
1/2 block north of 36th Ave N, and 2 blocks south of Dowling. Park on the street. Shares available after 3:30 until 6:00 PM

Additional drop sites may be added as shares are sold. Drop Sites are subject to change but plenty of notice will be given and alternate sites will be within close proximity to the original drop site.


Robin Raudabaugh & Gigi Nauer

Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm

10386 Sunrise Road

PO Box 235

Harris MN 55032

(651) 226-1186


Also Nitty Gritty Goods Wool CSA
Robin Raudabaugh

We are a 15 acre Community Supported Agriculture farm providing a wide variety of fresh, organically and sustainably grown vegetables, fruit, lamb, pork, turkey and chicken. Located one hour north of the Twin Cities, we deliver to several metro locations. We are intentional about our organic and sustainable farming practices which include (but are not limited to): maintaining soil health through green and animal manures, compost, mulch, cover crops and crop rotations; Organic Pest Management to naturally monitor, prevent and control insects and other pests; maintaining animal health and well-being through the use of portable and loose housing and pasture rotations. Owner/operators Robin Raudabaugh and Gigi Nauer provide over 30 years experience in fruit, vegetable and livestock production, education and customer service. Our primary goal is to build community, relationships and personal health and well-being around good food and the intentional living that creates it. We’d love to have you join us.

Not every day is like this but we try.

Not every day is like this but we try.

Not every day is like this either.

Not every day is like this either.