Nitty Gritty Dirt Week 5

Late afternoon on Monday, as Nolan, our newest intern and I (Robin) were mulching beans, we watched the sky first get dark on the south, then the east, then the line of the front showed up in the north sky. Wondering if and when the rain might come, I kept carrying out bales of old hay and Nolan kept tucking it under and around each bean plant. “I feel a few drops.” And before we could get all our stuff picked up, roll up the windows of the truck and get to the barn, the oh so much needed rain came pouring down. Before the evening was over, it rained hard at least two more times with the total rainfall something around an inch. We were delighted.
Over the weekend, Gigi and I had given up our much needed canoe time on the river to set up drip irrigation lines on two of the fields. This involves attaching the emitters and shut-off valves to the big blue 2” layflat pipe that extends along the edge of the field. The layflat is connected to a water flow regulator which in connected to ABS plastic 1 ½” pipe that snakes across the yard to connect it to the spigot on the corner of our house. All night on Saturday, we watered one field and Sunday morning (a day off from church) we moved the water hookup to the field across the drive watering beets, chard, basil and some of the eggplant.
We never did get to the river as we also spent much of that day making new and larger pens for the young Narragansett turkeys and the Broad-breasted white turkeys. We also hung some cages for rabbits under the lean-to off the barn and moved some of the young boy rabbits out of the barn into the new space – dividing two cages into three groups.
We have continued the weeding following the rain – so much easier in the softer ground – and finished mulching all the potatoes and beans. The Colorado potato beetles are back and so we sprayed all the potatoes with Colorado Potato Beetle beater an approved organic product called spinosad. The cole crops – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi also got sprayed with BT, bacillus thuringensis to control those little green critters that love to eat holes in the leaves.
We have been enjoying all the bounty of late spring green stuff from the fields for our community lunches here at the farm. Stir fries, pasta salads, soup and just fresh – we are reveling in all there is to work with in the kitchen.
The critters are all continuing to do fine – the pigs, chicks, turkeys, and lambs are all growing fast – as is Rhubarb the calf. Our Red Star laying hens continue to lay an egg a day each giving us a couple dozen eggs a day – a huge change from the chicken disaster of last summer – so we are enjoying eating eggs this summer as we hope are those of you are getting the extras.

IN YOUR SHARE this week…
Winner Kohlrabi
The Blues Chinese Cabbage
Mei Qing Choi and Joi Choi Bok Choi
Walla Walla Onions
Packman Broccoli


Broccoli greens, Kohlrabi greens, Chinese cabbage and Bok Choi can be used pretty much interchangeably in any stir fry recipe. Just cut up the greens part and the thicker stems separately and cook the stems a bit longer than the leaves. You can also just quickly blanch finely chopped choi or leaves, cool quickly and add to a cold pasta salad. Or try a recipe for cabbage rolls with the Chinese cabbage or modify an eggroll or stuffed grape leaf recipe using the choi or cabbage leaves instead of using traditional wrappers.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the quantity of so much stir fry stuff – remember that it cooks down a LOT – a big bowl of chopped veggies reduced to a much smaller bowl of finished dish.
You can also use the kohlrabi and broccoli to make a wonderful slaw. Just peel the kohlrabi – saving the smallest leaves – chop bulbs and leaves in the food processor. Chop broccoli by hand. Make a dressing with yogurt, olive oil, honey, a little balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Go light with the dressing to let the veggies carry the salad.
You are getting a lot of kohlrabi this week – almost all of what we grew is ready now! If you cut off the greens (you can blanch and freeze them) you can put the bulbs in a plastic bag in your fridge where they will keep for at least 3 months!


The bread this week is our Homestead Pan Au Levain. This is a natural yeast bread made with a starter (similar to sourdoughs). The key to the breads wonderful taste is the long rise time which allows the grains in the flours – wheat and rye – to develop their wonderful taste. The bread contains no sweetener or shortening – just flour, water and salt – so great for any vegans out there – as well as everyone else. Enjoy this hearty bread as is or with a healthy smear of butter and strawberry jam.

Some More Recipes:

From our intern, Erina who tested some bok choy recipes over the weekend, and found two that she thought were especially tasty.

1. Grilled Bok Choy with Spicy Vinaigrette

Approx. 1 lb. bok choy 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar1 tablespoon tomato-based chili sauce2 tsp. honey or other sweetener2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Salt and pepper to taste Heat grill to low. Cut the bok choy head in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half again lengthwise. Rinse well under cold water to remove any grit. Place the bok choy, cut sides down, on grill; cover and cook until tender, 5-10 minutes. While the bok choy is cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Serve the grilled bok choy drizzled with the vinaigrette.

2. Bok Choy and Noodle Stir-Fry

8 oz. buckwheat noodles, chinese wheat noodles, spaghetti, or vermicelli2 tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger2 cloves garlic, minced2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes1-2 lbs. bok choy, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces (separate the stalks from the leaves as they will be cooked separately)12 fresh shiitake mushrooms or other mushrooms, halved1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth2 tablespoons soy sauce Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add the bok choy stems and the mushrooms and cook for two minutes. Add the broth, soy sauce, and bok choy greens and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes or until the bok choy is at desired tenderness. To serve, place the noodles in a bowl and top with the bok choy mixture. (This is also good served cold or at room temperature). Serves 4.

The Care and Feeding of your Veggie Box - Pretty please
This week, your share is coming in your very own box. If possible, bring a bag to transfer your produce into and leave the carefully flattened box here.
Or, take it home, empty it asap and bring it back next week, carefully flattened.
Bread Shares – Take the loaf with your name on it.
Please check off your name on the shareholder list


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.