Nitty Gritty Dirt Week 8

In Your Share This Week

Genovese Basil (green), Ararat Basil (purple)

Norland Potatoes (red)

Cabbage - Early Jersey Wakefield or Red Acre

Eureka Yellow Beans

Walla Walla Onions,

A variety of Summer Squash which might include:Zephyr (slim bowling pin shaped, yellow top/pale green bottom)Eight Ball (round dark green)Elite (classic light green zucchini)Pattypans (scallpops - yellow, green white)Horn of Plenty (yellow crookneck)Lita (oval grey mideastern cousa)

Mid Summer Abundance Festival

Sunday, August 3rd, 2:30 - 5:00

Join us at the farm. Visit the animals, visit the

farmers and some of the interns, enjoy good

food and live music and a hayride. Please RSVP

via email so we know how many folks are coming.

From the Farmers

Sharing the risk of the farm seems fairly obvious when the risk involves something catastrophic and “natural” like the hail storm we weathered last year, but when the risk involves something like the farm truck breaking down, it is a little more murky and more likely to be misunderstood.

Two weeks ago, just as we were finishing packing your boxes in the rain – our spirits were high as we finished getting each box packed and tucked in a drier corner of the not quite rainproof packing house, Gigi went to move the big pickup truck she uses to take the majority of the share boxes to the various drop sites. While we waited – we saw her leave the not yet running truck – get the jumper cables out – still in the rain - and attempt to jump start the dead battery with the car. No luck. We’d just gotten this “new to us” truck back from our local fix-it guy and thought all systems were go. Unfortunately the battery was old and just didn’t have the oomph to go and that hadn’t been discovered in all the other repairs.

So - on to plan B - we borrowed another older truck from our next door neighbor, loaded the boxes – only about an hour later than we’d planned and Gigi skipped lunch to finally get going on her delivery route. All went well – in spite of the rain and an open truck - she dropped the first set of boxes off at New Brighton then pulled back onto the freeway and ‘click’ ‘click’ ‘click’ the truck died. Gigi called a tow truck and then called Deb M. one of our drop site hosts. Deb came to pick up the boxes for the Vincent Ave. site and Gigi waited for the tow truck. When it was clear that the borrowed truck was not going to be running anytime soon, Deb came back with her van – after arranging for someone else to host the drop site for a time and take care of her children - and handed the keys to her van over to Gigi who then finished the drops in the borrowed van – quite a bit off schedule.

On a farm the size we are – actually most farms – the vehicles we purchase are not new. We know this leaves a risk factor in place – it is one of the big risks we take – not quite ever knowing if our vehicles – including tractor, lawnmower and tiller - will run exactly when we need them or need some repairs. We are so grateful for all shareholders who were so gracious and generous in recognizing that we don’t take lightly getting your share to you in the time frame we say we will. Part of the risk of the farm is that things can go wrong – anything – and we will always do our darndest to get your box of veggies to you in a timely manner.

Thank you again to Deb and Tracy for the loan of your van, to Bruce S. for helping to unload all of the Homestead boxes, and to all of you who graciously accepted that sometimes it will happen that your box could be late even though it isn’t convenient for your schedule. End of story - the truck has a new battery and is running great so all is fine for now and we’ll get your veggies to as always freshly picked within 24 hours!!!

On the farm – we moved the pigs this week – expanded their pen to more than double the original size – and we took out the divider between the bigger pigs and the smaller pigs so that everyone is all together now. At first there was a bit of fighting – one of the gilts (young female pig) is a real bully and just had to try to pick a fight with all the ‘other side’ pigs. But a huge load of broccoli plants and food won out and by this morning all seemed to be peaceful in the pig kingdom.

We could surely use some rain. With the high temperatures and wind drying everything, some of the crops are showing signs of distress. The areas with drip irrigation will be okay as we rotate the water around between them but the other things like beans are looking kind of crispy. This hot humid weather does make the warm season crops grow though. The tomatoes look great so far and the peppers which were showing a bit of bacterial leaf spot earlier are showing a lot of new growth that looks completely healthy. The squash also is looking good though we are constantly on the watch for those dreaded squash bugs. These pests are big and grey and show up in hoards and suck moisture out of the leaves and fruit of the squash and the really bad news is that there is really no safe organic control. The only reliable control for both the squash bugs and cucumber beetles which spread bacterial wilt is sabadilla which though an organic product, is now being recognized as too dangerous with too many potential downfalls. So we aren’t sure what to do except keep the squash well watered to keep it growing strongly because that and growing resistant varieties seems to be the best recourse.

In your share this week, you have another bunch of beans. We were delighted with the shareholders who come up to the farm to pick additional beans from our abundant crop to freeze. If you are overwhelmed with beans and would like to put this bunch in your freezer to eat later – just take off the ends of the beans – break them into 1” segments or leave whole – dip into boiling water for 3 minutes – remove and put into cold water until cool. Pack into freezer bags or containers and freeze – enjoy later.

You are also getting the first of the new potatoes. We were delighted to see that the yield is great! We were worried because we have fewer potato plants than we’d hoped for. Potatoes are grown from chunks of potatoes. We buy 50# bags in the spring – cut them into chunks each with at least one eye – then set them out to callus – and then plant. In the midst of this process this spring – while the potatoes were callusing in the barn in the end of April – we had a drop in temperature and blizzard. We now think some of the potatoes were frost damaged and that is why our germination was so spotty. We have no Yukon Golds even though we 100# but the Yukons were on the bench where the snow blew through the top of the doorway and settled on the cut potatoes and we think that was just too cold for them. But the yield on the Norlands is great – so maybe even without the Yukons –our favorites – we’ll still have a lot of potatoes.

Until next week….

The Bread Box
Your bread share this week is a slightly different version of our Ten Grain Bread. We are experimenting with an all purpose flour to replace the strong bread flour that is unavailable. It seems to have worked well for this batch. Enjoy.

Boxes Boxes and More Boxes

Thanks again to all of you who are bringing bags to transfer your produce into, and leaving the boxes at the drop sites. If you leave the box or take it home, please remember to unfold the flaps and flatten it out. The boxes will last longer and be easier to transport. Thanks again.

Drop Site Reminders

Please remember to check off your name from the list at the drop site so we know who to follow up with if your share is not picked up. If your share is not picked up on Thursday and we haven’t been notified, the drop site hosts will pass it on.

From the Gardeners’ Community Cookbook

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Butter for the pan
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk or sour cream or yogurt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped zucchini
¼ cup chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream whisked with
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter, oil and sugar in a
large bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla and
milk and beat well.
Combine the flour, baking powder,
baking soda, salt, cocoa, cinnamon and
Cloves. Stir into the batter, then add the
Zucchini, mixing well each time. Pour
Into the baking pan and sprinkle the
chocolate chips over the top. Bake for
40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted
in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, cool slightly, then
slice and serve. If using the sour cream, place
a dollop on each plate. Will keep, covered, for
up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Robin included chopped nuts in the chocolate
chip layer on the top. It was a delicious addition.


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.