Nitty Gritty Dirt Week 11

From the farmers….
It’s amazing how quickly it can go from enough moisture to very dry – and it is very dry here. When the daily temperatures rise to the upper eightys, it doesn’t take long for plants to get that wilted, parched look – even with drip irrigation. Our next variety of Sweet Corn, the se bicolor Ambrosia which had been looking great is not anymore. The stalks are dry and the ears which are big enough feel quite dehydrated. You are getting some in your share this week and we hope that this wonderful variety has the ability to taste its normal amazing flavor even if the ears don’t look as green and fresh as we wish they did.

We enjoyed the leisurely, informal Summer Abundance Festival on Sunday, talking and giving a few farm tours to some of you who came. It is always good for us to have shareholders – and others – come to the farm to remind us why we do what we do here. We enjoyed your company and sharing our home, farm and abundant food with you.

On Monday morning we loaded the nine wether (castrated male) lambs and delivered them to our butcher – Braham Foods in the very small town of Braham, next door to us. It was good to see them go. It always seems a bit contradictory – that we are always to excited and delighted by the newborn baby lambs in March and April – and also so ready to see the big grown up lambs leave for market. It is certainly quieter here at 7:00 am and 6:00 pm – morning and evening feeding times when the lambs , who can tell time, let us know very vocally that it is feeding time or past feeding time. The five ewe lambs that we kept back to add to our breeding flock are very quiet and well behaved. Them seem to like not having so many obnoxious brothers pushing and shoving them away from the feeder. Maria and Robin dewormed the five lambs tonight and in a couple of days, they will be moved to a new pasture. It is the L year (our lambs are named based on the year of the alphabet we are on – the first year on this farm was A and we are on the L’s this year) and our five girls are named Lexan, Lyric, Limerick, Luna, and Lark.
The llamas are also gone to a new home. We were sad to see them go, but after months of Chewy chasing sheep instead of guarding them and standing in the water bucket with his dirty feet so that no one else could drink, and both of them eating a LOT of pasture, we decided that it was time for them to be gone.

Our unruly pigs pushed over their big 50 gallon waterer on Tuesday and chewed off the float which maintains the water level without the water running over. So, until Friday when Gigi will have time to fix it, we have to run the water for them several times a day. Sometimes we forget that we left it running for a while and the pigs get a small lake to bathe in which they love. They are growing rapidly and love the whey from our goat milk cheese making projects. They are also greatly enjoying the buckets of food scraps we pick up from the Acadia Café every week. We also let our laying hens share in the Acadia dinners. The hens especially love the French fries.

Robin finally got the plow from our neighbor Rick and plowed up three areas of already harvested fields. Just after disking, the tractor began running roughly and after stopping to unhook the disk and hook up the drag, it wouldn’t start. Checking to see what might be wrong, we noticed gas leaking from the carburetor. Gigi, our farm mechanic, called Brad our tractor consultant who told us it was most likely just dirt in the carburetor and it needed to be cleaned out, which Gigi did, and after a few hours of dirty work, the tractor is once again running beautifully and the fields are smooth and ready to plant. On Tuesday evening after it cooled down, Nolan and Maria got their first experience in seeding. Both of them arrived at the farm to intern after the spring seeding was over, so it was kind of fun for them to seed radishes and cilantro and turnips. On Friday we’ll set drip lines over the rows to keep an adequate supply of water available for the seeds to germinate and grow and hopefully by the end of September, we’ll all be enjoying these veggies again.
Until next week…..

The Bread Box

Your bread this week is Homestead Pain Au Levain. This bread made with our ‘Madre’ starter has Whole wheat, Rye and Unbleached white flours. It is a bit heartier than our Rustic White bread but it is just as great spread with pesto or honey or butter of just alone. The really great thing about the levain starter breads is that the only ingredients they contain are flours, salt and water. There is no sweetener or shortening added. The long rise process needed for this bread allows time for the grains to ferment and thus the flavor and sweetness of the grain comes through in the finished bread rather than relying on honey or sugar for that rich sweet taste.

What’s in your Share

Acorn Squash – Cream of the Crop
Summer Squash – Lita, Elite, Pattypans, Zephyr, Horn of Plenty
Onions – Red Burgermaster, Walla Walla, Superstar
Potatoes – Norland
Eggplant – Galine (large purple) Dancer (med pink) Orient Express (small thin purple)
Orient Charm (small thin pink)
Peppers – Sweet – Snapper (green) Islander (purple) Bianca (cream)
Basil – Ararat (Thai purple)
Turnip – Scarlet Queen Red Stems
Watermelon or Honeydew or Asian Melon
Watermelons: Blacktail Mountain (small round dark green –red flesh) Sweet Beauty (small oval striped – red) Sunshine (round striped – yellow) Sweet Siberian (oval striped – orange)
New Queen (round striped – orange)
Honeydews: Diplomat or Passport (round lightly netted green to yellow with green flesh)
Asian Melon – Sun Jewel (oval striped yellow and cream with sweet white flesh)
Sweet Corn – bicolor Ambrosia


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.