The Nitty Gritty Dirt Week 9

From the Farmers….

We were sorry to postpone our Summer Abundance Festival last Sunday, but were delighted about the rain. It rained on and off all afternoon and we got about one half inch of much needed moisture. It also gave us a day off – a day to stay inside and read and relax knowing that there is nothing better than raining that we could possibly be doing. As we stated in the email notice, we have rescheduled the festival for Sunday, August 17 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. Please let us know if you plan to come. That way we can plan how much food to prepare and how many folks to expect and plan for. If you let us know, we also know how much parking area we’lll need AND we can call you if something comes up – like rain – or family emergency – or???? – and we need to call it off. We’d love to see you at the farm – so please email to let us know if you can come.

We finally got the big waterer in with the pigs. Now we can provide over 50 gallons of water all the time for those thirsty little pigs who only want to tip over their smaller water pans so they can lay in the resulting water puddles. Even though they can’t make puddles now, they are happier with a constant water source. We also purchased 600 feet of new hose so we can run water from the barn hydrant all the way to the cow pasture. We no longer need to carry heavy five gallon buckets of water several times a day.

The broiler chicks and many of the young rabbits are now tucked away in bags in the freezer. We are all pretty glad to have two less insatiable animals to feed and water. At this time of the summer when all the livestock begins eating feed not by the small scoop but by the five gallon bucket or fifty pound bag and we’ve begun mixing feed rations by the 1000 pounds instead of 500 at a time, we are glad to see some of the hungry mouths gone.

It has been quite a summer of transitions intern-wise for us. We began the year with a couple Bonnie and Adam who helped with all the early spring preparation and decided in early July to move on. We also had intern Rebecca who worked with us just a couple of days a week in the early season, leave us because of pregnancy. Just in the last couple of weeks, we have added three new faces and sets of strong backs, arms and minds to the farm. Nolan now works with us Tuesday through Thursday mid-day and does one of the St Paul drop sites. Adrienne joins us for Wednesday and Thursday and is learning to milk the goats. And Jason, our newest intern is working Thursday through Sunday. Erina who works Thursday and Friday and Maria who work Tuesday through Thursday and also does one of the St Paul drop sites round out our current crew. We also rely on our neighbor Janelle who comes every Thursday to help pack boxes and usually fixes our lunch and Christie, Janice and Ruthie Elkerton who help out regularly on Thursday with harvest and packing. We are also grateful for Sue who comes almost every Wednesday all season and works all afternoon and Carrie who has helped out on several occasions. We could not operate this farm without our interns and our loyal volunteers. Thank you so much. Shareholders, when you come to the farm festival, please take time to meet our farm interns.

I began this column saying how grateful we are for the rain – and we are – but – even the rain has its downsides. As we were picking the first of the peppers for you this week we were disheartened to find that many of them have sunscald. Sunscald is a brown bruised looking spot – sometimes tiny and sometimes taking up a whole side of the pepper – that is caused in a large part by water on the fruit and then sun shining on it causing scald. These wonderful rains we’ve been having midday with the sun blasting out soon after are not good at all for the pepper (or tomato) crop. Hopefully the later crop will be in better shape.

In your share this week, we’re sending along some fairly large summer squashes. We know a lot of you like to make zucchini bread and cake (see the recipe from last week for the chocolate zucchini cake) and any of the larger summer squashes will work for bread or cake. You might also cut open the squash lengthwise, scoop out the larger seed, stuff the center with a pilaf kind of mixture and bake like an acorn squash. Delicious!

Just this morning, Gigi received a call that her mother who just recently had knee surgery had taken a fall down the stairs and done quite a bit of damage to her knee and head. We had also just gotten a call that one of our inters was not feeling well and wouldn’t make it today. We made a few calls – lined up a few volunteers, talked to our interns about picking up the slack and sent Gigi off to the hospital to be with her mother. So as I write, we are finishing draining veggies from the hydrocooling water and Erina is baking the last of loaves of bread. Gigi is planning to be back late this evening and will be getting this newsletter put together in the wee hours and mailed off to you in time for you to read it before you get to work – or soon after.

Until next week….

In your share this week:

Onions: Walla Walla
Potatoes: Russett Burbank
Cucumbers: Sweet Slice/ Minature White/ Eclipse
Summer Squash: - Zephyr/Eight Ball/ Horn of Plenty/ Lita/ Elite/ Celestial Mix Pattypans/ Bennings Green Tint Pattypan/ Costata Romanesco
Beans: Eurka Yellow
Swiss Chard: Northern Lights
Surprise: You may have a Orient Express Eggplant, White Globe Turnip, or Snapper, Islander, or Bianca sweet pepper in your box


Finally, we’ve found an acceptable substitute flour for our bread baking and we’re making a natural yeast artisan bread this week. Your bread this week is a natural yeast bread we call Rustic White Pain Au Levain. Pain Au Levain is a bread made with a starter yeast culture – we call ours the Madre and she’s been the big mother yeast of our breads for four years already. This Rustic White bread is wonderful to spread with some fresh made Pesto or top with a mixture of grilled or sautéed vegetables. For our lunch today we sautéed onions, eggplant, peppers,and pattypans together and liberally topped thick slices of bread with that mixture and pesto. YUMMM!!!
contributed by our intern, Erina
Roasted Zucchini with Thyme
1. Preheat oven to 450. Quarter and cut zucchini (about 1 and 1/2 pounds) into 1-2 inch chunks. Thinly slice 1 onion.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the zucchini and onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
3. Roast 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Note: this also works well on the grill.
Lemony Zucchini and Bean Salad
Ingredients: 1 cup blanched green or yellow bean, cut into bite-sized pieces1 medium or several small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 oz. Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup) grated or broken into small chunks (optional; feta cheese would also work)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Combine beans, zucchini, onion, cheese, and basil in serving bowl.
2. Whisk remaining ingredients together in small bowl.
3. Add dressing to vegetables and cheese; mix well and garnish with additional basil if desired.
Note: To make this salad into a heartier vegetarian meal, you can substitute 1/2 to 1 cup chickpeas for some of the green beans and/or zucchini.


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.