From the farmers….
Rain, rain, rain. All the rain we didn’t get earlier in the summer, we are getting now. Three more inches of rain late afternoon on Tuesday. And all of it in one hour along with 50 mile an hour winds which blew harvest buckets and tubs allover the yard. We were at the end of the first day of turkey butchering when the storm hit and both of us were soaked to the skin in minutes as we finished plucking the last two turkeys. When the wind started, the processing hoop house where we were working began to whip back and forth and Gigi had to hang on to the wire framework to keep it from inverting itself. When we finally finished and raced to the house to get dry and warm, the power was out. Just as we were contemplating getting down the oil lamps, with a few stutters it came back on. We did finish up the first batch of 12 turkeys by fluorescent light.
None of the livestock seems the worst for the storm - all weathered it well. Apple and Rhubarb still looked a bit drenched and the pig pen (the original pen area) is one huge muddy lake. The Bronze turkeys didn’t seem to mind the rain and wind and except for a bit of soaked feed in their feeders their feathers seemed to keep them completely dry.

Because we’ve been having so much rain lately, this last storm didn’t seem to cause any more damage in the fields. The tomato plants already look like a mess as do the melon and squash plants, so being beat on by torrential rains didn’t seem to matter. With last week’s warm weather, there are a lot of ripe tomatoes even though the plants look like a mess. We have picked all of the squash (lots of damaged ones from squash bugs) now and will finish picking the pumpkins and gourds later this week.

We’ve also begun harvesting the first of the dry ears of the Earth Tones dent corn. This is a beautiful muted colors ornamental corn that can be ground for meal or flour. The ears are large and many of them have not yet ripened off. We are hoping that in the next two weeks they will dry so we can pick and get them to you for your fall decorations – and then if you like, you can grind and eat them.

Beginning next week, you will be getting pumpkins and gourds in your share. All of our pumpkins can be eaten and a couple of them are great for pies as well as being ornamental. We are also growing a naked seeded pumpkin grown especially for its seeds. These too will be in your share in the next two weeks.

As I finished milking the goat tonight, I heard a Great Horned Owl hooting along the St. Croix River. Every day we have great skeins of Canada Geese flying over and the Sandhill Cranes have been gathering and making a lot of noise. We can hear them long before we can see them.

I just stopped writing long enough to help Erina knead the last batch of bread and just as we were putting the finished dough into buckets to proof, the dogs started to howl. Listening at the door, we heard other dogs from neighboring farms begin to howl and then as we stepped out onto the porch, we heard over the top of that, the yipping, laughing, yelping sound of coyotes.

We feel pretty sure that we are living in the perfect place - only an hour from the Twin Cities and yet here in the St. Croix River valley, we have an abundance of wildlife. Daily, eagles and vultures, geese and Sand Hill cranes, fly over. Deer sneak in at night to nip the tops off the late carrots and beans – earlier in the season, they stay farther away. And the coyotes yip and yelp at least once a week for moments or longer after dark. And the sky here is amazing – wide open – we can see 360 degrees – constellations easy to pick out and the bright orange harvest moon last week - absolutely beautiful!

Until next week …..

The Bread Box
Your bread this week is Tassajara Wheat yeast bread. Wheatier than last week. Intern Erina mixed, kneaded, shaped and baked the bread this week. She arrived earlier than her -this week and Erina baking was a huge help) Erina has been very interested in becoming a baker and has been helping with bread most of the summer. She made her own natural yeast starter from scratch at home and has also been baking regularly at her home. We are delighted that Erina is so interested in the bread baking part of our CSA. This Tassajara Wheat bread would be perfect with a bowl of warm fall soup or stew.

What’s in your Share
Onions – Burgermaster – red
Eggplant – Galine (large purple) Dancer (med pink) Orient Express (small thin purple) Orient Charm (small thin pink), Thai green
Squash – Small Wonder Spaghetti (round gold), Blue Magic (grey blue)
Potatoes – Red Norland
Peppers – Sweet Bell: Snapper – green, Ace – red, Islander – purple, Bianca – cream, Gourmet –orange, Sunray – yellow
Peppers – Sweet Italian frying: Jimmy Nardello – long thin green or red (look like they are hot but are not)
Peppers – Hot: Conchos (jalapenos)
Tomatoes – Paragon, (large red); Orange Blossom, Moonglow (large orange); Taxi (med yellow); Pink Beauty (large deep pink)
Radishes – Pink Beauty, Scarlet Royal
Kale – Red Russian

Fall Harvest Festival
Sunday, October 5th, 2008 from 2:30 to 5:00. This is the last farm fest of the season. Come up for the hay rides, farm games, food and fun. Please RSVP so we know what to plan for.

Robin’s Ratatouille Serves 4

3 medium eggplant (or enough to make about 2 -3 cups cut up) cut into ¼” slices or 1” squares if a larger eggplant. No need to peel unless the eggplant has been sitting around for a few days.
3-4 peppers (any color or combination) cut into ¼” x 1” chunks
2 onions (yellow or white or red) cut in half the long way and then into strips the length of the onion
1 – 2 cloves of garlic (optional) - minced
2-4 summer squash (any kind) cut into ¼” slices or ¼ x 1” chunks if a larger squash
4-6 tomatoes (any variety or color combination) cut into ¼” cubes – no need to peel, just remove core end.
Basil – about ¼ cup chopped
Parsley – about ¼ cup chopped
Olive oil – about 4-5 Tablespoons
Salt – to taste

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil on med high in large cast iron frying pan. Add chopped onions and garlic. Fry until onions begin to turn translucent – stirring with wooden spoon. Add peppers and summer squash and continue to cook until squash is tender. Remove from frying pan and hold in a dish to the side. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to fry pan and heat until very hot. Add eggplant and stir constantly and cook until eggplant begins to be tender. Add the rest of veggies back to pan and add chopped tomatoes. Stir well, put a cover on pan, stir occasionally, cook until the tomatoes make a sauce and veggies are tender. Add basil and parsley, cook an additional five minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve hot, warm or cold. You can serve it on rice or noodles if you like. Sprinkle with parmesan or asiago cheese. Pour a glass of wine on the side.


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.