Nitty Gritty Dirt Week 16

From the farmers….
Three inches of rain. That’s the unofficial total we’ve determined from the amount in all of our harvest tubs and buckets which remained outside after the harvest gathering rain. And while we are glad of the rain to replenish the water table, at this time of year, we could sure do without three inches. After two frosts, this much rain is more of a problem than a help for most of our crops. It has pretty much done in the tomatoes – splitting many of them and causing rotten spots on many more. There are still a lot of good tomatoes on the plants, but picking them is not much fun what with sorting around all the damage.

The pig pen also turned into a huge mud pond with all the rain. Even the pigs who usually like a mud bath seemed a bit unhappy with almost no dry areas to lie down in. Perhaps this was why they decided to take matters into their own hooves. When Gigi and I went out to feed the pigs and cows on Saturday morning, we noticed some large oddly dug up areas in the large now empty sheep pasture. I wondered out loud if our neighbor Chick’s cows had possibly gotten out of their own pasture and into ours and had dug it up. When we got out to the pig pen – Oh no! There were no pigs in the pig pen. And the back panel of the pig fence was open. Those clever little piggies had untied the fence panel and let themselves out into a larger pen. We decided to let them have it. They seem quite delighted with the huge pen where they can range and run and roam as much as they like. We still feed and water them in the smaller area so that when we need to catch them we can simply close them off from the larger pen.

The turkey pens too are a mess from all the rain! And stinky! Just this morning we opened up another larger pen area for the Bronzes to move into to get them out of the worst of the wet area of their pen. They quite willingly moved into the grassy area that was formerly part of the lamb pen. The turkeys – especially as they get older are quite entertaining as they respond to any loud or unusual noise – like the tractor, the Canada geese flying overhead, or the big trucks going by on County Road 9. Whenever they hear a loud noise, they all gobble together in response. They even answer back to the cows mooing or someone coughing if it is loud enough.

The last few nights, the coyotes have been yipping and howling in the middle of the night. They sound like they are right outside our house. We like them around to keep down small critters and they don’t seem to have any interest in coming too close to any of our domestic livestock. We’ve also had several eagles and a lot of vultures and crows circling overhead lately. There must be something dead that they all have been checking out. The sand hill cranes have also begun flying and making a lot of noise especially this last week as they are getting ready to migrate. In the last few years, the one original first pair has turned into a whole flock of cranes that nest and live in and around the old gravel pit just behind our farm.

Until next week….

Fall Harvest Festival

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm Fall Harvest Festival is October 5th, the first Sunday in October starting at 2:30. There will be farm games, hay rides, and good food. Bring warm clothes just in case it gets cool. Please RSVP so we know how much food to prepare.

The Bread Box
Your bread this week is Tassajara Wheat yeast bread. Perfect with peanut butter and honey for breakfast on a cool fall morning, wrap around a huge tomato slice for sandwiches for lunch, or cut thick slices to have alongside squash soup for dinner. Enjoy.

What’s in your Share
Onions – Walla Walla – yellow
Eggplant – Galine (large purple) Dancer (med pink) Orient Express (small thin purple) Orient Charm (small thin pink), Thai green
Potatoes – Norkotah Russet
Peppers – Sweet –Lipstick and Apple (red to green 2” x 3”)
Watermelons: Sunshine (round striped – yellow) New Queen (round striped – orange), Starlight (round striped red flesh); Picnic (med to large dark green – red); Sorbet Swirl (small dark green – yellow and pink swirled)
Cantaloupe – Pulsar, Superstar, Burpee Hybrid – all heavy netting with deep sutures; Eclipse – smooth netting with no sutures
Tomatoes – Paragon, (large red); Orange Blossom, Moonglow (large orange); Taxi (med yellow); Pink Beauty (large deep pink); Green Zebra (small green striped)
Beets – Red Ace
Swiss Chard – Northern Lights
Basil – Ararat
Parsley – Italian flat leaf

Cookbook Recommendations

Two treasures for cooking within season. Both follow a format of recipes from early greens through squash and pumpkins and all things inbetween. Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
and From Asparagus to Zucchini by the local area farms near Madison Wisconsin.


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.