Nitty Gritty News July 16TH


From now on you will have a box of your very own. We still highly recommend that you bring a bag, transfer your treasures into it, and leave your empty box at the drop site. CAREFULLY unfold the tabs on the top and bottom and gently flatten the box. If you try to force them, they could tear and they don’t hold the heavier produce well if the tabs have tears. Thanks in advance for your help.

From the Farmers….

Anticipating rain all day on Tuesday, we found all kinds of odd jobs that were not in the fields that needed doing – moving the sheep to yet another pasture, organizing and bagging seeds, assembling three new wheelbarrows, sewing the cover and walls for a yurt – and no real rain – only a few sprinkles. After dark, the lightning and wind came and finally – the rain. So badly needed, we only got about ½ inch which is not enough but certainly better than nothing. Our well got a day of respite from irrigating yet another field, and we took a day off from weeding.

The rain caused quite a few of the ready-for-harvest cabbages to split – and so we took advantage of the opportunity and after harvesting all day today, we dug out the antique kraut cutter and shredded and packed three five gallon pails of sauerkraut. With the abundance of various cabbages , we have also been experimenting with kimchee – a fermented bok choy or Chinese cabbage mixed with other veggies. Gigi thought the first attempt was a bit too heavy on red pepper and ginger so another is in the works. We are not sure that we will follow the tradition of Koreans who eat kimchee with everything – even breakfast, but it seems a good addition to a meal for those who like to add a bit of zing.

We are finally making progress on our yurts. Cara seems to have made it her mission to get the yurt covers sewed so Dale and Sara can move into them soon. With a few grommets and only a little more fitting of the cordura nylon fabric over the doorway, the first structure is nearly ready. On the potentially rainy Tuesday, we moved the whole yurt into our processing hoop house so we could work on it even if it rained. We also moved the sewing machine right outside to the hoop house too to make fitting and sewing more convenient.

Our baby broiler chicks are growing fast – already turning from cute yellow puff balls into less cute beginning-to-feather babies. And the baby rabbits have turned into teenagers – and Minerva is pregnant again – due to kindle in the beginning of August. All of the babies grow so quickly into big animals. The turkeys are growing fast, as are the pigs – even the second group of five are growing fast – especially with the addition of milk and whey to their diet.

Over the weekend, we figured out the average rates of gain for the pigs, the lambs and the steers – and then based on our figures and data from the last two years, we made appointments at the two local butchers where we get our meat processed. It is a little hard to know exactly when the livestock will be the correct market weight – and in order to get an appointment, we have to book it months ahead – especially as the dates go into September and October.
Even though we have almost no pasture and are feeding hay to the sheep and steers and goats – everyone seems to be doing pretty well. On Monday, with potential rain, I disked one pasture field, seeded it with 25 pounds of rapeseed and dragged it – and waited for rain – which did finally come by evening. Hopefully we will get some more so the crop grows to provide grazing for the sheep this fall.

Janet Fletcher, the cookbook author was back last Thursday to talk to us again and see us get everything harvested, cleaned, sorted, and packed into your boxes. She sent us a couple of pictures that she took – which are on the blog site.

Intern Jacq is gone this week – camping in Alaska. We miss her but hope she is having fun and getting reenergized. Tomorrow is Avery’s last day at the farm. He will be leaving to drive to Earlham College in Illinois where he will meet up with a group who will then turn around and drive back up north – far north – for a long canoe trip for a college class. We wish Avery well and hope he will come back for a visit.

Cara and Sarah have become our farm cheese queens – making batches of cheese nearly every day they are at the farm. Cara made Panir – an Indian cheese – and used it for part of an Indian curry meal she made for us. Both Sarah and Cara have learned to make several soft yogurt cultured spreadable cheeses and today made a feta like cheese which will be ready to eat next Monday. I (Robin) made some squeaky cheese curds to eat as a snack. It is a bit tricky making cheese when we have to work around the farm schedule and can’t simply stay by the cheese kettle and watch the process carefully. It has meant we need to stick to fool-proof types of cheese that don’t require such careful and timely steps.

Tomorrow morning we’ll begin the harvest at 6:30 and so…

Until next week……………. Robin and Gigi

What’s in your box?

Yukon Gold potatoes
Knight shelling peas
Provider and Jade Green Beans, Eureka yellow beans
Baby Collard greens
Red Russian kale
Primax green cabbage
Blues Chinese cabbage
Packman broccoli
Walla Walla onions
Joi Choi bok choy


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.