Nitty Gritty News July 30th

From the Farmers….
I can’t believe that it is almost August! It seems like just last week was the first of July and it is time for another FARM FESTIVAL! This Sunday, August 2, starting at 2:30 pm come to the farm for our SUMMER ABUNDANCE FESTIVAL. While we don’t actually have the bulk of the summer abundance veggies like tomatoes and peppers yet (because of the cold spring) we will have plenty of farm abundance to share with you. Good food prepared by our amazing farm staff, hayrides around the farm, lots of animals and plants, Nitty Gritty Dirt FARM music, and we’ll be tapping another keg of our homebrew for you. This is a great time to come to the farm to see exactly how and where your food is being grown, harvested and packed for you. Let us know if you plan to attend so we can plan how much food to prepare.

From one extreme to another – I guess that’s farming. Rain on Monday, and again today. Twice, we watched the sky turn darker and darker, a few drops, then more and we grabbed our bean picking buckets and ran for shelter. The problem with beans and rain is that you can’t pick wet beans. There is some kind of reaction that makes the beans get little rusty looking spots when they are picked wet. It’s odd because it is fine to get the already picked beans wet – but you can’t pick in the rain. However, you can harvest cabbage in the rain – and so we shifted gears until the sun came back out and dried the plants so we could go back to beans – until the next shower – and the next. And you can also write while it rains, so that is what I’m doing now, while some of the interns bag the potatoes dug this morning and the others start the evening animal chores.

Looking around the farm, it seems that we’ve made quite a few changes this week. The sheep are in a new electro-net fenced pasture with lots of grass to eat. The lambs have moved next door to another fenced area off the barn. We moved the clothesline to the west yard instead of the back yard. And our new intern shower/composting toilet/washing sink building is nearly finished. We had started construction of this 6’ x 16’ building ourselves and simply have not had enough time to get it completed. When Jim, a construction guy who has done great work for us before, called and asked if we had any jobs he could fit in between his big jobs – we decided to hand the project over to him. Our simple shower house has become something of a ‘Taj Ma’ Shower ‘Hall’ - a lot more substantial than we had planned. It will be great though having a place for a lot of interns to shower, wash up cooking dishes and have their own toilet.

We also did a marathon weeding day on Tuesday. With the blessing of rain also comes the curse of weeds. And so, we decided to pull by hand the weeds between the tomato rows. Te tomato plants are already planted in black plastic mulch, but the four foot between row space in which I had planned to seed a cover crop – but didn’t because it was too dry - had now in just a few days grown up thickly in weeds. We’ll till, spread summer rye, and rake in the seed between the rows. With the amount of soil moisture we now have, we’re hoping the rye will germinate quickly, and with it’s allelopathic affect (inhibits weed growth) that it will suppress the weeds, make a nice pathway for pickers and bushy tomato plants – and as we work it in – provide fertility for the soil. We are hoping to seed the buckwheat seed waiting in the barn between the melon and cucumber rows also while this rainy spell lasts. Oh – and the rapeseed I seeded with high hopes is growing well and hopefully will provide good fall grazing for the sheep.

On my weekend wandering around the fields, I noticed that the pickling cucumbers had a bunch of cukes just ready for pickles – so on Saturday, we made 18 pints of bread and butter pickles and 4 quarts of Wild Child Dill pickles (dill, hot pepper, garlic, allspice and mustard seed). For those of you who like to make pickles, you will be getting some pickling cukes in your share in the weeks to come along with your slicers. We mostly grow picking cukes for the farm, but are usually overwhelmed in a couple of weeks and will then share them with you. We’ll be making Dilly beans this weekend or early next week and we are still making Kim Chee.

In your share this week, you are getting the last of the green and Chinese cabbage. We are planning to fence in the cabbage field with electro-net fencing and let the sheep graze all the leafy remains of the post-harvest cabbage.

On Monday, the big pigs had a blast mud wrestling in their rain drenched pen. They raced around and around and threw themselves into the mud over and over, completely covering themselves with mud – while we just watched and laughed.

Until next week…. (or Sunday)…

What’s in your share…

Potatoes - Norland red
Onions - Walla Walla yellow sweet
Zucchini ?? – mix or match from: Slick Pick (yellow long), Elite (green long), Cavell (pale green long), Zephyr (yellow and green bowling pin), Raven (dark green long)
Cucumber – Raider, Sweet Slice
Chinese Cabbage - Blues and/or Green Cabbage – Primax
Kohlrabi – Winner and/or Turnip – Hakkurei
Green Beans – Derby and/or Provider
Yellow Beans – Eureka
Herbs: Basil – Genovese (green large leaf), Ararat (purple multi. Thai), Lime
Dill – Dukat (leafy) and/or Cilantro - Santo


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.