Nitty Gritty News August 6th

From the Farmers……

It has been a week full of people at Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm. Our Summer Abundance Festival on Sunday was delightful. Thank you to everyone who attended, ate stirfried just-picked veggies, slaw, fresh breads, pesto, home brew and sun tea - with us. And even though we got a few sprinkles of rain, our new big hoop house for packing boxes – though a bit dark – provided plenty of room for eating and listening to music and drumming. We are always so delighted when shareholders come to visit the farm because we think it gives you a sense of exactly where and how your food is produced. We also believe that you gain a sense of – and put faces to - what we do to grow, weed, harvest and pack your food each week. If you haven’t been to the farm yet, we encourage you to do so.
On Monday, we welcomed back Olivia, intern two years ago who caught us up on her life since interning at NGDF, while seeding and pulling weeds. Tuesday brought Robin’s niece Emilie along with four friends who brought enormous energy for pulling wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow load of huge weeds from between the plastic mulch rows of tomatoes and then seeding and raking rye between the rows – as well as Gigi’s parents who came for some grandkid time as well as a farm lunch. And – Gigi’s kids Katy and Seth (only until Tuesday) are at the farm all week.
Our animals are thriving. After we filled the big pig feeder on Monday with 600 more pounds of feed, we managed to slip a weigh tape around the pigs as they were eating. The smallest of the big group is (according to the tape) 165 pounds and the biggest about 225 pounds. And the turkeys seem to take leaps in growth every week. Everyone is eating like crazy – it seems we are always getting a load of one kind of feed or another. The lambs are eating over 80 pounds of feed at day right now – in addition to pasture. Very soon the first group of them will be off to the butcher.
Today, we moved the older ewes to another pasture. Now that we have been getting some regular rain, the pastures are finally beginning to grow a little new grass. The small area the sheep are in now will keep them happy for a few days and then we will move them to what is left of the harvested cabbage and Chinese cabbage field where they’ll be fenced in the electro-net fencing set up by the interns this morning.

In your share this week, you will find some rather large zucchini. We know….. but since we don’t have a good walk-in cooler (yet????) we don’t have a good way to harvest them several times a week and hold them for you at the perfect size. We hope you will see our abundance of these big zukes as an opportunity to make zucchini cake and bread. We made a chocolate zucchini cake this week – one in a 9 x 13 pan and the other divided into three loaf pans. Delicious. It also freezes well. We are also including a recipe for Dilly Beans. We make a lot of these bean pickles every year and can them to enjoy all winter. You can just make a jar and put them in your fridge for a few days to a few weeks and enjoy them from the fridge instead of hot water bath canning if you prefer. There will be a lot more beans coming – so if you still haven’t had enough fresh beans – just save the recipe for later. You can also dry the dill to use later as dill weed and dill seed heads.

Until next week…..

What's in your Share:

Potatoes - Yukon Gold
Beans - Derby, Provider (green) Eureka (yellow)
Onions - Candy
Carrots - Scarlet Nantes
Kohlrabi - Winner
Collards - Vates
Swiss Chard - Northern Lights
Summer Squash - Raven, Elite (green) Slick Pick, Zephyr, Horn of Plenty (yellow)
Lita (roundish grayish green) Cavelle (grey)
Basil - Genovese
Cilantro - Santo
Dill - Bouquet


From the Gardeners’ Community Cookbook
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Butter for the pan
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk or sour cream or yogurt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped zucchini
¼ cup chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream whisked with
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter, oil and sugar in a
large bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla and
milk and beat well.
Combine the flour, baking powder,
baking soda, salt, cocoa, cinnamon and
Cloves. Stir into the batter, then add the
Zucchini, mixing well each time. Pour
Into the baking pan and sprinkle the
chocolate chips over the top. Bake for
40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted
in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, cool slightly, then
slice and serve. If using the sour cream, place
a dollop on each plate. Will keep, covered, for
up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Robin included chopped nuts in the chocolate
chip layer on the top. It was a delicious addition.

From Putting Food By
Dilly Beans

For each quart jar
One dill seed head and a couple of sprigs of the ferny leaves.
1/4 tsp red pepper or one hot pepper cut in half
1 - 2 cloves garlic cut in half
green and/or yellow beans

Mix 2 1/2 cups water and 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup salt (enough for one or two quart jars)

Wash beans thoroughly, remove stems and tips. Wash jars. Have lids in scalding water. In each jar, place the dill, the red pepper and the cloves of garlic. Pack beans upright in jars leaving one inch of head room. Heat together the water, vinegar and salt; when mixture boils, pour it over the beans, filling each jar to 1/2inch from the top. Wipe the tops of the jars with a clean cloth, adjust the hot lids on the jars and firmly tighten the screw caps. Process in a boiling water bath
for 20 minutes for quarts, 15 minutes for pints. Set the timer once the water is boiling. Remove jars and place on towel. Lids will "pop" when they seal. If they do not "pop", process them again or just put them in the fridge and eat within a few weeks.

Contributed by our 2008 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.