Nitty Gritty News September 24th

From the Farmers….

If ever you were to store away tomatoes for the long… cold… no fresh food … winter ---- this would be the year! We have an absolute bumper crop of tomatoes this year. After waiting weeks and weeks thinking that possibly it might freeze before the tomatoes turned ripe, we are swimming in tomatoes. And you get to share in that abundance! We are including a recipe for a quick tomato sauce – a good way to use a lot of tomatoes – and a sauce that you can freeze or use in a variety of ways. We also suggest making a beautiful colorful confetti salsa using all the colors of tomatoes, peppers and onions.

On Tuesday at the farm we canned a couple bushels of the Orange Blossom tomatoes and then made a batch of salsa to eat fresh with hot off the griddle homemade tortillas and the rest to put in jars and process. Using the many colors of produce makes food that is as much art as delicious.

On Tuesday, we also pulled the first frames of honey from the bee hives. We just purchased a simple three frame honey extractor and were excited to begin removing honey from our bees. We extracted a little over three gallons of honey from the first super (10 frames).

Sara Remington, the photographer for the cookbook we will be in, has been here this week to take a million photos for the cookbook. It has been fun having her here – reminding us in many ways why we are farmers – why we grow food that goes directly to families like you - why we believe that creating community is so important – why we think CSA farming is one of the best ways to farm – why we believe in SLOW food – why we have such a diversified farm – why we do all the peripheral things like raising bees, making cheese, making beer, canning and freezing and drying food… that go along with that farming.

Until next week …..


Cantaloupe - Superstar, Pulsar, Eclipse or Classic,
Watermelons - Sunshine(round striped – yellow) or New Orchid (round striped – orange) or Starlight (round striped – red) or Blacktail Mountain (round dark green – red) or Sweet Siberian (oval striped – orange) or Mickey Lee (round pale green – red)
Onions - Walla Walla or Candy, Red Candy Apple
Squash - Pasta Hybrid Spaghetti, Small Wonder Spaghetti
Eggplant - Dancer (pink oval) Galine (purple oval) Thai Green (green long) Orient Charm (pink long) Orient Express (purple long)
Sweet Peppers - Islander (purple bell) Carmen (green bull horn) Gypsy (yellow)
Snapper (green bell), Lipstick or Apple (2” by 4”green to red)
Hot Peppers - Serrano del Sol (1/2” x 3” green), Conchos (green jalapeno 2” x 2”)
Tomatoes - Taxi (yellow) Orange Blossom (orange) New Girl (small red) Paragon (large red) Pink Beauty (dark pink) Green Zebra
Bok Choi - Mei Quing Choi
Zucchini - Zephyr, Cavelle, Sunburst, Raven, Elite or Bennings Green Tint
Carrots – Cosmic Purple
Cabbage – Red Express
Kale – Red Russian
Swiss Chard – Northern Lights
Turnips – Just Right (not sure it these will be in the box this week)

Basic Quick-Cooked Tomato Sauce
From the Gardners Community Cookbook by Victoria Wise

5 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, juices reserved
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup tomato paste

Place all ingredients in a large nonreactive pot and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring once or twice, for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Use the right away or cool and refrigerate for up to one week. Note: For longer storage, the sauce may also be packed into sterilized jars and processed in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, or after cooling can be frozen. Makes 7 cups

Tomato Sauce as an Ingredient
When a recipe calls for tomato sauce to mix into the dish rather than star as a topping, you can easily turn either of the basics tomato sauces into that ingredient. To do so, puree the sauce as fine as possible in a food processor for a chunky version. Put through a food mill for a smooth sauce.


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.