Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm News May 20th

From the Farmers,

Radishes, beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, bok choi, kohlrabi, lettuce, greens, turnips, herbs … are all in the fields. The greenhouses are emptying out as we move those flats and flats of seedlings we started back in March out to the fields. We’ve been putting in some long, hard days planting and seeding as well as caring for the livestock.

Our third apprentice/intern, Kathryn arrived on Sunday. Just in the nick of time, we finished building her hybrid wood and canvas Quonset cabin. In fact we were screwing the last boards on the front step when she arrived. Kristen, Dale and Kathryn make up an amazing farm crew – enthusiastic, hardworking, interested and interesting.

We finally transferred the last flat of germinated plants from the ‘Seed House” to the greenhouse. So today, as a break from planting, we removed all the fluorescent lights – wrapped them in cardboard and/or feed bags and stacked them up in the top of the barn. We removed the plant racks, swept the dirt from the floors and began making the transition of the building back into Robin’s farm office. By next week, the remaining boxes of seeds (that currently take up nearly half of the house office) and field maps and other farm planning stuff will be lining the shelves and desk.

On Tuesday morning, we weaned all but the smallest three lambs – the last born. We de-wormed all the ewes, trimmed a few feet, loaded them into the stock trailer – in two groups – and transferred them to the large NE pasture. The ewes seemed happy to be out on pasture and only a few lambs (still penned close to the barn) are calling plaintively to their moms.

The baby broiler chicks arrived on Monday. The phone rang at 6:45 – the post office calling to say they had arrived. We moved them into a large stock tank with lights. It’s amazing to realize that these cute fluffy yellow babies will be big, white birds ready to butcher in just eight to ten weeks!

The eight baby bunnies of Leia, our English Spot rabbit, are also growing like crazy – well really they are growing like rabbits. I just separated the five boys, taking them away from Leia and moving them into their own cage. The three girls will stay with mom for another week and then they too will move into their own cage.

Our goat kids are growing and taking nearly all the milk from our five milking does. We’ve begun separating some of the does from the kids at night so that in the morning we get all the milk. Stormy, the two year old Saanen is giving three quarts every morning as well as feeding her twin kids. Mezzo, a yearling Saanen is milking about a quart and a half every morning – along with feeding her one buck kid. We’ve been letting the Toggenburgs each feed their twins and not milking them, but tonight I separated all the moms, so tomorrow morning I’ll get at least a couple of gallons of milk – enough to add to the two gallons in the fridge to make a nice batch of cheese.

This is the busy time of year at the farm. So much going on all the time, it is hard to keep track and every day, so much changes. It is exciting and exhausting all at the same time.

We look forward to seeing many of you at our first Farm Festival – the Blessing of the Fields and Flocks. This is a great chance to visit the farm – see in person all you read about and see in snapshots on the blog – meet us and our farm intern/apprentices – and share in some good food and beverages.

Until next week ……………….. Robin and Gigi


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.