Nitty Gritty Farm News July 22, 2010

From the Farmers………….
“These are the beans that never end……..they just go on and on my friend …….somebody started picking them not knowing what they was……….and they’ll continue picking them forever just because …..THESE ARE THE BEAN THAT NEVER END!!!!!!!!........they just go on and on………..”
This is Stephanie’s new NGDF theme song – sung to raise spirits, as sweaty and dirty and mosquito bitten our whole crew picked and picked green beans last week and now this week the yellow Eureka beans. We do hope you are enjoying every savory moment of these amazing beans that never seem to end. Here at the farm, we’ve all been canning dilly beans, freezing beans and pressure canning mixed green and yellow beans in this abundant season. If any of you are interested in a few more beans to put in your jars or freezer – we didn’t finish picking the yellow beans – there is almost a whole row left – at least 8 five gallon buckets worth - so give us a call if you want to come to the farm Thursday afternoon or evening, Friday all day or Sunday evening to pick for yourself what is still in the field.

Tuesday was chicken butchering day – 47 broilers moved from Godzilla birds into the refrigerator – and soon to be in the kitchens of some of you. (Two more groups of broilers are still growing.) We hope you enjoy eating them as much as we do. Dale made an amazing lunch today of barbequed (homemade 2009 BBQ sauce) on one chicken, and a dry rub on the other chicken (both fresh) for our noon meal, along with a huge fresh salad of romaine, snap peas, carrots, onions, turnips, peppers, broccoli and more – all fresh moments before from the fields. It is absolutely what sustains us here – both body and mind – good food well prepared and presented and totally celebrated. We hope that all of you are also fully enjoying preparing new and old favorite recipes with your NGDF veggies.

Gigi suggested that I talk a little about resources for recipes. Here at the farm we tend to bring in a huge pile of everything that is ready to be harvested – look at it and then decide what to prepare from it. We are lucky in that every day we are fixing a noon meal for at least eight very hungry farmers – and so we can make a wide variety of dishes – and know that there will seldom be left-overs. However, we are also challenged in that two of our crew are gluten free, two are vegetarians and four are big meat eaters. We try to have every noon meal accommodate every diet – no small task even with all of our fresh food. We also try to have our meal use at least 85% farm produced food (like meat, veggies, eggs and dairy products), and another 10% farm processed (like bread we make but don’t produce the flour or beer and wine we make ourselves from all or part outside resources) with only 5% of every meal food produced off the farm (like quinoa/corn pasta or lentils, spices, or butter).

We love hearing from shareholders about how you use the food we grow for you – from some of the recipes you’ve tried from ‘Eating Local’ to your Gin and Tonics muddled with lime basil. By the way – intern Kristen created a cucumber and lime basil juice with gin drink tonight – pretty good over ice. One of the sites recommended by a shareholder is foodieview.com. The upper right corner has a quick search area where you just type in the ingredients you have. I also know that if you just type in a list of the veggies you got in your share and then select a category of food and google it you get an amazing variety of recipes. For example type: Napa Cabbage, cucumber, dill, turnip recipes Asian. Search.

There are so many good cookbooks out there it’s hard to choose. Though I don’t often cook directly from cookbooks – I do get ides and inspiration from them. Gigi says I cook to the picture (instead of the ingredient list) – and that is true since so often I need to substitute for ingredients I don’t’ have to those I do – like using kohlrabi instead of Jicama. But - I do have a few favorites. Even though we are one of the featured farms I think Eating Local is a wonderful cookbook. I also love Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors. And the Smith and Hawken Gardener’s Community Cookbook is one I refer to often. It is where I got the wonderful Chocolate Zucchini cake that is our farm birthday cake of choice. We also use the Joy of Pickling, The Ball Blue book canning and freezing guide, Putting Food By for processing foods. The Moosewood Cookbook and the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, From Asparagus to Zucchini, The Tassajara Cookbook and the Tassajara Bread Book are also some of my favorites. I love cookbooks and have a six foot book shelf of them. Our newest sections are recipe books on cheesemaking, winemaking and beer brewing – as well as all the artisan bread cookbooks. You can also find a great resource of recipes at your local library. But I think for sheer convenience – on line recipes are it.

It has been a long, hard week at the farm – early starts all week and very late finishes – and long hot, hard days in between. . As I write, I know we are all exhausted – we finished butchering the chickens at 10:30 last night, then celebrated until 11:30 and started again this morning at 7:00 with animal chores – and then packing the chickens for delivery – and then on to those beans that never end……. And we’ll begin tomorrow morning at 6:00 am with harvesting, prepping, packing – and then getting those fresh veggies to you!!!

Don’t forget – August 1 – at 3:00 pm (please not before 3:00!!! – since Gigi and I will just be getting back from a church retreat and need some time to get ready for you) we invite you to come to our SUMMER ABUNDANCE FESTIVAL. We’ll be set for hay rides, music (we invite you to bring your ashiko or djembe drum to play in our drum circle), lots of great stir fried veggies, some homebrew beer on tap and a few bottles of our newest homemade wine, – and fun, interesting, like-minded folks to become your new best friends. Please let us know if you plan to come – but also just come if it works out that you can and you didn’t let us know. We love having you visit the farm – so we can meet face to face – and you can see your food growing, meet your meat, and get to know your farmers and farm crew.

Until next week………….. Robin

What’s in your share this week – (at least as best we know at 10:00 pm on Wednesday evening)

‘Eureka’ yellow beans
‘Scarlet Queen Red Stems’ and ‘Hakurei’ turnips and greens
‘The Blues’ Napa Cabbage
‘Raider’, ‘Sweet Slice’, and ‘Homemade Pickles’ cucumbers
‘Zephyr’, ‘Lita’, ‘Raven’, ‘Elite’, ‘Slick Pic’, ‘Horn of Plenty’ summer Squash
‘Cimarron’ red Romaine, ‘Freckles’ speckled romaine
‘Northern Lights’ Swiss Chard
‘Bulls Blood’ Beets and greens
‘Genovese’ Basil, ‘Lime’ basil, ‘Dukat’ dill, ‘Zatar’ marjoram


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.