Nitty Gritty Farm News August 18th

From the farmers…….

Gigi reminds me to give kudos to all of you who are remembering to bring your own re-usable bags every week to your drop site into which to transfer your veggies from their box so that you can take them home. Leaving the boxes at the drop sites REALLY saves on wear and tear on the boxes. THANK YOU, thank you so much for helping us out with this.

This week we harvested the last of the cantaloupe and honeydews –we hope you enjoy the ones you get this week – they’ll be the last until next year. If you don’t get to your melon right away or it is a little bit overripe – we suggest you try a melon smoothie. Cut up the melon in cubes, freeze it in a cake pan. You can put it in a freezer container or bag now to save for later or use it right now. Put the cubes in a blender with a glug of honey, a drop or two of vanilla and enough yogurt or milk to make it thin enough to blend. Blend and enjoy!

On Monday, we set up the electro-net fence for the ewes (female sheep) and moved them – minus the rams – into a new pasture. This is the oats, field peas and turnips we seeded early this spring. The rams are away from the ewes now since sheep are seasonal breeders (estrus cycle determined by photoperiod) and we don’t want to have baby lambs born until March – which means we’ll put the rams back with the ewes the first of October. The ewes are busy grazing on new exciting pasture and the rams are still in the old fold area and not very happy about it. We will move them to fresh pasture soon and we’ll be moving the ewes every week until the whole oats pasture is grazed. We also fenced in a new pen in the area next to the goats where the garlic and barley were growing earlier. We’ll get the last of the lambs moved into that area by the end of the week.

We butchered another batch of broilers on Tuesday morning. It is amazing that though they were only eight weeks old they are already very big. We only had 16 of them in this group so the butchering went very quickly with a rented plucker and a fast crew. Late afternoon, while the butchered chickens cooled prior to pick up by chicken share folks – we loaded the Alumacraft and Old Town Camper onto the little Toyota pickup and we all headed for the St. Croix River for a NGDF Crew Canoe Adventure. We left a car at the Sunrise landing and drove upriver (circumventing all the road construction that is ALL around us) a few miles by road to give ourselves a three to four hour paddle down river. It was a perfect day – very little wind, the river was very high from all the rain, and it was sunny with lots of clouds and not too hot, not too cold. We saw several deer, a couple of eagles, and almost no other people as we paddled and floated to Sunrise in just a little over two hours. We got back to the farm in time for evening chores and finishing up the chickens.

Today, Wednesday, with a smaller crew because Dale is gone to a wedding in Maine, we harvested tomatoes (way more damaged ones for us to process than good ones for all of you) and this afternoon in the rain, we washed and cooked and ran through the food mill over 6 bushels of damaged tomatoes.

Right now at 9:30 pm, we’re watching – mostly listening to the Music Man – and we have six big canning kettles of sauce that just needs to cook down until thick – and we are off to bed since we’ll begin harvest and packing tomorrow at 7 tomorrow morning. We’re hoping that the rain will hold off until we are finished harvesting and packing your boxes. It’s not much fun harvesting and packing in the rain!

It has been a wonderful week with the lower temperatures. Getting up and needing to put on long pants, socks and a sweatshirt is wonderful. It sure feels like fall.

Until next week……………..Robin

What’s in your share this week.

Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Asian Melon (same varieties as last week)
Summer Squash (same varieties as last week)
Tomatoes (Taxi, Orange Blossom, Paragon, Pink Beauty, Green Zebra, Red Sun, Red Pear, Yellow Pear, Sungold cherry
Eggplant (same varieties as last week)
Peppers: Hot – Conchos Jalapeno
Sweet – Carmen, Gypsy, Islander, Wizard, Sweet Chocolate
Onion – Sierra Blanca
Bok Choi – Joi Choi
Fennel – Orion
Basil – Lime
Carrots – Cosmic Purple


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.