Nitty Gritty Farm News August 25th

From the Farmers….
Yellow, Orange, Pink and Red – the watermelons are here! Sunshine (yellow), New Orchid (orange), Mickey Lee (pink), Starlight (red) and Blacktail Mountain (red) – whichever color you get in your box, we think you’ll be delighted with the juicy sweetness of every variety of watermelon we are growing this year. We’ve been eating melons every day and no matter which color we bring in the house, we think they are the delicious! We hope you do too. And even though I said last week that it was the end of the cantaloupes – there are a few more this week – so enjoy.

However, I think this week will be the last of the tomatoes. As I said, last week, the tomatoes are just awful – the constant rain made for the worst tomato harvest ever. So, while we have been canning like crazy – over 100 quarts of juice, pasta sauce and barbeque sauce – the tomatoes that are good enough for fresh slicing and to put in your boxes are almost non-existent. As we pick, it is usually about 40-50 bad tomatoes for every one that is pretty good. If any of you are interested in picking some tomatoes to make into sauce, please contact us to set up a time to pick – but do it soon as they won’t last long.

We started out our week renovating animal pens. We doubled the size of the turkey pen since the turkeys they are growing fast and needed more room. We also nearly quadrupled the broiler pen in size with a big area of grass for them. We moved the last group of lambs into a new area – first deworming and guestimating weights as we loaded and moved them. And then we moved the big self feeder that holds over 500 pounds of feed at a time into the pigs pen so they have feed available all the time which they like. We separated the goats – taking the kids away from the moms now for good – and put the kids into the big pen with the ‘Rainbow’ playground and the does in a newly enlarged pen. We have also have been moving the electro-net fence around the oats pasture for the ewes moving it twice a week. We didn’t move Reba, but did add a strand of electric fence wire around an extra pen we’ll make available for her once she gives birth –which hasn’t happened yet – though she is looking closer. Wow – a lot of animal activity. But everyone seems quite happy – except for the goat kids.

Finally, with no rain for at least a couple of days, I plowed, disked and dragged up three sections of the fields in which the earlier crops have been harvested. We’ll seed fall rye into the old potato and pea areas and just today we replanted the section between the melons and carrots. Kristen and Laura seeded radishes, arugula and beets. Depending on what the weather does, hopefully these crops will be ready to harvest near the end of September.

This year, we’ve been trying to keep up with maintenance tasks throughout the harvest season rather than waiting until fall to get everything accomplished. This is working out really well. So today, the interns dug out the area in the rabbit hoop house where the earlier broilers had been living – and spread that composted manure out on the field. Then they hauled a huge load of sand from what will be the new root cellar and filled the excavation with clean sand. Thus the Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm team photo on this week’s blog cover.

Until next week……………Robin

What’s in your Share this week:
Tomato: Any or all of the following: Taxi (yellow), Pink Beauty (pink), Paragon (red), Red Sun (red), Green Zebra (green striped), Red Pear, Yellow Pear, Sungold (gold cherry)
Peppers: Hot: Numex Joe E. Parker (long green mildly hot), Serrano del Sol (small
green hot)
Sweet: Lipstick (mostly red thick walled heart shaped) or Gypsy (yellow)
Eggplant: Dancer (pink), or Galine (large purple),or Kermit (round green), or Thai green (long green), or Orient Express (long purple), or Orient Charm (long pink)
Carrots : Scarlet Nantes
Beets : Merlin
Bok Choi: Joi Choi
Celeriac: Brilliant (Use the tops for celery flavoring. Peel and shred or dice the
root and use as celery)
Basil: Ararat
Kohlrabi: Kossack
Watermelon: Sunshine (green stripe yellow),or Starlight (green stripe red),or New Orchid (green stripe orange), or Blacktail Mountain (black red),or Mickey Lee (pale green deep pink).
Cantaloupe: Pulsar or Superstar or Eclipse or Classic
Summer Squash: Any mix of the following: Zephyr or President or Lita or Horn of Plenty or Elite or Raven or Bennings Green Tint or Perfect Pick
Spaghetti Squash: Small Wonder (gold oval)


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.