From the Farmer (Gigi this week)

I can’t remember a summer with so much rain in my 52 summers. I went outside to get some pictures of the harvest and found Robin and Kristin cleaning the carrots. It was hard to tell who was more soaked, the carrots or the people. The remainder of the crew was still out at the end of the row harvesting the rest carrots in the thunder and the mud. It is disheartening. It’s hard on the produce, it’s hard on the crew and it’s hard on Robin, the farm manager, who understands the most about the effect the rain has on the farm.

The animals are all huddled together in their shelters and seeming quite calm. I suppose they have gotten used to these stormy days. Agate, our youngest cat, usually stays out all day and half the night wandering the farm, but today even she is staying inside. Reba and her calf are laying out in the rain, probably enjoying the absence of flies on their backs.

Each season has its idiosyncrasies. This year the rain seems to be constant. One year we went without rain from the beginning of July until mid August, over six weeks. One year we had a million melons and we had no onions at all. One year when the tomato horn worms had to be picked off of the tomato plants every day, the squash plants were flourishing. The following year the horn worms did not return but the squash bugs destroyed nearly all of the squash plants. It is an ever changing adventure.

Our crew has spent quite a bit of time on the tomatoes this year. We did everything right, starting the plants from seedlings, transplanting into black plastic mulch in the field, carefully staking and running twine between the stakes as the plants grew. It looked like a seed catalog cover photo. But there will always be conditions we cannot control, and much of our good work on the tomato plants this year was lost to blight and sun scald caused by rain. You have gotten some tomatoes in your shares, just not as many as we would have liked. We canned many of the seconds and invited anyone who wanted to, (via the blog), to come up and pick the seconds for their processing. Some folks took us up on it and went home with buckets full. The bad parts of the tomatoes had to be cut away, but after that, there was still enough for some good sauces and salsas.

So, when an invitation like that comes up on the blog and if you’re interested, you should try to take us up on it as soon as possible. We do not charge you anything for the extra produce. It’s just a part of your share of the farm and sometimes we’ll even help you pick. This is one of the ways that we redeem a bad crop, by taking the “bad” produce and putting it up for the winter. That is why we have canned so much tomato sauce, tomato juice and cans and cans of carrots, etc.

Well, the crew is now inside the house, dripping dry and drinking hot tea. We’re hoping for a dryer day tomorrow to finish the harvest and pack up your shares.

Until next week…. Gigi

What’s In Your Share

Pie Pumpkin - Baby Pam or New England Sugar Pie [Winter squash will normally hold for quite a while but
with all of the rain, it will probably develop soft spots. Plan to use your squash soon.]
Carrots – Scarlet Nantes
Winter Squash – Sweet Dumpling (beige with green stripes)
Egg Plant - [The egg plants are mostly small to baby in size this week in anticipation of possible frost this
weekend] Any of the following - Dancer, Galine, Kermit, Orient Express, Orient Charm, or
Thai Green
Onions – Mars (red)
Peppers Sweet– Any of the following – Lipstick (red/green) or Islander (purple bell) or Snapper (green bell)
or Gypsy (yellow).
Peppers Hot – Newmex Joe E. Parker (mild, long green) Serrano del Sol (hot, short thin green), Conchos
(short blunt green jalapeno)
Beans – Eureka yellow [an unexpected resurrection crop. They came back after being mowed down]
Herbs – Basil (green Genovese), Marjoram – Zaatar,
Flowers – Our plan has been to give a big bouquet of flowers this week. With the rain, we’re not sure they’ll
hold up. Hopefully…


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.