Nitty Gritty Farm News September 1st

From the Farmers…………..

Cream of the crop
It certainly is fall – all of the squash vines are dying back and if I didn’t look at the calendar, I would think it was the end of September. But the drying vines sure make it easier to find all the squash. This week you’ll find Cream of the Crop early acorn squash in your box. This squash is ready to eat right away but will be even better if you let it sit at room temperature and cure for about a week before you eat it.

Hot days cool nights
On Tuesday, almost the hottest day of the week, Gigi and the interns did a volunteer job of moving a big pile of dirt at Pilgrims UCC church. Our crew made short work of a seemingly overwhelming task. Then back to the farm where our neighbor John delivered a load of third crop hay to be unloaded into the barn. I don’t know exactly why hay always arrives on the hottest days – and it is even hotter up in the eaves of the barn where the warm hay is being stacked. And then, this morning at 7:00 when we began our work day, everyone had sweatshirts and hats on in the cool weather. What a relief it was to work today with lower temperatures and humidity. It certainly raised everyone’s spirits.

Mac's Birth Story

In case you didn’t read the email update, Reba our Dexter cow, finally gave birth to a beautiful black bull calf on Sunday afternoon. She waited until everyone was gone. Gigi and I pulled into the driveway at 6:00 PM. Reba was laying down and already pushing. We changed clothes quickly and got back out there in time to see two hoofs and a nose protruding. A few pushes later, he was out, just to his hips. I reached over to help clean him up, and Reba decided to stand. His hips were still stuck so he was dangling a bit. I reached forward and gently grabbed a leg, Reba gave one more push and he was out. Even though he is small as cows go, he is big for a Dexter calf. We have named him Macintyre or Mac for short. He weighs about 70 pounds and Reba is a really good mother. We have not begun milking her yet as we are letting Mac have all of her colostrum (first milk). This weekend, we’ll be making a stanchion to restrain Reba so that we can milk her. We are guessing that she is not going to be overly calm about being milked by humans. She has a huge udder and we are hoping that means that she will give us a lot of milk (and cream!).

We are now taking orders for wines from Stark Wines. Stark Wines plans to specialize in fruit wines. We have sampled quite a few of their wines and have been pleased. Currently they have Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Rhubarb and Apple available. There will be a few more varieties coming later. The price is $12 per bottle. Check the sidebar of the blog for more information – send your check written out to Stark Wines– and we will deliver your wine to your drop site. We’re excited to be coordinating with Stark Wines to offer these wines to you.

In your share this week, you’ll be receiving at least two watermelons. All the watermelons are ripe and ready and so we picked them all. I was worried that if we didn’t harvest them, they would not hold in the field. If you can’t eat all your melon right away, and you don’t have room in your fridge, you can hold the melon for several days to a couple of weeks at cool room temperature. We have been being creative with watermelons at the farm. Last night Kristen made watermelon jelly and tonight she’s juicing a bunch of melons for me to mix up a batch of watermelon wine.

Shareholder recipes
We love hearing from you as you share how you prepared your veggies from our farm. We are including Bruce and Karen’s eggplant recipe. They found it at http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/08/spicy-grilled-eggplant-recipe-with-red.html
They said it was delicious, easy to prepare and used up all their eggplant. What more could you ask for?

Abby sent this recipe that is a hit with her infant daughter.
Baby food
1 summer squash (today's was green, but any will do).
Peel, cut into large cubes, and cook on high 3 minutes in microwave with a little water. Add 1/4 or 1/2 cube tofu and blend in food processor.
Serve or freeze.
10 month old Teraysa ate it like it was ice cream. I had to give her 2 servings immediately cuz she was clamoring for more.

Rebuilding the Earth Bread Oven

At the end of the hottest day of the week (Tuesday), we started rebuilding our earthen outdoor bread oven. We built a mud oven from Kiko Denzler’s plan five years ago. It never quite worked up to our expectations and we had planned to rebuild it long before now – but just never found time to do so. Dale has been wanting to get started all summer – so we decided now is the time. A toe in the hole

The pictures show part of the process. We tore down the old bread oven, moved the cement blocks, rocks, and dirt to the new site, and are beginning the rebuilding process. We’ll work at it a bit at a time and hopefully within a couple of weeks, we’ll be baking breads and pizza’s outdoors.
laying out the bricks

BEWARE of HOT!!! Peppers
One final note. In your box this week are two VERY HOT pepper varieties. The yellow transparent ones about 3 to 4 inches long are Aji Cristal and are extremely hot. The small ones that look like tiny carrots are Bulgarian Carrot and while the skin is not terribly hot, the seeds and membranes are mouth and tongue searing. Dale brought one in for me to sample and I took a cautious bite – nothing – another bigger bite – nothing – a bite with seeds – and my whole mouth was numb. So be careful. Keep them away from your young children. Wear gloves when you cut them if you are worried about burning on your hands. And enjoy some really hot, hot sauce.

Until next week……………………Robin

What’s in Your Box this week

Carrots – Cosmic Purple
Watermelon – could be any of the following: Mickey Lee (Pale green/red), Picnic (large green oval/red), Blacktail Mountain (dark green round/red), Sunshine (striped/yellow), New Orchid (striped/ orange), Starlight (striped/red)
Cantaloupe – Eclipse – some shares will include a cantaloupe
Eggplant – an assortment of the following: Dancer (pink), Galine (purple), Thai green (long pale green), Kermit (round green), Orient Express (long purple), Orient Charm (long pink)
Peppers – an assortment of the following sweet peppers: Carmen (long red or green), Lipstick (stubby red or green), Gypsy (yellow), Wizard (green bell), Islander (purple bell).
HOT: Aji Cristal (yellow), Bulgarian Carrot (orange), Conchos (jalapeno)
Summer Squash – an assortment of the following: Bennings Green Tint pattypan, Lita, President, Zephyr, Horn of Plenty
Potatoes - Fingerlings: La Ratte (tan), Rose Finn (red)
Tomatoes - Red Sun and Paragon (red slicing)
Bok Choi - Joi Choi
Winter Squash – Cream of the Crop (white acorn)
Onion – Sierra Blanca white
Swiss Chard – Northern Lights
Basil – Holy Red and Green


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.