Nitty Gritty Farm News September 29th

From the Farmers

Our END OF THE HARVEST FESTIVAL is this Sunday, October 3 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. This final festival celebrates the end of our CSA season.
We had our first hard frost – 29.7 degrees on Saturday night, and that marks the end of most of the veggies. So this week will be your last share box. You are getting two weeks worth in one box in this final share(and one trip to pick it up). We think these veggies will keep well enough for you to get them all at once instead of spreading them over the next two weeks. Thank you all for being a part of Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm this season. We have loved being your farmers this year in spite of it being a trying season of soooooooooooooo much rain.

At the farm this week, we’ve been working at tearing out the melon and basil plants and then tearing out the plastic mulch through which they’ve been growing all season. The plants go into the pickup to be hauled to a big compost pile on the back of the farm, the plastic gets wrapped in bundles to go to the solid waste and recycling center, and the last few watermelons go to the appreciative pigs. We’ve been trying to do a few rows every week rather than waiting and cleaning it all up at once. It is a hard, dirty job with none of the excitement of hard, dirty jobs in the spring. So far the bok choi, cabbage, tomato and melon rows are all done and those parts of the fields are disked over. We still have all the squash, peppers, eggplant and flower rows to clean up.

We’ve moved the sheep ewes in their electronet fence again, getting them one step closer to their final move in with the rams for breeding. Next week we will be dividing them into two groups – one to be bred to Lazarus and one group to be bred to Jedediah. We’ve begun feeding them shelled corn – called flushing – to get them gaining weight – the eventual goal of this is that gaining weight at breeding time results in a higher percentage of twins and triplets, rather than single lambs being born.

Gigi delivered three goat wether (castrated males) kids to the livestock auction. We’ve kept one that we’ll turn into sausage soon. We also have a new animal visitor at the farm. His name is Diablo and he is a purebred Toggenburg goat buck. He is here for a month long stay with our group of three adult does and three doe kids for what last year's interns called sex camp. Diablo may have an impressive pedigree, but he also has an impressive stink! I remember now why we don’t keep our own buck.

Now that most of the crops are done, we‘ve been letting our Black Star chickens roam. They love it – scratching through the goat and lamb pens and the perennial gardens around the house. All summer they must stay penned up and have their weeds and veggies delivered to them, so they don’t peck up the field crops. It is delightful to see them having such a great time free ranging.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday at the Festival. We’ll be playing our annual FARM GAMES, serving you a variety of soups featuring farm products along with fresh baked breads, home brew beer and wine. Depending on the weather there will be hayrides and outdoor music.

This is also the time to sign up for next year. We are taking reservations (and $$$) for CSA share memberships. If you sign up and pay now, you can get your 2011 share at 2010 prices. (See the sidebar for more information.)

See you at the festival on Sunday…………Or until next season…………..

What’s In Your Share This Week

Squash – assortment of squash and pumpkins
Carrots – Cosmic purple and Scarlet Nantes
Onions – Mars (red) and Sierra Blanca (white)
Swiss Chard
Radishes – Crunchy Royale
Herbs - Thyme and Sage
Hot Peppers - Newmex Joe E Parker, jalapenos and serranos


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.