The Nitty Gritty Dirt

Even if we did not already have our Midsummer Abundance Festival scheduled on the calendar for Sunday, August 6, we would know that we are in the midst of the abundant season.   There are so many different veggies ready each day, it is hard to choose which ones to prepare for our farm “Thanksgiving Every Day” meal.   And with each of our farm interns and Gigi and Robin taking turns cooking amazing meals, we really enjoy the plentitude of the farm at this time of year.

With cooler nights over this last week, we have somewhat recovered from the heat and humidity of the days.  And yet, most days, by in the morning we are all pared down to essential only clothing and sweating profusely.  As we finished prepping our packing hoophouse this evening, the humidity feels like it is nearly 100%.   The cool dip in the Sunrise River we took this afternoon has been nearly cancelled out by this humid evening.  We need another dip, but with zucchini bread to bake, salad for tomorrow to make, the blog to write, and planning for a very early morning harvest, it isn’t going to happen.

On Monday, we pulled up all the bolted Bok Choi, filled a big pickup load and tossed the whole mess into the pig pen.  Piggy Bok Choi heaven – rolling in it, mixing it with mud, eating tasty bites.   The early peas stakes were pulled from the field, twines for trellising cut down and all the peas plowed under.  Then the field was disked and dragged and sown to a cover crop mixture of rye, oats, field peas, buckwheat and clover – just in time for the heavy rains on Tuesday night.

With August just around the corner, we took a look at our farm calendar and realized that Emily will be heading back to college in just a few short weeks.  Susie is planning a week to the east coast for a couple of exciting (farm-related) job interviews,  Liz is thinking about working the Mn. State Fair for her other job and Holly will be back from Germany and still with us til the beginning of September.  Even though we are really barely into the middle of our share season, August pushes us to think about what is next for each of us. 

This week again, we harvested raspberries at Stark Wines as our part in our cooperation with them.  Hot, humid, deer flies, but gorgeous, delicious raspberries and the promise of lots of Stark Raspberry Wine.

The tomato plants are setting a lot of fruit, the sweet corn silk is turning brown on the Sugar Buns early corn  - the sign of corn that is filling in the ears and the corn plants themselves seems to be growing a couple of inches a day.  The cantaloupes and watermelons are peeking out among the patchwork of vines almost completely covering the ground in their patch of the field, all indicators of how much more abundance there is to come. 

Just this week we dried off (quit milking) two of the goats – Mezzo and Nimbus.  We are making less cheese now but still making some cream for butter and maybe even some ice cream from the gallon a day of milk that we are still getting from Stormy. 

The last of the lambs are going to market on Monday.  And with August here, it is time to take the rams away from the ewes so that we don’t accidentally have baby lambs being born a month before we want them.   Just this morning, Liz, Susie and Emily finished making a huge pig pen – opening the pigs up to a jungle of weeds and volunteer squash vines.  They almost don’t know what to do with themselves in such space.

Remember – our MIDSUMMER FARM FESTIVAL – THE SUMMER ABUNDANCE FESTIVAL – is Sunday, August 7th from to .   We will be cooking an amazing assortment of fresh farm veggies into stir fry to order, tapping our farm home brew (Belgian Tripel, Hefewiesen, and Robin’s Irritated) as well as pouring a few bottles of home vinted wine.   We are also pretty sure there will be a performance of our Tuesday Night Jam Band as well as drumming and other music.  Plan now to come see the farm – all the animals, the fields of plenty, see the farmers and interns who grow your food and see each other.

Until next week…  

What's In Your Share

Basil – Genovese and Ararat
Beans - Derby
Beets    - Merlin
Broccoli – Packman
Chinese Cabbage – The Blues
Cilantro – Santo
Kohlrabi – Winner, Kolibri
Onion – Sierra Blanca
Potatoes – Norland
Radish – Summer Cross Daikon
Summer Squash – Cash Flow, Lita, President, Spineless Beauty, 
   Slick Pick, Horn of Plenty, Sunburst, Cavelli
Swiss Chard – Fordhook Giant


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.