The Nitty Gritty Dirt

From the Farmer  August 3rd, 2011

It’s tough to work the farm when the power is out.  It is hard enough getting soaking wet in the rain on Monday, tying up tomato plants or making a new goat fence with the humidity over 100%, but having no access to water (the well pump is electric) and not being able to cook (can’t open the fridge or freezers or wash veggies) or even get a drink of water is really hard.  We called a rain day Monday afternoon and when the power went off and stayed off at on Tuesday morning, we finally called the day, giving our interns another day off..  And while they did come back to finish the short section of fence in the evening, it certainly did not accomplish the long list of farm maintenance jobs that really need to be done.  We finally got the power back on today – Wednesday – about .   Thank goodness.   We had begun to think about contingency plans for generators to power our farm freezers full of meat and veggies to hold us and our crew through the year. 

The storm left us pretty intact.  Lots of plants blown, animal hoop houses damaged and one of the goat igloo’s blown half way across the farm and smashed in the horse pasture.  The broiler chicks took the worst of the wind and rain.  With the western exposure of their pen, the wind and rain blasted into their pen saturating them to the skin.   Of course as chickens do when scared or cold or wet, they piled up.  As soon as the storm abated, I checked on them, and pulled the piled up chicks off one another.  Only one dead, suffocated on the bottom.  The rest, soaking wet, and very unhappy looking are now fine, eating and drinking as if nothing had happened. 

Finally, beautiful weather today and we put in a long day of making a new fence for the laying hens, planting strawberries and the last of the flowers, seeding more turnips, radishes and cilantro, mowing the lawn, building a new hoop house for the sheep (their old one was smashed down in the storm), and harvesting the first half of your veggies for the shares this week.  By the end of the day – the long day – we are all sweaty and tired. 
And tomorrow starts really early – to get the rest of the veggies harvested and to unload the 200 bales of hay that will arrive at .  We had expected the hay to arrive on Tuesday, but because of the rain, it was delayed.  So now we have to add that to our busy harvest/delivery day.  Such is the nature of farming and dealing with the weather.

Until next week …………..

What’s In Your Share
Basil – Thai and Genovese 
Beets    - Red Ace
Broccoli – Blue Wind, Bay Meadows, Packman
Onion – Sierra Blanca, Mars
Potatoes – Norland
Radish – Summer Cross Daikon
Summer Squash – Cash Flow, Lita, President, Spineless Beauty, 
   Slick Pick, Horn of Plenty, Sunburst, Cavelli
Cucumbers - Raider, Diva, Northern Pickling, Minature White
Swiss Chard – Fordhook Giant
Sweet Peppers - Islander and Gypsy
Hot Peppers - Jalapeno, Yellow Banana


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.