The Nitty Gritty Dirt

August 24, 2011
From the Farmers

It is watermelon season!   We grow five different kinds of watermelons at the farm, hoping that all of them will be ready to harvest at about the same time.  Three of the varieties, Sunshine, New Orchid, and Starlight are round with dark and light green stripes.  They are all superb ice box melons, crisp and sweet, regardless of inside color.  My personal favorite is the yellow Sunshine. Picnic and Mickey Lee are two old time varieties that have stood the test of time, sweet and tasty.  We hope you enjoy getting your fill of watermelon these next couple of weeks. 

The cantaloupes and honeydews are getting fewer and fewer.  We’ll keep adding the last of these melons as long as we have them, but there won’t be enough for everyone so we will try to rotate which drop sites get them until there are no more.

Sweet Corn is back this week with Delectable, a wonderful, tender bi-color yellow and white sweet corn.  And the tomatoes have begun to produce in earnest, with the Taxi’s and Orange Blossoms leading the harvest.  Soon will follow big red Paragon’s, Pink Beauty’s, Green Zebras, and red and yellow pears.  We’ve begun eating tomatoes with nearly every meal – including breakfast.

Gigi and Robin returned from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area late on Tuesday following five wonderful days on Seagull Lake with our dogs Bracken and Birch.  We relaxed, ate great meals of farm food (bacon, eggs, veggies) drank homemade wine, read some, knit some, played games, paddled, swam, had craft night in the tent during the rain one night and came home renewed.  While we were gone, our amazing interns took care of all the farm critters, built new doors for the greenhouses and the horse tack hoop house, put trim  and new steps on the Su Casa (the intern kitchen/lounge building) and even kept us on track with our organic pest management by spraying the cabbage, cauliflower, and eggplants to keep away the potato bugs and cabbage loopers.

It was great getting back home at this abundant time of year and not feel any need to play catch up, but simply step back into the rhythm of a working farm. It is amazing however, how much the broiler chicks have grown in just five days! 

Until next week………….

What’s In Your Share this Week

Watermelon: one of the following Starlight (red), New Orchid (orange),
Sunshine (yellow), Picnic (solid green outside, red in), or Mickey Lee (deep pink)
Cucumbers: Raider, Fanfare, Sweet Slice, Diva
Potatoes: Norland
Onions: Sierra Blanca
Sweet Corn: Delectable
Swiss Chard: Fordhook Giant
Tomatoes: Taxi (yellow), Orange Blossom (orange)
Sweet Peppers: Gypsy (yellow) or Snapper (green bell) or Lipstick (red heart),
Islander (purple) or Sweet Chocolate (brown)
Hot Peppers: Serrano del Sol (thin green), El Jefe Jalapeno (fat green)
Eggplant: Dancer (pink), Classic (purple), Galine (purple), Thai Green (long green),
Orient Charm (long pink), Orient Express (long purple), Kermit (round green)
Summer Squash: Sunburst, Cavelle, Slick Pick, Bennings Green Tint, President,
Cash Flow, Horn of Plenty
Herbs:  Genovese Basil, Purple Basil, Sage, Dill


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.