Nitty Gritty News

From The Farmers: 

This is the last week of delivery for the 2011 season.  Following the two killing frosts last week, we’ve been scrambling to pick and glean of all of the harvestable produce left in the fields.  We were not sure until we began the final harvest if this would be the last share box or if there would be one more.  We decided that if everything would fit in one final box, you would rather make one trip to pick up the last of the veggies than two.  So you are getting one final generous storage share.  The potatoes will keep for several weeks at cool room temperature, both kinds of onions are good winter keepers and will keep up to 6 months at cool, dry temperatures, and the squash should keep for several weeks to several months. 

This whole season from start to finish has been a quirky one weather-wise.  At the end of May we were still heating the greenhouses and by the first week of June the temperature shot up to 90 degrees.  For most of July into August, the temperature remained extremely hot and humid.  The first of September, we had a 90 degree Monday dropping to coats and hats by mid week.  Just last week, we had two night of extreme cold – dipping down to 28 degrees overnight.  We woke up to fields layered with frost and ice on the livestock water buckets.  As the sun rose, the crisp frozen leaves sagged into a moist looking dark green, - sure sign that no more growth will be happening this year on any but the most cold hardy.  And yet, as we come to the end of another year, we rejoice in the abundance the land has produced:  spring salads to summer melons to fall squashes. 

Coming to the end of the harvest and delivery season is bittersweet - we are ready for a slower schedule and sad about no more fresh food, no more visits with all of you, no more long days in the fields.  Our summer interns are already sitting in college classrooms or increasing their hours at other jobs.  The barn is (literally) full of hay to feed the livestock over the winter.  The new Saanen buckling who will be our newest dairy goat herdsire will be arriving at our farm very soon and sex camp will begin shortly after.  Our two Coopworth rams will begin courting our ewes on October 10.  We plan to harvest one more batch of honey from our six bee hives, leaving 70 pounds of honey for each hive to feed them during the winter. 
What we don’t look forward to is all the fall clean up:  tearing out vines of melons and tomatoes, eggplant and peppers; pulling dirty, muddy plastic mulch and drip irrigation lines from the fields; disking down vegetation; fall plowing some of the fields to aid the break down of crop residue and hay mulch;  changing out the canvas Quonset covers on the intern housing to poly tarps so they become winter storage;  adding support to the big processing and packing hoop houses so they can withstand the weight of winter snow;  putting equipment like buckets and hoses away in the reverse order that it will be needed next spring. 
Loading hay is exhausting.  (Actually, they were just waiting for the hay to arrive)

See you October 2nd at the End of the Harvest Farm Festival. We’d like to thank you in person for being part of  Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm this year. 

Check out the right hand column for upcoming special events including Robin’s FIBER ARTS DAY on Saturday, September 24, Our END OF THE HARVEST FARM FESTIVAL – October 2;  STARK WINE  OPENING on October 1st, and opportunities for next years CSA shares. 

What’s In Your END OF THE SEASON Share

Watermelon:      Mickey Lee, Starlight, Sunshine, Picnic, New Orchid
Winter Squash:  Delicata (long striped), Sweet Dumpling (heart shaped striped),
                        Butternut (beige dogbone), Cream of the Crop (cream acorn), Burgess
Butternut (green turban), Mooregold (orange turban), Blue Magic (mini
blue hubbard).
Onions: Red Zeppelin (red winter keeper), Copra (yellow winter keeper)
Potatoes:          Red Norland (good keeper)
Turnips:            Scarlet Queen Red Stems
Tomatoes:        Paragon (red), Pink Beauty (pink), Orange Blossom (orange)
Sage:                Common


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.