March 2012

Just as we started preparing for spring lambing - Winter started - our sheep shearer arrived in the middle of the snow storm and all the ewes parted with their fleeces even as the snow piled up outside.  And now that summer has arrived with seventy degree temperatures, spring activities are in full swing here at the farm.  The first ewe to give birth did a week early and gave us our first bottle-fed lamb.  The other ewes began birthing on schedule and as of today, eight of our our thirteen ewes have given birth.   It is good that we were already planning to cut back on numbers, since a record number of ewes gave birth to singles this year.   We do have three black ewe lambs - Popcorn, Popover and Pesto (its the year for names beginning in P) - that we tentatively plan to keep.
We have tapped a few maple trees, though with the dry winter and the record breaking temperatures, the run is likely to be extremely (pardon the pun) short and sweet.  The sap runs well when the days that are above freezing and the nights below freezing.   Beth and Ashley, our first two interns to arrive helped tap a few trees and today we collected approximately 8 gallons - 5 of which Robin took to make Sunrise Maple Porter Beer.  We hope to cook down a little to make syrup - though we'll probably only make a quart or two this year as the ratio of sap to syrup is 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

Tapping Maple trees is  becoming an annual rite of spring to make a batch of beer (Oatmeal Stout or this year Porter) each spring using maple sap instead of water.  If all goes well we'll be serving Sunrise Maple Porter at our Spring Farm Festival on June 3.

After collecting maple syrup, we get back to the lambs.  Once the lambs are at least three days old, it is time to vaccinate, dock tails, castrate the boys, and ear tag.  Ashely and Beth got a crash course in baby lamb care as they handles elastrators, ear taggers and syringes- handling lambs as though they were both old hands at shepherding.

WE STILL HAVE VEGETABLE SHARES AVAILABLE. WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.    Gigi will be sending out individual emails inquiring to previous  shareholders - but we'd love to hear from you telling us YOU WANT VEGETABLES AGAIN THIS YEAR first.  If you have joined us already, we thank you and welcome you to the farm.  If you are planning on joining, please let us know so we can finalize our planting schedule.  Remember we have TWO SIZES OF BOXES - BIG (1 1/9 bushel) AND SMALLER (5/9 bushel)- to best fit your family.   Feel free to share our name with friends, family or coworkers who may be interested.  You are our best method of advertising.
Email us at nittygrittydirtfarm@gmail.com if you have any questions.  We look forward to being your farmers again this season. 

Happy Spring...

Robin and Gigi and the crew. 


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.