August 30 – From the Farmer……..

It is finally official – this will be our last year being a CSA farm.  It has been a wonderful experience learning and growing and meeting so many wonderful folks who are so interested in good food, and it is also time to be done. When we first started, we thought we would be a CSA farm for three years.  We then raised that to five years, and we are just finishing our eighth year.  We will continue to grow a garden for ourselves, work on our fledgling vineyard and raise a small number of livestock.  We look forward to whatever opportunities are next for us including not being so tied down to the farm.

We encourage all of you to find a new CSA farm.  During this time of summer abundance, it is probably a good time to search sites for a CSA farm that fits your family.  

The dry weather continues and while we are irrigating around the clock, we simply cannot get everything that needs watering watered.  Many of the crops are suffering, showing signs of dehydrations and early maturing.  It also seems as though many of our crops will be mature and done earlier that would be normal. We picked the majority of the watermelons and cantaloupe this week and that is at least two to three weeks earlier than usual.  The squash crop looks a bit meager due to lack of moisture, but we are hopeful that is will still provide a plentiful amount of winter squashes.   And our fall crop of broccoli looks wonderful but will be ready sooner than expected.

Intern Sam, whose last work day is tomorrow, harvested all the rest of the onions this week, pulling the Copra, Red Zeppelin, and Sierra Blanca onion’s not already harvested..  Then this morning, we all trimmed the tops and roots and placed them on drying racks in our hoop house to cure until we send them off to you.  We will also soon be digging the rest of the potatoes and putting them on racks in the hoop house to cure.  

It is tomato canning season.  This afternoon, in the hottest part of the day, Gigi and I canned two five gallon buckets of Orange Blossom tomatoes.  Our twenty-one beautiful quart jars of canned sunshine sit on our kitchen table.  Tomorrow I plan to can an equal amount of Pink Beauty tomatoes as well as make a couple batches of salsa. 

We have lots of tomatoes RIGHT NOW.  If you are interested in picking some tomatoes for canning THIS WEEKEND please let me know.  Thursday afternoon, Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon all would be a fine time to pick.  With the extremely hot weather the tomatoes are ripening faster that we can keep us with them and they will not hold.  You can also get some sweet and hot peppers to go with the tomatoes if you wish. 

All is well at the farm…. until next week….. Robin

What’s In Your Share this week:

Watermelon                 Sunshine (yellow inside), Starlight (red), New Orchid (orange),
Cantaloupe                  Classic (heavy netting), Sarah’s Choice (smooth netting)
Honeydew                   Diplomat (yellowish, smooth netting)
Kohlrabi                      Kossack
Carrots                        Rainbow
Sweet Pepper              Gypsy (yellow), Carmen (long red or green Italian frying), Merlot (purple), Islander
                                   (purple), Snapper (green and red bells)
Hot Pepper                 El Jefe Jalapeno, Serrano Del Sol, Hot Yellow Banana
Eggplant                      Classic (purple), Galine (purple), Dancer (pink), Thai Green
Kale                             Red Russian
Onions                         Sierra Blanca (white), Red Zeppelin (red)
Tomatoes                     Taxi (yellow), Orange Blossom (orange), Pink Beauty (pink),                                                                       Paragon (red),
Sage                            Common
Marjoram                    Zaatar
Tomatillos                   Toma Verde


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.