The Nitty Gritty Dirt

From the Farmer ……..

August – the time of year when the bounty of the gardens is everywhere.  Pepper plants loaded, tomatoes just beginning to ripen, sweet corn ear full – and more babies.  Just as I sat down to write looking out my home office window, I was amazed to see the two Bourbon Red turkey hens that refused to sit on eggs while the turkey tom was here – and now that that he is gone – have hatched two baby poults from eggs that I was sure were infertile.  They are so proud, carefully watching their feet so as not to step on the tiny new lively babies. 

It is very dry here at the farm – in the midday heat many of the plants are showing signs of wilting.  Interns, Sam and Sarah worked much of the day today, getting up our drip irrigation going.  They rolled out many feet of blue 2” layflat hose along the edges of the field, then carefully connected each drip tape line laid long ago under each row of plastic mulch – then turned on the emitters which will allow the water to flow only along five rows at a time.  Then I made connections between sections of layflat and the hose connecting the layflat to the hydrant – using a lot of hose connector clamps.  There are quite a few leaks and drips and even sprays,  but the first four rows of thirsty tomatoes are drip by drip getting a good drink of water.   We will shut those four rows off after about six hours of irrigating and turn on the next four or five rows.  And so on until everything is watered and we start all over or get a good soaking inch of rain.

This past week, I have been working on getting all of our farm livestock on automatic waterers.   With a smaller number of people taking care of critters, we need to make things easier and it is also nice for the animals to always have a source of fresh, clean water.  I have also been moving animals around and changing feeding patterns to make animal chores more efficient as our work crew gets smaller and smaller. 

Intern Hope left two weeks ago, and is back in California to visit family before returning to Minnesota for college.  Ashley and Beth decided not to finish out the farm season before moving on to whatever lies ahead for them.  Sam will still be here a couple of weeks before he goes back to college at the end of the month, and Sarah also will be finishing up in two weeks when high school begins for her.  Then it will be back to just us two old farmers and a handful of wonderful volunteers who will be helping with fall harvesting, packing and delivery – as well as animal chores.  

Until next week…………… Robin Raudabaugh

What’s in your share this week:

Potatoes          Norland
Onions             Walla Walla
Hot Pepper      El Jefe Jalapeno, Serrano Del Sol
Sweet Pepper  Gypsy (yellow), Islander (purple)
Summer Squash           Assorted green, yellow and pattypans
Cucumbers                  Raider, Calypso
Eggplant                      Classic (purple), Galine (lg. purple), Dancer (pink), Thai Green
Beets                           Red Ace, Bulls Blood
Turnip                         Scarlet Queen Red Stems, White Egg
Basil                            Genovese, Thai, Lime
Swiss Chard                Northern Lights, Fordhood Giant
Sweet Corn                 Ambrosia


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.