September 12, 2012  From the Farmers

What a difference a day makes!   Tuesday morning we reciprocated help by loading and unloading 100 bales of hay for a friend.  Hot and sweaty, and it only got more hot and more sweaty as the day progressed.  And today, Wednesday, it’s sweaters and hoodies and shoes!, as this week’s share vegetables were harvested.  We do like the cooler weather, and it seems our menagerie of critters do too.  It also means the veggies still growing can take a breather from the hot drying winds. 

As I write this column from my farm office, outside my window, yellow birch leaves swirl and fall in the breeze, dappling the hostas and Autumn Joy sedum below.  The Autumn Blaze maples in our yard are also beginning their blaze, though whether it is because of the season or the drought is questionable.  And finally another sign of fall is the smell of our buck goat, Oberon.  As the days get shorter and the weather cooler, the seasonal breeders like goats begin turning their thoughts and hormones to courtship.  Oberon doesn’t smell too offensive yet, but we know that in just a few weeks we will wish we did not own a buck goat.  It is hard to believe that the doe goats find that horrible smell an aphrodisiac.  But they do. 

Just this morning, in the cooler weather, we dragged a pile of stock panels which formerly fenced in the sheep and horses on the back of the farm, up to the pig pen area.   By next week, the pig pen will be expanded to nearly ten times its size as we put up the 16 foot panels with steel posts to give the growing porkers more room to turn into bacon and pork chops.  Hopefully it will also curtail some of the extensive digging they have been doing under the edges of their current pen.  The wheelbarrow full of rutabaga tops we fed them today should keep them happy for at least a day or so, and tomorrow we will add carrot tops and spoiled melons to their weekly feast.  

Looking around at the fields, we have made the decision that NEXT WEEK – SEPTEMBER 20 -  WILL BE THE LAST SHARE this year.   We know it is early, but with the weather and drought, we simply have not been able to re-sow row short season crops to extend the season into October.   The tomatoes are nearly all picked.  I don’t think we have had a single year since we’ve had the CSA that we didn’t still have quite a few green tomatoes by frost time.  And this year, I don’t think there will be any green tomatoes left after next week.  We have been pulling up pepper plants as we’ve picked because they too are done, as are the eggplants.   The melon and squash vines are completely dried away and it looks like mid October instead of mid September.

Our END OF THE SEASON – END OF THE CSA – FESTIVAL  - will be Sunday, September 30 from  3:00 – 5: 30 pm.   Come celebrate with us as we call an end to this growing season and an end to 8 years of CSA farming.   As usual, there will be good food, good beverages, games and conversation.    Please let us know if you plan to attend. 

Until next week…………..Robin

What's In Your Share

Watermelon -   Mickey Lee
Cantaloupe or Small Striped Watermelon
Onions - Red Zeppelin / Sierra Blanca
Squash - Delicata or Sweet Dumpling or Cream of the Crop
Potatoes - Yukon Gold
Tomatoes - Paragon (red), Pink Beauty (pink), Orange Blossom, Taxi (yellow)
Peppers - Hot: Jalapeno, Serrano and Hot Banana
                Sweet - Carmen and Snapper
Eggplant - Mix
Rutabaga - Joan
Carrots - mix of orange and purple. 


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.