Summer is in full swing, and fresh, local fruits and vegetables are becoming more readily available. The Clover Valley Farm Trail, located between Two Harbors and Duluth, is a co-operative group of eleven small, locally owned farms with a variety of produce, plant seedlings, baked goods, crafts, and more available for purchase at self-serve farm stands.
The Clover Valley Farm Trail was a concept devised by Lucky Dog Farm owner Justin Osadjan. Osadjan admired the Fruit Loop in Bayfield, Wisconsin, and wanted to establish a similar trail, but one that featured everything one could find at a farmers’ market. He took the idea to Blane Tetreault of Farm du Nord and other local farmers, and the Clover Valley Farm Trail was born.
May 2023 saw the official start of the trail, and Tetreault calls it “where a farmers’ market meets a Sunday drive.” Customers can drive from farm to farm purchasing farm fresh products and supporting the local economy while enjoying scenic views of the North Shore countryside.
The trail is composed of a core group of farmers. An application process is available for any farms that wish to join the trail, and the original farmers will vote on them based upon factors such as: their product viability, location, and commitment. Clover Valley Farm Trail’s goal is to maintain a reasonable number of participants who add significant
value to the trail.
Agate Acres, established in 2020, is one of the farms along the trail. Managed by Emily Richey and Kyle Cook, Agate Acres “strives to build a deep community who cultivates and strengthens the connection between land, people, and food.”
Emily Richey grew up in Duluth on her family’s hobby farm, and has farmed off and on since 2012 in New England and Minnesota. In 2019, she and Kyle Cook managed their first CSA operation together. Cook is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, and describes himself as “mechanically minded.” Cook’s mother, Margaret Hart, is co-owner of Agate Acres’ property, and played an integral part in making the farm and event business come to fruition.
For the 2023 season, Agate Acres offers a vegetable CSA, broiler chickens, and the farm stand on Wednesdays and Sundays. Cook and Richey also offer custom flowers for bouquets, weddings, and other special events. Beginning in August 2022, Agate Acres began to host events, providing a local venue for weddings and other commemorative celebrations.
Learn more about Agate Acres at https://www.agateacres.com/ , or visit the farm at 1109 Two Harbors Road.
The farm trail is open on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. through October. Directional and road signs guide you to each farm. Updates can be found on https://www.clovervalleyfarmtrail.com/ and on social media, and an interactive Clover Valley Farm Trail Map is available at https://www.clovervalleyfarmtrail.com/interactive-map.
So as you are out for your Sunday afternoon drive this summer and fall, be sure to look for the Clover Valley Farm Trail signs leading you down country roads to farm fresh goods.