Cindy Hale and Jeff Hall began farming in 2007, “as a way to earn money during the summer so our daughter did not have to go to daycare.” They started with chickens and soon moved into raising turkeys, ducks, pigs, sheep, and rabbits.
“We have learned a whole lot over the years,” Jeff Hall says. “In particular the things we like and don’t like about farming.” What didn’t they like? “Raising chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs.”
After this realization, Hale and Hall moved to fruit production, starting with fresh fruit: juneberries, currants, and elderberries. “The fruit we grow needs to be consumed within a day or two of harvest,” Hall explains. “So we decided to start making culinary vinegar, which has a permanent shelf life.”
Hall also has a passion for woodworking, which he has been doing for a decade. “Woodworking fits in well with the other parts of the farm, like using the wood chips as a mulch for the fruit.” He participates in several art shows annually, including the Park Point Art Fair and the 20/20 Art Tour, which will occur in September.
The sheep at Clover Valley Farms get sheared each April, and their wool is sent off to be cleaned and carded. When the wool returns to the farm, Cindy Hale uses natural plant-based dyes to give the wool colors of many different hues. Often, the dyes come from plants like buckthorn and tansy, plants that are viewed as largely undesirable due to their invasive nature. Clover Valley Farms sells the dyed yarn, and uses the wool for felting projects, which include rugs and wall hangings.
Cindy Hale and Jeff Hall chose the name Clover Valley Farms because “that is the historical name for our area where we live, and our home has been a farm off and on for the last hundred years.” You can find Clover Valley Farms’ products at the Two Harbors Farmers’ Market as well as on the Clover Valley Farm Trail at 1546 Clover Valley Drive.