After living on the east coast, west coast, and the Twin Cities, the Tetrault family decided to make Duluth their home in 2017. Blane Tetrault is a former college football coach now working as a carpenter, and Bridget Tetrault is a nurse working for Medtronic. Together with their teenage daughters Amelia and Eleanor, they own and operate Farm du Nord.
The Tetraults purchased the property that is now their farm in 2019, and built a chicken coop, raised garden beds, a compost bin, and an orchard. Farm du Nord uses hugelkultur, a horticultural technique originating in Germany.
Hugelkultur is a raised garden bed formed out of mounds created by compostable layers of material such as grass clippings, leaf litter, and garden debris. Some of the layers in a hugelkultur bed include wood, providing space for water and nutrients.
The name Farm du Nord plays off the motto of the State of Minnesota, “L’etoile du Nord”, and connects to the Tetraults’ French heritage. “Although,” Blane and Bridget say, “We likely have more Scandinavian and English heritage than French.” They went on to explain that, “We live in the northern part of Minnesota so it made sense to us to have our farm identified as a ‘Farm of the North’.”
The Tetraults primary goal in moving to the Clover Valley area was to “rehabilitate an existing property into a homestead that would enable us to live more sustainably.” They are “striving to be the change we believe the world needs.” How are they doing this? By growing as much of their food as possible in order to limit their carbon footprint, by shopping local instead of big box stores, and by unplugging from excess technology and consumption.
“We were fortunate to move to the Clover Valley area which is rich with likeminded people,” Blane and Bridget say. “The sense of community is amazing in this area and there are many people willing to collaborate with in many ways such as the Farm Trail. After starting to grow our own food, we realized we had excess that we could share with others via the Two Harbors Farmers Market and the Farm Trail.”
Farm du Nord primarily offers baked goods such as scones, hand cakes, breads, cookies, granola, and dog treats. The farm often sells excess chicken eggs, garlic, rhubarb, and herbs. Baked goods are made with quality ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible. Fruits and vegetables are grown without chemicals.
“Our goal with Farm du Nord is to live as sustainably as possible and be good stewards of our environment. We believe in working with Mother Earth, using methods such as permaculture and organic gardening techniques, to lead happy and healthy lives. All the while, we strive to be culture-makers instead of just culture-consumers and positively contribute to our community,” the Tetraults say.
Find Farm du Nord at 1386 Shilhon Road, and learn more about the farm and what they have to offer at https://www.farmdunord.com/.