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Clover Valley Farm Trail: Farm du Nord

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/.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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