The Peterson family farm began in the early 1900s as a diversified farm producing products for the family’s grocery store in Eveleth. The farm was divided in 1970 due to the construction of highway 53 that split the farm in half. At that time, the farm’s timber was harvested and the forest land was enrolled in a forest stewardship plan. In the 1980s, Mark Peterson planted his first berries and in 1990 he had his first market harvest of blueberries.
Mark is the third generation of his family to steward the land his grandfather homesteaded. In 1992, he was recognized as Tree Farmer of the Year by the Minnesota Timber Producers Association for outstanding land stewardship.
While the farm started with blueberries, it has since expanded to include many other types of berries in addition to maple syrup and Christmas wreath and garland production. Mark and Carol Peterson are the owner/operators of the farm. Their daughter, Robin Lindseth, and grandchildren, Julia and Zack, are all involved in the farm, especially during the busy berry picking and maple syrup seasons. Carol’s children Tom, Dawn and Rich also pitch in to help when needed.
Mark was the ag teacher at five schools in St. Louis County. He worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on the farm’s forest stewardship plan and monitors their lake for water level and quality. Mark serves as chair of the family’s lake association. Mark is on the board of the local soil and water conservation district and is very involved in the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.