Cook Minnesota is located at the intersection of US Highway 53 and MN Hwy 1 in St Louis County. Cook is the western gateway to Lake Vermilion country . This small town is known for resorts, stores, and restaurants—but not necessarily for its growing season. Nevertheless, every summer more than 20 farmers, gardeners, and local food producers meet in the City Park each Saturday morning—rain or shine—for the Cook Area Farmers’ Market.
Kelly Dahl serves as president of the market. He and his wife Liz operate Aspen Falls Farm--a 200 acre organic farm west of town on the Little Fork River. Their "hired help" consists of three horses that Kelly describes with humor. The Dahls bought their land in 2001 and moved to the area in 2010. They've been members of the market for 4 years.
Kelly will have the beginning of the year's produce at the market this Saturday, along with home-canned goods like salsas, jams, and a special green tomato sweet relish. He'll bake cinnamon rolls or cookies if he has time.
Kelly speaks highly of the Cook Area Farmers' Market and its people. "It's great fun to wander around and visit. There is a wealth of knowledge here," he says. Kelly describes the market as a good place to find sustainable and homemade products. Produce is offered, along with a mix of locally produced arts and crafts. There is a coffee roaster, home-made soap, honey, baked and canned goods, throws and rugs, and spicy kimchi. "One vendor has a sawmill on his place and makes beautiful wood furniture."
The market is open from 8 am-1 pm Saturdays. Kelly's entire interview is available here: