St. Croix Valley April/May 2021

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HUDSON HOME AND GARDEN CLUB 60 years of helping to beautify the city WELCOME SPRING IN THE ST. CROIX VALLEY Master Gardeners prepare for planting

COOL BEANS

Local veteran launches a coffee roasting business


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CONTENTS

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 2 1 “Roaster Walt” chose a logo that symbolizes something important to his city, an image that’s unique yet universal, like the appreciation of good coffee.

PAGE 28

in every issue

departments

features

Editor’s Letter 4 Noteworthy 6 On the Town 26 Tastemakers 28 Last Glance 32

ARTS AND CULTURE 8

17

Potter Wins a Publishing Contract

High-Performing Homes

P ETS 10

Go Play Outside

Expert tips to keep pets healthy and safe. FRE S H AI R 14

New Growth in the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners prepare for a spring planting.

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Local builder creates beautiful, energy efficient homes.

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Hudson Home and Garden Club 60 years of helping and beautifying the city.

PHOTO BY CHRIS EMEOTT

Local artisan and novelist describes his latest book.


Be a hero, bring the number to zero

Safest Place to Call Home

C ov i d -19 v aC C i n e i n f o r m at i o n Getting vaccinated against COVID-19

will be one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you.Stopping the spread of COVID-19 gets us closer to the end of the pandemic.

Continuing to follow public health guidlines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 even after you have received two doses of vaccine. This includes wearing a mask, staying 6 feet from others, and washing your hands.

Having a safe and effective vaccine

will is the top priority. The requirements for COVID-19 vaccine are the same as all other vaccines.

After COVID-19 vaccination

you may have some side effects. These are nornal signs that your body is building protection. You will probably have a sore arm, muscles aches, tiredness, headache, or maybe a fever.

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66% of our employees at Saint Therese of Woodbury have completed both doses of the vaccine. 96% of Residents have been vaccinated through out the campus. 240 Essential Caregivers have been vaccinated so far. Efforts ongoing!

Together We Rose Saint Therese, like every senior care facility across our country, has been faced with with challenges and celebrated successes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is our story.

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FROM THE EDITOR Angela Johnson, stcroixvalleymag@tigeroak.com

Dr. Marc Roehrich Dr. James Erlandson

Where visiting the dentist feels like visiting a friend. Inside our practice, you may forget you’re at the dentist. We love to laugh and have fun, while still providing high-quality care customized to meet your needs. You’ll feel among friends here.

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’m anticipating some new landscaping this year. Plants, like people, can thrive or languish depending on their environment and proper tending. And things change. Even with adequate sunlight, water and nutrition, plants have a lifecycle and occasionally require replacement, or at the very least, some rethinking. Does my landscape require too much weeding? Are my shrubs not blossoming because they’re in the wrong place or because they’re overgrown? These are the kinds of questions a professional can help homeowners address. But even amateur gardeners can have great success when they plant themselves in an encouraging and educational setting. In this issue, we spotlight local organizations that are exactly the type of welcoming and encouraging environments for plant and landscape lovers. Discover some of what goes on behind the scenes for members of the Hudson Home and Garden Club as well as educational and volunteer opportunities with the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association. Maybe you’ll be inspired to participate, or at the very least, learn a bit more about how best to care for your own landscape. Maybe you’ll even dig in to help ongoing community gardening projects. Spring and summer can seem short in the St. Croix Valley. So, start planning now for how you’ll enjoy all that nature has to offer either in your own backyard or in our community.

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ST. CROIX VALLEY MAGAZINE @STCROIXVALLEYMAG

On the Cover Walter Reynolds, photo by Chris Emeott

PHOTO BY LISA BUTH

CALL TODAY!


VOL. 7 NO. 1 stcroixvalleymag.com

publisher SUSAN ISAY editor ANGELA JOHNSON managing editor ANGELA JOHNSON associate editor HAILEY ALMSTED staff writers AVA DIAZ MADELINE KOPIECKI CLAIRE SWENSON

contributing writers editorial interns

NANCY EIKE OLIVIA RIVERA

LAUREN DONOVAN MEGHAN BISHOP

editorial advisory board MEG BROWNSON, Alfresco Casual Living PETE FOSTER, Barkers and San Pedro Cafe JOHN KNUTSON, Catalyst Sports Medicine RUTH MISENKO, Seasons on St. Croix BRENT PETERSON, Washington County Historical Society SARAH QUICKEL, Enchanté HEATHER RUTLEDGE, ArtReach St. Croix ANDREW SACHARIASON, St. Croix Preparatory Academy

senior managing art director SARAH DOVOLOS art directors ALLISON NOLDEN EMILY HANDY lead staff photographer CHRIS EMEOTT

print production director production coordinator digital production director project coordinators senior account executives

BRITTNI DYE ALEX KOTLAREK DEIDRA ANDERSON

BROOKE BEISE

CYNTHIA HAMRE SARA JOHNSON

circulation and marketing

KATIE RINGHAND

credit manager

APRIL MCCAULEY

chief operating officer chief financial officer

SARAH GREEN, RN, LE, CLT

ANGELA BEISSEL

KATIE FREEMARK

JILL KRISTO, RN

WESTERN WISCONSIN’S

Cosmetic Nurse Team

SUSAN ISAY BILL NELSON

St. Croix Valley Magazine

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N OT E WO RT H Y »

READ

RACH THE BOOKSELLER RECOMMENDS … The Midwest Native Plant Primer: 225 Plants for an Earth-Friendly Garden by Alan Branhagen

Garden Goodness Seeding better nutrition.

With a mere 150 square feet, I only grow what I know I’ll eat, and only the easy stuff— tomatoes, peas, zucchini, herbs and lots of lettuces, for the most part. I humbly admit I am a below-average, somewhat lazy gardener. By September I am truly sick of weeding and harvesting, yet somehow, each April, I’m eager to dig in again. While gardening may not be in my wheelhouse, it does present me with the chance to practice one of my favorite skills: salad dressing. Creamy dressings are usually my first choice, but garden veggies really shine best with a truly great vinaigrette. Vinaigrette is quite simple to make using a standard 3:1 ratio of almost any oil or vinegar. When it comes to vinaigrette, there’s really just one rule: top quality ingredients.

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Since oil and vinegar comprise the bulk of the dressing, each should taste good on its own— and by that, I mean straight off the spoon. For me, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil is the gold standard, and I prefer a rich, fruity Greek oil. Any way you shake it (in a screw top jar—leave the measuring cups and spoons in the cabinet!), vinaigrette is the perfect way to enjoy your garden goodies all summer long. Find Perron’s’s recipe for Best Balsamic Vinaigrette on our website at stcroixvalleymag.com. Contributed by Rachael Perron, culinary & brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications.

This book is available at Valley Bookseller; 217 Main St. N., Stillwater, Minn.; 651.430.3385; Stop in or order online at valleybookseller.com

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This is the perfect book for environmentally conscious gardeners of all skill levels. It is by far the best regional gardening guide I’ve read. It highlights the best plant choices for the Midwest and details how to successfully grow them. It also includes a beautiful color photograph for every plant. Stop spending money on plants that won’t grow here, reduce your maintenance time and attract our pollinating friends! Simply excellent.


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Items needed: »» Container »» Pebbles for drainage »» Compost and dirt for roots and plants to grow »» Plants with smaller roots and that tend to do well in humid environments »» Long spoons, chop sticks or a wooden dowel »» Sheet of paper to create a funnel Instructions: »» Clean and dry your container. Add a layer of pebbles using the sheet of paper as a funnel. »» Lightly shake container to distribute evenly. »» Add compost using funnel. »» Use long sticks/ or spoon to even out dirt, dig holes and place plant roots. Move dirt over roots. »» Water once or twice every other month and your terrarium can last for years.

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D E P A R T M E N T S » A R T S & C U LT U R E

Potter Wins Publishing Contract Local novelist describes his latest book. BY CLAIRE SWENSON

PHOTO BY CHRIS EMEOTT

WILLIAM KAUFMANN works as a potter at Linden Hills Pottery in Hudson, Wis. alongside his wife Cynthia Mosedale, a painter. When Kaufmann isn’t creating oneof-a-kind ceramics, he can often be found writing. Most recently, Kaufmann has been working on a futuristic sci-fi novel called Killing Bodhi. The book was a finalist for the Nashville Claymore Award and a winner of the Page Turner Award in 2020. Winning the Page Turner Award meant Kaufmann received a print and audio publication deal with Spectrum Publishing. Kaufmann has been a writer his whole life. “Back in high school, I was writing poetry. In my senior English final, there was an essay question about a book. I had this brilliant idea that I wouldn’t write an essay, I

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would write a poem,” Kaufmann says. Creative for sure, and “the teacher said, ‘Great poem! But you just didn’t do the assignment.’” Since then, Kaufmann has continued to pursue a love of creative writing no matter his circumstance. “For a long time, I used writing as an outlet, but never really thought of publishing,” he says. Kaufmann’s first novel, The Change, received the San Diego State University Merit Award in 2017 and in 2018, his short story, The Bruised Peach, won PULP Literature’s Hummingbird Editor’s Choice Award. For three years, Kaufmann has been working on Killing Bodhi with the help of his writers' group and Peter Geye at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.


“The framework for the book is a brilliant scientist who has determined that humanity needs an upgrade and she is going to fast forward evolution,” says Kaufmann. “To do this, she creates Bodhi, who is an advanced biological droid. And she will lure into her experiment a human she doesn’t really know, named Bridget, who has extraordinary DNA. But as with experiments, things don’t always go according to plan.” The tensions in the book mount with blackmail, slavery, advanced technology, war and forbidden affairs. The focal point of Bodhi’s journey is really her own road to knowing herself and the world around her. “Her internal struggle throughout the book is to answer the question, ‘Am I alive? At what point are we alive?’” Kaufmann says. “In asking that question; she has some other, deeper questions too about humanity like ‘What is humanity? Are humans programmed machines like I am?’” “It turns out, there’s a lot of interesting characters,” Kaufmann says. A prequel and sequel for Killing Bodhi are already in the works. “I’m sure readers will be glad for that because I do leave them off at kind of a precarious place.” The initial chapter of the novel that introduces Bodhi can be found on the Linden Hills Pottery website. The audience’s first picture of the character gives a glimpse into the dynamics of how she lives in a world with strong prejudice against her. “Nothing like starting off with a little blood and gore,” Kaufmann says, describing the snippet that launches readers into the book. (You’ve been warned.) The Page Turner Awards are open to all fiction and non-fiction writers from English-speaking countries across the world. The judging panel for the awards includes authors, publishers, literary agents and film producers. More information about the Page Turner Awards and how writers can enter is available at pageturnerawards.com.

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Expert tips to keep pets healthy and safe. BY CLAIRE SWENSON

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PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON

D E PA R T M E N T S » P E T S

Go Play Outside


Spring into great smiles RACHEL MAIROSE, executive director of Secondhand Hounds, says the shelter has witnessed an uptick in interest for pet adoptions and fostering during the pandemic. “Our large dog coordinator had a 75 percent increase in the number of lives saved over [last] summer,” Mairose says. “Over [last] summer and into fall, we rarely have dogs stay [available for adoption] on the website more than a couple hours.” “[Pet adoptions] is the silver lining of this whole pandemic for us,” Mairose says. “The amount of lives not only Secondhand Hounds has been able to save, but every rescue across the country, is amazing.” With pet ownership comes spending more time outdoors, which is healthy for owners and their pets. So where are good areas to take pets for a walk? At home, is there anything owners can do to make sure landscaping elements are pet friendly? We turned to some experts for answers. Jean Larson, PhD, manager of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s nature-based therapeutic services and assistant professor at the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota says When you’re out and about, it’s essential to let dogs follow their instincts while staying on marked paths. While humans are used to moving at their own speed, it’s important to allow dogs to have a say in the pace. “When you are on a walk with your dog, let your dog sniff.” Larson says. “Sniffing on a walk is extremely important for a dog’s wellbeing, and it allows us humans to slow down and enjoy the walk, too.” Heading out for some exercise and socialization is important for pets, but, let’s face it, they spend a vast majority of their time in their own backyard. Larson gives pet owners a few tips for pet-safe yard care at home. “Invest in a quality fence for your yard,” Larson says. “Physical fencing allows your dog to roam freely and stay safe.” She also says that careful supervision and recognizing

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PHOTO BY EMILY J. DAVIS

PETS » CONTINUED

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Technology + Expertise + Fun

Now open in Stillwater! Invisalign and Braces for Adults and Children your dog’s habits can be a great way to create a space he/she will enjoy. Is he a digger? Provide a sand pit for digging. Is she a sniffer? Feature areas of heavier cover where your dog can happily sniff. Does your dog like to sunbathe? Find a sunny spot where your dog can warm his belly. Larson also recommends using dogsafe materials in you landscaping and warns against using cocoa bean mulch and commercial weed killers. Kristi Flynn, DVM, assistant professor for primary care at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, says that often, fertilizers with bone meal can also be dangerous. “[They] prove to be irresistible for some dogs and can make a dog sick if they eat too much,” Flynn says. At-home horticulturists should be strategic about what plants are in their gardens, as many can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested. Yews, castor bean, holly and lilies are a few that can quickly become dangerous. “The best prevention for keeping your dog healthy is to research plants that work in your zone and are safe for your dogs,” Larson says. She suggests books like Dog Friendly Gardens by Cheryl Smith. Pet owners can also visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ online library of poisonous plants. While owners can’t always know if a dog has ingested a dangerous plant, there are a few signs that are important to note. “Some plants can cause drooling or mild [gastrointestinal] signs right away, while others can have more serious adverse effects delayed after ingestion,” Flynn says. If you are worried that your pet has eaten something he/she shouldn’t, Flynn recommends contacting a veterinarian or a pet poison center, including the Pet Poison Helpline at 855.764.7661.

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D E PA R T M E N T S » F R E S H A I R

Deb Pederstuen, membership director for the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association.

New Growth in St. Croix Valley St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association prepares for spring gardening.

LIKE MANY LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS, the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association (SCVMGA) may have seemed dormant in the past year due to COVID-19 imposed restrictions. But, much like the seeds they carefully tend in flower beds and vegetable patches throughout the St. Croix Valley, things have been growing under the surface. And this spring, signs of green new growth are poking through. Donna Davis served as interim president of the SCVMGA from spring, 2020 through this past winter. With previous terms as president and over 30 years in the association under her belt, Davis was in a unique position to assess the challenges COVID posed to SCVMGA and how it has interrupted many aspects of the group’s normal operations. “It’s different during COVID,” Davis says. Aside from moving meetings online, SCVMGA’s major fundraising event was

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also thwarted due to the pandemic. Their plant sale funds many grants SCVMGA gives to community members to inspire and support community gardening projects. “But we still have money in our treasury,” Davis notes. Community members still applied for grants, that can run up to $250 each, to fund purchasing supplies and seeds for community gardening projects in places like schools and libraries to YMCAs and nursing homes. “We gave out 20 grants this last year, and most of them carried through during COVID,” Davis says, reflecting that very few projects were canceled, despite the extenuating circumstances. “I thought during a COVID year that was excellent,” she adds. When asked how she initially got into gardening, Davis laughs. “I think I’ve gardened, off and on, since junior high. We

PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON

BY MADELINE KOPIECKI


Coming Soon

Luxury Riverfront Condos in Downtown Hudson, WI had a vegetable garden out East, in the state of Virginia. With a florist father and a mother who tended victory gardens during World War II, “I think it’s in the blood,” she concludes with a chuckle. But, despite years of experience and membership in SCVMGA, Davis says she’s still a partial green thumb. “I’m like everybody else, I get behind or too busy and some of the plants go to the wayside.” Even being a master gardener doesn’t make you immune to the temperaments of mother nature, but it does provide a large base of resources to draw upon. A master gardener membership requirement of the University of Wisconsin-Madison extension is 10 hours of continuing education annually. “Our extension leader, she’s been doing continuing education,” Davis says. “There were plenty of opportunities that Madison had, where you could go online and watch a program and take a little quiz and then you would get your credit.” Another component of membership, 24 hours of volunteer service annually, (waved for 2021). But despite an exception, Davis still managed to rack up over 100 hours of service. “I do a food shelf garden by myself,” Davis says. “I’ve raised over 500 pounds of vegetables that I raised, picked, packaged, and donated. I donate to three churches and one lowincome housing. And I’ve done that for three or four years.” Although COVID interrupted many SCVMGA projects, members are determined to see one of their traditional events through this year, although in a different format than usual. “We’re going to be holding a virtual Western Wisconsin garden conference called Growing Together,” Davis says. Seven Wisconsin counties collaborated to pull off this online conference, which was open to master gardeners and the public alike. To learn more about the St. Croix Master Gardeners Association visit scvmga.weebly.com

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HighPerforming Homes Local builder creates beautiful, energy efficient homes.

Written by Nancy Eike

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The Foundation

Sharkey began his foray into the construction business at the age of 15 reroofing houses with his sister’s boyfriend. And, he says, “When I turned 18, I just kind of accidentally started a construction company when a family friend in the business asked if I wanted to do all the roofs and siding.” Large contracts followed and things were humming along until the housing

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crash of 2008. Always adaptable, Sharkey quickly pivoted to flipping homes. Then, as things started to improve economically, someone asked if he could build a custom home. “Sure!” says Sharkey. “I realized then that was my niche and I created Sharkey Design Build.”

Going Green

The creation of GreenHalo Builds, which is also run out of the Sharkey Design Build downtown Stillwater office, once again began when someone approached Sharkey—this time about building “healthy” homes. He loved the idea. “We did a lot of research on the subject of healthy living and healthy homes, such as solar energy, low VOC products, high-efficiency heating and cooling,” says Sharkey. “It took us about two years to put together a business plan and pick the right partners.” And with a plan in place, Sharkey and GreenHalo set out to build “net zero” homes, meaning the cost of operating and maintaining the home is drastically reduced, compared to typical homes. “People were dabbling in this net

zero living in the Twin Cities, but it’s mostly been in homes that are priced at $800,000 and above,” says Sharkey. “I wanted to make it more obtainable.” This Mahtomedi home priced in at $499,900.

The Nuts and Bolts

But what, exactly, are the elements of GreenHalo homes that allow for those delightfully low energy and maintenance costs and high indoor air quality? Well, according to Sharkey, there are many. First, all GreenHalo homes have a minimum of 14 solar panels; they can go much higher in number, but they want to keep the price point down so the typical number is 14. “And there is an $8,000 rebate (half from Xcel Energy and half from the federal government), so that’s a really big component of savings,” says Sharkey. Another element is the structurally engineered panels (SIPs), which are 15 times more airtight than traditional insulation; an airtight home means less cost to heat and cool. Each home design, too, lends itself to this idea of no wasted space. “The fronts of each home can be created to

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHARKEY DESIGN BUILD | GREENHALO BUILDS

T

he first things you notice when you step foot inside this newly built modern Scandinavianstyle home are the open-concept floor plan, light and bright rooms, quality finishes and efficient use of space. It has a decidedly “less is more” approach to décor synonymous with its Northern European style inspiration. But to John Sharkey, owner of Sharkey Design Build and GreenHalo Builds, it’s also what you don’t see that makes this innovative, Reggie award-winning 2,200-square-foot home so appealing. Especially if you like the idea of spending a mere $300 a year on utility costs. Yes, you heard that right: $300 a year. But more on that later.


look any way the homeowner wants, but the backs and the sides of the homes are squared off to avoid any loss of energy,” says Sharkey. “No bumpouts or bay windows.” Inside, it’s all about using the healthiest, most efficient products available. This model, for much of the bamboo flooring, showcases an environmentally friendly company, Cali, which is known for its extremely low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) it puts off into the home and environment. There are LED lights to reduce energy costs, highefficiency HVAC system, a “smart” technology system, Andersen windows, LP siding, just to name a few of its efficient products. Have an electric vehicle? Yep, each GreenHalo home comes equipped with a Tesla charging station in the garage.

Beautiful, Functional … and Popular

Sharkey highlighted this model home on the 2020 Fall Parade of Homes. And, no surprise, it was a hit. “We had over 800 people come through the home; and some people came from six hours away to see it,” he says. “They love the idea of it. And with this virus, we have a really healthy home that we can offer.” The home also features custom cabinetry and millwork—thanks to the company’s in-house cabinet makers—and in the kitchen, Cosentino waterfall countertops, a “space for everything” pantry that will make you want to amp up your cooking skills, high-end appliances and a conveniently located dining area. A cozy living area with lots of light pouring in is the perfect spot to sit and chat. Upstairs, Cali floors in a lighter blonde wood sets the stage—not to mention makes for a healthier home by having no carpeting—and the space boasts a “pajama lounge” that acts as a second place to hang out and relax, laundry room, two impressive bedrooms, a perfectly appointed master suite, and a secondstory teak deck. A dropdown attic ladder leads to a plethora of storage space, as the home is built on a concrete slab.

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SHARKEY DESIGN BUILD GREENHALO BUILDS

610 Main St. N. #111 Stillwater 612.327.4457 greenhalobuilds.com

Along with the interior design expertise of Christina Miller, owner of Christina Lynn Interiors, GreenHalo Builds has built, decorated and sold eight houses, has a ninth and tenth in process, and they just broke ground on one of 14 homes in an “eco village” in Stillwater, called EcoRidge. “We’re trying to create with likeminded people that want to live this healthy kind of style,” says Sharkey. “It will be all solar powered, we’ll be working with naturalists to help with a community garden and landscape design, there will be paths and lots of outdoor living,” says Sharkey. Folks can pick an existing design to speed up the building process, or they can pick a plan and customize it to meet their needs.

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The enthusiasm has been so great, in fact, that Sharkey thinks he’ll be building more healthy homes than traditional homes.

From Colleague to Customer

Miller, who selected all the interior and exterior finishes for all the GreenHalo models thus far, is also a devotee of the modern Scandinavian aesthetic and the idea of net zero and environmentally friendly living. And, she just moved into her own GreenHalo Builds home in February. “I’m excited and honored to be part of these projects as their interior designer, as well as living in my very own GreenHalo home,” says Miller. That $300 Annual Utility Cost “When I say $300 a year, it’s not like we’re trying to figure it out on the back

of a napkin; I pay for these homes to get energy audited,” says Sharkey. “It all comes down to the HERS rating, which tells you how energy efficient a home is. Our [model] house had a HERS rating of 24, which was the lowest on the entire Parade of Homes tour.” To put it into perspective, a typical new home has a HERS score of 100. “The whole Builder’s Association was really captivated by this number because they don’t see anybody pushing it to this level,” says Jen McAlpin, owner of McAlpin Marketing, who helps spread the word about GreenHalo. And Sharkey knows this is where his heart is. “We have a ton of passion behind this,” he says. “It’s something new and fresh—and who doesn’t want to live in a healthy home?”


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by ava diaz

Hudson Home and Garden Club

S

ince 1965 the Hudson Home and Garden Club (HH&GC) has been a place for locals to share common interests. Promoting the love of gardening, the club encourages the creation of beautiful spaces through public programs, events, community service opportunities and city-oriented projects. “It is not just about pretty little flowers,” club member Janet Quinto says. “We are a group that is committed to what is required to make Hudson an even better town.” Educating community members on how to enhance their own spaces from the inside out, the HH&GC hosts monthly meetings that feature an array of learning opportunities and exposure to new practices through speakers, activities and projects. Bringing in featured professionals to speak on their specialties, the club has welcomed local merchants, landscape professionals, environmentalists, botanists, interior designers, chefs and even self-care experts to speak on their specialties. As the club celebrates its 60th anniversary this September, 12-year member and former 2020 club president Barb Peterson says that it is important to recognize how the group has evolved with the times since it was established. From a sociological perspective, Peterson says that at the time of the club’s conception, many of its original members were middle-aged empty nesters who still had vigorous interests and wanted a way to stay active in the community. Through a desire to promote environmental changes, cultural developments and tradi-

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tional gardening in the area, the organization soon grew from just a few members to 25. Since then, the club has grown to 65 members of both men and women from Hudson and surrounding communities like the village of North Hudson, St. Joe, Troy, Roberts, Afton, Stillwater and Woodbury. Though membership is mostly made up of retirees, Peterson emphasizes that anyone that has an affinity for gardening and the city of Hudson is welcome to join. “We don’t ask for recognition; we just ask for members that want to join us and be a part of it to do what it is right for the city,” 12-year member Judy Platz says. “What a wonderful diverse group we are with our knowledge and concerns.” Through a combination of member ideas and city initiatives, the club works to develop innovative solutions. One of its larger projects in Hudson are the 80 hanging baskets on lamp posts around town. Though the baskets are funded by the city, the HH&GC members are the creative minds behind them. Teaming up with Hudson Parks and Recreation, the club is responsible for the development of a design, from colors, plant types and placement. They also provide the labor to assemble them. Combining beauty with practicality, these baskets are unique in that they have reservoirs at the bottom to hold water for the plants. This design was essential in reducing the necessary frequency of watering since city crew only waters on weekdays. “It is amazing what a small group of industrious [people] can do to make a little town sparkle,” Quinto says.


60 YEARS OF HELPING AND BEAUTIFYING THE CITY.

12 photos captured and submitted by locals, the calendars are sold in local businesses throughout Hudson, as well as the farmers market. Using the calendar as a way to support the talent of its community members, proceeds are split between the HH&GC and partnering businesses. As for the future of the Hudson Home and Garden Club, current president Nancy Toll hopes to continue to grow the program and spread its mission. “I would like to see this year as a year of possibilities and encourage individuals to get involved with volunteering because there are so many things that we can do,” she says. “I think that we need to let people realize that they are vital parts of the community and there are things that you can do to help, that you enjoy and doesn’t feel like a chore. It is a way to give back.”

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This past winter season, club members created decorative holiday orbs made from rounded metal strips with a vibrant ornament pendant, sprigs of pine and festive ribbon. In addition to their work of beautifying the walkways of Hudson, the HH&GC also regularly tends the local library’s garden. The HH&GC relies on the support of member dues and fundraisers for its projects and educational programming. One of its largest fundraisers is the Hudson Calendars. Conceptualized and created by the HH&GC, these calendars showcase the unique beauty of Hudson and what it has to offer. “Many out-of-towners buy the calendar, not so much because it is a calendar, but rather it has a bunch of beautiful pictures from the city that they visited,” Peterson says. “Almost like a souvenir.” Featuring

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Hudson Home and Garden Club • hudsonhomegarden@gmail.com •

Promoting an interest in gardening, the HH&GC provides grants for those who want to contribute to the conservation of natural resources and the enhancement of their community through projects. Supporting ideas that are introduced by local residents, grants are available to communitybased organizations, nonprofits and educational programs. “The grant recipient should be in relation to our mission,” Toll says. “Beautifying and being a benefit to the environment while contributing a service to the local community.” Originally used as a resource for the Hudson School District, the HH&GC has since expanded its outreach to other surrounding areas to accommodate a more diverse member base. Awarding twice a year for up to $250 for each project, the funding from these grants are sourced

from the proceeds of the Hudson Calendars. “[The grants] are not huge, but they make things happen and are accessible,” Toll says. Considering these smaller grant amounts, Peterson says they often collaborate with other local organizations such as the Master Gardeners of St. Croix and Pierce County, to increase available funding and make a larger impact. Past grant recipients include: • E.P. Rock Elementary School garden • Stained glass sculpture for Hudson Prairie Elementary School gardens • First Presbyterian Church “Give it away” garden that works to support the local food shelf • River Crest Elementary School’s Habitat Restoration Project • The Eagle Scouts • The St. Croix YMCA produce garden and educational programs

60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION EVENT Check online for sheduled Hudson Home and Garden Club meeting dates, topics & speakers, as well as for updated information regarding a 60th anniversary celebration event currently planned for this fall.

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PHOTOS COURTESY THE HUSDSON HOME AND GARDEN CLUB

HUDSON HOME AND GARDEN CLUB GRANTS

Hudson Home and Garden Club


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O N T H E TOW N »

MAY 7, 8, 9

Virtual Vessels St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour BY ANGELA JOHNSON

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1 Ani Kasten 2 Guillermo Cuellar 3 Mathhew Krousey 4 Jeff Oestreich 5 Linda Christianson 6 Janel Jacobxon 7 Richard Vincent 8 Will Swanson 7

LO CAL EVEN TS APRIL:

10-11 Spring into Wine at Chateau St. Croix Welcome spring with wine at a Chateau. With over 20 acres of lawn, bring a picnic blanket and enjoy three complimentary food and wine pairings. Limited seating available inside and plenty of patio seating. Ages 21 and over. $8. Noon–5 p.m. Chateau St Croix Winery; 1998 State Road 87, St. Croix Falls; 715.483.2556; chateaustcroix.com

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Education Center Third Saturday at the Belwin Conservancy

Learn from staff and volunteers about the 1,500 acres of prairie, savanna and woodlands in Minnesota’s Saint Croix Valley. From there you can enjoy the

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great outdoors on the family friendly trails. All Ages. Free. 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. Belwin Education Center, 1553 Stagecoach Trail S., Afton; 651.436.5189; belwin.org

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Birdhouses, Batboxes and Beeboxes

Come take an artmaking workshop at Franconia Sculpture Park. No matter your age or artistic background, this class is a fun way to get in touch with nature and your creative side. Registration required. All Ages. $30. 1–4 p.m. Franconia Commons, 29836 St. Croix Trail N., Shafer; 651.257.6668; Franconia.org

MAY:

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Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Cruise

Celebrate your mother this year with

a special river cruise on the St. Croix River. Enjoy a charming brunch with your family with this memorable event. All Ages. Prices vary. 11 a.m.–1 p.m. or 2:30-4:30 p.m. St. Croix River Cruises, 98 Walnut Street, Hudson, Wis.; 651.436.8883; stcroixrivercruises.com

22–23 Stillwater Flea & Crafter Market With over a 100 vendors and crafters, this market has a unique array of items to look through. Whether you’re looking for a gift, home décor or a new piece of art, you’ll be sure to find it here. All ages. Free. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Washington Country Fairgrounds, 12300 40th St. N., Stillwater; 715.557.1785; events.discoverstillwater.com

PHOTOS COURTESY ST. CROIX POTTERY TOUR

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The 29th annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour will be all online to help keep artists and the pottery loving public safe. The venue may look different, but the pottery is as wonderful as ever. This online experience will offer virtual studio visits and pottery demonstrations by many of the participating potters. Also, the tour is a self-supporting arts event and each year a portion of the proceeds is donated to local, regional or national arts and educational projects. For 2020, in observance of the struggles facing the community due to the COVID19 pandemic, the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour (online in 2020) directed a portion of sales proceeds to Second Harvest Heartland, a hunger relief organization which serves 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Visit minnesotapotters.com for updates regarding the upcoming 2021 event.


Compiled by Meghan Bishop, Lauren Foley and Olivia Rivera

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AREA EVENTS / A P R I L

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Egg Hunt at Castle

Come celebrate Easter at this family friendly event at the American Swedish Institute with an egg hunt in the castle gardens, storytime with the Easter Witch (påskkäring) and Swedishstyle crafts. Registration required. Recommended for 10 and under and their special adults. $10 members, $15 non-members. 9–10:30 a.m. or 1– 2:30 p.m. American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Mpls.; 612.871.4907; asimn.org

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Virtual Art Practice Circle hosted by Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Join local fellow makers to inspire and encourage your creative process. The class is focused on helping each art maker keep going on a personal project and work forward by talking about it out loud. $10, $5 BIPOC. 6–7 p.m. mnbookarts.org

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Virtual History Forum with the Minnesota Historical Society

Join history professor Steve Conn over Zoom for The Roots of the RuralUrban Divide, as he shares how this historic rift has influenced politics in the U.S. since its birth. These series are a great way to learn something new about history that affects our current state of affairs. Ages 21 and over. $5 members/ $10 nonmembers suggested. 6:30–8 p.m. Online with the Minnesota Historical Society at mnhs.org

To have your event considered: email stcroixvalleymag@tigeroak.com by the 10th of the month three months prior to publication. Due to the fluidity being experienced in the current environment, please note that some events/dates and even some business operations may have changed since these pages went to print. Please visit affiliated websites for updates.

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TA S T E M A K E R S »

Cool Beans AREA VETERAN LAUNCHES A LOCAL COFFEE ROASTING BUSINESS. BY ANGELA JOHNSON

PHOTOS BY CHRIS EMEOTT

Walter Reynolds is known in the local coffee roasting world as Roaster Walt or Wally. But he also goes by Sergeant Reynolds, a training NCO for Minnesota’s Search and Extraction team in the Minnesota Army National Guard. It is his military service that’s helped inspire his passion for good coffee. Reynolds started “getting into” coffee around 2013 when his world travels as an army engineer introduced him to different coffees. He began to ponder what he

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liked about certain coffees and even began creating cold brew coffee for fellow service members whenever electricity wasn’t available for traditionally brewed blends. Once Reynolds hit the halfway mark in his military career, he decided his passion for creating good coffee would be the next step toward civilian life. So, in 2019, Reynolds launched Bridge City Roasting named in honor of the city he loves, Stillwater, Minn. Originally from Galveston, Tex., Reynolds moved to the St. Croix Valley

at a young age and attended Stonebridge Elementary School. “As a kid, I fell in love with Stillwater and I knew I would come back and make this my home,” he says. Reynolds’ wife and her family are all from Stillwater and Reynolds has been part of the community for several years, helping out with local community events. For over five years, Reynolds says he received thoughtful care packages from local residents when he was deployed. And it was locals who hosted a welcome home


FUSION FITNESS AND NUTRITION Helping the East Metro Live a Healthy and Fit Life! Results-Driven Personal Fitness Training and Precision Nutrition Coaching party for Reynolds at the Tilted Tiki in Stillwater. That’s when he first disclosed his dream of starting a coffee roasting business and people encouraged Reynolds with an outpouring of support before he was even up and going. While on deployment, Reynolds approached coffee making like that of a mixologist, combining whatever was on hand to create a cold brew. “When we didn’t have electricity for coffee pots, cold brew was a good alternative,” says Reynolds who would walk around for 4-6 days with jugs of steeping cold brew batches that he would then filter and serve. “We had a lot of Minnesota National Guard guys who would drink coffee all day,” says Reynolds. “I realized I’m kind of good at developing these flavor profiles and I’m drawn to an industry where everyone is trying to improve everyday life for everyone involved in the process.” He notes that everything about Bridge City Roasting’s process is local, ethical and sustainable. Bridge City Roasting obtains its beans through a Minneapolis based importer. Reynolds says, “when I first started, I thought I’d be a direct coffee roaster, but the more I dove into the education aspect, I realized that by going through an importer, if I’m out of something I can talk to the importer about what might be similar to create the profile I need. Also, with direct trade, if a farm goes down, I would have no ability to help those farmers and that weighed on me. The importers I’ve chosen to have relationships with, if something happens to a family farm where it cannot produce, [the importer] will not just cut ties but give some financial backing until the farmer is back up and running, which I think is just awesome. This helps environmentally and economically in places where labor laws are not the same.” As a rule of thumb, Reynolds prefers to work with local companies. He works up and down the river valley in search of collaborations. Grain Studio in Hugo did Bridge City Roasting’s logo design work and Bayport Printing creates the company’s packaging and labels. “I gave out free samples for almost a year to get critiques and feedback,” says Reynolds. “I’d take all of the information

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TA S T E M A K E R S »

to get better until Bridge City Roasting launched its coffee for sale to the public in February, 2020.” Then covid hit. “I was scared,” says Reynolds. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. But sure enough, a few people saw me online and started ordering coffee and it’s grown. I had to give up my cottage license for a food license and commercial kitchen space. It’s been amazing.” Currently, Bridge City Roasting shares space with Sara’s Tipsy Pies in Stillwater. “People have suggested other towns for shared space, but that’s not my home,” says Reynolds. This arrangement works out great because “I’m full-time military and gone during the day. I need a space at night when I can go there to roast and fill orders online,” says Reynolds. Bridge City Roasting has experienced unanticipated growth in 2020 because fewer people were visiting coffee shops and searching for good coffee to brew at home. This meant Reynolds needed to upgrade equipment and purchase a roaster that can keep up with the volume of orders. Reynolds’ roasting process involves going through his flavor profiles before he begins. “Before you go somewhere, you need to know where you’re going,” Reynolds says. So, he thinks about the type of brewer he’s trying to tap into with each batch; drip, pour over or cold press, because each requires a different type of roasting. Then he begins with cupping, a process where a small amount of ground coffee is steeped in water to give the brewer a taste without having to brew an entire pot. “You evaluate the aroma and taste from hot and as it cools, to ensure throughout the process that you have a smooth, good tasting coffee,” says Reynolds. He might then mix one coffee with another origin of bean to create a blend. “That’s how it all happens,” he says, “with a small cup and a spoon.” The most popular Bridge City Roasting flavor is called Simon Select. “[The name] has to do with my dog Simon,” says Reynolds. Simon is a Bichon, Havanese mix, a small dog that often travels in the car with Reynolds making coffee deliveries. “Customers enjoy meeting Simon,” says Reynolds. Simon also knows what he likes. Reynolds says, “When I was roasting [Simon Select], my dog, who doesn’t drink coffee, would go crazy and I wondered what was going on. Then, when I opened

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the hopper to pour the beans out, one went flying and [Simon] grabbed it and took off like he’d gotten a treat. He smelled it, played with it and eventually ate it, and I thought, ‘I guess this is Simon’s!’” Thus, the name. Reynolds describes Simon Select as a Colombian grown coffee with hints of toffee and sugar cane. “It’s juicy and smooth,” says Reynolds. Bridge City Roasting also has a Sumatra dark roast that is popular. “It tastes like honey and candied walnut,” says Reynolds, “it’s a chocolatey, smooth tasting coffee.” Reynolds notes that he tries to aim for smoothness when roasting coffee. In the military he’s seen how people typically make coffee. They don’t often measure. “That’s what the normal person does,” says Reynolds, “they throw a couple of tablespoons in and call it good.” So, with that in mind, Bridge City Roasting coffees do have brewing recommendations on the labels, but Reynolds tries to stay away from anything too fancy that might require scales, etc. A similar thought process goes into the company’s cold brew kit, “I try to make sure it’s travel friendly,”

says Reynolds, “So you can take the whole thing with you boating, hiking or camping. It’s for people living the river life. The whole point is to make it convenient for people on the go.” In fact, the outdoors and activities like hiking and camping are part of what Reynolds loves about the St. Croix Valley. He says, “I love the outdoors and the fact that you can only get to the [Arcola high bridge, pictured in the Bridge City Roasting logo], by hiking.” Reynolds wanted to choose a logo for Bridge City Roasting that symbolizes something important to his city but that is also an image people from other areas, where there are bridges, can recognize, unique yet universal, kind of like the appreciation of good coffee.

BRIDGE CITY ROASTING

Coffee can be found online and at Len’s Family Foods in Stillwater. bridgecityroasting.com


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LAST GLANCE

Late Nights, Early Mornings Memories from the farm. BY ANGELA JOHNSON

PHOTO BY STEVE HADEEN

WE REGULARLY FEATURE photo submissions

gotten it in my mind that there was probably a light emanating from it, whether by electric, lantern or some other means of illumination. The light coming from the windows in this image was created through light painting.

Where/when was the photo taken?

First, I just love the love light shining in the windows. To me, it adds a story to the image. Secondly, one of [the owners] said it really brought back memories as he used to work on that very farm in the summers with his uncle. It is my understanding that there actually were late nights or early mornings where he would see light shining out those very windows! It brought back poignant memories of his time on the farm as a younger boy. It always thrills me when my images move viewers personally.

from our Lens on St. Croix Valley photo contest in the pages of St. Croix Valley Magazine and online. This month, we asked Steve Hadeen to tell us about his photograph titled Silo Under the Big Dipper.

What’s your favorite thing about this image?

Last summer in the St. Croix Falls/Centuria, Wis. region on a farmstead owned by some friends. What inspired the shot? I’ve been privileged to be allowed to make images on this private property. I’ve actually made images of this silo and attached “shed” before. More recently, I’ve wondered what it must have been like back in the day when a farmer was working late after sundown or in the wee hours before sunrise. I’ve

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