Woodbury April 2021

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GO PLAY OUTSIDE Experts offer tips to keep pets safe at home and at the park


BROKEN WRIST

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CONTENTS

APRIL 2021 “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” —Thomas Jefferson

in every issue Editor’s Letter 6 Noteworthy 9 On the Town 39 Tastemakers 4 4 Last Glance 4 8

departments DOIN G GOOD 1 4

Autism Awareness

The philosophy at the Minnesota Autism Center is one size does not fit all. COMMU N ITY 1 6

A New Opportunity Young athletes have a chance to grow as players and individuals. EN LIGHTEN   1 8

A Community Celebration

April 12 marks the beginning of Ramadan.

features 20

Compost 101

Reduce your carbon footprint and better your garden.

24

Go Play Outside

Experts offer tips to keep pets safe at home and at the park.

31

Green Living

Amaris Custom Homes receives recognition for its innovative and ecofriendly new builds.

PAGE 18

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Love Woodbury Magazine? Get Connected & Find • Upcoming local events • Web exclusive articles • Editors’ and writers’ blogs • Submit story ideas to Woodbury Magazine

FROM THE EDITOR Hailey Almsted, woodburymag@tigeroak.com

I

can easily recall the first houseplant I ever purchased. I was strolling the endless aisles at IKEA when I came across the plant section, filled to the brim with different cacti and succulents, bird of paradise trees and snake plants—but it was the small $5 aloe that caught my attention. The next thing I knew—and a few years later—I became a “plant parent” to several different plants: Monstera deliciosa, philodendron hope selloum and philodendron mican, fiddle leaf fig and variegated pothos, to name a few. I have propagated, fertilized, repotted and replanted; I have learned the terminology; the ins and outs of “plant parenthood,” if you will. Yet, it seems like there’s still more to learn. For this month’s garden and landscaping issue, I spoke with Jamie Giesen, environmental resource supervisor with the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment, about the intricacies of composting and how to use it for houseplants—flip to page 20 for Giesen’s knowledge, plus a few of my own tips and tricks. So, what started with three stalks is now up to 15; and what started as one houseplant turned into 30 and counting. Though I hope to one day fill the backyard with blooming flowers, fruits and delicious vegetables, I’ll have to stick to watering my 30+ houseplants for now. Show us your gardens and houseplants, readers! Tag us on Instagram or use the hashtag #WoodburyMagazine so we can view and share your photos. I’ll see you next month!

Visit us online for even more about Woodbury.

See what we’re doing behind the scenes and around town! WOODBURYMAG.COM @WBURYMAG

WOODBURY MAGAZINE @WOODBURY_MAG

On the Cover Puppy Love, photo by Emily J. Davis

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APRIL 2021

PHOTO BY RACHEL NADEAU

woodburymag.com


VOL. 17 NO. 8 woodburymag.com

publisher SUSAN ISAY

Discover the Difference

Stepping Into Summer for a new Tomorrow!

Anticipated Summer Camp Themes and Field Trips:

editor HAILEY ALMSTED managing editor ANGELA JOHNSON associate editor HAILEY ALMSTED copy editor KELLIE DOHERTY

staff writers

A camping we will go! - Dodge Nature Center Our heroes - Conquer Ninja Warrior Picnics, Parks and Patriotism - Lake Elmo Park Reserve All around the world - Reptiles and Amphibian show Riding the heat wave - Inflatable water slides on site! Water wonders - Shoreview water park A salute to sports - HealtEast Sports Center Inventor’s workshop - The Works Museum and Snapology Dream big! - Theatre Production and Talent show Color me crazy! - Color Me Mine! Simply science - High Touch, High Tech/Mining for Gold and Digging Fossils! Backyard bash! - On-site inflatables and Kona Ice truck

AVA DIAZ

MADELINE KOPIECKI CLAIRE SWENSON

contributing writers

DONNA CHICONE

EMILY BROOKS MIKE LEWIS RACHAEL PERRON MARGARET WACHHOLZ

editorial interns

MEGHAN BISHOP

LAUREN FOLEY OLIVIA RIVERA

Themes and field trips subject to change

editorial advisory board PEPE BARTON, South Washington County Schools TANNER IGNASZWESKI, Woodbury High School MIKE LEWIS, 3P Boxing 24/7 LAURIE MORDORSKI, Woodbury Lakes STACEY MORGAN, woodburykids.com MICHELLE OKADA, City of Woodbury Public Safety MARGARET WACHHOLZ, Woodbury Heritage Society, Woodbury Community Foundation, Woodbury Senior Living SARAH SORENSON-WAGNER, South Washington County Schools

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 ANGELA BEISSEL BROOKE BEISE

KATIE FREEMARK

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NOTEWORTHY local tips, tidbits & insights

AN ODE TO POETRY April marks National Poetry Month. BY EMILY BROOKS

P

oetry has always been my favorite genre because of its ability to take memoir and literature and shake them until just their barest beauty remain. Whole lifetimes can be condensed into a few short lines of carefully chosen words. So, here are a few of my favorite poetry novels to celebrate during National Poetry Month.

PHOTO BY CHRIS EMOETT

and its resounding effects on her own life in swift, vivid verse. She follows with a series of poems inspired by research on Black soldiers’ experiences during the Civil War. Trethewey takes heart wrenching details pulled from her research and twists them into haunting stanzas of loss, cruelty and perseverance. A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey

This Pulitzer Prize winning collection from former United States Poet Laureate expertly blends historical research with personal loss. Trethewey starts by exploring her mother’s death

The late Oliver always had an ability to sweep me away from wherever I was and take me into whatever moments her poetry captured. Her poems often explore the relationship between people and nature and are the perfect escape from

a hectic world. This collection is no different. Its poems sing with lyrical observations of animals, gardening and even words themselves. The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Brown’s latest Pulitzer Prize winning collection has garnered well-deserved critical acclaim. He works through dark topics with both an intensity and lightness in his verse. There is unease, despair, longing and injustice coupled with love, resistance and hope. Emily Brooks is a library services supervisor for the Washington County Library System.

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P E TS

COLLAR OR HARNESS There are many options for handling your pup.

FI TNE SS

How to Exercise Safely Practice these five tips for a safe workout.

2. Hold off on workouts when you’re hurt or feeling exhausted. It is okay to cut back intensity in order to finish a workout session. Remember to rest if you feel faint or exhausted after your workout. 3. If you miss a few workouts or stop for a period of time, drop to a lower level of training at first when you began training. For example, lift lighter weights or plan for fewer reps/sets. 4. It’s important to drink plenty of water. If you’re doing a marathon or boxing, select drinks that also supply electrolytes. 5. Working out in hot, sticky conditions can lead to overheating and dehydration. So, in the summer months, train during morning or evenings, or in an air-

5 TIPS TO EXERCISING SAFELY

conditioned facility.

Once your doctor gives you the green light to workout, follow these tips to train safely

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Pet Parent Question: I want to find a harness for my dog, but I don’t know where to begin to find one that will fit well. What do you recommend? Answer: Today there are many different brands and it seems new harnesses are marketed all the time. I use the Easy Walk harness on my dogs, but other people may prefer another brand. Going to a pet supply store and talking to the staff may be helpful or seeking out a trainer who recommends harnesses for training would be a good source of information as well. Your veterinarian is also a good information source. A harness will last a long time, so making an investment in a wellmade harness is a good thing to do. Donna Chicone is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker and advocate for dogs. She lives in Woodbury. You might find her engaged in pet-assisted therapy work; superpetparent.com

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Your wellness level depends on consistently getting in a basic workout. But how you approach your workout program will determine whether it upgrades your health or causes an issue—the exact opposite of your intention. Pushing yourself too hard or too fast, even if you’re using an easy machine, could make health gains from exercise more difficult. Something as simple as wearing the wrong shoes during a long walk could be detrimental. It is important to remember that, if you have a pre-existing health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of heart disease or if you’re a smoker, to contact your doctor before starting vigorous physical activity. After all, you want to improve your health, not hurt it.

There is a lot of medical evidence today showing damage to a dog’s neck from a collar—which is important for carrying identification. But a harness is much more appropriate for attaching a leash to—it allows you to snap a leash on the back or at the chest area. There is also a head harness. Whichever type of harness, keep in mind that not all dogs tolerate a harness. It may be just finding the one that feels best to your dog.


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Thorny Conversations Stepping into a thorny conversation can be an act of faith, foolishness or naivete. When was the last time you found the patience or the humility to truly listen to someone who does not share your views? Since the beginning of the practice of rhetoric, it has been a useful, however flawed fallacy, to attack the person instead of hearing out their point of view and once we dismiss a person, we do not have to listen. One of the obstacles of having confidence in a true dialogue is time. One of the hardest things to do, I think, is sit in silence, with an opinion opposite to one’s own—because of the silence, it can imply agreement or revulsion. And it’s difficult to hear somebody disagree with your beliefs. Much of what we believe, we may not even be able to defend. It just intuitively is or things we have heard on the news, at work, places of worship, etc. Preparing for difficult conversations and removing the “I must be right” mantra is hard. But it is humbling to confess we do not know it all. But then comes freedom; freedom to know we do not always need to be right and that it is a truer wisdom to be a student for life. It is a paradox of sorts to hold loosely to your beliefs; as we are often told there must be a diversity of opinions out there—on the other hand we are told that if we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything. Margaret Wachholz is the campus marketing director at Woodbury Senior Living. In her column, she shares observations and wisdom about aging and senior living in our community; woodburyseniorliving.com

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Best Balsamic Vinaigrette Serving: ~1 cup »» ½ cup Kowalski’s extra-virgin Greek olive oil »» 3 Tbsp. Kowalski’s Italian balsamic vinegar »» 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, if desired »» 1 Tbsp. minced shallots, if desired »» 1/2 Tbsp. freshly chopped herbs (such as parsley, dill and chives), if desired »» ¾ tsp. kosher salt »» ¼ tsp. freshly ground Kowalski’s black peppercorns, or more to taste In a screw-top glass jar, combine oil and vinegar; add mustard, shallots and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Screw on lid; shake vigorously until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.

TASTE

Garden Goodies

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. Once seasoned with salt and pepper, it’s customizable with nearly any herb and may be flavored to taste with shallots, garlic, mustard and honey. When it comes to vinaigrette, there’s really just one rule: top quality ingredients. Since oil and vinegar comprise the bulk of the dressing, each should taste good on its own—

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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. Kowalski’s extra virgin olive oil checks the boxes here. Similarly, I also choose Kowalski’s balsamic vinegar. From the Modena region of Italy (where the best balsamic in the world comes from), its sweet-tart flavor is particularly smooth. With a great base covered, you can riff on this recipe endlessly. I like a bit more vinegar than is typical and go heavy on the pepper. You might prefer a little extra honey. 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. Rachael Perron is the culinary & brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications.

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This year marks the fourth in a row I’ve planted a vegetable garden of any considerable size.



D E PA R T M E N T S » D O I N G G O O D

Autism Awareness The philosophy at the Minnesota Autism Center is one size does not fit all.

FOR PARENTS RAISING A CHILD WITH AUTISM,

it may at times feel isolating—but they’re far from alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in 44 children in Minnesota have been diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) understands those emotions all too well. The MAC provides support and therapy for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Their programs focus on those from 18 months to 21 years old and works diligently to provide individualized support for families. “Our therapy's goals usually focus on one of two outcomes,” says Tony Thomman, director of strategy and innovation. “Preparing a child to be able to go to school and have success or preparing them with independent living skills.” Families involved with MAC are guided to programs that will be most beneficial for their loved ones with

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autism. “Our intake specialist and clinical team will work through an assessment to help determine what the appropriate services are for the family and their child,” Thomman says. The center offers several therapy options, including occupational therapy, speech therapy and applied behavior analysis, which helps teach everyday life skills, such as using language to express emotion. For Woodbury resident Angel Thao and her family— husband Chris, Nivora (1) and Veyera (8)—MAC has been life changing. “Veyera was medically diagnosed with ASD at 3 years old [and also] Sensory Processing Disorder,” Thao says. “She is still entirely non-verbal [and] utilizes a speech tablet to communicate and she knows a few sign language gestures.” Thao’s family has been utilizing the MAC services for two years, where Veyera engages in several types of thera-

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BY CLAIRE SWENSON AND HAILEY ALMSTED


pies, centered around applied behavior analysis and positive behavior interventions and support, for 40 hours per week. Not only does the MAC support youth with ASD, but the center also works with families as a whole. “We work to help them understand how autism is impacting their child,” Thomman says. “By [having family members] understand, we put them in a better place to help their child reach their full potential.” Thomman says that early intervention is one of the most important tools for those diagnosed with ASD. “While receiving a diagnosis of autism can be scary, knowing early and having a team of people on your side makes a big difference,” he says. “Veyera absolutely loves everyone and everything about MAC,” Thao says. “Without MAC, Veyera would not have met as many milestones today.” Thomman and Thao agree that it’s important to facilitate autism awareness and acceptance—which is what the month of April celebrates. Friday, April 2 also marks World Autism Awareness Day and spreads awareness, promotes acceptance and ignites change, according to the Autism Society. “National Autism Awareness Month in April is good for people to understand that there are real people dealing with these challenges," Thomman says. Thao says neurotypical individuals can advocate for autism by being understanding, non-judgmental, patient and kind. “With any individual with special needs, there will be many difficult times,” Thao says. “But it is also significantly rewarding. Veyera brings so much joy, peace, love and kindness in our lives … And though she may be completely nonverbal, if you listen closely, you can hear her speak through her heart.”

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D E PA R T M E N T S » C O M M U N I T Y

This east metro basketball program gives young athletes a chance to grow as players and individuals BY AVA DIAZ

ONE NEW BASKETBALL LEAGUE,

Opportunity Basketball, is committed to developing better players, teammates and decision makers. Through a fun and supportive environment, boys and girls in grades 5–11 have the chance to progress their skills during the spring and summer seasons.

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APRIL 2021

“We give the kids something that they can look forward to,” Jason Bennett, founder and Stillwater Area Schools traveling basketball coach, says. “Somewhere to go where they can feel supported, can compete in and feel comfortable in.” Bennett created Opportunity Basketball after struggling to find a simi-

lar program for his daughter—one that would teach new skills, but also provide support and comfort. As a former basketball player himself, he worked to develop something that could showcase the dedicated kids of the region and give them the opportunity play. What makes this program unique

PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON BENNETT

A New Opportunity


Created to facilitate a supportive team environment, Opportunity Basketball inspires young players to play with confidence and comfort.

from others is the ability for players of surrounding cities to join. Including students from Woodbury, Stillwater, River Falls, Mendota, Mahtomedi, Chisago Lakes and Hudson, this program is centered on creating a strong community for growing athletes. “It was really a gift for her to meet other players that she wouldn’t have otherwise,” Nicole Newfield, mother of player Brynna Newfield says. “I feel like it really made her a better player to learn how to play with a new group of girls. It is a different dynamic.” Taking a holistic approach to teaching basketball fundamentals, Bennett says it’s special to see players self-esteem, confidence and determination grow throughout each season. Competing against other Amateur Athletic Union teams, Opportunity Basketball has the luxury to customize their seasons and allow for individuals to partake in other outside activities. Practicing two-to-three times a week at Woodbury facilities and Stillwater High School, the teams focus their training on skill development, exposure to positions and team comradery rather than just winning their next matchup. “It was a breath of fresh air when I got to meet people that really cared, had good attitudes and wanted to learn,” player Brooke Estochen says. Bennett hopes to expand Opportunity Basketball beyond the east metro and eventually have a designated facility for the program. He also hopes to connect his players with others in the community through active volunteering, business partnerships and year-round training programs.

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D E PA R T M E N T S » E N L I G H T E N

A Community Celebration April 12 marks the beginning of Ramadan. BY HAILEY ALMSTED

PHOTOS BY CHRIS EMEOTT

Waseem Khan

Amani Farraj, Sofia Muneer and Salma Siddiqui

WOODBURY COMMUNITY MEMBERS of Muslim faith have gathered at the Eastern Twin Cities Islamic Center (ETCIC) for daily prayer, worship, gatherings and more, including the annual celebration of Ramadan, since its inception in 2004. However, this year’s celebration looks a little different. “[The community] started gathering together around 2004, but we officially became an organization in 2009,” says ETCIC spokesman Irfan Ali. “We moved to a larger space in 2011 … And we moved into the newly built center in Afton, Minn. in 2018.” Though the ETCIC is a place of gathering for daily worship, it also features an array of learning opportunities, such as Quran recitation and Quran Hifz (memorization) programs. The center also celebrates the annual holy month of Ramadan, which begins April 12 and runs through May 12 this year. “Ramadan is a month of the lunar calendar, and the

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change of the start and end of the calendar is an astronomical concept,” says religious coordinator Mustapha Hammida. Because the lunar calendar is usually 29 or 30 days, and is based on the sun/moon rotations, it doesn’t line up with the typical 365-day calendar. So oftentimes there is a 10- to 12-day difference in the calendar. “This year, Ramadan begins on April 12. So next year, Ramadan will be earlier,” Hammida says. During the month-long celebration, those of Muslim faith take part in fasting—a period of time from dawn to sunset where all food and water is absent—as well as extra prayers, meditation and reflection. “A main focus of Ramadan is to show your blessings and what God has given you in your life,” says Woodbury High School student Arif Ansari. “We truly get to see the little blessings and how important those are, including food and water.” Though the community usually gathers each Friday,


A HISTORY OF RAMADAN According to National Geographic, the naming of Ramadan stems from the Arabic root “ar-ramad,” which means scorching heat. Muslims believe that in A.D. 610, the Quran, the Islamic holy book, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan. Muslims fast during that month as a way to commemorate the revelation of the Quran. Religious coordinator Mustapha Hammida says it’s a time that Muslims are reminded of their duty to perform fasting, just as nations, messengers and generations before have done. If you’re interested in learning more about Ramadan and the Muslim culture, check the ETCIC website (etcic.org) for more information regarding their interfaith event.

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Saturday and Sunday for worship and breaking fast, they’ve been unable to do so due to COVID-19. ETCIC member Sofia Muneer says, “COVID has shown another face of Ramadan. [In 2020], we had to stay home with family and not pray with everyone else … But it’s made families closer and has brought more awareness of giving to the community.” Although the ETCIC’s typical celebrations may look different than years past, Ali says the annual interfaith event, held with the Minnesota Council of Churches, welcomes those of all faith to learn about the Muslim faith and hopes to continue with the event for 2021. “Ramadan serves as a great icebreaker event for people to get to know each other better,” Ali says. “What we have in common and not in common, and really have that discussion. We would love to share that and we have no hesitancy in having a dialogue about Ramadan and the Muslim culture.”

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• STEM • Enrichment (Yoga, STEM, Dance, Cooking, and Arts) • Kindergarten Readiness

8420 City Centre Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125 (651)999-3952 | Afaspanishimmersion.com

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Reduce your carbon footprint

COMPOST 101 and better your garden.

W

hen I first began composting, I grabbed an ordinary trash can and composting bags from my local grocer, placed the bin under the kitchen sink and began composting my food and plant scraps. Though I had good intentions—after all, I am looking to reduce my carbon footprint—I was left with gnats, coffee and food drippings

and a foul smell around my home. After purchasing a proper composting bin, doing a bit of research and chatting with Jamie Giesen, environmental resource supervisor with the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment, I have discovered some tips and tricks to composting.

Written by HAILEY ALMSTED • Illustrations by EM HANDY

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Compost vs. Fertilizer

W H Y I S I T I M P O RTA N T FO R WO O D B U RY AND WASHINGTON COUNTY TO COMPOST?

Jamie Giesen: Organic material (food scraps and non-recyclable paper) makes up 25–35 percent of what we throw away. When you compost, whether backyard or through a food scraps drop-off program, your food waste and non-recyclable paper products are recycled, which helps protect the environment and recovers value from waste … Compost is a valuable resource that improves soil, reduces erosion and decreases the need for fertilizers.

WHAT IS MINNESOTA’S RECYCLING GOAL?

Minnesota [has] a goal of recycling 75 percent of our waste by 2030 … [It] is crucial to accomplishing broader waste management goals.

D O E S WA S H I N GTO N CO U N TY H AV E COM POST PROGRAMS? Compost bin sales are supported by the Recycling Association of MN and offered year-round for contactless pickup at the Washington County Environmental Center … The compost bins are made from 100 percent recycled material [and] are used for backyard composting, which allows residents to compost certain food scraps and yard waste at home.

The other composting option we offer Washington County residents is the food scraps drop-off program. This program allows residents to sign up for a free starter kit to start collecting food scraps at home, where they then bring bagged food scraps to a drop-off location [and] the material will be sent to a commercial compost facility. Additional supplies of compostable bags are located at all drop-off sites, so residents grab replacement bags when they drop off to continue collection. Since the process at a commercial compost facility is different than backyard composting, this program does accept meat, bones and dairy, along with some other non-recyclable paper items including paper towels, napkins and pizza boxes.

Whether you are a beginner gardener or an avid green thumb, the difference between compost and fertilizer may be perplexing. Both can lead to healthy plant growth—inside and outside—but there are key differences between the two. Compost is decaying organic substance, including dead grass, twigs and branches, fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, eggshells, dryer lint, etc. Typical fertilizer is natural and synthetic materials made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium compounds and manure. Though both compost and fertilizer will lead to healthy plant growth, there is a major difference between the two. Here is an easy way to remember the key difference: Compost feeds the soil, while fertilizer feeds the plants. Before adding compost to your favorite houseplants or your bountiful garden, remember to research each plant to see what it can withstand. The most popular compost to add to houseplants includes coffee grounds (my personal favorite!) and drippings, tea, egg and nut shells, banana and orange peels.

Common Compost Though dead grass, twigs, fruit and veggies all make good

WHAT HAS THE IMPACT LOOKED LIKE?

Over the past three years, we’ve sold [an average of ] 379 bins per year. Many residents compost at home with homemade or store-bought compost bins … The food scraps drop-off program has been operating for two years and we’ve had over 2,500 residents sign up for a starter kit. We have diverted 285,000 pounds of food scraps away from the trash.

compost, common household goods are compostable and can be used to promote healthy houseplants. Here are a few things you might just have around your house to better your plants: • Cardboard • Cotton rags • Newspaper and shredded paper • Houseplant trimmings • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint

Washington County Environmental Center

• Fireplace ash

4039 Cottage Grove Drive • 651.275.7475 • co.washington.mn.us

• Pet fur

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written by Claire Swenson

Experts

W

o f f e r t i p s t o ke

ith many Minnesotans sticking closer to home during the pandemic, folks have been looking for inspired ways to use their newfound time and engage in socially-distanced endeavors. For some, that meant welcoming pets into their homes— some for the first time. Rachel Mairose, executive director of Secondhand Hounds in Minnetonka, says the shelter witnessed an uptick in interest for

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ep pets

s a fe at h

r ome and at the pa

pet adoptions and fostering. “Our large dog coordinator had a 75 percent increase in the number of lives saved over the summer,” Mairose says. “Over the 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

k.

across the country, is amazing.” With so many first-time pet owners bringing animals into their homes and exploring the sociallydistanced outdoors, it brings to question thoughts about how to properly care for the animals. Spending time outdoors 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?


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PHOTO BY EMILY J. DAVIS


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PHOTOS BY JOEL SCHENLL, FIANA HAN


PHOTOS BY SIGRID DABELSTEIN, TERESA LIMTIACO

If your pup has built up energy over a rainy or chilly day, a walk or outdoor playtime might not be the answer. Instead, try using brain games: treat-filled toys, a snuffle mat or hide-and-seek. Mentally stimulating activities are great for dogs with energy to burn.

We turned to some experts for answers. There are plenty dog parks dotted throughout the Metro, but did you know that there’s one nestled in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum? The Arboretum Dog Commons is “a place where members (with a dog-added membership) and their leashed dogs can enjoy the beauty of the arboretum together,” says Jean Larson, PhD, manager of the arboretum’s Nature-Based Therapeutic Services and assistant professor at the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.

When you’re out and about, Larson says that 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 well-being, 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 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 dog-safe materials in your home landscaping and warns against

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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.

PHOTO BY EMILY J. DAVIS

using cocoa bean mulch and commercial weed killers. Kristi Flynn, DVM, assistant professor, Primary Care, 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


In addition to local parkland (Find out cities’ regulations regarding on- and off-leash pet areas, including permits.), here’s a shortlist of some area dog parks.

ANDY’S BARK PARK 11664 Dale Road Woodbury

BALD EAGLE OTTER LAKE REGIONAL DOG PARK 5780 W. Bald Eagle Blvd. White Bear Lake

BATTLE CREEK DOG PARK 2350 Upper Afton Road Woodbury

STILLWATER DOG PARK 148 Myrtlewood Court Stillwater

THE MINNESOTA ARBORTEUM DOG COMMONS 3675 Arboretum Drive Chaska

The Hill- Murray School Experience

BORN TO RUN

Nurturing Students’ Passions and Encouraging their Future Journeys!

Learn more at hill-murray.org

WAG FARMS DOG PARK 9475 Glendenning Road Cottage Grove

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.

Keep More Money In Your Pocket. Let us help you save with our experience in tax management. Mark Hargis, CFP®

PRESIDENT/RETIREMENT PLANNING SPECIALIST

If you have questions about your pet’s health, don’t risk it. Contact your veterinarian.

(651) 888-4848 | mark@woodburywm.com 2165 Woodlane Drive, Suite 104, Woodbury, MN 55125 www.woodburywealthmanagement.com

Serving the Woodbury community for over 40 Years. Securities offered through Equitable Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI & TN). Investment advisory products and services offered through Equitable Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor. Annuity and insurance products offered through Equitable Network, LLC. Woodbury Wealth Management is not a investment advisor and is not owned or operated by Equitable Advisors or Equitable Network. Retirement Planning Specialist title awarded by Equitable Advisors, based upon receipt of a Certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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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.

651.209.9128 w w w.s a i nttherese.org @SaintThereseMN

Rooted in

your success.

®

Raise Your Expectations

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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.


GREEN LIVING Amaris Custom Homes receives recognition for innovative and ecofriendly new builds. BY AVA DIAZ • PHOTOS COURTESY OF LOOP PHOTOGRAPHY

L

eader in the affordable energy home industry, Amaris Custom Homes in Woodbury received the 2020 Grand Winner recognition in the Custom Homes on Spec category from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Housing Innovation Awards for the second time in the last four years (tying for first in 2017). Representing the top one percent of U.S. builders, the winners of this award are companies that meet the specifications for the Custom Energy Efficient Homes Program. “Everything we do has a focus on safety, energy and efficiency,” founder and chief manager Raymond Pruban says. As a husband and wife duo, Raymond and Lolli Pruban work side by side to create func-

tional spaces with character. Rated as a grade A+ builder with the Better Business Bureau, Amaris provides a fully integrated design and build team to make the whole process smoother for clients. Staffed with an in-house interior designer, engineer, builder and draftsperson, the company can provide detail-oriented solutions from start to finish. “We work together to envision and think through what would look best on the land,” Raymond says. Raymond, an experienced engineer, was the first licensed residential contractor to be GreenStar qualified and LEED Accredited Professional Certification with the U.S. Green Building. He has over 30 years of real estate

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experience in land development, residential construction, transnational financing and sales, and commercial and residential investment. Providing an appealing flare to the scientific structures is Lolli, Amaris’ chief artist. With a practical, yet playful eye for design, she is committed to creating spaces that are functional to their clients’ lifestyles and are reflective of their personalities. When she isn’t designing home spaces, she fuels her creativity through sculpting and jewelry making on the side. Developing healthy homes from the inside out, Amaris strives to make green living accessible for all. “People don’t understand that a house can make them sick,” Raymond says. “Your environment impacts your overall well-being.” Building green homes since 2007, he says that green living is an, “idea whos’ time has come.” Homes are not only a major part of our lives, but they are a huge investment, so why not make them the best that they can be? Advising new

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homeowners to do their research to see what is available, he encourages them to find what fits their family’s needs and how it can make a healthy impact on their life and the planet. More research will cause an increase in demand from consumers which will drive builders to change their approaches to home build and design. “Do not accept the status quo,” he says. “Help be a part of the solution to change things.” Taking what Raymond describes as a “common-sense approach” to developing dream homes, Amaris uses high-quality materials, durable furnishings, and energy and water efficient features to create a safer, more affordable spaces. “[Designing a home] is a combination of design concepts with technology,” Raymond says. Taking “old school elements” of design and construction, such as window orientation and passive solar energy, or the configuration of the walls, floors and roofs, and coinciding it with modern technology, you get logical, greener solu-

The 2020 Grand Winner home in Afton, Minn. features four bedrooms and threeand-a-half baths, while also utilizing aging-inplace features.


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tions for your space and your pocket. From a team of sustainable building contractors, they work to create systems that operate and perform in a way that makes sense with their client’s lifestyles and meets the DOE Zero Energy Home Program requirements. These requirements consist of the incorporation of high-performance windows, appliances, water management, insulation and energy sources pertaining to the size of the home.

THE AWARD-WINNING HOUSE

Located in Afton, Minn., this 3,357-square-foot ranch-style home features four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. With one floor and a basement level, this open concept rambler was designed for enhanced comfort. Equipped with a high-performance insulation system, energy efficient appliances, comprehensive draft protection, a fresh air system for cleaner indoor air and advanced lighting technology, this space was built to make it an “aging place,” according to Raymond. “When you buy a home, it should last forever for you,” Raymond says. It should have all of the necessary features for day-to-day living, but it should also be built in a way that will save you from any hassle later. In addition to the technological elements, this home was also built with wheelchair access, a zero-barrier shower and a lower microwave as a way to make it universally accessible, no mater your state in life. Built with efficiency in mind, Raymond explains that the size of the homes typically refers to the client’s size preference subtracted

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“When you buy a home, it should last forever for you.” —Raymond Pruban, Amaris Custom Homes founder and chief manager


WOODBU Artis Senior Living Cares About Woodbury As we look back over our lives, it’s our experiences, achievements and pastimes that define who we are. While a person’s needs change and memories fade, the core of a person’s identity and their passions remain. That is the foundation of The Artis Way, our approach to Memory Care Assisted Living provided within a secure, intuitively designed community. Artis has over 20 communities in operation in various regions of the United States. Artis Senior Living of Woodbury broke ground in 2019 and opened in June 2020 with the mission of helping those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias live a richer, more fulfilling lifestyle. We have several Artis associates and leadership team members who have long histories of raising families and working in Woodbury. Some, in fact, know exactly why Radio Drive is called Radio Drive! (KDWB was totally rockin’ in the 70’s right in Woodbury.) It’s the people of Woodbury that make this

community such an inviting place to come to work. We have been welcomed with open arms by the city, the Chamber of Commerce, faith communities and public services. We know how hard the journey of dementia is and we know it truly takes a village of support to deal with it. We want to be your community partner by providing free monthly educational and support events for families, caregivers and professionals. We are also launching an Action Team through ACT on Alzheimer’s in partnership with Woodbury Thrives, to bring dementia-friendly initiatives to the City of Woodbury to enhance the lives of residents who are living with dementia. We are thrilled to be working on this project with great volunteers from all aspects of Woodbury’s community; residents, businesses, nonprofits, county, health care and senior services because when we raise up a few, we lift the whole boat!

We know how hard the journey of dementia is and we know it truly takes a village of support to deal with it.

8155 Afton Road Woodbury, MN 55125 TheArtisWay.com/WoodburyMagazine 612-444-9286


by 10 percent. Meaning, the usual desired square footage tends to be larger than what is truly needed. “Right sizing is our philosophy,” he says. “I don’t want to waste space or resources, but I also want to accommodate needs.” Lolli and Raymond use thought-out designs from ground zero and furniture placement to ensure practicality of the home. This home has a heat energy rating score (HERS) of -2 whereas a typical code-built home is on average about a 70. As a home industry standard, the HERS score is an essential part in measuring a house’s efficiency and overall energy performance. The lower the score, the better. Through this rating, the homeowners are ensured a lifetime of savings and ease. However, this score couldn’t be possible without certain features within the basic structure of the home itself. Raymond emphasizes the importance of a good structure. Without it, the home will not be as efficient, and you will lose money in the long run.

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“We live in a cold climate,” he says. “Climate zone six and seven (regions that have changing seasons) which means achieving energy efficiency can be very difficult.” To combat this issue, Amaris settled on a super shell approach to seal and maintain heat within the house to increase efficiency. Constructed from concrete, the whole house from the basement to the top floor has this as its core with insulation surrounding the exterior. This tactic works to reduce the overall British Thermal Units, or the amount of energy that is required to increase the temperature of water typically used when referring to heating and air conditioning. In addition to the bare bones of the house, the roof features a large solar system consisting of 36 solar panels with 12 kW of power. Producing more energy than the house even needs, the power that these panels provide helps to reduce the energy bill to virtually nothing and offset the small gas bill.

Equipped with energyefficient insulation and appliances, fresh air system, advanced lighting and more, the award-winning home is just as efficient as it is cozy.


Greg Foote Jewelers

Personal Jewelry Services

AWARD-WINNING SAVINGS

Jewelry for All Occasions Jewelry and Watch repair done on the premises

• $0: Monthly average energy bill. • $4,700: Annual savings in comparison to typical new homes. • $218,900: Estimated savings in the first 30 years of the home.

AMARIS CUSTOM HOMES AWARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS   • Zero Energy Ready Certification with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) • Leed for Home Certification with the U.S. Green Building Council

651.227.7324 1075 Hadley Ave. N, Suite 100, Oakdale, MN 55128 gregfootejewelers.com • footeprints@q.com

Mon. through Fri.: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM Saturday: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

"Hunsue...? Kyunsue...? Heeunso...?"

HYOUNSOO LATHROP A name that is hard to say but easy to trust

• Energy Star for Homes Certification • Minnesota Green Path Certification with the Builder Association Twin Cities • Reggie Award 2019: Granted to homes with high aesthetic appeal

CALLING ALL SELLERS! Low Inventory Alert!

• 2017 and 2020 Housing Innovation Award with the DOE

Thinking of selling down the road? Now might be the best time to get top dollar for your home! Contact me for an accurate Comparative Market Analysis today!

AMARIS CUSTOM HOMES

6043 Hudson Road Suite 330 651.426.0584 minnesotagreenhomebuilder.com Amaris Homes @AmarisHomes YouTube: AmarisCustomHomes

COLDWELL BANKER REALTY Operated by a Subsidiary of NRT LLC

HYOUNSOO LATHROP, REALTOR Cell: 651.233.8527 HLathrop@CBRealty.com www.HyounsooLathrop.com WOODBURYMAG.COM

R

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651-304-0810 • jjremodelers.com


ON THE TOWN things to see and do in and around Woodbury

PROTECT OUR PLANET Woodbury celebrates the 51st official Earth Day. BY SAMANTHA DE LEON

PHOTO BY EMILY J. DAVIS

E

very year on April 22, Earth Day is celebrated around the world. The day is dedicated to demonstrating support for environmental protection and awareness about climate change and global warming. Although many events have been canceled this past year due to COVID-19, recreation manager for the city of Woodbury, Reed Smidt, is hopeful Earth Day will be celebrated. Like every year, the city plans to allow residents to pick up garbage bags and disposable gloves to clean up their neighborhood parks. Smidt says anyone can call in and let them know how many people will be needing supplies, and the city will supply the bags and gloves and also direct par-

ticipates on where to drop the garbage bags. Additionally, Smidt is hopeful the city can do another partnership with Woodbury Thrives, a local nonprofit, to select a larger community park to pickup and help get the word out to the community. “We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves this year planning until we know what that will look like in April,” says Smidt. “Everything is to be determined.” A larger clean-up at Tamarack Nature Preserve is in the works, but due to COVID-19, Smidt is still planning the event, which will be similar to the larger community pick-up. “We’re hopeful that [the events] will be available this year for Earth Day,” he says.

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O N T H E TOW N »

APRIL 9

17

Education Center Third Saturday at the Belwin Conservancy

Come 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 great outdoors on their 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

30 This is the Greatest Community

Head over to the Inver Grove Heights community center where you will find over 100 local artisan vendors from handmade crafters, upcyclers, artists, bakers and photographers. Free admission. Veterans Memorial Community Center, 8055 Barabra Ave., Inver Grove Heights; local.aarp.org

A R E A E V E N TS

3 LO CAL EVEN TS

1–30 Doing Good in the Neighborhood The members at Eagle Brook Church have been using their hearts and gifts to reach out to communities in need. During the month of April, Eagle Brook is tending to Woodbury’s homeless youth. Donations can be dropped off throughout the month of April. Eagle Brook Church, 1125 Eastview Road; 651.429.9227; eaglebrookchurch.com

3

First Annual Minnesota High School Feats of Strength

Minnesota’s strongest high school athletes will be showcased at the Minnesota High School Feats of

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Strength. The competition will include both team and individual categories at the non-sanctioned event. High school athletes. $25 registration fee/student. 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Torque Strength and Conditioning, 1480 Weir Drive; 651.348.2933; torquesc.com

3

Family Fun Day

Play with goats, ride horses and ponies, learn to lead horses through an obstacle course, tour the 40-acre ranch and more with family fun day at The Hayloft. This COVID-friendly experience is hosted outdoors, where social distancing and mask-wearing will be enforced. Ages 4 and up. $185. 10–11:30 a.m. The Hayloft, 12407 80th Street S., Hastings; 651.337.9116; thehayloft.net

Hidden Secrets

Elegant and chic with an elevated dress code, Hidden Secrets is a relaxed event that features music and handcrafted drinks. Ages 21 and up. $5 women, $10 men. 6–10 p.m. Hyde Kitchen & Cocktails, 24 University Ave. NE, Mpls.; 612.354.2056; hydemn.com

5

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

5 - 7 KidCreate Studio, Harry Potter Give your child the magic of Hogwarts!

ISTOCK.COM/MAXIMKABB

April Showers Craft and Gift Expo

The world has felt a little like a circus, but despite this, the Woodbury Community Foundation is trying to make dreams come true in Woodbury. This drive-thru event will feature live circus performers, a big-screen sideshow, a silent auction and food trucks. All Ages. 6–9 p.m. John P. Furber Farm, 7310 Lamar Ave. S., Cottage Grove; 651.336.4421; johnpfurberfarm.com


Compiled by Meghan Bishop, Lauren Foley and Olivia Rivera

Dr. Dan Ehrmanntraut, DDS

We are a family dentistry practice and have been serving the community for over 30 years.

Services Include: • Preventative • Restorative • Cosmetic • Invisalign Braces

Dr. Steven Setterstrom, DDS

www.preservedentistry.com

651-739-7888 | 7582 Currell Blvd Suite 210 | Woodbury, MN 55125

Egg Hunt at Castle APRIL 3, TIMES VARY Celebrate Easter at the American Swedish Institute with an egg hunt, storytime with the Easter Witch (påskkäring) and Swedish-style crafts. Recommended for ages 10 and under. Prices vary. American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Mpls.; 612.871.4907; asimn.org The class will explore a wide variety of art materials as the kids create magical masterpieces. The projects are inspired by J.K. Rowling’s iconic books and will be sure to capture the young artist’s imagination and enthusiasm. Ages 5–13. $60. April 5 and April 7, 9 a.m.–noon. Armatage Park, 2500 57th Street W., Mpls.; minneapolisparks.org

ISTOCK.COM/MA_RISH

7

Wednesday Night Welding

Looking for a new hobby? MPLS Make is hosting a two-hour introduction to steel welding. Participants will learn the basic components and types of welding, explore welding safety and weld a pen holder that they can take home after. Ages 18 and up. $55 nonmembers, free for members. 6:30– 8:30 p.m. MPLS Make, 3757 NE Third St., Columbia Heights; mplsmake.com

8

Virtual Break Free: A Ballet in The Making

Get a peek into how a local dance production is created from the comfort

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advertise with

O N T H E TOW N »

WOODBURY MAGAZINE

@

Contact Brooke Beise

612.548.3208 brooke.beise@tigeroak.com

SAVE THE DATE

The Woodbury Community Foundation Annual Fundraiser is moving to Spring!

of your own home. Follow along with the creation of Ballet Co. Laboratory’s, Freddie—Break Free, with rehearsal footage and interviews with resident artist. All ages. Free. 7:30 p.m. The Cowles Center; 612.206.3600; thecowlescenter.org

9

Spring Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair

Friday, April 30, 2021 6:00-9:00pm

Join us for an unforgettable evening on Friday, April 30 at John P Furber Farm. The world has felt a little like a circus, but with your help - A million dreams for Woodbury, we’re gonna make. We are planning for a Drive-Thru Event with live circus performers, fundraising sideshows and our silent auction and food trucks.

WE NEED YOU TO HELP MAKE THIS THE GREATEST BENEFIT ON EARTH!

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Huffman Productions, Inc. returns this April with a family friendly spring arts festival. Featuring over 500 artists and crafters from 30 states, this craft show is the perfect spot to pick up unique, handcrafted gifts and spring decor. All ages. $10 adults, $9 seniors, children under 10 free. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Canterbury Park, 1100 Canterbury Road, Shakopee; 402.331.2889; hpifestivals.com

17

Earth Day 5K Bee Run/ Walk and Cleanup

This Earth Day, come help save the bees at this dog and family friendly event at Boom Island Park. Come enjoy the beautiful historic views on the Mississippi River all while doing something meaningful for nature. All ages. 8 a.m.–noon. Great River Coalition, 724 Sibley Street NE, Mpls.; greatrivercoalition.com

ISTOCK.COM/TOM_COULTAS

COME ONE, COME ALL! STEP RIGHT UP FOR A NIGHT UNDER THE BIG TOP!


It’s more than just a cookie...

VIRTUAL NATURE JOURNAL ACADEMY WITH THE ARBORETUM Connect with nature at home with your children by registering for the Arboretum’s Nature Journal Academy: Looking for Lichen. This online class will be a great way to get your children excited about the bloom of spring. Ages 5–12 and their special adult. $20/family.

cookiecart.org

APRIL 8 10-11 A.M. ONLINE WITH THE MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM ARBORETUM.UMN.EDU

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Virtual History Forum with the Minnesota Historical Society

Join history professor Steve Conn over Zoom for The Roots of the Rural-Urban Divide, as he shares how this historic rift has influenced politics in the U.S. since its birth. Ages 21 and over. $5 members/ $10 nonmembers suggested. 6:30–8 p.m. 651.259.3000; mnhs.org

FREE

15-Minute Demo Stretch or

$49

50-Minute Intro Stretch To have your event considered: email woodburymag@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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PHOTOS COURTESY OF FRESH INDIA FOOD STORE

TA S T E M A K E R S »

44 APRIL 2021


Fresh India Food Store SERVING HEALTHY AND AUTHENTIC GOODS AT WOODBURY’S NEWEST INDIAN FULL-SERVICE GROCERY STORE. BY SAMANTHA DE LEON

Opposite page: Naan bread; This page: mirchi bhaji (left) and dosa (right).

“One of the characteristics of the South Asian community is hospitality. We want to create that in our grocery store and deli,” says Muddla Visweswara Rao, one of three female owners of Woodbury’s Fresh India Food Store. The Singh family, Hapreet Kaur and Gurdeep Singh; the Jayanti family, Sarada A Jayanti and Kameswar R Jayanti; and the Rao family, Swarajya Lakshmi T. Pabolu-Maddula and Muddla Visweswara Rao, had dreamt of opening a full-service grocery store for quite some time. One of the visions for this 100 percent women and minority-owned business is treating their customers as more than guests. Pabolu-Maddula says they noticed the city did not have a large Indian community. But after going to Woodbury for so many years, they noticed the growing community and necessity for people who need Indian vegetables and groceries. “In the east metro, there isn’t a full-service South Asian grocery store or deli that represents the richness of the Indian cuisine,” PaboluMaddula says. So, they decided to fill in the missing piece. “That is our dream, you know we have all wanted to provide this service.” However, finding a store location took some time; they looked at properties for nearly two years. Singh noted that the county was selling

space, located near Woodbury’s Target East and Sam’s Club. “When we went to look at the space, the first thing we noticed was that there were several vacant spots around,” Singh says. “We felt maybe we could bring [the space] back into good use, that way the city can get revenue.” The project helped the community by turning a tax-forfeited land into a revenue-generating asset for the city and created jobs through construction during the pandemic. The group also worked with local partners including Sirish Samba, CEO of Sambatek, Crawford Merz and the North American Banking Company. The owners also intend to employ four to eight people to help run its grocery and deli business, as well as plans to embrace sustainable and eco-friendly practices in all of its operations, including construction. “Even in our construction, we are trying to do an eco-friendly business with LED lighting and sustainable practices,” Singh says. Through hard planning and work, Woodbury has gained a full-service ethnic grocery store focused on providing fresh and healthy South Asian groceries for the community and the surrounding cities. This healthy vegetarian food and grocery store will carry popular grains such as rice, wheat and smaller grains like millet. There

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will also be a variety of lentils, spices, packaged snacks and fresh, organic vegetables and produce. Though there will be no fish or meat products sold in the store, there will be ready-to-eat meals and frozen foods. The deli will carry dishes drawn from a large menu that is customizable based on the season and day of the week. Periodically, the deli will highlight dishes and recipes that are focused on cuisine from a region/state of India. Additionally, specialty items like Tandoori Pizzas (naan-based), rotis, naans and kulchas will be prepared fresh daily, as well as flavorful snacks like samosa and boxed brunches for the weekend. The owners are excited to “introduce more flavors from India to the general population in Woodbury,” Singh says. Furthermore, each owner emphasized their willingness to give back to the community of Woodbury. Not only will the grocer provide the community with unique, flavorful vegetarian cuisine, but they strive to give back by volunteering, sponsoring local events and donating food. “As we establish ourselves, we’re more than happy to contribute back to Woodbury whether by food, money or service … anything to give back to the community,” Singh says. There are many senior citizens in the Woodbury community who may not have the means to get groceries and Pabolu-Maddula says they are thinking of having a day dedicated to senior citizens where groceries will be delivered at no-cost. “It’s our desire and a way of giving back to our community … making the community part of our home,” Pabolu-Maddula says. They also plan to conduct periodic cooking classes to introduce the cuisines and recipes, where all the required ingredients and spices are available in store. Fresh India Food Store’s soft opening happened a few weeks ago in March, while construction was being completed. The grocer’s grand opening is set for April 13 or 14 to coincide with Vaisakhi, also pronounced as Baisakhi (since some people call the festival Baisakhi), that marks the beginning of solar Hindu New year or Ugadi, the New Year’s Day for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka in India.

FRESH INDIA FOOD STORE 441 Commerce Drive

46 APRIL 2021

PHOTOS BY CHRIS EMEOTT

Top to bottom: Gurdeep Singh and Harpreet Kaur Lakshmi and MV Rao Sarada Ammani and Kameswar Rao Jayanti


in digital format! FOOD VOCABULARY Whether you’re new to Indian cuisine or need a refresher, here is a list of common terms to help navigate your tastebuds through deliciousness.

Get free, anytime access to Woodbury Magazine via our digital editions. Full screen viewing on your digital device allows easy cover-to-cover reading. Plus, it’s even easier to share your favorite Woodbury Magazine stories with friends and family.

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• Aloo [a-lu]: Potatoes. • Chana: Chickpeas, most often found in chana masala (chickpeas with onion, chopped tomatoes, garlic, chilis, ginger, dried mango powder and garam masala). • D al [dahl]: Dried split lentil served in a stew-like consistency with spices. • Kulcha [kool-chuh]: A round North Indian flatbread made from wheat flour, made in a tandoor oven or skillet.

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• L assi: A savory or sweet drink blended from yogurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit. • N aan [nahn] or [nan]: A pitalike flatbread, leavened and baked in a tandoor oven. • P akora [puh-koar-uh]: An Indianstyle fritter of potato, onion, cauliflower, spinach or paneer, dipped in chickpea batter, deep fried and served as an appetizer. • Paneer: A nonmelting fresh cheese for dishes like saag paneer (cheese with spinach). • P aratha [puh-rah-duh]: An Indian and Pakistani unleavened flatbread made out of layers of cooked dough held together by a brush of ghee or hot oil. • Roti: A round, unleavened flatbread made from whole meal flour, known as chapati. • S aag: Any leaf-based Indian dish. • S amosa [suh-mow-suh]: A pyramid shaped dumpling, filled with a mixture of spiced potatoes, onion, peas and lentils, or with meat, and deep-fried. • Tandoor: A cylindrical clay or metal oven used in cooking and baking. • Tikka [tee-kuh]: A marinade from aromatic spices and yogurt, often used on chunks of boneless meat (can be vegetarian).

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LAST GLANCE FIRST PLACE Activities & Events

Thank You, Teachers Photo winner from Focus on Woodbury. BY SAMANTHA DE LEON

“THE TEACHERS DESERVE THE AWARDS for all that they do, especially during these times,” says Stephanie Lundell, who received first place in the Activities & Events category of the Focus on Woodbury photo contest for her submission titled Red Rock Teach Parade. The little boy in the photo is Lundell’s son, Liam, who, at the time, was in the third grade at Red Rock Elementary; he made the sign for his teacher, Mrs. Storlie. The photo, captured at her house with a Canon 5D mark

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APRIL 2021

PHOTO BY STEPHANIE LUNDELL

IV and a 70-200mm lens, was taken right before the Red Rock Elementary school parade, where teachers and students could see each other. “He really missed his teacher,” says Lundell. “[Distance learning] has been tough on all; the teachers brought such joy to the kids that day.” “The best part about being a photographer is capturing memories for my clients,” says Lundell, a photographer of seven years at her business Captured by Steph.


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