Farm’s name highlights special intention in programming
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A U G U S T/ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 “With bread, all sorrows are less.” —Sancho Panza in Don Quixote Isn’t that the truth? We believe baked goods make life better; and so do all the people showcased in this issue. PAGE 3 0
IN EVERY ISSUE
Editor’s Letter 4 Noteworthy 7 On the Town 25 Gallery 28 Tastemakers 30 Last Glance 32
Hudson Inclusion Alliance promotes community and belonging for all residents.
Farm’s name highlights special intention in programming.
Shaped by Nature
We Need to Talk Important conversations about aging. Style 14
The Fashion of Sustainability Consider a more eco-friendly closet.
The creative journey of a local sawmill owner.
PHOTO: CHRIS EMEOTT
FROM THE EDITOR Angela Johnson, email@example.com
Dr. Marc Roehrich Dr. James Erlandson
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grew up in a city, removed and unfamiliar with where food came from beyond the local grocery store or restaurant. I’m not proud of my past ignorance. My husband’s farm-raised family once had a good laugh at my belief that elevators are only for moving small groups of people up and down in high-rise buildings. I’ve learned a lot since then and tried to ensure our children were exposed to some farming knowledge throughout their lives. Of course, I’m counting the Little Farm Hands exhibit and the Miracle of Birth Barn at the Minnesota State Fair as “exposure” to farming, but hey, it’s more than I had. This month, we spotlight a few farm hands who wanted to share their love of the agricultural life with those sometimes even less likely to have such experiences, youth and adults with developmental disabilities. The founders of 21 Roots Farm seek to provide meaningful opportunities in nature, animal therapy and knowing where food comes from through farming activities. Learn more about this inspiring organization in our feature on page 16. There’s also no reason in this day and age for any among us to remain ignorant regarding topics of diversity and inclusion. So, we are happy to share some insight into the work of the Hudson Inclusion Alliance, including information about a 30.1 foot long mural installed at the Phipps Center for the Arts, 30.1 miles from the place where George Floyd lost his life in 2020—Not many miles from here, yet a world away. The purpose of the mural is to help bridge that distance. Learn more about the Hudson Inclusion Alliance on page 10.
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On the Cover 21 Roots Farm, photo by Chris Emeott
PHOTO: LISA BUTH
VOL. 7 NO. 3 stcroixvalleymag.com
publisher SUSAN ISAY
editor ANGELA JOHNSON
managing editor ANGELA JOHNSON
associate editor HAILEY ALMSTED
staff writers AVA DIAZ, MADELINE KOPIECKI, SAMANTHA DELEON
contributing writer CLAIRE SWENSON
editorial interns OLIVIA RIVERA, LAUREN FOLEY, MEGHAN BISHOP
TH ON RO V UG IEW H AU NOW GU ST 31
History on display— a photographic exhibit. Join us at Union Depot for this unique traveling photography exhibit, After Promontory: 150 Years of Transcontinental Railroading. The free exhibit features over 60 historic photos showcasing the impact and significance of the transcontinental railroad expansion throughout the American West— along with a bonus section featuring the history of Union Depot and railroading in Minnesota.
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 director ALLISON NOLDEN
lead staff photographer CHRIS EMEOTT
150 Years of Transcontinental Railroading
print production director BRITTNI DYE
digital production director DEIDRA ANDERSON
project coordinator ANGELA BEISSEL
senior account executives BROOKE BEISE, KATIE FREEMARK, CYNTHIA HAMRE, SARA JOHNSON
circulation and marketing KATIE RINGHAND
credit manager APRIL MCCAULEY
chief operating officer SUSAN ISAY
chief financial officer BILL NELSON
St. Croix Valley Magazine 9877 AIRPORT RD NE BLAINE, MN 55449 612.548.3180 SUBSCRIPTIONS: St. Croix Valley Magazine is published 6 times a year. Rates $12 for 6 issues. Back issues $5.95. For subscription and customer service inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.637.0334. ©Tiger Oak Media Inc. 2021. All rights reserved.
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NOTEWORTHY local tips, tidbits & insights
CELEBRATING SUCCESS St. Croix Valley business grows from boutique balloon garlands to custom event décor. BY ANGELA JOHNSON
PHOTO: JENNY LOEW PHOTOGRAPHY
A N O R G A N I C I D E A born in 2020
blossoms into a growing celebration business for a Hudson mother/daughter team. Founders of Dot & Daisy, Jen Driscoll and Jordan Stewart, are creative by nature. So, when friends tapped them for ideas about how to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries during the pandemic, they leapt at the chance to flex their creative muscles. Dot & Daisy began with balloon garlands, a beautiful and joyful celebratory surprise for people of all ages. Stewart loves working with her mom and when the two realized the growth potential of their business, they invited Driscoll’s mom to participate too. “My grandma is 74 and was doing very little over the past year,” says Stewart. When Dot & Daisy expanded to include indoor sleepover tent rentals for kids’ parties, Grandma offered to sew the tents, pillows, garlands and pendants. It was her idea to sew a fun felt fireplace that adds even more whimsy to the company’s rental glamping experience. This past summer, Dot & Daisy also began offering outdoor photo backdrops for things like graduations and bachelorette parties. With an infectious enthusiasm for any event worth celebrating, from weddings to baby showers, Driscoll and Stewart look forward to creating more and more elevated events for parties all around the St. Croix Valley.
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N OT E WO RT H Y »
RACH THE BOOKSELLER RECOMMENDS
The Most Important Oatmeal of the Day
I’ve fallen in love with Fredrik Backman’s writing the same way he states in this book he wants his son to fall in love with words. “Like whirlwinds in your head. Like a punch to the gut.” Backman connects so naturally and easily with his readers, and once again, I laughed and cried my way through this book. This is his collection of short and sweet essays to his son on topics like love, about how we protect the weakest among us, about mastering the art of the “preeating” hot dog and about the value of family. This book is the very best combination of hilarious and poignant. This book is available at Valley Bookseller; 217 Main St. N., Stillwater, Minn.; 651.430.3385; Stop in or order online at valleybookseller.com
Back to school means back to a good, healthy breakfast.
For many of us, some form of cereal is a staple in the morning meal rotation. Boxed cold cereals and precooked grains are convenient and can be particularly nutritious when done right. The darling of the internet, overnight oats, makes oatmeal easier than ever because you prepare it the night before. It’s a simple, versatile and healthful recipe that’s portable too! Another make-ahead idea for oatmeal-on-the-go is granola. Chocolate granola combines bittersweet chocolate, flax seeds and honey and is customizable with your choice of dried fruits and nuts. On its own or with a bit of yogurt or splash of milk, granola is a delicious and decadent way to start the day. Other grains worthy of breakfast status include amaranth, barley, quinoa, bulgur, buckwheat and sorghum. Each offer unique textures and flavors as well as special health benefits. They can be cooked ahead of time and allow for a lot of variety in breakfast bowls.
A good ol’ box of cereal is not to be discounted. This fast breakfast-onthe-fly can get a health boost in a number of ways: • Add flavor, texture and boost nutrition with a few toss-ins, like fresh or dried fruit and nuts or seeds. • Mix flakes with granola or biscuit-like cereals, O’s with bran buds or puffed grains with checkered grain squares. • Make a cereal smoothie by blending 1 cup each cereal, frozen fruit and dairy or non-dairy milk or yogurt. Find Perron’s recipes for overnight oats, chocolate granola and breakfast bowls at stcroixvalleymag.com Contributed by Rachael Perron, culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications.
PHOTO: KOWALSKI’S MARKET
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman
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Scholarships awarded to students passionate about the outdoors.
The Dr. Greg Seftick Wilderness Scholarship was awarded to two Stillwater Area High School students, Adam Gaertner and Johnna Teegarden, this past spring. Each received a $1,000 award. Dr. Greg Seftick was from Afton, Minn. and was a 1998 Stillwater Area High School graduate who competed on the alpine ski teams at Stillwater High School and at St. Olaf College. Seftick was an avid outdoor enthusiast and a passionate backcountry skier. He loved the mountains and the wilderness. Sadly, Seftick died in an avalanche in Grand Teton National Park in 2011 at the age of 31. His family and friends established an endowed scholarship fund in 2013 via the St. Croix Valley Foundation to forever honor his memory and support graduating Stillwater Area High School students who have similar passions for alpine skiing and the outdoors. Gaertner and Teegarden are the seventh and eighth scholarship recipients. On April 16, 2021, on the 10-year anniversary of Seftick’s death, his family and friends honored his life via a “Night of Light” candle lighting and remembrance that they hope will renew interest in and support for the scholarship that now bears his name. To learn more about The Dr. Greg Seftick Wilderness Scholarship, visit scvfoundation. org/fund-support-greg-seftick
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D E PA R T M E N T S » P E R S P E C T I V E S
Embracing Diversity Hudson Inclusion Alliance promotes community and belonging for all residents. BY AVA DIAZ
PROMOTING A WELCOMING COMMUNITY where everyone is valued, the Hudson Inclusion Alliance (HIA) is a nonpartisan group of local youth, parents, business owners and residents seeking to pursue equity and inclusion in the city. “Race is just one dimension of inclusion and is probably the most noticeable one,” HIA co-chair Kerry Reis says. “We are also having increased diversity in faith and orientation in Hudson.” Focusing on addressing biased atti-
PHOTO BY CHRIS EMEOTT
tudes, Reis says they turn to the AntiDefamation League’s (ADL) Pyramid of Hate to address the difference of varying biased behaviors and how those could lead to life-threatening consequences for targeted individuals. Consisting of five levels: Biased attitudes, acts of bias, discrimination, bias-motivated violence and genocide, these sectors represent how the hate of genocide is built on a combination of accepted behaviors in society overtime. “[Diversity and Inclusion] start by hav-
ing a bias that is less about fear and more about curiosity,” Reis says about what an inclusive community looks like. “It is asking people about their stories and treating each other with human kindness to see each other as the beautiful human beings that we are.” Though around for almost five years, it wasn’t until the tragedy of George Floyd when Reis noticed a stronger effort in binding resources together. Through the arts, the library, nonpartisan organization People for Change and the school
Helping small businesses.
Project 30.1, created by Hudson artist LIz Malanaphy, is a mural at the Phipps Center for the Arts, 30.1 miles from where George Floyd lost his life.
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system, Reis says there was stronger ability to build awareness. “As a group, we recognize that Hudson is a community like the rest of the world that has experienced rapid change,” she says. “There was a lot of pain in the community and people just wanted to have conversations.” Creating a place for open dialogue, the HIA is home to organizing events and making resources more accessible to individuals. Through their monthly newsletters HIA features a variety of educational materials (suggested readings, listens, watches and anonymous personal stories featuring instances of inclusion, exclusion, justice and injustice in Hudson) and information on upcoming events (virtual speakers and discussions, and community dinners prior to COVID-19). “We are trying to build a presence and we realize that we do not have to do everything, we just want to increase awareness to what is available,” Reis says. “The act of inclusion is a proactive one, it is not one of tolerating because that implies putting up with something, but inclusion means that I put out my hand, that you are welcome here and this is your home too.”
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D E PA R T M E N T S » E N L I G H T E N
We Need to Talk Important conversations about aging.
ADULT CHILDREN between the ages of 30 and 50 can find it daunting to navigate the conversation minefield that is end-of-life care with their parents. So, we asked Dr. Jae-Woo Kim M.D. for tips to help empower aging parents who wish to maintain a sense of autonomy while also providing some peace of mind to concerned family members. Kim was trained at the University of Minnesota and works as a hospitalist at a Twin Cities hospital. He notes it’s not uncommon for people to avoid discussions of death and dying; when you’re healthy, the topic seems irrelevant. But open communication is always key, and if a loved one becomes unhealthy, it’s definitely time to ask their primary care doctor about how to have those important conversations. What to watch for: “Our function slowly declines over time,” Kim says. “Falls and fractures can take someone from 95 percent down
to 75 percent with other complications down the road. Assess [your loved one’s] mobility by observing how well they get around the house. Is there clutter that could cause a potential trip and fall? Observing the overall living situation can be less confrontation. You’re just observing.” Depression is under-recognized in the elderly. Kim says, “Isolation and hearing loss is a huge unrecognized factor in depression.” Those with poor hearing may be embarrassed and begin to shut down, communicating less and less. Pay attention to whether Mom and Dad are still being social and help them to remain engaged. Aging in place: Some folks love their homes and don’t want to leave. “But you need a sense of if it’s manageable,” says Kim. “As much as they can stay in their home is good” because it forces movement, to the kitchen and to the bathroom. That said, community living may not “feel” like home but can provide much needed socialization opportunities with peers.
BY ANGELA JOHNSON
Technology + Expertise + Fun Family communication: Adult children should seriously think about how many encounters they likely have left with their parents over the next 20-30 years. Kim says, “Parents want some connection even if it’s brief. Try to stay engaged and be willing to be the one to reach out first; and keep other siblings in the loop.” Metaphorically speaking, Kim says, “Siblings who live farther away may know “there’s fire,” but assume Mom and Dad are still doing okay. It’s the siblings who are taking care of Mom and Dad who “feel the heat;” they understand what’s happening. So again, communication is key; preferably without judgement or guilt. How to help: Staying active, picking up new hobbies and being engaged with peers are vital to healthy aging according to Kim. For example, he says, “My 65-year-old mother picked up cello and golf! She knows she’s not going to be good at it, but wanted to try something new.” Also, “weight gain or health issues can lead to the temptation to do less,” Kim says. “But, that’s the opposite of what we should do. We should encourage our parents to stay mentally engaged with things like puzzles, reading and volunteering.” Managing healthcare: Kim acknowledges there is a power imbalance in healthcare. “It’s like going to a mechanic. I don’t know if what he says is right. Fortunately, in Minnesota, we have great systems and an abundance of access to care.” He suggests choosing a primary care physician who isn’t necessarily fresh out of school, not because they aren’t qualified, but like with many first jobs, there’s more potential for young doctors to move around. You also don’t want a doctor who’s going to retire before you. Kim says it’s ideal to choose a doctor with five to 10 years experience and is likely to age with you. He notes it’s also easier to streamline care when patients remain within the same healthcare system when possible. For more insight into this topic, Kim recommends the book titled Being Mortal by Atul Gawnde.
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Consider a more eco-friendly closet. BY CLAIRE SWENSON
“MOST PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES only wear about 20 percent of their wardrobes. That means that 80 percent of their clothes are languishing in their closet being unworn,” Nancy Dilts says. “That’s an enormous amount of waste.” Dilts, a personal wardrobe stylist, specializes in helping people become more sustainable in their shopping habits.
Not only are perfectly good clothes gathering dust in closets, but The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that, in 2018, there was 11.3 million tons of textiles sent to landfills from the U.S. alone. If this make you want to learn how to create more eco-friendly practices, here are a few tips easily implemented into everyday life.
PHOTOS: CHRIS EMEOTT; ILLUSTRATIONS: EM HANDY
D E PA R T M E N T S » S T Y L E
The Fashion of Sustainability
nancydilts.com @nancydiltswardrobeconsulting @nancydiltswardrobeconsulting @nancydiltswc @nancydiltswc
Start With What You Have “[What's] most important is that people are actually wearing what they own,” Dilts says. She suggests creating a foundation for a great closet from the quality pieces people already have. Once a shopper makes use of what is already in their wardrobe, Dilts suggests that people “purge, donate what can be donated and consign what can be consigned.” Instead of hanging onto items that are outdated or do not fit properly, give those pieces a second life through local consignment shops, selling online or donating to thrift shops. Shopping Second-hand “Second-hand shopping is what I’m an advocate of because you’re keeping quality pieces in the use stream,” says Dilts. Not only does shopping at thrift and consignment stores extend the life of clothing pieces, Dilts says it can also be better for your wallet. “You can afford to invest in those higher-quality pieces that you may not be able to afford in traditional retail. And they last longer than if you buy fast fashion or a lower-quality piece brand new,” she says. Dilts tips for making the experience successful: be patient, be persistent and know your style. Shopping New and Ethically Shopping ethically when buying new often means understanding where garments come from, how they are made and how long they will last. Look for companies that utilize recycled materials, focus on timeless styles or have a dedication to responsible factory and employment practices. “Invest in high-quality, enduring, classic pieces,” Dilts says. “For those trends, focus on them being accessories and things that are more interchangeable. If you’re not going to wear it 30 times, don’t buy it.” For Dilts' favorite consignment shops and boutiques that support ethical designers, visit stcroixvalleymag.com
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21 Roots written by Madeline Kopiecki • photos by Chris Emeott
21 Roots Farm founders Brittany Wiitala and Amy Peterson.
FARM’S NAME HIGHLIGHTS SPECIAL INTENTION IN PROGRAMMING. Local nonprofit 21 Roots Farm brings meaningful activities to people impacted by developmental disabilities throughout the St. Croix Valley community. With programming for both youths and adults, activities on the farm are as fresh as each new season since the farm’s start in 2019. When the founders of 21 Roots Farm first met in college, they had different experiences working with people with disabilities. Brittany Wiitala had worked at a group home, while Amy Peterson was studying kinesiology with a minor in special education. But after volunteering with the Minnesota Autism Society and both participating in a week-long camp, Wiitala and Peterson knew they wanted to create their own organization and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. From the get-go, Wiitala and Peterson knew they wanted to create naturefocused programming for people with developmental disabilities. “I think especially people with disabilities are further removed from certain knowledge,” Wiitala says. Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin,
Wiitala says it wasn’t until adulthood that she realized how exceptional her experience was. “I did things because my dad told me to, not because I had any interest in farming,” Wiitala says. “In adulthood, I realized what a privileged way to grow up [that was] and to know where my food came from.” The more Wiitala and Peterson discussed their dream, the more things began to take shape. Between meaningful opportunities in nature, animal therapy, and knowing where food comes from, the answer was fairly clear to the pair: their interests and passions sounded a lot like a farming. “As we were getting more serious about it, we had the property picked out, scheduled an inspection, started our nonprofit, and literally the day before, I was like, ‘Amy, we need to find a farmer,’” Wiitala says. “Then the next day, we came for the inspection. The inspector didn’t show, but Laura was here.” Laura Lutz was an Animal Science major at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls who had been keeping her cows on the property with the previous owners. During an initial conversation,
Lutz shared her dream of starting a farm for people with disabilities. “I just thought, ‘Shut up!’” Wiitala says, laughing. “Along this journey we’ve had a lot of those moments of just, ‘Are you kidding me? Is this real?’” Another instance of serendipitous coincidence resulted in the naming of the farm itself, which is comprised of 21 acres. “We started to think about it, and a lot of people behind the vision have Down syndrome,” Wiitala says. “Down syndrome is three copies of the twentyfirst chromosome, so [the farm’s name] was a way of honoring them.” Fitting as it was, the name 21 Acres was already taken. “So then roots; everyone involved has their own intricate root system below the surface of different experiences,” Peterson says. “That kind of drives what we’re doing.” To support this myriad of root systems each participant possesses, 21 Roots Farm has programming as diverse as its farmers. “Being on a farm, there’s always projects and always things to do,” Peterson says. “I think our youth programming and our adult programming, it just depends on the abilities and inter-
21 Roots Farm 10361 110th St. N., Stillwater 651.504.6821 21rootsfarm.org 21 Roots Farm @21rootsfarm
ests of the participating farmers. We shift to what’s most interesting to them.” One story Peterson likes to tell is that of a participating farmer in his 30s. “His mom wrote that he dreamt of being a farmer his whole life,” Peterson says. “We thought, ‘Oh great!’” But when they met the participant, it was clear certain parts of farm work simply didn’t suit him. “He was the slowest moving guy; didn’t like to be dirty, would stop and brush every piece of hay off his arm,” Peterson says. The one aspect he did love was the cows. “He’d be at the fence line, kind of yelling at everybody, like, ‘Be nice to the cows!’” Peterson says. “So, then I thought, ‘Oh, what if we could teach him showmanship?’” He and another participant trained the farm’s steers to get ready for the Washington County Fair, which was unfortunately canceled last year due to COVID-19. So instead, 21 Roots Farm hosted its own small fair, so the participants’ families could see all of their hard work on display. Their families got to see them take the steers out on the halter and bathe them, groom them, blow dry them. They got to see all the steps, making for a really cool experience. Activities are also directed by the seasons and this year is expected to bring new opportunities into the mix with the completion of a pole barn last fall. Both Peterson and Wiitala say they’re excited to expand their programming into the winter, something they haven’t been able to do for the past two years. “We’re going to be milking our goats and freeze a lot of the milk, possibly to make soap in the fall and winter,” Peterson says. “We also have alpacas, so we’re going to be sheering them and we’ll have their fibers to work with which will be a great winter project.” To find out more about 21 Roots Farm and its various programming, visit 21rootsfarm.org.
Top left: Practicing hammering is an activity that helps participants learn to help build and repair things on the farm. Top right: Nature walks help participants learn to identify plants.
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T H E C R E AT I V E J O U R N E Y O F A LO C A L SAW M I L L OW N E R .
WRITTEN BY SAMANTHA DELEON
PHOTOS: MELISSA MARIE
S H A P E D BY N AT U R E
four years ago, A bout Matt Ruben and his
family decided to pack their bags and move away from city life to Denmark Township, on a five-acre hobby farm. With a desire to start a business, Ruben had a few ideas in mind. He thought about selling chickens or growing
Christmas trees, but ultimately knew those things weren’t for him; then one day it clicked. “I don’t know how it came about, but I ran across this guy in Tennessee who had a one-man milling operation. I kept watching his videos over and over again and that’s how
I got hooked,” says Ruben. He says he did a nationwide search on Craigslist for a sawmill and found one in Colorado. Four weeks later, he and his three of his daughters went on a trip to go pick it up. Once he got home, he had the urge to use the sawmill. He found a few dead
trees on his property to cut down and “that’s kind of how it started,” says Ruben. After finding a sawmill and kiln in 2020 Ruben launched Ruben Custom Sawmill & Woodworks specializing in live edge slabs, milling, vacuum kiln drying and custom finished projects.
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Some of Ruben’s favorite work includes his custom black walnut tables and bar tops. “Everybody loves black walnut,” says Ruben. “When you can take it from a tree you’ve picked up, cut it and dry it; it’s pretty awesome.” One of his favorite parts of the process is delivering finished projects to his customers’ homes. Black walnut
is his best-seller but he says, “It’s crazy how much interest there is for the live edge material. I’m still amazed at how much demand there is.” With keeping sustainability in mind, all of the logs are urban salvaged lumber or storm damaged, so none of the trees are ever cut down. “Part of the reason why I got into this is because
there’s such a rich history of sawmills along the St. Croix River. It’s how this area was built, by the loggers back in the mid-1800s,” he says. Ruben’s business logo was inspired by those loggers and sawmill workers who used the river to transport logs. He says, “I just want people to know that because there’s a lot of history here.”
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Find a welcome change of place at Saint Therese! ISOLATION & LONELINESS AREN’T NORMAL PARTS OF AGING BUT THEY ARE THE MOST COMMON CONCERNS.
The effects have a devastating impact on well-being including: depression, malnutrition, impaired mobility, high blood pressure, cognitive decline and dementia. Aging-in-place is the biggest cause of senior isolation. Shrinking social circles, poor health, life changes and transportation challenges can confine older adults. SAINT THERESE IS FOCUSED ON HELPING SENIORS STAY ACTIVE, SOCIAL, INDEPENDENT & HEALTHY.
That’s why we’ve taken even the smallest of details into consideration to ensure every day living at Saint Therese is extraordinary. Whether looking for a relaxing, quiet lifestyle, one with endless entertainment and social opportunities or something in-between, at Saint Therese, you’ll find home. Data excerpted from Keeping Seniors Socially Connected. ASHA 2019.
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DEVELOPED FOR HEALTHY LIVING 24
ON THE TOWN things to see and do in and around the Valley SEPTEMBER 25-26
Compiled by Meghan Bishop, John Deignan, Lauren Foley and Olivia Rivera
this educational tour of the birds of the valley. Located at Pine Point Regional Park this hike is a great way to learn more about the animal life of the St. Croix Valley. All Ages. Free
with vehicle permit. 9–10:30 a.m. Pine Point Regional Park, 11900 Norell Ave. N.; 651.430.8200; co.washington.mn.us
15 Bridge the Valley Bike Rally
AN ARTISTIC HOMECOMING Art in the Park Returns in 2021. Come visit the St. Croix River town of Afton, Minn. on September 25th and 26th when the 43rd Afton Art in the Park, hosted by the Afton Area Business Association, will take place in Town Square Park. This Afton art festival makes its return after being canceled last fall due to Covid-19 restrictions. Local artists and makers can apply to exhibit their artwork and craftsmanship during the festival. The exhibiter application deadline is August 31st. Every year, around 90 vendors exhibit quality arts such as pottery, photography, woodwork, sculptures and more. Delicious food, live music, a children’s art pavilion and a beer and wine garden will accompany the exhibited artwork during the two-day event. This festival has historically attracted thousands of curious art lovers who then get to discover Afton’s diverse restaurants and shops. Be part of this wonderful weekend tradition! You definitely won’t want to miss this.
All Ages. Free admission. Town Square Park, Afton, Minn.; September 25th from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and September 26th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; For more information, visit exploreafton.com/art-in-the-park
Explore the natural beauty of St. Croix River Valley on this scenic bike ride over St. Croix’s new and historic bridges. Friendly to all bike riders, there are plenty of path lengths to choose from, and all rides include live entertainment along St. Croix River and dinner discounts from local restaurants. Register online; start times vary.
All ages. Free ages under 5, Prices vary. 7–10 a.m. Starting lot, 439 Chestnut St. E., Stillwater; stillwatersunriserotary.org
1 Cruisin’ On The Croix Head to downtown Stillwater and check out this family-friendly car show. With vintage cars, live music and food, this will be a perfect summer evening. Come for the cars, stay for the live music and food. All Ages. Free. 4–9 p.m.
Lowell Park, 201 Water St. N., Stillwater; 701.261.7889; cruisinonthecroix.com
3 Franconia Yappy Hour LO CAL EVEN TS August
7 Alcohol Ink Painting Class Get in touch with your inner artist with this unique two-hour painting class. Located at Smith + Trade Mercantile
it’s a great way to relax and enjoy the process of art making. Adults. $55.
Noon–1:30 p.m. Smith + Trade Mercantile, 229 Main Street South, Stillwater; 651.342.2976; smithandtrade.com
14 Guided Bird Hike Listen to the sounds of nature on
Bring your pup for happy hour at Franconia Sculpture Park. With crafts, cocktails, and dogs looking for a forever home this event is perfect for dog lovers from all over the metro. Ages 21 and over. Free. 5–
7 p.m. Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail N., Shafer; 651.267.6668
O N T H E TOW N »
EMBRACE YOUR ARTISTIC SIDE
We have you covered
Spirit of St. Croix Art Festival Returns in 2021.
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The Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival returns after being canceled last fall due to COVID-
Kid-Friendly Care RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
19 restrictions. The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau will team up with the Phipps Center for the Arts to promote this fantastic festival. This is an interactive art experience where visitors will see a diverse spectrum of creativity and talent with new and unique activities including to try out different artistic techniques. Artwork from over 90 artists will be on display. Please note: no bikes, animals or outside food and beverages will be
Learn more at wwhealth.org
allowed in the park during the festival. So, swing by with loved ones and enjoy this spectacular two-day event.
1100 Bergslien Street ♦ Baldwin, WI 54002 ♦ 715-684-1111 503 Cherry Lane ♦ Roberts, WI 54023 ♦ 715-760-3311
All Ages. Lakefront Park, Hudson, Wis.; September 25th from 10 a.m.5 p.m. and September 26th from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Visit business.hudsonwi.org or thephipps.org for more information.
PHOTO: HUDSON AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
exercises that allow participants
AUGUST AREA EV EN TS
1 You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown Come see a musical presented by Stages Theater in Hopkins. This outdoor production is sure to bring a smile to all who attended.
All Ages. Ticket prices vary. Stages Theater, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 800.362.3515, stagestheatre.org
6–8 Uptown Art Fair With approximately 350 artists slated to join, the 57th annual Uptown Art Fair is sure to have something to catch anyone’s eye. All ages. Free.
Friday noon–8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.– 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Corner of Lake St. and Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612.823.4581; uptownminneapolis.com
12 Walking with the Woods - Forest Therapy at Fort Snelling State Park
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Deeply connect with nature by trying the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, or forest bathing. Take a guided journey through beautiful trails of Fort Snelling and experience this revitalizing practice. Adults. $28. 9 a.m.–noon.
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center, Fort Snelling State Trail, St. Paul; mnhs.org
22 Lakewood 101 Walking Tours Experience local history on this walking tour of Lakewood Cemetery. Explore the beautiful architecture and gardens on this educational journey through time. All Ages. $10.
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Lakewood Cemetery, 3600 Hennepin Avenue Mpls; Eventbrite.com
To have your event considered: email firstname.lastname@example.org 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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UNITED BY THE VINE PHOTOS BY KRISTINA LYNN PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN
This past spring, St. Croix Valley residents and guests gathered to enjoy an enchanted evening at the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo while raising funds to support the charitable work of the United Way of Washington County East.
To have your event considered: send date, time, location, photos and contact information to email@example.com.
Over 20 years of professional design and remodeling experience creating the best value in beautiful kitchens. Come visit our showroom and the first 10 visitors will receive a free Cambria Cutting/Cheese board! Stillwater 651-275-0700 (1 block North of Hwy 36)
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TA S T E M A K E R S »
Celebrity Service ALWAYS SAYING “YES” LEADS TO LOCAL BAKERY’S SUCCESS. BY ANGELA JOHNSON
30 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2021
PHOTOS BY CHRIS EMEOTT
St. Croix Baking Company owner, chef Charles Froke, was busy in the kitchen when I visited his shop on a Monday, a day it’s typically closed to the public. He’d been attending to a big bowl of some creamy, chocolatey creation when I arrived. There’s rarely a day off for this busy baker who braved an uncertain business environment to open St. Croix Baking Company in Hudson, Wis. in 2020. Passers-by would see us inside and pop in for a peek. Froke wouldn’t dream of turning any customer away. Never saying “no” is part of Froke’s persona after years as a professional pastry chef for a Four Seasons luxury hotel on the east coast. “If Oprah was at our hotel and wanted a cake, I’d drop everything and bake her a cake,” says Froke. “Whenever possible, I don’t say ‘no.’” That mentality permeates Froke’s new business. If a customer asks, “What do you have,” Froke replies with, “What do you want?” Froke’s passion for baking goes back to his childhood in Minnesota. Both of his grandmothers and his mother often baked. “My grandma taught me to bake monster cookies,” says Froke who then points to packages of monster cookies for sale at St. Croix Baking Company, his grandmother’s recipe. Yes please! He also has fond memories of making spritz cookies at the holidays and building gingerbread houses with his mother, a skill that would be refined and carried forward to Froke’s professional creation of some impressively huge gingerbread houses. But the stress of his corporate gig led Froke to lean into his dream of “doing his own thing.” Local restaurateur Pete Foster is a friend of Froke’s and helped review a business plan. “I started to get more serious about [opening my own business] around Thanksgiving 2019
and I quit my job in January 2020,” says Froke who was initially traveling back and forth from Maryland to Wisconsin to oversee the process. Leaving the hotel business when he did may have been prescient as Froke would have likely been furloughed in the early months of the pandemic. But it was also an incredibly trepidatious time to start a business. “I love a challenge says Froke, “but I was completely scared.” Turns out, Froke’s extensive research into the St. Croix Valley’s growth potential along with a pandemic fueled exodus from metro areas to places like Hudson, Wis., meant he’d made a good decision. He says, “With lots of people working from home, I have regulars who come in for breakfast and also grab a bunch of stuff to take home. I’ll see some people multiple times a week or even several times in one day.” St. Croix Baking Company offers up a little bit of everything, from breakfast pastries like croissants to cookies, bars and breads. Froke also bakes lots of cakes for any occasion including catered events like weddings. “We’re doing tons of cakes now,” says Froke. “Someone tastes one of our cakes at a party and then comes in to order their own. We have lots of repeat customers.” Froke also does his best to fulfill vegan and gluten-free orders. Over the summer, homemade ice cream was added to the menu. “We’re constantly doing new things,” says Froke. Future plans include sandwiches using the bakery’s house-made breads, along with an expansion of wholesale distribution to make St. Croix Baking Company desserts and breads available at local restaurants. Froke is happy to be back in the Midwest to cheerfully treat local customers like celebrity guests by regularly asking, “What do you want? We’ll make it for you.”
ST. CROIX BAKING COMPANY 424 2nd St., Hudson, Wis., 715.808.8587 stcroixbaking.com
St. Croix Baking Company
FIRST PLACE People and Families
Brothers in the Sunset Lens on St. Croix Valley BY ANGELA JOHNSON
PHOTO BY KIM SPENSER
WE REG U L A R LY F EAT U R E photo submissions from our Lens on St. Croix Valley photo contest in the pages of St. Croix Valley Magazine and online. This month, we asked Kim Spenser to tell us about her 2020 first place photograph in the People and Families category titled Brothers in the Sunset.
Where/when was the photo taken? “At my daughter’s house in Hudson, Wis.” where sunsets are stunning because they often incorporate nature scenery and oftentimes views of the idyllic St. Croix River. What inspired the shot? “The beautiful sunset.” Experts say you should keep shooting even after the sun appears to have gone down. The view of a sunset changes constantly as the sun lowers in the sky—making every additional minute another opportunity for
a different shot. So, don’t just click a few shots and call it quits. Keep clicking and experiment until you capture just an image you truly love. What’ your favorite thing about this image? “The boys.” Capturing silhouettes is a common practice for photographers experimenting with sunset photography. They can be beautiful and mysterious, or in this case, simply adorable. 2021 Lens on St. Croix Valley Photo Contest Rules & Details Submissions are accepted at stcroixvalleymag. com between August 1 and August 31. • Entrants must live, work or attend school in the St. Croix Valley area. • Readers’ Choice voting takes place at stcroixvalleymag.com in September. • Entrants may submit up to five photos, with no more than three in any category. • Photos shouwld be taken in the St. Croix Valley area within one year of the submission date.
We support small local businesses because we know what it’s like to be one. For 38 years we’ve made it a top priority to support local growers and businesses. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of being supported by the community. It’s always been important to our family to partner with our hardworking neighbors who, like us, maintain the highest standards and always go the extra mile to ensure the very best quality products for our customers.
The joy of locally made.
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NEW TCO STILLWATER CLINIC OPENING SEPTEMBER 2021
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