As the World Turns...
Healthy West 7th Celebrates Harvest
Preparing for Snow Season
Celebrating Twenty-five Years of Building Blocks Tutorial
Knit, Crochet Group becomes FIBERAZZI!
Volunteers Welcomed at Cerenity Senior Care – Humboldt
Church Bulletin

[IMAGE](left) The Garcia-Castaneda family proudly shows off their new Sony e-reader won in the drawing at W7th library this September. Estefany’s name was drawn from dozens who entered the Summer Reading Program, and she plans to share her new electronic reader with her mother Lucero and sisters, Monica and Melissa, and baby brother Manuel. Lisa Hage, manager at W7th, presented the e-reader to them.
Photo by Sara Schmitt.

As the World Turns...

Welcome to the start of the holiday season! Any St. Paulite who whines about having nothing to do needs to check out the library calendar. Whether you’re preparing for Dia de los Muertos or Thanksgiving or Hmong New Year all the St. Paul libraries have recipe books, craft ideas and fun programs.

How about Spanish Story Times, available at several libraries, for all of you who want to practice your bilinguality? Enjoy the qeej playing at Hmong New Year, watch the dancers and have some yummy food? Rock ’n rollers can hit Loud at the Library, featuring the Greycoats. Bring your mantillas and castanets to the Gypsy Jazz series, featuring Django’s best tunes and dancers, too! And how can we forget the food, the pumpkins and the apples and the turkey! The potatoes! The stuffing! The Alka-Seltzer?

W7th Library has some interesting new programs in the works. The West 7th Community Center is establishing a book club, with an informational meeting on November 8, at 6 p.m. So drop in and talk about what you would like to have in book choices. Everyone is welcome. Books on Wheels is a program we have established that “piggy-backs” on the Meals on Wheels delivery program. Volunteers will deliver books and books on CD and DVDs to Meals on Wheels members and then bring them back to W7th Library. Ask any Meals on Wheels volunteers or W7th library staff — it’s as easy as (eating) pie.

Danger, Will Robinson! All St. Paul Public Libraries will be closed November 11 and 12, for Veteran’s Day observances and on November 22 for Thanksgiving. Dayton’s Bluff Library and W7th Library will also be closed November 23.

Hope to see you soon, the Volunteers and Sara and Lisa at the W7th Library.

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Healthy West 7th Celebrates Harvest [IMAGE]

The Healthy West 7th harvest gathering at the West Seventh Community Center in October was an opportunity to review the accomplishments of this growing effort (see Community Reporter, October 2012) and to celebrate the harvest season.

Many healthy elements comprised the event. The usual great music by the Golden Tones; a proclamation form the Minnesota State Legislature honoring Healthy West 7th presented by Rep. Carlos Mariani; fresh and natural foods provided by the Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op; and an inspiring talk by Atina Diffley, organic farmer and author of Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works (University of Minnesota Press, 2012, reviewed below).

Photo: Dr. Kate Guthrie and Atina Diffley.

Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

Reviewed by Maxine McCormick

Atina Diffley struggles to save her organic farm from the ordinary elements of severe weather and the extraordinary elements of suburban encroachment and a crude oil pipeline. Her fast-moving, beautiful narrative chronicles her grandmother’s roots in farming, to the birth and rearing of her children, through the extraordinary demands of organic certification, and early dawn to late night deadlines to get her crops to market.

Who would read this book? I wondered. I was drawn by the tasseling corn on the cover and by the title words, “Sweet Corn.” I love sweet corn. Okay, but what about you?

A gardener would read this book. The description of rich soil and how they get it that way is like a miracle. A miracle of creeping little things in the soil and insects, rain, sun, weeds (yes, weeds), green manure and patient, hard work.

Anyone who has ever shopped at a food co-op might read it because it helps you understand why the food tastes so different from that in an ordinary grocery store.

Anyone who loves history would read this. Ever wonder why Diffley Road is so named? A good part of this book is about the encroachment of the Eagan suburb onto the Diffley family farm and how Atina and Martin Diffley and their small children, Eliza and Maize, endured being driven off their land by this “development.” Plus, it traces the history of the co-ops and organic farming in this area.

Her language is rich and delicious with many gorgeous stories. I marked 68 quotes from this book and then, halfway through, as the pipeline reared its ugly presence, I stopped and just concentrated on the text. Oh man, it draws you in. You don’t even see the “hard” part coming with all the technical stuff about organic farming. I just wanted to know if this family and the Gardens of Eagan (their farm) would survive.Okay, I must admit, I was unaware of the drama going on between the Minnesota Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, and the Gardens of Eagan, their farm, but wow, I so much more appreciate my food. And especially if you did know about this and perhaps were even a part of it, you’ll love the book.

If you just love the organic food at Mississippi Market on West Seventh, or the city’s farmer’s markets, then you might enjoy knowing how it all comes about.

And if you just want to read about the small guy fighting a big corporation, hey, remember the ethanol plant, it’s at that level.
And if you were raised on a farm and have those lingering memories of your history, then you’ll love feeling the soil once again between your toes, and remembering your parents’ terror of a hail storm bombing the crop or months of piercing drought.
And if you love strong women and their terrific men, then you’ll love hearing this woman’s story.
If you love the delicious taste of cantaloupe, sweet corn and kale, oh my, this is your book.
And if you’re hankering for the nostalgic feeling of the family farm, go for it.

It will make you love the land, love good, fresh food from the farm and love coyotes, too. The tale of coyotes leaping two stories high to make their statement to this family is awesome. Yipping and howling mad to have had their territory invaded, the image of them leaping and twisting their bodies high in the air just won’t leave me.

Okay in the middle of reading this book I stopped and made homemade tomato soup from tomatoes out of my own garden, that’s how inspired I felt. The book is filled with hope. So it might just help to dispel some political angst and restore something in you, too. It’s worth a taste. It is available at the Mississippi Market on Seventh or Selby. Yum!

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Preparing for Snow Season

The City of St. Paul offers several methods for receiving snow emergency information, to assist you in avoiding costly towing and fines, and to improve the overall safety and drivability of city streets. Visit Receive Snow Alerts through e-mail and text message: or call the Snow Emergency hotline at 651-266-PLOW (7569). You’ll hear an updated recorded message.

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Celebrating Twenty-five Years of Building Blocks Tutorial

On Nov. 13, Building Blocks Tutorial celebrates its twenty-fifth year of providing free, volunteer-based after school tutoring to elementary students who attend schools on St. Paul’s West Side. The event begins at 5 p.m. at Cherokee Park United Church, 371 W. Baker St. A presentation celebrating the past, present, and future of Building Blocks starts at 6 p.m. RSVP: 651-228-1378 or at

“The Ritchie Boys” Documentary: Nov. 13, 7-9pm, William Mitchell College of Law, 875 Summit Ave. (auditorium), followed by remarks from Dr. Guy Stern, a ‘Ritchie Boy’ who is profiled in the film. The program is open to the public; no reservations are necessary. Free to students and seniors and $10 to the general public. Continuing education credit is available for teachers.

The documentary examines the unusual story of a group of young German Jewish men who fled from Hitler’s Europe during World War II, came to the United States, and enlisted in the U.S. Army. They trained at Fort Ritchie, Maryland and then returned to Europe, where, using their knowledge of the languages and cultures of the countries from which they had fled, they became experts in psychological warfare and helped to liberate Europe.

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Knit, Crochet Group becomes FIBERAZZI! [IMAGE]

Fiberazzi! Just like the photographers, the paparazzi, who seek out rock stars and royalty, we are looking for fiber hobbyists. The group met for the first time in May and, so far 12 people have visited who crochet, needlepoint, knit, hand sew as well as make yarn with a drop spindle.

If you enjoy working with needle and thread, yarn or another fiber, please come see what this group is all about. Come as often as you like. There is no charge. We meet in a spacious and comfortable room at the Community Center every Tuesday.

This is a social group, not a class. We sometimes help each other with new skills while still enjoying ourselves. The idea is for everyone to have a good time. Show and share is definitely part of the fun.
Photo: Paula Knutzen and Maureen O’Brien, project coordinators
Knit, Crochet Group becomes FIBERAZZI! meets every Tuesday 1-3 p.m. at the West Seventh Community Center

As an example of what we do: one of the women in the group brought knitted squares she no longer needed. We decided to create two afghans that were auctioned at the Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction fundraiser in October. But mostly we work on our own projects and socialize with the others. If this sounds like fun to you, please bring your project and try us out. Become one of the FIBERAZZI!

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Volunteers Welcomed at Cerenity Senior Care – Humboldt

Do you enjoy the outdoors and taking walks? If so, please consider volunteering once a week or once a month to take a senior on a walk around our 15-acre, park-like campus. There are many other volunteer opportunities at Cerenity Senior Care – Humboldt, such as one-on-one visits, performing, making crafts or playing games with seniors. Staff will help match your skills, interests and schedule. Located at 512 and 514 Humboldt on the West Side of St. Paul, Cerenity Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care, transitional care and skilled nursing care. Volunteer groups and all ages are welcome. There are great opportunities for parents and children to volunteer together as well. To learn more about our volunteer program, please call 651-220-1789 or e-mail

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Church Bulletin

St. Francis de Sales Funfest and Silent Auction: Nov. 17, 5-7 p.m. and Nov. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visit Country Store, games, craft and food booths. 426 S. Osceola Ave. at the intersection of James and Osceola. Call Janet 651-224-5054, or email

St. Mark Lutheran Church Holiday Boutique: November 17, 10am-3pm. 550 West 7th St. 651-224-0228. Art work, bake sale, florals, gifts, hand-crafted jewelry, and raffle. In the café, homemade soups, salad bar and desserts. Free admission.

Divine Design: Bible Study for Spiritual Makeover. First Saturday of every month. 8:30 a.m. Fellowship; 9-10 a.m. Bible Study. One-time donation of $7. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 530 Victoria St. S. 651-228-1482.

W 7th Moms in Prayer: Interdenominational, Scripture-based prayer. Tuesdays, 6-7:15 p.m. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 530 Victoria St. S. Info: Kim, 763-670-9886 or

Humble Walk Lutheran Church: Worship on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at Acme Academy of Arts, 941 West Seventh. Artist in Residence, Holly Newsom (from Zoo Animal). Information at

Theology Pub at Shamrock’s: November 5, 7-9 p.m. Topic: Art and Faith. Special guest: performance artist Amanda Belle.

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Church Bulletin
A feature that lists special church events for the month. Call 651-665-0068 or e-mail items to

Divine Design: Bible Study for Spiritual Makeover. Women's Bible study meets the first Saturday of every month: 8:30 a.m. Fellowship; 9-10 a.m. Bible Study. There is a one-time requested donation of $7. St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 530 Victoria St. S. Reservations at 651-228-1482.

St. Peter's Crafters meet monthly to work on their favorite craft projects. There is lots of table space available. For information regarding meeting dates and times contact St. Peter's at 651-228-1482 or

W 7th United Women's Prayer: Interdenominational, Scripture-based prayer (Moms in Touch model) for children and schools. Weekly Tuesdays 6:15-7:30 p.m. at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Fireside Room, 530 Victoria St S. For information call Kim at 763-670-9886 or e-mail

Humble Walk Lutheran Church: Worship on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at Acme Academy of Arts, 941 West Seventh. Information at

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Volunteer Opportunities

Cerenity Senior Care — Humboldt has many rewarding volunteer jobs, including one-on-one visits, helping with activities such as baking or crafts, or performing music. Volunteers help make Cerenity Senior Care–Humboldt feel like home. Please consider volunteering once a week, once a month or on occasion. Staff will help match your skills, interests and schedule. Located on the West Side of St. Paul, the Cerenity Residence at 514 Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care and transitional care, and the Cerenity Care Center at 512 Humboldt provides skilled nursing care. To discuss these possibilities call 651-220-1725 or e-mail

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