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EDIBLE GARDENING IN SMALL (OR NO) SPACES

EDIBLE GARDENING IN SMALL (OR NO) SPACES

Posted on 13 May 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Home & Garden

Grow and assemble your own edible salad. (Photo by Jennifer Porwit)

By Jennifer Porwit, master gardener

Many of us live where our yards are small or we don’t even have a yard of our own at all. How can we grow our own food under those conditions? That situation requires thinking out of the box (or the garden). There are many tactics that can be used.

Scenario #1: All outside space is taken up by flowers or concrete.
Solution – Sneak edibles in amongst the strictly ornamental plants. In the background a shorter vining type of winter squash such as “Ponca” can be tied up onto a sturdy tripod. The diminutive ‘Bush Baby’ and ‘Raven’ zucchini varieties can be grown in the ground or in a large container. All of the squashes have large decorative leaves. Speaking of decoration, four-foot-tall ‘Red Burgundy’ okra has striking burgundy colored fruits and stems, as well as deep red flowers that look like small hibiscus blooms. A smaller red okra is ‘Little Lucy.’
Groups, rather than rows, of ‘Rainbow’ swiss chard can be tucked in here and there for glimpses of red, yellow and orange stems. As the plants grow the outer stems and leaves can be harvested on an on-going basis. Beets, the cousins of swiss chard, have dark green ruffled leaves with burgundy or yellowish stems, as well as the enlarged root. These are best placed where other plants will fill in when the beets are harvested. ‘Golden’ and ‘Detroit Dark Red’ are both varieties where the entire plant is edible. ‘Golden’ has the advantage of not having juice that stains.
Most of the tall varieties of tomatoes are best hidden at the back of a decorative garden and supported by sturdy stakes or enclosed in a large wire cylinder. However, the newer varieties of dwarf indeterminate tomatoes can be placed more centrally. These varieties range in height from 2 feet to 4 feet, and the fruit come in all colors. Some support is best. Varieties sold locally include ‘Rosella Purple, ‘Golden Gypsy,’ and ‘Heartland.’ Very short varieties like ‘Tiny Tim’(cherry) and ‘New Big Dwarf’ (slicer) and can be placed front and center.
Carrots have fine feathery foliage which is ideal as a front edging for a bed. It has the advantage of looking good until late in the season. Individual plants can be harvested on an ongoing basis while maintaining the overall look. Another edging choice is lettuce, which comes in many colors and textures and can be harvested a few leaves at a time from many plants or whole plants can be removed where there is a crowd. In a couple days the remaining plants grow and the harvested one isn’t even missed. When lettuce goes to seed it can be easily pulled as part of regular maintenance.
Herbs such as dill, basil, rosemary, and chives all are small plants that can be tucked in here and there in a decorative garden very easily. Dill and chives are annual plants that need to be replanted each year. Rosemary is a perennial that is not winter-hardy here, but can be potted up and used as a houseplant in the winter. Chives are perennials that slowly multiply in place and can be harvested for many years.
Many flowers are edible and add color to a salad or stir fry. Included are nasturtiums, violets, basil, chamomile, pansy, rose, marigold, and daylily. Remember, do not eat any plant parts that have been sprayed with insecticide.
Unused edges or corners of patios, sidewalks and driveways are good places for large pots. Most all medium and small-sized edible plants can grow in pots as long as they do not have really large root systems.

Scenario #2: Very little of the yard has sun all of the time.
Solutions – Plant edibles that don’t require full sun, but tolerate partial sun (four to eight hours of direct sun per day), such as: arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, garlic, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, parsnip, potatoes, radish, rhubarb, rutabaga, scallions, spinach, tatsoi, and turnip. Note that these all are leafy or root crops, not fruits.
Chase the sun – a dwarf variety of tomato plant in a large pot can be moved around the yard by means of a small wagon or wheelbarrow.

Scenario #3: There is no ground to plant in where one lives.
Solutions – Rent a plot in a community garden. Help a friend or an elderly person with his/her garden and share the produce. Where potted plants are allowed at multifamily units fill the pots with edibles instead of strictly decorative plants.
When growing vegetables in pot it is advisable to fill the pot with well-draining potting soil that drains well, not soil from a garden that tends to compact and get hard. Growing plants in pots requires regular fertilization. It is important to read the label on the fertilizer packaging and follow the advice given regarding how much fertilizer to use and how often it should be applied. Too much fertilizer is as bad as too little.
Grow sprouts of various kinds in your kitchen. Common seeds to sprout are alfalfa seeds, broccoli seeds, red clover seeds, lentils, mung beans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds. The only equipment needed is a glass jar with a sprouting screen lid. Besides being nutritious, sprouts can be grown year around. Bean sprouts are an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes.

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IMG_20200505_113817Sm

School spreads message of joy during distance learning

Posted on 13 May 2020 by Tesha Christensen

St. Paul City School District has a message for its 540 students: “We miss you and we are here for you!”
St. Paul City School staff is putting some heart into their distance learning plans by visiting individual students at home to post a message of joy and support in front lawns. “We want our families to know they are being supported from afar even in these uncertain times,” said District Executive Director Dr. Meg Cavalier. “This closure has been difficult for all of us, but our community has risen to the challenge by continuing to celebrate and care for our students above all.”
St. Paul City School (SPCS) is a public charter school district whose three school sites serve preschool through 12th grade students. Like all schools across the state, St. Paul City School temporarily closed all buildings and moved to distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
After the technical pieces were set in motion, such as getting classrooms online and delivering books and other materials to students’ homes, SPCS knew they needed to go one step further to bring joy to the community. “We want to help students and families find a smile in the midst of this really scary time,” explained Primary and Middle School Principal Justin Tiarks. That’s when SPCS staff began printing signs with the message “We miss you! We are here for you” in English, Spanish, and Hmong and planting them in the front yards of each of their students. Some staff were even lucky enough to get to wave to their students from afar.
Distance learning is a practice that all Minnesota schools are in the process of getting used to. There are plenty of challenges; “I don’t get to see my friends and help people or do group projects,” says Lyna N., a fifth grader at St. Paul City Primary School.
Some families struggle to access technology, meals, mental health supports, and other resources typically provided by schools.
But there are also highlights to note. “I have really enjoyed working so closely with students and their families each day. It is nice to have time to connect with families and get to know them better,” said second grade teacher Brittany Burrows.

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Food program reopens

Posted on 13 May 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Feeding Frogtown reopens Friday, May 15 at St. Paul City School after shutting down in March. It will no longer offer walk-up distribution. Folks must drive up or call 612-440-8570 for delivery in Frogtown, Rondo or the North End. Beginning Friday, May 22, two satellite sites will open: at Frogtown Farm (bottom of the hill along Minnehaha) and Como Place Apartments.

The Frogtown Farm board has announced it will scale back this year to smaller areas that can be maintained by a reduced farm crew and hold monthly pop-up produce distributions. A cover crop will be planted on the larger fields to enrich the soil for the 2021 season.

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WrightBuildlingIMG_8612

{ Development Roundup } May 2020

Posted on 13 May 2020 by Tesha Christensen

By JANE McCLURE

University and Fairview plan
Plans for a 146-apartment, five-story mixed-use building near University and Fairview avenues met resistance from the Union Park District Council (UPDC) land use committee. On split votes in March, the committee recommended denial of developer LIG Investments’ requests for a conditional use permit and density variance for the project at 1790-1800 University Ave. the request goes to the full district council for action in the future.
Hamline Midway Coalition has also reviewed the request but took no action.
The project would eventually go to the St. Paul Planning Commission for final approval, regardless of whether or not is has district council support. The site is zoned traditional neighborhoods 3, so no zoning change would be needed.
Developer Alex Gese of LIG Investments is working with Joshua Jansen from Collage Architects on project plans.
Some land use committee members said they couldn’t support the project because of its lack of affordable housing. Others said they needed more time to discuss the plans, but the online meeting was drawing to a close. Supporters said the project is a way to redevelop a site with two older buildings for a higher and better use.
The demand for more affordable housing is also a topic the Planning Commission is studying. St. Paul currently has no inclusionary zoning ordinances that tie zoning approvals to provision of affordable housing units. These ordinance can be used to require that a given share of a new building be affordable to low to moderate-income residents.
St. Paul can only require affordable housing be built if a project developer seeks a city, state or federal funding source.
The project would have a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with 10 units apiece of the two and three bedroom units. Rents would start at $1,700 for one bedroom and go up to $2,400 for the larger three-bedroom units.
The development site is occupied by two longtime University Avenue businesses, Hafner Furniture at 1800 University Ave. and Bonded Auto Repair at 1790 University Ave. The buildings are at the southwest corner of University and Beacon Street. Gese said the site has its challenges including the need for environmental cleanup.
Eason said the project would help meet market demand for apartments.
The first-floor commercial space could open with a coffee kiosk, which could be developed into a full bar/restaurant in the future. The wide front sidewalk would be an amenity for a first-floor occupant, said Jansen.
Because the site is zoned for TN3 and is along the Green Line light rail transit corridor, it isn’t required to have any off-street parking. Seventy-six enclosed parking spaces and bike parking are planned.

University/Hampden development moves ahead

John O’Brien, who manages the commercial Wright Building west of the site, appeared at the Zoning Committee public hearing to speak in opposition. The Wright Building has off-street parking it already must police to keep non-tenant vehicles out. He believes that such a large parking variance next door will mean more vehicles illegally parked in the lot.

A proposed five-story building with 147 apartments and 1,400 square feet of commercial space won approval from the St. Paul Planning Commission Friday April 3. Paster Development and Yellow Tree Management are seeking a conditional use permit and variances for 2225 University Ave. The developers would tear down a one-story office building and cinderblock garage that are currently on the ell-shaped property.
The Planning Commission Zoning Committee voted March 12 to support the conditional use permit and variances, despite staunch neighborhood opposition to a parking variance. The project drew letters in opposition from almost 100 neighbors opposed to the project’s parking variance, citing high demand for parking in the area already created by other apartment buildings in the area. The variance is for 57 spaces. The project has 80 underground, with the rest in a parking lot along Charles Ave. The project requires 147 spaces.
Mike Sturdivant of Paster Development said they don’t anticipate that every building resident will own a motor vehicle, given its location along light rail and local bus routes. The development team also said they would provide ample bike parking for residents.
The site’s location along Green Line light rail and bus routes justify the parking variance. The property was rezoned for traditional neighborhoods use in 2011, as part of a sweeping University Ave. rezoning process. Had the site been rezoned for TN use, it would not be required to provide any off-street parking.
“The zoning to industrial-transitional came at a time when there was concern about the loss of industrial zoning,” said Senior City Planner Anton Jerve.
St. Anthony Park Community Council and three other property owners and residents also sent letters of approval.
The project requires Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) approval, as it is in the Historic Raymond Village Heritage Preservation District.
The site is long and narrow, with 103 feet of frontage along University Ave. Its north end abuts Charles Ave., extending all the way to Pillsbury Ave. Its site is sloping, and the grade at Charles is eight feet higher than the grade at University.

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Absentee voting may happen

Absentee voting may happen

Posted on 13 May 2020 by Tesha Christensen

District 10 Como Community Council

Michael Kutchta

By Michael Kuchta,
Executive Director
district10@district10comopark.org

 

The Como Community Council board will vote May 19 on whether to allow absentee voting for 2020 board elections. An advisory committee is recommending a two-week window in June during which community members could vote by mail or by using an online ballot.
Under the district council’s bylaws, elections were supposed to take place April 21 at the District 10 annual meeting. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the board postponed the in-person meeting and elections that go with it, in order to comply with Minnesota’s ban on public gatherings. Changing voting procedures requires changing the district council’s bylaws, which the board expects to do this month.
Under a draft proposal, eligible community members in District 10 would request a ballot, then return it before June 16. The ability to vote absentee will allow community members to participate more on their timeline, rather than requiring them to show up in person at a particular time in a particular place one night a year.
Details on how to request a ballot will be posted on the district council’s website after May 19: www.district10comopark.org.
Still time to run: The website will also have details on candidates. Nine seats are up for election this year. In most of the positions, no incumbent is running. The deadline for candidates to file is Tuesday, May 19.

Zoo will keep parking free
After months of study, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory says it will not implement paid parking this year, in 2021, or likely anytime soon. Research suggests that, if Saint Paul charged for parking, frequent visitors would visit less often and spend less when they do visit.
Charging even $1 an hour for parking would drive down attendance by more than 20 percent during the summer, according to projections by Zoo Advisors, an outside consultant hired by the city. Although parking itself would turn a profit, the revenue gain would not offset the revenue lost from sources such as voluntary admission donations, food and souvenir purchases, tickets to Como Town amusement rides, and fundraising, projections show.
“Some version of paid parking has been a topic in Como Park for many years,” says Michelle Furrer, director of the Zoo and Conservatory. “It was our intent to gather accurate data to inform decisions. The feasibility of this as a revenue source shows it would not be a long-term benefit to the city.”
Opponents said charging for parking would compromise the Zoo and Conservatory’s long legacy of free access, in which visitors are admitted regardless of their ability to pay.

Neighborhood construction
• The Board of Zoning Appeals holds a public hearing Monday, May 18 at 3 p.m. on outside sign variances being sought by Como Park Senior High School.
• Saint Paul now says Como Ave. will not be rebuilt between Hamline and Snelling this year. The city and Ramsey County still intend to rebuild Como between Snelling and the Raymond/Cleveland intersection in fall 2020 (presumably after the State Fair). That work includes the off-street Como Ave. Trail that goes with it. But the stretch east of Snelling is put off until 2021, unless something dramatic changes.
• The city’s Planning Commission on May 1 approved rezoning 1015 Bandana Blvd. from B3 commercial to T3 traditional to allow construction of a 152-unit apartment building atop the existing parking ramp. The commission also approved a setback variance. Both votes were 12-0.

Fresh path builds on local ideas
A newly rebuilt bicycle and pedestrian path in Como Regional Park begins implementing recommendations from the Como Community Council’s Pathways Project. The path stretches roughly two-thirds of a mile from Schiffman Fountain, across Lexington, then along the golf course and up the hill toward Montana.
The portion west of Lexington was dug up and repaved. The portion east of Lexington was widened to 12 feet; it now officially allows two-way bicycle traffic through a stretch of the park that badly needs it.
Those improvements are among recommendations from the Pathways Project. The project’s final report gives Parks and Recreation specific suggestions to improve the condition and function of pedestrian and bicycle paths in the regional park; to upgrade signs; to create maps, kiosks, and other “wayfinding” tools; and to upgrade amenities along paths. The recommendations were the result of more than a year of study, including ideas from more than 300 park users.
The community council now is talking with Parks staff on how to incorporate more recommendations when the department rebuilds the parking lots outside the Lakeside Pavilion and the golf course. That construction is penciled in for fall 2020 or early 2021.

Call or video into D10 Meetings
District 10 board and committee meetings are continuing but, for the time being, they take place using technology rather than face to face. Renters, homeowners, and other community members are always welcome to participate, through either video conference or by phone.
To obtain links, phone numbers, or other information to join a meeting remotely, send a request by email to district10@district10comopark.org. Or, call in your request to 651-644-3889. Whenever possible, agendas are posted in advance in the “Board News” section of District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.org

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HMElders_LaurelCollins

Online classes, support offered

Posted on 15 April 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Laurel Collins

By Laurel Collins
laurel@HMelders.org
651-209-6542

While all of our in-person events, classes and groups are cancelled through the end of April, Hamline Midway Elders remains open and we are available to assist older adults in our service area with grocery/meal delivery, rides to essential medical appointments, and friendly visits by phone. Please call our office at 651-209-6542 and leave a message if no one answers, we WILL get back to you.
Our Tai Chi Series with Bruce Tyler, and Chair Yoga series with Nancy Giguere, will continue ONLINE beginning the first week of April. Please email us for details, and an online invitation.
Check our website for updated information, www.hmelders.org, or contact Laurel Collins at 651-209-6542 or laurel@hmelders.org. Our service area borders are University Ave to the south, Dale Ave to the east, Pierce Butler Rd to the north, and Transfer Rd to the west.

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March 2020 Monitor_01_01

Read entire March 2020 edition

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Read the entire March 2020 edition of the Midway Como Frogtown Monitor by clicking here. Or, check our Read Paper tab.

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WEB_Ford Area C Meeting 08

Area C not deemed emergency

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Area C (background), as photographed from the opposite bank of the Mississippi River, is just south of the Ford Bridge. The Ford Motor Company dumped unknown quantities of industrial waste, including solvents and paint sludge, on the floodplain of the Mississippi River below the bluff near its St. Paul assembly plant between 1945-1966. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

People urged to stay off site for safety

 

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
Over 150 people turned out to hear the latest findings about Area C from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in a packed meeting room at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Feb. 20, 2020.
The topic of discussion, called Area C, is a dumpsite where the Ford Motor Company dumped unknown quantities of industrial waste, including solvents and paint sludge, on the floodplain of the Mississippi River below the bluff near its St. Paul assembly plant between 1945-1966.
MPCA hydrogeologist Amy Hadiaris has been monitoring ground and surface water in Area C since 2007. She presented the most recent data and summarized the position of MPCA by saying, “Clean-up is needed, but we do not see this as an emergency situation.”

Community concerned
Community members expressed a deep level of concern about the dump site during the meeting, submitting a half-inch-thick stack of index cards with questions for MPCA staff to address.
Friends of the Mississippi River Executive Director Whitney Clark asked the last question of the evening. He asked, “Is it right for the Ford Corporation to leave their waste for future generations to clean up?”
Someone then called for a show of hands for how many people would have Ford remove it all if they could – and nearly everyone in the room raised theirs, including MPCA staff.

Testing being done
In this investigative stage, nine groundwater monitoring wells will be added to the existing 10. Friends of the Mississippi River and the Capitol Region Watershed District requested and support this increase in monitoring activities.
Hadiaris explained, “MPCA has a set process for evaluating the safety of ground water. We are testing for 65 volatile organic compounds, and 80 semi-volatile organic compounds. One of the big concerns is lead, which was added to all paints of that era.”
At the request of MPCA, the Minnesota Department of Health reviewed site data to assess health risks related to Area C. It was determined that only minimal threat exists if trespassers contact contaminants in soil or other physical hazards. There are no other ways for people to come in contact with contaminants, unless they trespass on the site.
To further discourage trespassing, MDH recommends repairing broken fence segments and adding signage between the Hidden Falls Regional Park walking trail and the southern boundary of Area C.

Waiting for two+ floods
Hadiaris said, “This is a contemplative process. We will wait for at least two flood events before making a clean-up decision and presenting it to the Ford Corporation.”
There will be another community information meeting once MPCA completes its feasibility study. To be placed on the email update list for Area C, contact Sophie Downey at sdowney@fmr.org.

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Truce Center 10

Truce Center opens in Summit University

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Community conflict resolution center is response to gun violence

Stand out quote from the wall in the Reflection Room:
“Another day,
another chance.”

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
It’s no secret that the city of St. Paul has been hard hit by gun violence in the last several months, and that the victims have been disproportionately African American.
Miki Lewis, an African American man who grew up in the Summit University neighborhood, felt called to do something about the violence.
He started formulating a plan last summer, and opened the 8218/Truce Center on the northwest corner of Lexington and Selby avenues in December. He said, “This is a place where kids ages eight to 18 can come to learn, to relax, and to figure out how to settle their differences peacefully.”

Understanding value of their own lives
Walking through the door, visitors are welcomed into a room filled with African artifacts. Lewis explained, “Africa is where we came from, so it seems like the right place to start.”
The 8218/Truce Center is both a space for conflict resolution and an African American museum. Lewis created the dual mission because he saw a multitude of needs going unmet for young people.
The center offers classes in community awareness, conflict resolution, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, leadership, self-respect, depression, suicide prevention, and African American history. Lewis and his team of volunteers mentor African American youth in gaining more self-knowledge and understanding.
Students earn a certificate of leadership when they complete all of the courses. Lewis said, “We teach them things they aren’t being taught in school.”
Leaving the reception area, a visitor walks through a doorway over which a sign is posted, “For Colored Only,” a remnant from the Jim Crow era of segregation. Every inch of the African American Museum shows images of the African American experience – images that speak both to great struggles and to great accomplishments. Lewis said, “There is no substitute for our kids knowing the reality of who they are. We’ve got to help them understand the value of their own lives, and that starts with learning their history.”

Space to be safe in
Lewis was born just a few blocks away, on Hague and Milton. He said, “Gun violence always had its mark in this neighborhood, but it has gotten so much worse. I’ve been mentoring kids out in the community for more than 20 years, and I knew it was time to create a space where they could come and be safe. I feel like, if you don’t know who your neighbors are – it’s a lot easier to get in trouble. And there are just fewer places for kids to go these days. ”
Youth come to the center to learn about themselves, and they also come to learn about each other.

Miki Lewis is the founder and director of the 8218/Truce Center. He is shown standing in the Reflection Room, where photographs of more than 50 Minneapolis and St. Paul residents who died of gun violence or drug overdoses line the wall. He tells young people, “This is one wall I do not ever want to see your picture on.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Reduce violence in community
If there’s an argument happening out in the community, or bullying, or threats, Lewis and his volunteers can help. He said, “Because I’m from this neighborhood, I’m a known person. We’re here to help parties mediate their differences, and to get conflicts resolved safely. This is our effort to reduce community violence.”
While the center is dedicated to mentoring African American youth, anyone is welcome and encouraged to take a tour. The 8218/Truce Center is located walking distance from several schools at 175 Lexington Ave. N. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m; call 651.340.4081. Visit www.8218trucecenter.org to learn more.

‘We’re in this life together’
Lewis is finalizing the details of getting non-profit status for the center. Since it opened, he has paid the bills himself. He said, “I believe we’re all put here to assist in saving the world. I can’t do it by myself, and neither can anyone else. We’re in this life together. If someone wants to make a donation to the center, they’re welcome to. But what would light me up more than anything would just be for people to come down to the center and learn some African American history.”
As Lewis is fond of saying, “Just do what your heart allows you to do.”

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WEB_Menopause Center 01

Menopause Center guides women through transition

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Menopause Center Administrator Coleen Boeckman (left) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse/Certified Nurse Midwife Catherine Mascari (right). The center is at 576 Minnehaha Ave. W. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
Menopause doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. The word is derived from Greek and means, literally, “the end of the monthly” – but it’s a long process, and it just isn’t that simple.
The Menopause Center of Minnesota offers education, counseling, and resources to help women 35 and older deal with issues and symptoms caused by perimenopause and menopause.
Becky Mendoza has been with the practice since it started 20 years ago. She is an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner with a focus on women’s health. She said, “Perimenopause and menopause can be very hard for women, but they don’t have to be. There are many ways we can help women be more comfortable, healthy, and symptom-free.”
Catherine Mascari was one of the Menopause Center’s first clients. She now works alongside Mendoza, and is an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse midwife. Mendoza and Mascari’s clients are healthy, low-risk women experiencing the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges of hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause.
Perimenopause is a transitional phase which typically begins in a woman’s late 30s or early 40s. It is the precursor to menopause. Ovarian function declines, and levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone rise and fall unevenly.
In menopause, the ovaries are no longer producing estrogen or progesterone. Menopause is defined, in hindsight, as 12 consecutive months without a period. The average age for reaching menopause in the U.S. is 51 years.
Beginning in perimenopause, women may have hot flashes and night sweats – both of which can leave them wringing wet with sweat day or night. Many women experience something unaffectionately referred to as meno-fog: frequent lost trains of thought, lack of word recall, and cognitive dullness. Hormonal imbalances can trigger irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and for some, a loss of libido (sex drive). Approximately 40% of women will continue to have symptoms years after menopause has occurred; the frequency and intensity of symptoms can range from pesky and infrequent to almost constant.
Mascari said, “It is a rare woman who has no problems or frustrations as she enters this time of significant change. An important aspect of self- care is to surround yourself with understanding, helpful, and courageous people.”
“Sometimes women don’t feel understood by their partners as they go through these changes. Men have a corresponding male menopause, but it usually isn’t as significant. We encourage all couples to take the effects of menopause seriously, and to work on having open, clear communication with each other.”

Personalized care
The Menopause Center is for women only, and limits its scope to a consulting practice. The clinicians do not perform physical exams, and there are no lab services available.
Mendoza explained, “Clients receive personalized guidance and counseling to help them manage their menopause transition with ease. Some women choose hormone therapy, and some do not. Some choose to take supplements such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, and some do not.
“We are here to give clients the personalized care they might not get from their primary doctor, because this is our sole concern.”
The Menopause Center of Minnesota is located in the same building as Lloyd’s Pharmacy at 1576 Minnehaha Ave. W. They accept Blue Cross Blue Shield and Preferred One, and are able to arrange payment plans. Their telephone is 651.698.0891; web address is www.menopausemn.com.
Suggested resources: The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Menopause by Robin Marantz Henig: Oprah Magazine (September 2019); The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

“The changes of perimenopause and menopause occur spontaneously as women age. These changes bring opportunities for growth and new self-awareness – and they can be challenging.”
~ Menopause Center of Minnesota

 

Tips from Catherine
Life style choices for better health in perimenopause and beyond:

✓ Consider a Mediterranean approach to food choices, more plant-based and fewer animal-based items.
✓ Stay flexible, balanced, and strong as you age. Try weight-resistance activities like swimming, interval walking, yoga or pilates for a minimum of 75 minutes/week.
✓ Limit caffeine intake and alcohol consumption.
✓ Stop cigarette smoking/vaping.
✓ Make yourself and your health a top priority.

Source: Catherine Mascari,
Menopause Center of Minnesota

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