Month: January 2014

New Salads at Roots for the Home Team

Here at Urban Roots we are getting ready for another season of Roots for the Home Team and Twins baseball! Last night a group of Urban Roots youth met with a group of Youth Farm youth for a recipe development session at St. Paul College.

Armed with ideas for new salads, these local youth chopped, mixed, measured and tasted their way to some delicious new additions to the “Roots” salad lineup. Students and instructors from St. Paul College’s culinary program were there to help the students think about flavor combinations, texture and color to make unique, appealing salads.

Urban Roots interns created two new salads that will wow you this summer! New in 2014 will be ‘Imogene and Tony’s Cajun Creation’ and ‘Big Bang Seoul Salad.’

All together this creative group of youth and professionals developed five amazing salads available for purchase at weekend Twins home games this baseball season. Come visit us at the Roots for the Home Team salad stand located at gate 34 this summer to try them all!

To learn more about Roots for the Home Team or to see recipes from previous years’ salads, visit

Thank you to all the St. Paul College culinary students and instructors for hosting this event and offering suggestions and tips that will help make this year’s salads the best yet!

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Garden Program Thinks Spring!

It’s not easy to imagine planting your garden when temps surge below zero and snow whirls around the sky. For most gardeners though, January is the time of year when planning occurs, and the inspiration starts flowing when all those seed catalogs start coming in the mail. Seed companies such as Johnny’s Select, Fedco, Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds offer many different crops and unique varieties to choose from. In the Garden Program we are busy in a two-week long intensive garden planning session to make plans and place orders for seeds and plants for the upcoming 2014 garden season!

In the first session we reviewed crop families and common garden terminology. Then we discussed a plan of execution to achieve our objectives including:

– Reviewing last years crops and develop criteria to evaluate crops
– Picking out old/new crops based on reviews
– Planning the seeding/transplanting dates for crops
– Laying out crops in garden maps
– Ordering seeds/transplants from suppliers

Once we had our plan, we started working towards our goal. Courtney Tchida, Student Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at the U of M, met with our Garden Youth Interns to talk about ways to look at seed selections and how to know what to look for when picking our crop varieties. Everyone learned something new and many were surprised at the fun and interest we had just by looking at colorful and interesting varieties of unusual and common vegetable varieties.

We’re almost ready for spring!

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See Urban Roots on NBC's TODAY Show!

Exciting Announcement —

We were recently interviewed by NBC’s TODAY Show as part of their upcoming story about how Minneapolis and Saint Paul consistently rank as one of the healthiest communities in the US. We were selected along with other community groups in the area that help promote healthy lifestyles.

Watch NBC’s TODAY Show clip of “Healthy, wealthy and wise: America’s fittest city” online now.

Tamara Downs Schwei
Executive Director,
Urban Roots

P.S. Get involved with our organization by volunteering in our gardens, the East Side Food & Wellness Hub or other fun opportunities! Email us or call (651) 228-7073 to learn more.

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Career Profile: Dietitian

What does a Dietitian do?
Dietitians plan food and nutrition programs, and supervise the preparation and serving of meals. Many advise individual clients, help prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and suggesting diet modifications. Dietitians can also run food service systems for institutions such as hospitals and schools, promote sound eating habits through education and conduct research. Major areas of practice include clinical, community, management and consultant dietetics.

What kind of schooling is required to become a Dietitian?
Most dietitians have a bachelor’s degree and most typically receive several hundred hours of supervised training, usually in the form of an internship following graduation from college. Many dietitians also have advanced degrees, such as a Masters of Public Health. Many states require dietitians to be licensed through taking an exam. Many dieticians choose to earn a credential as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Although it is not required, it makes dieticians more competitive for jobs.

What kinds of skills are required to be a Dietitian?
Most importantly, dietitians must have good people skills. Because a dietitian must be able to effectively convey information to clients both one-one-one or to a larger audience, good speaking skills are necessary. Because nutrition science is a constantly evolving field, dietitians must keep up with the most current research. Strong analytical skills are needed to effectively interpret scientific studies. Organization skills are important because it can be a multi-faceted job. Dietitians who are self-employed must also have knowledge of marketing and other business-related tasks. Problem-solving is an important skill to have as a dietitian. Listening to a client and then choosing the best plan to improve their health can be like solving a puzzle.

What is the career outlook for Dietitians?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dietitians was $55,240 in May 2012. Because the role of food in preventing and treating illness is now well known, this sector of the health field is growing. Employment of dietitians is projected to increase 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.

Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and

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St. Paul's Health & Wellness: Join Us

On Friday, January 10 from 10am-noon there will be a joint monthly meeting of the East Side Prosperity Campaign Health and Wellness vision area and the East Side Food & Wellness Hub at the Eastside Financial Center (965 Payne Ave). This meeting is a community forum for anyone who lives, works or has interest in health and wellness in Saint Paul’s East Side.

The first hour of the meeting will cover the Health and Wellness action area, which is dedicated to addressing issues related to health and wellness on the East Side and is one of four action areas of the East Side Prosperity Campaign. It’s an opportunity to learn about projects happening, organizations working in the area and meet people in the field. This week Ms. Oakley Biesanz, from the City of Maplewood, will talk about some of the community gardening projects and other work happening in her area.

For the second half of the meeting we will discuss the East Side Food & Wellness Hub. Specifically, we will review how the first year of the Hub went and create goals for the second year of operation.

As we start our second year of the Food & Wellness Hub, we are looking to reach out to more community members, so part of this meeting will be to set goals for membership and brainstorm what opportunities and supports we hope to provide for our members. Then we will begin brainstorming how we can make it all a reality.

We always love to have new faces in our meetings, so if you are interested in learning more about what is happening on the East Side or have ideas on how to make the Food & Wellness Hub even better in year two please come to the meeting on Friday!

If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please contact Urban Roots’ Nutrition & Wellness Program Manager, Rebecca Mino. To learn more about the East Side Prosperity Campaign, visit Health and Wellness/Food and Wellness Hub meetings usually occur on the first Friday of each month from 10am-12pm.

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