PEOPLE While one might think Violet’s got a full plate, ask her what she really loves to do and her answer is quick, “Be with my horses!” Violet is proud that she has raised all of her Arabian horses in a good way, like her Chumash Vaquero ancestors would have done. Essentially, vaqueros were natives whose method was to train horses gently, without cruelty, and they kept their horses for their entire lives. At the time of the Missions, local ranchers Native herbs and honey hired Antonio Lopez to train horses and he even worked at the One of Violet’s biggest concerns is the Dana Adobe. A few people still teach and pracdwindling bee population. “We’ve lost tice the vaquero way and Violet said when she hundreds of hives this past couple years befriended Sheila Varian of Varian Ranch, she due to the lack of water,” she said. Along was surprised and happy to learn that Sheila with colony collapse disorder and the was a master in Vaquero traditions and also use of pesticides, the drought has further grew up riding in the Lopez area. Sheila was impacted production levels to the tune of trained by a Lopez cattle rancher and pioneer about 50 per cent loss in the past five years. woman, Sid, in this special approach. “It was “I haven’t seen a swarm in more than a interesting to see how she was connected to year,” she said, “and we haven’t been called the Lopez family in this way,” Violet said. in a couple years to remove a swarm. It’s scary.” Another problem, sadly, is theft of beehives. Violet and Aaron began painting their boxes in bright colors with Chumash emblems to discourage hive hoodlums. Violet talks about getting into beekeeping, “We have great friends and have met and become close to amazing beekeepers who have welcomed us into the industry and supported us and helped us get started,” she said, with her usual penchant for finding the positive and “the good way” in life.
What would she like people to know about her? “I’m a realist. I gain my happiness not
Aaron with baby Arabian Manache in Los Osos
from others, but from the energy of the planet, moon, stars, sun and the ocean. I think the most important thing is to be yourself, to keep your integrity and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. My scars, visible from cancer, life and the invisible scars and struggles of family have made me a more interesting, compassionate and strong person.” Visit nativeherbsandhoney.com for a glimpse into Violet’s enterprise and philosophy of “Made in a Good Way.”
M A R C H
March 2014 Journal Plus