Page 1

Wine Underground Page A5

JULY 2013 Spice up your life with Lori Foster Fresh herbs and spices from around the world flavor new downtown shop By: Hayley Thomas

Modern Blacksmith Page A5


Life-Changing Lavender 2013 Lavender Festival unfolds July 13 in Paso Robles Downtown City Park

By: Natasha Dalton

By: Jamie Relth

Lori Foster understands that fresh, high-grade herbs and spices are not only effective flavor enhancers, but easy-to-sprinkle life-enhancers. This realization was spurred on a few years back, during a Florida Keys vacation she took with her husband, Steve. “We went into this small spice store and the smells were so exotic,” said Foster. “I was used to spices you get at the grocery store, which —comparatively — have no flavor. I just thought that was the way dried spices were.” The couple brought back a few baggies — an Italian herb blend and a few of blends made at the Florida Keys shop — and Foster got to cooking. She said she’d always had a love for using fresh, healthy ingredients, but adding high-grade spices really kicked her meals up a notch. “It took my cooking to the next Please turn to Page A3

Seasonal Living & Seasonal Eating Written by Aspen Bryant

8th grader at Templeton Middle School.

In the 1920s, Austrian philosopher Ruldolf Steiner gave a series of lectures suggesting that humans, animals, plants — and the universe as a whole — form a single living organism. Today, this philosophy is called “biodynamics.” The theory was focused on combining holistic ideas and a farmers own experimental methods. Steiner highly recommended that farmers work with nature to get the best out of their harvests. Why work against Mother Nature when you can use her to your benefit? These were Melanie Blankenship’s exact thoughts when she opened Nature’s Touch in 2001.

Things are not always as they seem. You may have thought, for instance, that the lavender plant, with its tiny purple blossoms and delicate scent, has purely ornamental and cosmetic purposes. Actually, the fragrant plant is a powerful disease-fighter. Known as the medicine chest herb and the “anti” essential oil, its uses include anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-depressant and anti-spasmodic applications. In fact, the man who coined the term “aromatherapy,” a perfume chemist, did so after a chance discovery of the incredible healing properties of lavender oil in particular. But, as it turns out, the therapeutic lavender oil you might buy from a health store isn’t what it seems, either. As Lila Avery-Fuson of Central Coast Lavender in Paso Robles can attest, the lavender manufacturing industry in the USA is not regulated by the government. Bottles labeled as pure lavender oil may contain high percentages of unlisted filler oils. It was this appalling reality that turned Avery-Fuson into a veritable essential oil activist. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006, Avery-Fuson had turned to lavender to mitigate the negative effects of her medications. After discovering that the oil she depended on for her health and comfort might be contaminated, she resolved to grow and distill her own lavender. “I planted an acre and got a little tabletop still. Then, I started making lotions and soaps — I was getting creative,” said Avery-Fuson. “The next thing I knew, I was feeling good and I had a purpose. I wasn’t thinking about my disease.” Since then, her lavender business has blossomed into a seven acre operation that boasts a long list of healing products. But helping herself was not enough. Tiny and sweet, like the flowers

Donna Doersam: Paso Robles artist weaves fibers, stories

Support for Central Coast Lavender’s Lila Avery-Fuson and other local lavender growers by attending the Lavender Festival in the Paso Robles City Park on July 13. Photos courtesy of Central Coast Lavender Show

she cultivates, Avery-Fuson is also an unexpected powerhouse. She started talking to distillers and oil manufacturers to get to the bottom of the unjust labeling system. “I was just insulted that the manufactures could do this to the oils and sell it to people,” said Avery-Fuson. “I dove in deep.” She formed the Central Coast Lavender Growers Association in 2008 and worked with the Paso Robles Main Street Association to host the first Lavender Festival in 2009. Her purpose: To educate and inform the public about the benefits of 100 percent, pure, small-batch lavender essential oil, while raising funds for the National MS Foundation. Surprisingly, more than 3,000 people shared her passion for the purple herb that first year. “I told the city we only needed half the park, and we imploded!” Avery-Fuson recalls of the inaugural festival. Since then, the event has continued to grow, and so has the local lavender industry. Now with around eight farms and fifty acres in the SLO County area, lavender has become a real player in the agritourism scene. But local success was still not enough for Avery-Fuson. As of 18 months ago, she became a founding member of the U.S. Lavender Growers Association. This October, the Please turn to Page A2

Those who believe that an eye for art and mathematical aptitude are incompatible haven’t meet Paso Robles artist Donna Doersam. A former computer systems analyst, Doersam lives up to every expectation for a professional with a knack solving technical problems. She is also a thoughtful and even romantic artist, striving to bring forward a sense of peace and harmony through her works. Doersam’s art needs to be seen in person to be appreciated. Her intricate, 3-D compositions often bring to mind oriental shadow boxes. “I like to construct and build,” she said, adding that she also enjoys experimenting with recycled fibers. Doersam became interested in recycled materials as an art source after taking a class in papermaking. “I like learning new things,” she said. Soon, she found herself constantly “playing with paper.” “My job wasn’t very interesting for me, and this was. I just decided to go for it,” Doersam said, explaining her decision to quit her secure, well-paying job. At the very first show in 1986, she sold more than a half of the pieces she had. “I like to create pieces that make you smile and make you happy. I use bright colors and I add whimsical elements,” Doersam said about her artwork. “It’s important for me to convey a sense of order through my pieces, and people tell me that they feel a calming effect in their presence.” Doersam keeps in touch with many of those who collect her art. She often hears that people buy her work as an inspiration for something new they’re dreaming of doing — or want to encourage their loved ones to do. “It’s so nice to have such feedback,” Doersam said. “I like having this personal relationship with my fans. They come back to me for more, and I now have quite a few clients who have almost a gallery of my work.” Doersam’s work is popular among designers and doctors alike. It’s not hard to see why her sense of beauty appeals to designers: Clean lines and geometric details add architectural complexity and dynamism to her intricate constructions. But doctors? “Doctors, especially dentists, often try to create the sense of tranquility and comfort in their offices,” Doersam said. “They understand that it’s important to make their patients feel good before they go in to talk about health.”

Please turn to Page A3

I’m a huge fan of sweet scones, and have several recipes on my website. So, when asked me to make a video on savory scones, I jumped at the opportunity. With just a few modifications to my popular base scone recipe, I had created some hearty, savory, spicy and cheesy pastries perfect for picnics and lunch boxes. These are sure to impress, travel well and can be made ahead of time, making them the perfect summer pot luck dish. A Please turn to Page 4


Health blogger at


By: Audrey Johns

Monthly publication dedicated to covering North County San Luis Obispo, CA.

Heat up your summer barbecue with jalapeno cheddar scone

Please turn to Page A3

A2- North County Life - July 2013

Take a book, leave a book By: Natasha Dalton A few months ago, James Rochez and his son Andrew made their whole neighborhood curious when — right at the curb of their home at 1015 Olive Street in Paso Robles — they installed something that looked like an

NORTH COUNTY Publisher Jeremy Burke executive editor Brian Williams life editor Hayley Thomas Staff WRITERS Audrey Johns; Gerald Burke; Natasha Dalton ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Brad Koyak


ADVERTISING Cassie Verley Matthew Verley Sheri Potruch Carmen Burton Cassandra Olano

North County Life is published monthly. All rights reserved, material may not be reprinted without written consent from the publisher. North County Life made every effort to maintain the accuracy of information presented in this publication, but assumes no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. North County Life is a division of the Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News.

Contact Us 805.237.6060 805.466.2585

oversized birdhouse. A few days later, the fancy “birdhouse” got a bit color: James’ wife, Nikol and the couple’s two kids, Andrew and Haelee, covered it with brightly-painted animals, including a bird, a squirrel and a butterfly. “What is it all about?” neighbors began to question. “What kind of bird is this house for?” As it turned out, the house wasn’t for the birds at all. The lovely, two-story “mini-cottage” complete with glass door is actually a neighborhood library: The kind that operates without membership cards, due dates or fines. Instead, the libary works on a simple principle: “Take a book; leave a book.” “We’ve met a lot of our neighbors because of this library,” said Nikol Rochez, the library’s official steward.“It’s a good way to make new friends.” It’s also a good way to build a stronger, healthier neighborhood. For a senior who doesn’t drive anymore, for a stay-at-home parent taking care of a little child — or for the school kids spending summer in town — a Little Library is a great excuse for getting out of the house and taking a walk in the neighborhood. “People stop by all the time,” James Rochez said. “Our own kids keep checking out the new books that come our way.” Added daughter Haelee, “Our family has had such fun with it.” The Rochezes got the idea of opening a neighborhood library after they encountered one in San Jose. They decided to look into it, and found out that each Little Library is a part of a movement. San Luis Obispo already

Pictured, a small, community library box is now located on Olive Street in Paso Robles thanks to one crafty, well-read family. Photos by Sasha Dalton

boasts one such library. The movement, which was officially launched in January of this year, began in Wisconsin and has grown to encompass 6,000 libraries in 36 countries. Millions have joined the campaign through The project, conceived as a tribute to a dedicated librarian, had an initial goal of recreating the success of none other than Andrew Carnegie himself, with the intention of matching his record of 2,500 libraries. The idea took off and won endorsements of some very prominent organizations. AARP, recognizing the positive role these libraries

can play in the lives of the socially-isolated seniors, awarded the project a $70,000 grant. In bigger cities like Minneapolis, both nonprofits and businesses are creating a string of “take a book; return a book” Little Libraries every other mile on a bike path — each with a different theme and its own reading materials. The idea behind the movement is to build stronger communities and promote literacy and love of reading. The Rochez family is doing its part to ensure that happens, one borrowed book at a time. Said Nikol Rochez, “We hope to encourage more community members to open Little Libraries in North County.”

Continued from page A1

As for the work process itself, you’ll never hear Doersam talk about it in terms of deadlines and schedules. She doesn’t even have a clock in the studio, where only inspiration reigns. Thus, the work becomes a way of an unhurried reflection on beauty and tranquility. Many of Doersam’s creative ideas come to her at night — when the world gets quieter. “I wake up and I see the whole piece in my head,” she said. A recent series was inspired by frequent traveling. “You know how when you’re flying across the country, you see a patchwork of colors underneath: the fields, the hills, the woods?” she said. “I was always fascinated by that, and I kept thinking, ‘I have to do something [inspired by] that imagry.”’ Back in her Paso Robles studio, Doersam used various textures and colors — meeting at different angles — as the background of a piece. Then, she decided to add a little town, and to write down the names of the barns, the homes, the leaves — all the way down to the tiny little flowers. Continuing with the theme, Doersam has been building multi-storied houses and putting things inside of them — so you can see more as you go up. This might sound like the making of doll houses, but in reality, it’s more like getting lost in a charming Christmas village in the middle of summer (and finding some unexpected treasures on its

Thank you for Lavendar Festival reading!

Paso Robles family opens ‘Little Library’ for local readers of all ages

organization will convene in Virginia with the aim of gaining USDA regulation on lavender manufactured in the country. Ironically, having done so much for the lavender industry, for MS research and for

FIVE STAR RAIN GUTTERS, INC. Over 60 Designer Colors — 5 Year Work Warranty Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed! — Service & Maintenance Available One Piece Seamless Returns — Seamless Copper & Aluminum 7 Distinctive Styles of Gutters — In-House Fabrication of Gutters & Downspouts

Family Owned and Operated for Two Generations

461-3283 / 226-9006 3226 El Camino Real, Atascadero Lic.#876930 • Bonded & Insured

streets). To see more photos of Doersam’s work, go to

Continued from page A1

others suffering from everything from poison oak rashes to gout (thanks to her healing lavender butter), Avery-Fuson finds herself no closer to being healed herself. In fact, she recently learned — after a bout of new and serious symptoms and eight months in bed — that she was misdiagnosed from the beginning. What seemed like MS was actually a rare brain disease: genetic myclonic dystonic cerebral ataxia. Only three other people in the world share the disease. The surprise is jarring. But the way Lila

looks at it, the incorrect diagnosis changed the course of her life. “Who ever thought I was going to be a lavender farmer?” she said. Looking back at her path from longtime cosmetologist and registered nurse to an aromatherapy practitioner and farmer with a mission (and her own lab), Avery-Fuson has certainly enjoyed quite the journey. “It took me from a victim of disease to an ambassador of essential oils,” she said.

North County Life- July 2013 - A3

Spice of Life

Continued from page A1

level,” she said. “I was so excited.” That excitement soon turned to confusion when the spices lost their panache about a month later. The pungent flavor profiles had flattened into an unpalatable mess. “I did a little research, and I realized that the spices went flat because they were sitting in plastic bags,” said Foster. “I started to learn more about quality, how to store them, and then I began making my own blends.” Foster found that keeping the spices in tightly closed glass jars prolonged the flavor substantially. Her shop, Spice of Life, now features more than 140 spices visible in rows and rows of shiny, large glass jars. Customers can fill up small tester jars for $3 a pop or take home medium and even bulk-sized containers. Pre-packaged four-ounce, reusable glass jars are also available. Foster said the shop — which opened at 1306 Pine St. last spring — has already experienced a lot of buzz from foodies, chefs and average home cooks looking to spice up their next meal. She said quality is a huge factor. “The spices come from all over the world, from wherever they are best grown and harvested,” said Foster. “I work directly with the importers and I know the quality I am getting. It’s kind of like wine — quality depends on where the plants are grown, the climate, how they are picked, the harvesting and processing — it’s about the whole process.” Everything from several varieties of peppercorns and salts to bay leaves and dill and savory Indian blends are available for sampling and purchase. However, you won’t find harmful chemicals, pesticides and irradiated spices at Spice of Life. Instead, Foster offers up an

Nature’s Touch

array of natural and organic spices grown and harvested for optimum nutritional value. “The average lifespan of dried spices is about a year,” said Foster. “So if your spices are sitting in a warehouse for eight months before you even purchase them from the grocery store — you’re probably getting stale spices.” Foster said she understands some people are intimidated when it comes to how much to use — or even what to use — on particular foods. She said her goal is to educate, first and foremost. “My suggestion would be to experiment, and I found that, through my blends, which have a really nice balance, people are going to be a lot more successful just shaking them on chicken or veggies,” she said. A local man recently came in and requested a full, ready-made spice rack for his daughter’s wedding. “He wanted about 40 different spices in jars — It’s just something different,” said Foster, adding that a sprinkle of chili pepper may also do more for your body than just your weekly taco night. “Not only do high-quality spices taste amazing, but there are so many health benefits,” she said. “High-grade spices are good for your heart, circulation, digestive system, your skin, and they feature antioxidants.” Showing people that they can substitute unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones while enhancing flavor is a big mission for the 20-year Paso resident. Foster has been spreading that message for years, and local farmer’s market regulars may recognize the bubbly brunette. She began selling her homemade blends at farmer’s markets about four years ago.

Lori Foster is at home amongst jars and jars of familiar and exotic spices on display at her shop, Spice of Life in downtown Paso Robles. The business opened on Feb. 1 and features a range of high-grade herbs, spices and teas. Photo by Hayley Thomas

“Through the farmer’s markets, I was able to promote the health end of my spices and get in contact with the people and understand what kind of blends are in demand,” Foster said, adding that salt-free blends and curry blends have been popular. Now a Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce and Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association member, Foster aims to get the word out about her brick and mortar store. “It’s really allowed me to expand,” she said. Cooking classes — backed by the store’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchen — will

kick off in the coming months. A Moroccan night featuring music, flavors and spices of the region is in the works. Foster said it’s all about opening up an exotic world of high-grade spices to Paso Robles residents. “Things like turmeric and cumin and cardamom pods, you just can’t grow them here and you can’t get those flavors from anywhere else,” she said. “There’s a huge world [of spices] to explore.” The shop also offers natural teas from around the world, local cookbooks and gifts. For more information, visit

weeks, remember to keep your garden healthy by watering, weeding and controlling pests. By the end of the month, you should have a garden full of goodies to show off at the next family barbecue. Speaking of barbecue, Nature’s Touch provides a variety of meats and cuts to fit your summer grilling menu. Did you know that animals harvested in the summer boast more nutritionally dense meat? All of our meats are grass fed, humanely processed and sourced from local ranchers. Every Wednesday throughout July, one of these ranchers will be highlighted at the nursery. Other summer events include a free cooking class with Pampered Chef on the

July 10. Nature’s Touch will also be open during the communitywide Fourth of July Parade, as we declare our own “Food Independence Day.” Come in and cool off with an icy drink and a little something prepared fresh from our kitchen. Of course, you can never go wrong with some ice cream or a fruit popsicle to beat the heat. For more information, stop by the store, call 434-3062, find us on Facebook or visit

Continued from page A1

Nature’s Touch Nursery and Harvest is family owned and operated grocery store and nursery. We believe in local shopping, healthy eating and everything seasonal. In the month of July, we want to help you enjoy your own seasonal garden. Fruit and veggie seeds are ready to sow directly into the soil, including chard, bush beans, turnips, carrots, beets, basil, lettuce, corn and garlic. Produce ready to be sown in flats include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale and lettuce to prepare for your fall planting. Also, it’s not too late for that second planting of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, let-

tuce and melons. All of these crops can be found at Nature’s Touch in either plant or seed form. In the first week of July, you should prepare your soil and beds by composting, weeding and controlling pests with IPM, or “intergraded pest management.”This means planting good bugs to combat the bad bugs. Contact Melanie Blankenship on Nature’s Guide Facebook page for more details. Continue doing this until the July 12, when you can plant flowering vines. On the third week, you can start planting herbs, flowers and above ground annuals. As your plants grow over the next few

Information for this article was provided by Melanie Blankenship of Nature’s Touch Nursery & Harvest of Templeton.

A4- North County Life - July 2013


Continued from page A1

People tend to shy away from baking scones, but truth be told, they’re easier to make than cookies. Remember: A circular pizza cutter is your best friend when it comes to scones. Jalapeno cheddar scones recipe Makes 16 scones What you need: 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons salt 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter ½ cup Greek yogurt ¾ cup milk 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 3 jalapenos

Get cooking: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice one jalapeno into thin rings and set aside. Slice the remaining two jalapenos lengthwise into four pieces. With a small knife, scrape out the seeds and white ribs (this is where the heat lies). Chop the remaining green strips of jalapenos and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl or a standing mixer. Cut up the butter in small pieces and add to the flour mix. Work the flour and butter together with your fingers until the butter balls are about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk together the

milk and Greek yogurt. Pour half into the flour mix and combine. Add the rest and chopped jalapenos and about ¾ cup of the cheese. Mix gently and only until all is incorporated. Do not over mix. Flour a clean surface, split the mix in two and drop the dough balls onto the floured surface. Squish and mold them into two round discs. Next, use a pizza cutter and cut each dough round into 8 slices, just like you’re cutting a pizza or a pie. Arrange scones on baking sheet. You can place them close together, as they don’t spread much. However, do make sure the pieces are not touching. Top each piece with a little cheese and a jalapeno ring. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes or until slightly golden.

Audrey Johns

What Is Craniosacral Therapy and How can it benefit you? By: Greta Hilde, R.C.S.T.®

Do you suffer with back pain, headaches or chronic pain, or do you just feel stressed out all the time? Have you been in an accident, had an illness or experienced another trauma recently or from long ago which has not yet resolved completely? Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach to care that releases tension deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve wholebody health. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness, and other health conditions. The Central nervous system, made up of the brain and spinal cord, in our body is like command central. Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the central nervous system. And the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system, the membranes and fluid that surround, protect, and nourish the brain and spinal cord. Craniosacral Therapy evaluates and supports the release of tension patterns held in the Craniosacral system that inhibit the flow of cerebral spinal fluid, compromising nerve function. CSF not only provides a protective cushion and nourishment for the brain and spinal cord, it carries neuroactive substances that regulate every aspect of our health, including sleep patterns, metabolism, immunity, blood pressure, mood and behavior. Western medicine often fragments the human being into separate body parts. Different parts of the body require a different expert in the particular organ or system. Patients can end up seeing three or four specialists, each one treating something different. CST does not just chase individual symptoms but looks to find the underlying cause of the condition so the whole body can function in harmony and balance. By gently working with the sacrum, spine and skull, as well as the intracra-

built houses with Habitat for Humanity, taught math and science in the U.S. Peace Corps in Zimbabwe, and currently is assisting a two year Craniosacral training program and volunteers with Hospice SLO. Greta is deeply committed to practicing the simplicity and transformative power of Craniosacral work. She believes that individuals need to have more choices in their life for vitality and complete wholeness. Her office is located in the Bates Plaza at 945 Spring St, Suite#3, Paso Robles.

Photo by RC Slaughter Photography

nial and visceral fascia the Craniosacral Therapist seeks to optimize tissue motility and thereby the flow and potency of cerebral spinal fluid. Craniosacral therapy is not massage. There is no soft-tissue manipulation. It is more similar to Reiki or acupressure and involves light touch “holds” to points corresponding to tissues and structures in dynamic conflict with one another. The treatment is received fully clothed while laying comfortably on a padded table. Recipients typically find themselves in a state of deep relaxation. It is well suited for all ages, because it is gentle and non-manipulative in nature it can be particularly valuable for anyone with degenerative bone disease. If you are ready to relieve pain, reduce stress and restore health include Craniosacral Therapy in your wellness plan. Call today to schedule your appointment. (805) 712-077 945 Spring St, Suite #3 For more information, log on to www. To schedule an appointment, please contact Greta Hilde @ (805) 712-0977 Greta is the sole Registered Craniosacral Therapist in San Luis Obispo County under the Biodynamic Craniosa-


cral Association of North America. She also holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering, worked for the Army Corps of Engineers on Environmental Clean-up Projects, Prepare for a better school year by improving mental focus.


Training the Brain

r e m Sum l a i c e Sp


Untreated, ADHD symptoms are expected to last throughout life for most. Treatment with medication does not change this. Medication only temporarily reduces symptoms. It does not get to the root of the problem to change the attention networks in the brain. Using cutting-edge QEEG technology, these brain patterns can now be measured and objectively compared to large normative databases. This provides a quantifiable assessment of the brain’s capacity for: • attention vs. distraction • calmness vs. anxiety • executive control vs. impulsivity • focus vs. distraction

European Café Ambiance • Cozy, Casual, Comfortable

Join us Downtown... • Nightly Dinner Specials • Angus & Lamb Burgers • Pasta Dinners • Steak Dinners • Grilled Salmon • Paso Robles Wine List

• Fish Tacos • Gourmet Salads • Sandwhiches, Wraps & Gyros • Oriental Bowls • Homemade Soup • Family-Owned Since 1997

Lunch All Day • Dinner • Dessert

1214 Pine St., Paso Robles • 805-237-7516 Downtown near the Park Open Every Day - All Day 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

NEUROTOPIA CENTRAL COAST 9655 El Camino Real, Atascadero • (805) 460-6911

North County Life- July 2013 - A5

Modern blacksmith swings his hammer with heart Max Randolph forges artistic metal creations the old fashioned way By: Hayley Thomas The art of blacksmithing may be considered “old-fashioned,” but Max Randolph’s designs are anything but. His metalwork — beloved by local winemaker Tobin James and local homeowners and business owners alike — is fluid, detailed and delightfully human. A sixth-generation blacksmith, the 24-year-old uses his grandfather’s Old World tools to create a range of custom art, jewelry, knives and more. The end result? Creative, custom pieces made with equal parts sweat and heart. “There’s a sense of organic form that’s been lost to welding and grinding,” said Randolph. “Nowadays, things are square, flat and perfect. But when you swing a hammer, you understand the physics involved to wrap a piece of metal. Your audience can visually understand how you put it together, and that’s really neat for people see.” The Paso Robles resident and owner of Legacy Forge Blacksmith Shop has been in the field for about a decade. As a youth, he discovered the joy of working with his own two hands. “I began to understand how wood works and I started sculpting and making birdhouses, boats that could float downstream — I was making things and expressing myself,” he said. “In America, everything is plastic, nothing is repaired anymore and blacksmiths became extinct. Hearing about the history of my grandfather and working with his tools, I instantly gravitated towards metal.” At 14, Randolph began his own barbecue fabrication business to buy gas

and lunch money. It wasn’t long before the youth was burned out on producing grill after grill. “There was this primordial soup of creativity bubbling inside of me,” he said. “I took my fabricating experience and took it to the next level, creating sculptures.” The first metal artwork Randolph created amounted to a flower lawn ornament featuring metal forged butterflies and hummingbirds. The small project changed the trajectory of Randolph’s life and career. “Taking something so cold and rigid and making it warm and inviting and beautiful — it was a new experience for me,” he said. “Since then, it’s been an Alice in Wonderland situation and I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. The number of projects I’m taking on is staggering.” Currently, Randolph works out of a studio at his home in Paso Robles, taking on jobs through his website,, as well as word of mouth. He hopes to gain greater exposure for his business this year. “Working in blacksmithing is all about heat management, time management and work management,” he said. “But you’d be surprised — a blacksmith can create a product a hell of a lot better and faster than a machine ever could.” So far, Randolph’s work has spoken for itself. As advertised on his website, the modern-day blacksmith can produce just about any object from iron or steel, whether that be a custom art piece or crafty-yet-utilitarian handrail. “When you do things the old-fashioned way, there’s a lot more room for the craftsperson’s signature,” he said. “The personality just shines out.” For more information and to view a video of Randolph working in his shop, Pictured is intricate metalwork created by modern-day blacksmith Max Randolph of visit Paso Robles. Courtesy photo

A taste of hidden wines in Paso Underground By: Hayley Thomas A handful of small-production Westside wine producers are doing big things in downtown Paso Robles. United under the banner Paso Underground, the new collective tasting room features wines from four ultra-boutique producers: Aaron, Clos Solene, Edmond August and Turtle Rock Vineyards. According to Aaron winemaker Aaron Jackson, each winery produces less than 500 cases each year from the best grapes around. Although the petite syrah producer was recently noted by Time Magazine as an “up-and-coming winemaker,” he’s flown under the radar for years. It’s a common story for all four wineries involved. “That’s why we call ourselves the Paso Underground,” said Jackson. “We’re all slightly unknown to the larger world, but we all sell out of our wines each year and work with the best, high-end vineyards in Paso Robles. Creating [this wine collective] offers us a big opportunity to bring our wine to a larger audience.” The winemakers also share a common bond as neighbors, industry professionals and fans of each other’s work. Jackson said there’s a collective focus on quality fruit and careful winemaking. “All four of us knew each other well and knew each other’s wines well,” said Jackson. “You have to have the best fruit to make great wine, and we all work with incredible local vineyards. At the end of the day, we’re all creating the very best wine we can.” Those wines aren’t always predictable. At Paso Underground, you’ll taste a range of varietals, from roussanne and tempranillo to petite sirah and unique blends. Jackson said the group is excited to be downtown, especially with Artisan and the General Store next door. Located at 1140 Pine Street, the hangout is currently open Friday and Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. and on Sundays by appointment only. When tasters walk in, they won’t be greeted by just any employee, he added. “When you walk in, you are going to meet me. I am the only one at my table,” said Jackson. “No one can express the authenticity — and the story behind the wine — more than the winemaker. The reason people want to come to Paso Underground is to taste wine they aren’t going to find anywhere else and people are excited to meet the winemakers. That’s what Paso Robles was founded on. Paso is a place where you can meet the winemaker, and that’s occurring less and less.” Jackson said he encourages tasters to stop in for a good story and a truly hand-crafted glass of wine. “There should be a story and vision behind each wine, all my colleages all agree that our focus is on great vineyards, varietals we really believe in and doing everything we can to create the highest quality wine,” said Jackson. “We’ve been putting out high end wines for years, and now we have a place to call home.” For more information, visit or find the collective on Facebook. The tasting room is located next door to Villa Creek Restaurant with an entrance on Railroad St. just off Paso Robles Street near the Downtown City Park.

Award-Winning Estate Wine in a Stay-Fresh package There’s a lot to be said about

A Great Wine in a Box!

Will Last 6 weeks once opened

Last Glass tastes just as amazing as the first!

$40 a Box

at four bottles per box that’s

Free Tasting!

only $10 a bottle!

Hidden Oak Winery

4671 So. El Pomar, Templeton 805 237-9315 Tasting Room Hours Fri– Sun11-5

A6- North County Life - July 2013

Community Calendar Wednesday, July 3 Templeton Concerts in the Park The 2013 Templeton Concerts in the Park will take place each Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Templeton park. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket or low-back chair. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. No solicitors or dogs are allowed in the park during the concerts.

Thursday, July 4 Atascadero Fourth of July A Fourth of July celebration will be held at Atascadero Lake Park on July 4 starting at 7 a.m. The day will start with three fun runs — 5K, 10K and one mile — and a pancake breakfast by the Lion’s Club. The day will include lunch and dinner for sale, live music, free admission to the zoo and wading pool, and more. Free movies will be shown for free at Galaxy Theatres as part of the celebration. For more information, call Jerry Clay at 4419220 or Bob Kelley at 674-5585. Templeton Independence Day Parade Templeton’s annual Independence Day Parade, sponsored by the Templeton Kiwanis Club, will be held on July 4 at 10 a.m. and will run along Main Street. After the parade, there will be an awards ceremony, food, entertainment, music, fun and games. Before the parade, the Templeton Fire Department will hold its annual pancake breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $4 a person or $1 for children under 10. For more information, contact Abby Allen at 235-7593 or Santa Margarita Fourth of July Santa Margarita will hold its annual Fourth of July celebration on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Community

members are encouraged to decorate bikes and wagons in red, white and blue and join the parade down H Street. After the parade there will be live music, games, contests, art and craft faire and more at Santa Margarita Community Park. For more information, call 438-5011 or go to

Friday, July 5 Almond Country Quilters Guild July Meeting At this month’s meeting, Linda Schmidt will present her lecture “Short Attention Span Quilting — Quilts Only.” Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 2607 Traffic Way, in Atascadero. For more information about the guild, check out the website www. There is no cost for attending the lecture. Paso Robles Concerts in the Park On July 5, enjoy Human Nation with food provided by Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse in Downtown City Park. The concert is part of the city’s free summer concert series held each Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bands will continue each Friday through August 23. Visit www. for more information and a full lineup of upcoming acts.

Saturday, July 6 Castoro Cellars Block Party Castoro Cellars will host the Highway 46 West block party on Saturday, July 6 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 each, and include tasting, live music by Burning James and the Funky Flames, dancing and a mini-festival atmosphere. Tickets are available at the winery, 1315 North Bethel Road, Templeton, or at www.castorocellars. com

Monday, July 8 Kids stand strong for God A summer children’s event, Kingdom Rock, will be hosted at Templeton Presbyterian Church, located at 610 S. Main St. in Templeton from July 8 to July 11. Running from 9 a.m. to noon each day, Kingdom Rock kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and dig into yummy treats, experience epic Bible adventures, collect Bible Memory Buddies to remind them to stand strong. This adventure is offered free of cost to all children who would like to attend. The program is designed for children ages 4 and 5, and students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Family members and friends are encouraged to join for a special evening to celebrate all that the children have learned for the week on Thursday, July 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. With daily offerings, kids at “Kingdom Rock” also will be supporting children in need within our community through programs such as El Camino Real Homeless Shelter in Atascadero, Got Your Back and other organizations serving children. For more information, call Amy Engelmann at 434-1921.

Thursday, July 11 Templeton Chamber’s first-ever installation dinner The Templeton Chamber of Commerce will hold its first-ever Installation Dinner on Thursday, July 11 at Castoro Cellars at 6:30 pm. Stein’s Catering will present a delicious meal including Caprese skewers, stuffed mushrooms and barbe-

cue kielbasa followed by a summer berry salad, red oak pit sliced prime sirloin and classic chicken Piccata with Stein’s rice pilaf, Tuscan roasted seasonal vegetables and artisan bread baskets and Stein’s famous cheesecake with fresh raspberry coulis for dessert. Castoro Cellar’s DAM fine wine will accompany the meal. Awards for Citizen of the Year, Carla Willhoit, Business of the Year, Applynx, and Ambassador of the Year, Cheryl Carnevali will be announced along with the incoming board of directors and ambassadors. Officers include President, Rob Rosales, Ormonde Real Estate, Vice-President Mike Lane, Twin Cities Community Hospital, Secretary, Katty Coffron, M.A., L.M.F.T. and Treasurer Larry Jordan, Larry Jordan CPA. Directors include Scott Brennan, Access Publishing, Ray Fritz, The Mortgage House, Kristen Handley, Continental Labor and Staffing, Olan Kaigel, C21 Hometown Realty Atascadero, Jennifer Langstaff, Legacy Retirement Advisors, Britni Parsons, California Meridian Insurance and Shirley Sigmund, Speech Pathologist. Ambassadors include Cheryl Carnevali, Head Ambassador, Kristen Handley, Jan Hop, Melinda Laraneta, Sarah Magelett and Becky Paulos. There will also be a silent auction throughout the evening. Tickets are $60 per person, or $450 for a table of eight. Seating is limited. Order tickets by visiting the chamber website at, calling 434-1789 or email Central Coast Woodworking monthly meeting The Central Coast Woodworking Association will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, July 11 at the Pioneer Museum at 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. The program for this month is a presentation of pattern routing. For more information, visit or call the CCWA’s president at 237-0051. Central Coast Shakespeare Festival The Central Coast Shakespeare presents live, outdoor Shakespeare and other classic plays on the Central Coast of California from July 11 to July 27. The 2013 Central Coast Shakespeare Festival will present what is now considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest Comedies — “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Grab beach chairs, blankets, family and friends, pack a picnic and take in the live theatre under the stars. Wine is available for purchase on site. Join us for our fifth season at River Oaks Amphitheatre in Paso Robles. General admission is $20; students and senior citizens are $18; children 12 and younger are $13; and prepaid groups of 10 or more are $15 per person.

Saturday, July 13 Bearcat Boosters Crab Dinner and Fundraiser The Bearcat Boosters Crab Dinner and Fundraiser takes place Saturday, July 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mission San Miguel Parish Hall, 775 Mission St, in San Miguel. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Paso Robles High School Bearcat football teams. The dinner includes all-you-can-eat crab, salad, bread and two drink tickets for $50 per person. Silent and live auctions will also take place. For more information, call Heather Gray at 5509403. Central Coast Lavender Festival The fifth annual Central Coast Lavender Festival will held in the Downtown Paso Robles City Park on Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free event celebrates the lavender industry–an emerging local product–and features lavender producers from throughout the county, who will serve tastes of lavender cuisine, sampling of lavender oils, dipping sauces, lavender ice cream, and education on lavender, lavender growing, and sustainable farming practices. There will be free seminars on distilling lavender, benefits of lavender, and demonstrations throughout the day in the City Park Gazebo. Features include, music, a special children’s activities area, local lavender growers and vendors, arts, a Lavender Tasting Garden with tastes to purchase, and free samples and demonstrations. Accompanying the Lavender Festival is a juried arts show, plus a variety of food and festival vendors.

Sunday, July 14 Mulan at the PAC Disney’s “Mulan” is coming to the Templeton Performing Arts Center this July and tickets are now available online. Tickets are only $10 for children up to 17-years-old and $15 for adults. There are two shows on Saturday, July 27 — 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Young singers and actors from North County have been practicing for the show for over a month and are getting ready to perform. Travel back to the legendary, story-telling days of ancient China with this action-packed stage adaptation of Disney’s “Mulan.” The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous sidekick Mushu to save the Emperor. The score includes “Reflection,” “Honor to Us All” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” as well as new songs. For more information, call 434-5888.

North County Life- July 2013 - A7

California Mid-State Fair Opening Day It’s time again for great food, contests, agricultural displays, animals bands, rides and more at the California Mid-State Fair, held in Paso Robles through July 28. For a lineup of musical acts, auctions and activities, visit

“The Colony” in Sunken Gardens Enjoy a free performance of “The Colony” in Atascadero Sunken Gardens on Saturday July 20 and Sunday, July 21. A cast of more than 60 local adults and children will dance, sing and act their way through a poignant and, at times, humorous account of the early days of Atascadero, beginning in the tent city of E.G. Lewis’ utopian vision. For more info, visit

Ongoing Events Atascadero Tuesdays in the Park Enjoy barbcue prepared by the Atascadero Elks Lodge served from 5 to 7 p.m. each Tuesday in Atascadero Lake Park. Music is provided by the Atascadero Community Band. For more information, visit www. Free Friday morning walking group Lets Get Healthy Paso Robles. Walking has many health benefits and it’s a great way to get active as well as meet new people. Join others and bring a friend for a morning walk around Paso Robles. The group meets every Friday at 7 a.m. in the parking lot at 1502 Spring St. After dynamic stretching, the walk starts promptly at 7:10 a.m. There will be two groups, one of fast and another of slower walkers making it suitable for any fitness level. Paso Robles Grange Pancake Breakfast The Paso Robles Grange Pancake Breakfast is from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on the second Sunday of the month at the Grange Hall, 627 Creston Road. Pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, orange juice and coffee will be available to adults for $5 and children 12 and younger for $3.

NC Human Society free pet support group The North County Humane Society, 2300 Ramona Road, Atascadero, offers a free pet bereavement support group the last Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Shelter. This group is open to all family members and is led by a Bereavement Counselor. It is intended to help those who have lost a pet to transition from grief, emotional pain, and sadness, to appreciation and acceptance. For more information, contact Sherry at 466-5403 or Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource board meeting The Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District board meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at 65 S. Main St., Ste. 107, Templeton. For more information, call 434-0396 ext. 51 or go to Alzheimer’s dementia support group Templeton Alzheimer’s/Dementia general interest support group, which is open to all that are interested, meets the fourth Friday of every month from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the conference room of Rabobank, 1025 Las Tablas Road. Call Elana Peters at 975-8270 for details, and 4342081 for free respite arrangements. This support group is co-sponsored with CAP Adult Day Services. Four-Wheel Drive Club meeting The San Luis Obispo County Four-Wheel Drive Club, a San Luis Obispo County-based organization of off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, will meet at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at A-Town Deli, 7600 El Camino Real Ste. 5 in Atascadero. Prospective members are welcome to join the club for dinner, discussion,

The Central Coast

Shakespeare Festival 2013

Love's Labor's L


Saturday, July 20

NC prostate cancer support group The North County Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Group meets monthly in the Pavilion Room at Twin Cities Community Hospital, 1100 Las Tablas Road in Templeton, on the last Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. This meeting is a group discussion. Man to Man is an American Cancer Society Program for men to learn about Prostate Cancer diagnosis and treatment options. The meetings offer objective, unbiased information about prostate cancer and encourage men and their families to discuss openly and share solutions to common problems. Man to Man is sponsored by the American Cancer Society with facilities provided by Twin Cities Community Hospital. These meetings are open to patients, spouses, family, friends and anyone interested. No reservations are necessary. For further information, call Bill Houston at 995-2254 or the American Cancer Society at 473-1748.


Wednesday July 17


River Oaks Amphitheatre Paso Robles, CA July 11-27, 2013 For tickets and information: 805.546.4224

project and trip planning as well as other activities. For more information, go to NC Newcomers Club meeting North County Newcomers Club is open to all residents who have lived in the North County for two years or less. Monthly general meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.northcounty.newcomers. org. NC Daschund Club meeting North County Dachshund Club meets on the first Saturday of each month at Vineyard Dog Park in Templeton from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The group is made up of dachshund lovers/owners who get together and let us and their dachshunds meet new friends. Those interested may email There is no cost to join the group; however, it costs $1 to access the dog park. Huntington’s Disease support group meeting Huntington’s Disease support group meets the fourth Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Carriage Vineyards, 4337 South El Pomar, Templeton. For more information, call Mike Brown at 295-9663.

smiles all summer a family oriented club for a family oriented community

Paso Robles Sports Club has everything your family needs for a summer of smiles – swim lessons, tennis camp, FitKids and Jr. Sport Camp! All in addition to our two heated pools, state-of-the-art fitness center, nine lighted tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, party & wedding event location, and sports massage. Fitness classes are included in every membership: Zumba, indoor cycling, AquaZumba, aquafit, TRX and sculpt.

Sign the family up for fun today! Call (805) 239-7397.


A8- North County Life - July 2013

North county life july 2013  
North county life july 2013