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Ready Mix Concrete

D O I N G B U S I N E S S I N T HE F O O T HI L L S S I N C E 1 9 5 3

Construction and Rental Yard


> > > >

Ready Mix Concrete Rock & Sand Prodcuts NextGen Underground Services General Engineering Contractor

HANSEN BROS. ENTERPRISES 11727 LaBarr Meadows Grass Valley 530-273-3381

> Natural Stone and Boulders > Pavers and Flagstone > Topsoils, Amemdments, Bark and Rock Dressings > Fire magic and AOG Outdoor Kitchen Appliances > Ready Mix Concrete

HANSEN BROS. COLFAX 44 & 45 Central Street Colfax 530-346-8174

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Large Selection of Rentals Rental Delivery Available Competitive Pricing Dexpan Demolition Agent

HBE RENTALS Colfax: 530-346-8000 Grass Valley 530-477-RENT

Visit us online for more information: or call our Landscape & Masonry Yard direct at 530-346-8170

Photo courtesy of Red Leaf Development

Grass Valley / Nevada County Chamber ARTS & CULTURE

Arts Collaborative of Nevada County


North Sierra Wine Country



Local museums preserve a rich Gold Rush and mining history


Cornish and Victorian Christmas


Acupuncture, yoga, massage & chiropractic therapies, classes and day spas

The spectacle of fall color frames the countryside



Historic and charming B & Bs —close to town, shopping, restaurants and wine tasting


“Draft Horse Classic” every September and “Best in the West” rodeos throughout the year


Skiing, Xcountry and down hill, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing

Discover an appealing variety of eateries


Distinctive stores specializing in unique creations and local artists

530-273-4667 • 800-655-4667

Nevada City Chamber of Commerce 530-265-2692 • 800-655-6569

South Nevada County Chamber of Commerce 530-268-7622 •

Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce 530-432-1802 •

Rough & Ready Chamber of Commerce

Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce California Welcome Center 530-587-8808 •

FOUR STATE PARKS South Yuba River State Park at Bridgeport • Visitor Center 17660 Pleasant Valley Road Penn Valley CA 95946 530-432-2546

Donner Memorial State Park 12593 Donner Pass Road Truckee CA 96161 530-582-7892 Reservations: 800-444-7275

Empire Mine State Historic Park 10791 East Empire Street Grass Valley CA 95945 530-273-8522 •

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park 23579 North Bloomfield Road Nevada City CA 95959 530-265-2740 •


contents Features 16 Sizzle this Summer 18 Foothills’ State Parks 26 Northern Sierra Foothill Living 06 The Letter 08 Contributors Local Flair 09 The State of our Parks


Culture 10 A Classical Upbringing 12 Interior Illusions 13 Book Review 14 KVMR Surroundings 30 The Sky’s the Limit 32 Gardening with Deer in the Foothills 34 The Silver Lining Savor 36 Wine: A Family Passion 39 Strawberry Jam with a Twist 40 At Carpe Vino 42 A Match Made in a Garden


44 Restaurant Review Wellness 45 Appetite for Life 46 Living Life with a Cancer Diagnosis Marketplace 48 Resource Guide 50 Cool Summer Finds

On the cover

Fashion photoshoot at Empire Mine by Turning Leaf Studios.






Summer 2011

Publisher Kevin Minto Graphic Design & Production Deer Creek Creative

to everything there is a season…


elcome to the premiere issue of Foothill Flair Magazine, a publication whose time has finally come. It all started in 1994 when, on a whim, my wife Laura and I decided to take a different route home from Bullard’s Bar where I had been

Contributing Writers Janis Dice Courtney Ferguson Faith Garamendi Erin Miller Brandon Minto Barbara Parrott April Reese Carolyn Singer

directing a photoshoot for a national ski boat company’s upcoming catalog. Mark, my good

Contributing Photographers Janis Dice Mark Leder-Adams Erin Miller Carolyn Singer Keith Sutter Turning Leaf Studios Jerianne Van Dijk Wendy Van Wagner Andrew Wright

until now. You could call it love at first sight. We’ve since heard this repeated many times from

Vogue Editor Brianna Silvera Hair Stylist Haute Domane Makeup Artist Kendra Evans

friend and then part-owner of Emerald Cove Marina, had suggested an alternative route back down to the East Bay via Nevada City where he lived instead of through Marysville. He knew Laura and I had sporadically talked of moving to the foothills and thought we might enjoy this little detour. What he didn’t know was over the past year Laura had actually been contacting and working with a number of real estate agents up and down the Sierra Foothills in a quest to find that little slice of heaven. But, she had never gotten as far north as Nevada City, that is, people who visited and wound up moving to the foothills. For us, we promptly went back to the Bay Area and much to the surprise of family and friends, put our house up for sale in a very bad economy and without a second thought, loaded up the trailer and headed for the foothills! But then again, moving to the Sierra Foothills for the opportunity of a better lifestyle has captured the imagination of myriad people ever since the gold rush, and people will travel great distances to be a part of it. You see it doesn’t take long for someone visiting the Northern Sierra Foothills to notice the difference. The people, the cities, the climate, the terrain, the culture. It’s all very captivating and you find yourself feeling a bit like a kid in a candy store, always discovering something new you didn’t know was there. And thus began my desire to put these things into print in the form of a lifestyle magazine. But desires are not always fulfilled immediately and sometimes they take time as was the case with this magazine. But to everything there is a season, and here we are.


530-273-1284 Distribution Dominion Distribution

Those who are fortunate enough to move here soon find that as “locals” we are not just set apart geographically, but more often than not ideologically as well. We have a certain flair for living that helps create the character of this area so many are drawn to. And drawn they are! Some are attracted to the cultural sophistication one finds here amidst the majestic natural beauty and many of those are artists, poets, actors and musicians. Others escape the city or suburban life and come here to get back to the basics and many have embraced organic farming, solar energy, alternative schools, and green living. There are also those whose love of outdoor adventure brought them here and they happily take advantage of the multitude of

Sierra Flair Publishing 111B Mill Street • Grass Valley, CA 95945 Tel: 530-273-1284 • Fax: 530-273-0501 Foothill Flair Magazine is published quarterly by Sierra Flair Publishing and is distributed throughout Northern California. For information on advertising, editorial, or general inquires call: 530-273-1284 or email: All contents of this magazine including and without limitation to the graphic design, advertisements, art, photos, editorial content, as well as the content arrangement thereof is copyright protected. No portion may be reproduced in part or in full, by any means, without written consent of the publisher.

activities that beckon from their doorstep. Still others have long dreamed of living in these parts for all these reasons and more, and finally fulfill that desire upon retirement. All told, Foothill Flair Magazine represents what we all hold dear to our hearts; and our mission will be to celebrate just that - life in the Northern Sierra Foothills. –K Minto

Subscriptions to Foothill Flair Magazine are available for $16 per year. Call or email us for more information.


Nevada County Visual Arts Center Gallery - Local Artists Gifts - Jewelry, Prints Pottery Resident Artist Studios Fine Art Instruction Jill Mahanna

Deborah Bridges

Kathryn Wronski

Wanda Avery

Phil Brown

Miranda Currie Eileen Blodgett

Heather DeViveiros

Claudia Jeffers

Robin Wallace

Roseanne Buke

940 Idaho Maryland Road, Grass Valley | 530 274-7000 Monday - Friday 10am-5pm Saturday 11am-4pm


contributors Courtney Ferguson Courtney is an awardwinning writer, she lived in London for 30 years, where she worked for top, international advertising agencies. A published author and keen horsewoman, she now enjoys discovering the many treasures and pleasures that grace Nevada County.

Barbara Parrott Barbara lives in Nevada City with her husband, 2 Australian Shepherds and 2 cats. She is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty and President of the NCAOR Masters Club. She is passionate about animals, gardening, entertaining and her family.

Faith Garamendi Faith is a graduate of the University of California, Davis She is a certified Yoga teacher by the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. She loves the arts, gardening and adventuring around the foothills!

April Reese April resides in Penn Valley. She is a Certified Master Food Preserver through the UC Davis Cooperative Extension. She manages the Garden Center at A to Z Supply and has lived in Nevada County for 37 years.

Erin Miller Erin is the owner of Erin Miller Designs in Grass Valley CA. They offer interior design & décor, and complete design & plan drafting services for remodels, additions, kitchens, baths and custom homes. Erin can be reached at (530) 477-1401, or at

Brianna Silvera Brianna is a Registered Dental Hygienist and graduate of Diablo Valley College. She is also pursuing her love of fashion and is currently studying Fashion Design at Sierra College in Rocklin. She lives in Colfax with her husband Mike and their Boston Terrier Bailey.

Brandon Minto Brandon is a graduate of the University of California, Davis where he studied History. Besides his passion for reading, he enjoys the outdoors, politics and Giants baseball; and was a whitewater rafting guide before settling down into a desk job.

Carolyn Singer Carolyn has gardened in the foothills since 1977. She is the author of two books of deer-resistant plants: “Deer in My Garden, Vol. 1: Perennials & Subshrubs” and “ Vol. 2: Groundcovers & Edgers.” Writing & a schedule of gardening classes may be found at

Kimberly Parker Kimberly is Executive Director of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation in Grass Valley, California. To reach SNMH Foundation, please call (530) 477-9700 or visit their website at

Wendy Van Wagner Wendy lives in Nevada City and is the owner of In the Kitchen Community Kitchen which she runs with her husband Joe Meade and their son Felix. She loves to share good food and conversation with friends and family. Check out what’s cookin’ at www.



The State of our Parks


udget cuts may pare down some foothills’ state park operations, but recreational adventures there will still be in great demand. The challenge will be determining what cutbacks will best serve the public interest and where the savings can most

efficiently be made. It’s not just a matter of which parks are used most or cost least to run, it’s also about preserving history and deciding which parks need to stay open to continue telling the story of gold discovery in California. No state parks were closed last year but many had reductions in hours and services. With $33 million expected to be slashed from the parks budget in the next two fiscal years, more cuts have been announced. In our area, Malakoff Diggins and South Yuba River State Parks are now slated to close after Labor Day. Even though California has 24,000 volunteers aiding state parks, unpaid help unfortunately can’t fill all staffing requirements. But there are other ways to help. More than 80 private businesses, community groups and non-profit organizations are partnering with the State Parks Department to maximize park resources. At the Auburn State Recreation Area, the non-profit Canyon Keepers volunteer group maintains trails, coordinates hikes, organizes Junior Ranger programs for children and publishes guides to the park’s numerous trails. At the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley, 250 volunteers put in 17,000 hours of work last year, assisting with docent programs, tours, grounds maintenance and administration. The projects are funded by the non-profit Empire Mine Park Association through public donations, visitor center sales, membership dues and special events. The South Yuba River Park and Malakoff Diggins Park associations also support volunteer programs that assist park operations by leading specialty hikes, tours and gold panning demonstrations and the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) has been the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba Watershed. The fact is that without the many volunteers giving of their time, energy and finances, very few of the numerous programs offered throughout our state parks would be able to continue. So how can you help? One way is to volunteer your time and or resources. This can be done directly through the California Department of Parks and Recreation, or through one of the non-profit organizations that help to support our local state parks. There is also a new crusader who has joined the cause to save our state parks. Following in his father’s footsteps is Alden Olmsted, son of famed California naturalist John Olmsted who is credited with saving 11 parcels of land from development. Alden has set up a fundraising website and has challenged every California resident to donate one dollar to rescue our state parks. Following is a list of the various organizations and their websites: California State Parks (to volunteer): California State Parks Foundation (to donate): Canyon Keepers:

Empire Mine Park Association: South Yuba River Park Association: Malakoff Diggins Park Association: SYRCL: John Olmsted Fund: With looming budget cuts, volunteers may be the threads that hold our state parks together. ff



A Classical Upbringing Twenty-two years ago a small child of four years named Sarah Wood picked up her first violin and began life’s journey on a path following what would become her love affair with music.

Sarah Wood cites local support for young musicians as a key component to her success.

Now, Sarah is currently pursuing her

At about this time each year, musicians

passion for music as a doctoral student

from around the country make the

at the University of Colorado Boulder’s

pilgrimage to Nevada County to participate in

College of Music. But as she has done for

SummerFest, a local tradition now in its 30th

the past decade, Sarah hopes to join 53

year. This event, a summer favorite, draws

other musicians from around the country

both locals and visitors who wish to hear live,

including her mother Nancy Ewing, to once

quality, classical orchestral performances in

again perform in Music in the Mountain’s

intimate concert halls and under the stars


amongst the pines.


CULTURE With time before opening day always

music with their young children. Preceded

As for his part, Gregory will travel to Nevada

in short supply, the musicians are afforded

by an outdoor picnic and “instrument petting

County to spend 15 weeks preparing for and

free lodging and meals in area resident’s

zoo,” this venue endeavors to introduce a

presenting MIM’s three concert series.

homes, enabling them to practice earnestly

new generation to the pleasures of classical

to quickly become as one before opening

music by making it affordable, fun and

day. While some of the housing needs for the

offering it at a time of day that works well for

transient musicians are filled each year with

most families.

new volunteer residents, some longstanding

Over the years classical music has been credited with many things including; enhanced learning in children, a sleep inducer for the young and old alike, and a stress-

Another key component in the quest for

reduction tool for the harried and overworked.

larger audiences is attempting to dispel the

But whatever it does or doesn’t do, Nevada

age-old stereotype that classical music is

County and the Northern Sierra Foothills

pompous and elitist in nature. While there are

are the beneficiaries of a highly acclaimed

still those who enjoy more formal attire for

classical music venue that is the envy of

the evening’s events, many who attend the

music groups around the country. And as

foothill concerts dress casually as they would

beneficiaries, we can decide for ourselves

In an age when all music has been

while attending a summer movie or sporting

as to the effect it will have on us and our

transformed by the on-demand digital

event. In addition, putting a contemporary

families but suffice it to say, like a fine bottle

revolution and the demise of classical music

spin on traditional classical music also helps

of wine never opened, a life lived without

residents open their homes year after year to the same musicians fostering an enduring friendship. According to Sarah, this is not commonplace around the country and not all organizations care for their musicians like Music in the Mountains.

classical music is a life not fully explored. ff

Over the years classical music has been credited with many things including enhanced learning in children, as a sleep inducer for the young and old alike, and as a stressreduction tool for the harried and overworked.

Like all discretionary expenses these days, attendance at classical music events has been down due to the slow economy. The National Endowment

remains a much debated topic, classical

to expand audiences as evidenced by recent

for the Arts reports that classical event

music companies like Music in the Mountains

year’s performances that have infused

ticket sales have actually been declining

(MIM) are continually pushed to stay

influences of jazz and the Beatles music

since 1982.

relevant and reach out to larger audiences.

with classical. Another example is this year’s

This includes educating the public at large

appearance of “Cirque de la Symphonie,”

Ironically, that’s right about the time

on the virtues of classical music as well as

a performance art group that incorporates

influencing younger audiences to explore the

magic, juggling, contortion and silk aerials into

when MIM was founded and the

possibilities. At a time when many school

a classical concert.

music programs are being eliminated due to lack of funding, MIM has myriad programs geared towards exposing young people to the pleasure of listening to and playing classical music. These include scholarships, competition & showcase concerts, and support for the Young Composers Program. Sarah explains that being subjected to and competing in theses types of activities was a wonderful aspect of growing up in Nevada County and is in great part, the reason she is who she is.

growth of the organization has defied this national trend. Although the past

Audiences will also hear the West Coast

few years have been tough, our local

premier of a piano concerto written by one

community has rallied to provide

of the most internationally sought-after

remarkable support and the future for

conductors and artistic directors, Hungarian

MIM looks bright. With your continued

born Gregory Vajda who currently serves as

support, Music in the Mountains will

resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony

be a vital part of our community for

Orchestra. With a pedigree that includes

decades to come.

appearances with the Hungarian State Opera, the Montreal Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic, MIM scored something of a coup when in 2009 he was appointed their Artistic and Music

This year, MIM will also present a Family

Director. He is only the second such one to

Concert that allows parents to enjoy classical

hold the title in the festival’s 30 year history.


To learn more about Music in the Mountains’ concerts, sponsored events and educational opportunities, visit them online at:





Artistic wall treatments push indoor spaces out

Abodes have been decorated with murals since humans began documenting scenes from their lives on cave walls. Today, fresco paintings are used to hide flaws, highlight structural design, invent architectural detail, or add dimension to cramped quarters. “You easily can enlarge a small room by adding an illusionary window,” Nancy suggests. “It can look out to distant views that take you out of the room, maybe to a scene of that vineyard you’ve always wanted to have.” An artificial doorway can take that artifice even farther: Painted in proper perspective, a flat wall can look like an archway with stairs stepping down to a wine cellar. Faux flagstones can spread out to a pretend patio and garden, creating a sense of expansiveness. In the entry of one home, Nancy disguised an awkwardly placed closet panel as an old-fashioned screen door leading to a veranda. Beyond the fake porch are pastoral orchard views. The artificial portal not only lightens up the foyer and camouflages the closet; it supplies scenery that reminds the homeowner of a favorite spot from childhood. Glacial mountains, lush pastures, rainforests, busy harbors or desert sunsets can become the view from any home, any where. In a dank doctor’s waiting room, Nancy painted a faux window on the wall that looks as if it’s open a crack. The surrounding elements seem to be in motion, making it appear a gentle breeze is blowing through the stuffy office. One of her largest projects is at the Placer Nature Center in Auburn, where an acrylic floor mural takes viewers on a virtual walk atop the American River. Spiraling down from 7,000 feet to the Sacramento Delta, the educational frieze depicts over 20 types of flora, four varieties of fish and many waterfowl and insects that are An 11-foot-high mermaid, imagined and painted by muralist Nancy Hakala of Auburn, transforms one wall of a client’s plain powder room into whimsical under-the-sea scenery.

native species. Preserved with multiple layers of varnish, floor murals can replace rugs with something much more personalized. “Imagine coming into


t doesn’t take extensive remodeling or expensive redecorating to

your home and walking across an aquarium full of fish, or lily pads

refresh a home. Murals and faux finishes can renovate a space

on a placid pond. It could be very elegant.” Muralists often charge by the job, based on size, detail and

simply through the art of illusion.

In addition to portraits and landscapes, artist Nancy Hakala

specializes in murals and trompe l’oeil – fool the eye – imagery,

research required; others set fees based on the total job. All enhance living spaces through artistic illusion. ff

transforming walls, doors, floors and ceilings into aged plaster, cracked marble, entwined vines, whimsical characters or exotic places. Just as with fine art, the paintings are romantic, impressionistic or realistic, depending on the desired effect.

See Nancy’s work at or you can email her at:




Wedding Plans CULTURE


broken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption MAKE IT A WEEKEND CELEBRATION book review


The last time I spoke to my Grandfather, he told me I should read

psychological begin to haunt his daily existence. With alcohol as By Donna scars Hoekstra

Unbroken. “An incredible story of the human spirit!” he said… two

Joyonly of Life Events his means of quieting the demons, his once promising life spirals

days later he died, succumbing to a five-year battle

the abyssGOLF, of drugmusic dependency and eventual dreds of milesdeath to celebrate with yo INEinto TASTING, and until he unwittingly finds God through a then little end weddings are quickly gaining theatre, Nevada County has it all ty with couples who want to indu for couples wanting named the perfect know evangelist Billy Graham. extended wedding celebration. destination location for a weekend wedding. The metamorphosis of Louis Zamperini captivates Local entertainment possibilities With family and friends often traveling hunthe reader as he goes from Olympian, to war-torn less offering day and nighttime act veteran, to a forgiving servant of God who’s guests of real-life all ages. Reserve one of theatres for private viewing or to continues to inspire. Hillenbrand’s waya of Planning Aheroism Wedding? wedding. Arrange a day of wine to portraying his incredible testament to faith, paired with your guests or plan a private wine A Wedding Affair for All Seasons use of Center excellent and descriptivea language, Miners Foundryher Cultural local winenails cellar. January 29, 2012 the execution of this awe-inspiring story Or with youaccurate can plan a hike or b 11:00 am to 4:00 pm our Tahoe Nation portrayal. This uplifting book makesthrough you want to majestic be 325 Spring Street, Nevada City arrange a horseback or llama trek a better person and is a suspenseful, action-packed Info: our rolling hills. Plan a gathering at (530) 432-4030nail-biter. This book has it all! As for Zamperini, he is still River, local lakes, or a tour and alive today. Unbroken. ff our historic Empire Mine. You

with cancer. Grandpa Fisher’s suggestion took root and after reading the first few pages, his remark was made clear. Highly acclaimed author Laura Hillenbrand has a compelling way of weaving this story into a tapestry that leads you through a range of emotions. Reputation speaks for her with the success of her first novel, Seabiscuit, which would later become a hit motion picture. The novel Unbroken has been a mainstay on the New York Times Bestseller List, as high as #1 and still in the top ten when I bought it. On his way to becoming the next American Olympic Gold Medalist Runner, Louis Zamperini’s goals are interrupted as World War II calls him to duty, the first


of many trials he is to navigate throughout his tumultuous journey. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

Serving Nevada County Since 1959

chronicles the real-life story of this heroic Airman in the Pacific theater of World War II.

Unbroken by a string of devastating circumstances in his life, one man’s story stands a testament to the power of human endurance. The action begins on a rescue mission when Louis’ B-24 crashes leaving only him, the pilot and one other crewmember stranded on a raft. Facing sharks, starvation, storms and death, two men survive being lost at sea drifting over 2,000 miles. Then “Rescued” on day 47 by the enemy, Louis is interned in a Japanese POW camp for nearly two years while enduring deep-seeded cruelty, torture and starvation as his once finely-tuned body becomes a shell of the Olympic athlete he once was.

129 West McKnight Way, Grass Valley, CA

Having survived where 2 in 3 POW’s perished, the victory is short


lived as the reality of living with the horrible memories and ensuing 102




735 Zion Street, Nevada City, CA

265-4596 GOLD




The Little Station that Did, Because it Could.


f you were to visit the KVMR radio station diggs at 401 Spring Street in

Nevada City California, you may not be all that impressed. You would find a small and modestly appointed reception area that looks every bit its age of 12 years as well as a studio that is more function than flash. Certainly nothing compared to the larger commercial radio stations - even in our little neck PHOTO BY JERIANNE VAN DIJK

of the woods. But if success and signal strength is measured in community involvement, a widespread listening reach, and popularity amongst budding artist across the country, then KVMR’s is off the chart. Jazz bassist Bill Douglass and Guitarist John Girton playing live on KVMR’s Friday Morning show

Born in a miner’s cabin on Banner Mountain 32 years ago, KVMR radio has steadily gained recognition among public radio listeners locally and nationwide for its citizen broadcasting with a unique Nevada City edge. Unlike most public radio stations dependent on National Public Radio (NPR) programming, KVMR relies on 125 rigorously trained and certified citizen broadcasters and it’s that local voice that makes KVMR meaningful and gives the station its unique character. This eclectic mix of broadcasters speak on a wide range of topics and play a diverse genre of music including Cajun, bluegrass, jazz, Celtic and classical just to name a few. Each personality, anecdote and opinion creates a kaleidoscope of intimate programming where listeners get to know the broadcasters and because they are local folks, they could be your friend or neighbor and many are seen about town in various capacities. Possessing an uncommon trait unique to just a few select radio stations, KVMR’s style of promoting unknown musicians through live music is legendary. It is somewhat of a throwback to yesteryear when musicians traveled the country trying to book on-air interviews and opportunities to play their music so their talent could be promoted throughout the station’s widespread listening reach. This tried and true method from the earliest days of radio used by the likes of Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn is uncommon in this day and age and is why musicians will travel across the country to play on KVMR. In fact the band Cake first interviewed and played on KVMR to promote their first CD and when interviewed, the famous singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen said that without independent stations like KVMR, he and other artists would have never been heard. KVMR serves a broad audience with 70 percent of listeners tuning in from beyond the borders of Nevada County. On average, a KVMR listener will tune in for seven hours each day and with the quickly evolving Internet and smartphone technology, KVMR fans are now found around the world with hundreds of people streaming the station at any given time. Tuning into KVMR from afar is a way many can experience the colorful people and lively events of Nevada City and some devoted out-of-town fans have actually moved to Nevada City after listening to the station. For the surrounding population, there’s more than music and commentary to draw listeners in. There’s the local news, community announcements, local topics of discussion, live coverage of local events, and emergency information during a storm or wildfire. But for the


CULTURE larger listening audience, there’s the alternative news programming

to produce exceptional award-winning programs that tell stories

that includes international news from the likes of BBC World News,

mostly ignored by the mainstream media. One such program

Free Speech Radio News, and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman.

is “Blood, Gold and Medicine: Healing Maidu Country.” This

In addition to its citizen broadcasters who work for free, donations

two-part documentary tells the story of the indigenous Maidu

from 5,000 members and heavy involvement with local non-profit

people and their recovery from near-annihilation that resulted from

groups and businesses make KVMR radio “people powered.”

the California Gold Rush. Another such program is “Her Story,” which coincides with Women’s History Month and tells the stories of

Listeners of KVMR community supported radio are as diverse as the broadcasters and programming itself.

remarkable and influential women. These grants also helped create “Loafers Glory,” a now historic and nationally acclaimed collection of poems, stories, songs and politics recorded between 1997 and 2001 by the late Utah Phillips. Listeners of KVMR community supported radio are as diverse as the broadcasters and programming itself. But whether they tune

Because the community helps generates the content and provides

in for the music or lively political commentary, the listeners share a

financial support, the station owns its programming making the

common thread; they want a radio station that is fiercely independent,

station a more cost effective and self-sufficient model compared to

unafraid to “rock the boat,” and far from the mainstream. KVMR fits

other public radio stations that rely heavily on government funding

that bill and has always prided itself for thinking “outside the box”

and a costly NPR affiliation. About 50 percent of KVMR’s funding

and for providing progressive viewpoints. It is in fact why they have

comes from these 5,000 member listeners, with 40 percent coming

the following they do.

from business underwriters and the remaining 10 percent supplied

So if you tune in to 89.5 FM in Western Nevada County, 105.1 FM in the Truckee/Tahoe area, or go to on the internet,

by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. KVMR has also gained notoriety by taking grant monies, normally used by other stations to purchase national programming,

you too can become part of this homegrown legacy and enjoy KVMR – “The Little Station that Did, Because it Could.” ff


9th Annual Nevada County Land Trust Benefit Concert


FRIDAY AUGUST 5, 7:00PM plus Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk $48 Land Trust and Center members • $58 non member $20 Youth ticket, 6 to 18, 5 and under Free Lawn Seating Special Gala Reception and Gourmet Cajun Dinner at the Historic Mansion, 5 pm to 7 pm $140 includes: wine and beer and signature drink, gourmet dinner featuring Jim E. Catering and live music, Exclusive Terrace seating for concert, onsite parking. tickets available at The Center box office 314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley • 530.274.8384 ext 14



For the ultimate chic summer look, keep it comfy in relaxed yet feminine ensembles paired with edgy accessories. THIS PAGE: Top, $134.00, sunglasses, $14.99, and bracelet, $16.00, La Te Da. 530-273-1930, Shorts, $69.50, Mountain Mama. 530-885-7935, www. Vintage camera, $59.95, Clover + Carriage. 530-823-8500, OPPOSITE PAGE: Dress, $49.00, ring, $42.00, and necklace, $49.00, La Te Da. Denim vest, $69.50 and belt, $58.00, Mountain Mama. Scarf, $8.00, Asylum Down. 530-265-9666, Purse, $280.00, JJ Jacksons. 530-2652644, Hair stylist: Valoree Bringman, Haute Domane. 530-477-1009. Makeup artist: Kendra Evans. 916-657-3507.

Style adventurers pack your bags and get ready to venture into summer 2011 trend territory! This season’s fashion trends are showing up in our friendly foothill stores and the consensus is.... it’s going to be a hot summer! Here’s a peek at some of the key looks.

Sizzle this Summer

with the hottest fashion trends BY BRIANNA SILVERA



takin’ it to the max



his season we’re seeing a 70’s inspired Bohemian trend, and with maxi dresses really

depicting that retro vibe, it’s no wonder why they’re back in full force this summer with a breezy and playful look. The great thing about the maxi dress is that it’s great for day or night. It can be worn with flat sandals for a casual daytime look, then dressed up in the evening with a pair of wedge or platform sandals, a light-weight scarf and some sparkly accessories while still keeping with summer’s laid back feel. Maxi skirts are also being seen this season and are a perfect alternative to the maxi dress if you want a little less intensity or just like to mix things up. A jacket, vest or belt can also be layered to give a maxi dress more of a maxi skirt feel and is a great way to add a little edge to the look.


shady lane he sun is high in the sky and it’s time to sport the coolest accessory of the hot summer season...

sunglasses. Whether your shade style is sporty, classic,

white haute

edgy, or just plain fun, the summer 2011 trends have got you


covered. Past seasons

long side the bright hues and bold patterns being seen this summer are the fresh

have been

and simplistic designs consisting of white and

all about the

neutral colors. Don’t get me wrong when I say


simplistic. There is nothing boring about these


looks. The Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Weeks

Now we’re

had the runway burning up with these hot looks

seeing that the

and white is not just for brides anymore. The

oversized styles

minimalistic trend has officially arrived. This

hitting the stores are more moderately sized. Don’t

trend is all about clean lines, luxury, simplicity

fret - there’s still plenty of room behind these frames

and elegance. A staple wardrobe piece in a

to hide a sleepless night. Some other popular trends

white or neutral tone is like a blank canvas for

in sunglasses this season are colorful and transparent

a fashionista. A white top can be adorned with

frames, the classic aviators, cat-eye, round frames

metallic and tan accessories for a chic summer

(think John Lennon), retro Jackie inspired, colorful

look or can be worn alone to balance out a

and animal print frames, and my personal flashback

piece like a patterned skirt.

favorite - the Ray Ban Wayfarer.


If state parks are the jewels of a region, then the Northern


Sierra Foothills wear a necklace of precious gems, with Auburn as the shining sparkler. FOOTHILL FLAIR MAGAZINE



Foothills’ state parks offer cool ways to enjoy warm weather recreation BY JANIS DICE

There are six major recreation areas that serve

Some of the foothill state parks are oases of

up diverse outdoor recreation in Nevada and Placer

wilderness within urban settings, and others are set

counties. For educational tours and demonstrations,

far from civilization. The common element is that

Nevada County’s Empire Mine, Malakoff Diggins, and

they all have gold mining history, but each is unique,

South Yuba state parks focus on the territory’s rich

and each attracts different visitors.

gold mining history. To the east, Donner State Park commemorates the pioneers who sacrificed all to

The distinction is in what each park has to see

make their way West.

and do.

In southwestern Placer County, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area holds the region’s largest reservoir, where motorized water sports rule. Recreation Area with 40 miles of canyons holding the North and Middle forks of the American River.



Between Donner and Folsom is the Auburn State



Auburn State Recreation Area Access in Auburn, off Highway 49, and Foresthill Road.

Comprised of 35,000 acres reserved for the proposed Auburn Dam and reservoir, the park is administered by the State Parks system under a contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Although dam construction was halted in the 1970’s due to earthquake-safety concerns, the park is open for the business of pleasure. There are over 100 miles of hiking and horse trails, plus access to

They also coordinate Junior Rangers and Ranger Cubs’ hands-on

swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, whitewater

nature programs for children ages 3 through 12. Visit the California

rafting, gold panning and off-highway vehicle tracks. The park hosts

State Parks website at for links to trail guides, as

nearly one million visitors each year, with the toughest tourists

well as Family Hikes and Junior Ranger schedules. All programs are

arriving each summer for two grueling endurance races on the

free, though regular park day use fees may apply. For more

Western States Trail.

information call the California State Parks at 530-885-4527.

Biking the Divide

Trail through History Originally a pioneer path between Salt Lake City and Sacramento,

Prefer biking to hiking? There is the Stagecoach Trail; the Old Lake

the Western States Trail is used today to test the fortitude of horse and

Clementine Road Trail; the Fire Break Trail; the Mammoth Bar –

rider duos on a 100-mile one-day race from Squaw Valley to Auburn.

Confluence Trail; the Quarry Road Trail; and the Olmstead Loop that

Local legend says the contest began as a friendly bet. In 1931 the late

starts in Cool. A map showing all biking trails is available from the park

Auburn businessman Wendell T. Robie rode with mountaineer Robert

office or online at

Montgomery Watson and members of the Native Sons of the Golden West, helping Watson identify and mark the location of the historic trail.

It’s all about the water

After Watson’s death, Robie wagered that he and his steed could make

Whitewater rafting attracts many thrill-seekers to the park. The North

the trail ride in less than 24 hours. A hard-riding horseman, he won

Fork courses through Wild and Scenic forest where rapids named by

the bet and eventually founded the Western States Trail Foundation

early miners still roil through pristine chasms. Rafting here requires

( ).

deftness in whitewater maneuvering and is not recommended for

In 1955 the race became an official event. Now held each July and dubbed the Tevis Cup, the race begins at Robie Equestrian Park, a few

children or beginners. Both the North and Middle Forks of the American River provide springtime white-knuckle exploits and leisurely late-summer floats and

miles out of Truckee. In 1974, a local runner joined the equestrians on the trail, completing the grueling race on foot. Word spread and a new

with almost a combined 100 years of whitewater rafting experience, three of the top commercial outfitters are listed below.

running contest emerged. Today the Western States Endurance Run

American River Recreation

is a separate event held the last weekend in June ( for

details). Hopefuls from around the world enter a lottery to win a chance to compete.

Tributary Whitewater Tours

Covered by international media, the Tevis Cup and Western States

Whitewater Excitement

Endurance Run contests put Auburn in the limelight. In 2003, the City Council took advantage of the focus and declared Auburn “The

Roughing it

Endurance Capital of the World.” With 20 miles of the trail passing

To enjoy ASRA’s nightlife, there are three primitive campgrounds,

through the ASRA, the park deserves part of that title.

including a boat-in site on Lake Clementine (for reservations call

Hikes and programs

800-444-7275). The Mineral Bar and Ruck-A-Chucky campgrounds

There are many other trails to explore, with monthly hikes guided by

operate as first-come-first-served. For general ASRA information call

volunteer naturalists and members of the non-profit Canyon Keepers.

530-885-4527; for whitewater rafting information call 530-823-4162. ff







Empire Mine State Historic Park 10791 East Empire Street, Grass Valley, California

Operating for more than a century, Empire Mine produced 5.6 million ounces of gold before closing in 1956. Docent-guided living history tours of the owner’s summer cottage, the mine yard and renovated gardens give visitors a taste of everyday life when mining ruled the foothills. In the Visitor Center, a model displays the five square miles of tunnels and operations below.

Within its 845 acres, the park also holds fourteen miles of is a day use fee for the park, but access to the trails from local neighborhoods is free.

Special upcoming events include: Annual Miner’s Picnic; August 27, 11am to 4pm. Includes entertainment, food, games and living history. Mine Yard & Cottage Guided Tours; offered daily May 28 through September 4. Mine Yard Living History; June 4, July 2, August 6 and September 3, 11am to 3pm. Visitors will be able to view a mine shaft and see a re-enactment of a typical working day at the mine.

The park is open every day of the year 10am to 5pm except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s day. For more information go to or call 530-273-8522. ff



forested trails for easy hiking, biking and horseback riding. There


South Yuba River State Park 17660 Pleasant Valley Road, Penn Valley, California

This water-oriented park spreads out from the Visitors Center in Bridgeport, where the nation’s longest single-span wooden covered bridge spans the river. Trails tie to remote areas of the park near Jones Bar, and the Highway 49, Purdon, and Edwards crossings, and stretches 20 miles to meet the boundaries of the Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. Dramatic canyon scenery, swimming and fishing holes are found along the way.

Near the Highway 49 Crossing is Independence Trail, the nation’s first wilderness track that is wheelchair accessible. The two-mile round trip takes visitors to picnic areas and river access.

Mountain biking is allowed on the five miles of the South Yuba River trail running between the Edwards and Purdon crossings. Segments of the trail are easy riding; others require expert handling.

Special upcoming events include: Bridge & Local History Talks; Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 2pm Memorial Day through Labor Day, Gold Panning Demonstrations; Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The park is open every day of the year. The Visitor Center & Museum hours are 11am to 4pm throughout the summer; 11am to 4pm Thursday through Sunday the rest of the year. For more information call 530-432-2546. ff





Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park Approximately 26 miles from Nevada City, California: From Highway 49, turn right on Tyler Foote Road; follow main paved road to park This 3,200-acre park bears the scars of California’s largest hydraulic mining operation, where water cannons blasted hillsides into rivers of mud to reveal hidden caches of gold. Included is the historic town of North Bloomfield, once a bustling center of activity for thousands of people, now in a state of arrested decay giving visitors a glimpse of California gold rush life in the mid 1800’s.

The park offers swimming, and trails for hiking, biking and riding. A campground and Group Camp are open in summer; Miner’s Cabins are available by reservation all year long.

The park museum is open every day of the week 9am to 5pm Memorial Day through Labor Day and on weekends 12pm to 4pm the rest of the year.

Special upcoming events include: the Ice Cream Social; September 4, 12pm to 2pm, Town Tours; June 13 through Labor Day, and Campfire Programs; Saturday nights during the summer.

For general information: go to or call 530-265-2740. For cabin rentals or campsite reservations: call Reserve America at 800-444-7275. ff




Common in this region are huge granite boulders, manzanita trees, oaks and pines. Outdoor rooms are a familiar feature as we tend to enjoy nestling right up near these rugged outdoor features, huddled around a fire pit, in comfortable furnishings. It’s the best of both worlds – comfort and nature. Terrace design by Erin Miller Designs.


in the Northern Sierra Nevada foothills is, well, living. That is, it is like all types of living – a choice filled with compromises and rewards. To live where I live and work, in Nevada City and Grass Valley, California is to live where there are four beautiful seasons.

Compromises are plentiful when living here but so are the rewards. I can’t think of a single person I know in this area who would even consider leaving. Instead, we all seem to work especially hard to stay because the pros far outweigh the cons. When thinking about how I help people get the most out of their Sierra Nevada homes, I decided to review my archived files

It is to live where there is fine wine,

in abnormal road conditions, falling trees, and

for all of the design work I’ve done over the

excellent food, all varieties of artists, live

power outages. It is to live where pay rates

last 10 years. I discovered that I have helped

entertainment and plentiful and varied

tend to be lower than they are for similar

with interior décor, or remodel and addition

natural beauty to enjoy outdoors. It is to live

work in more metropolitan areas. It is to live

designs, or custom home designs for over

where you can experience absolute peace

where the natural beauty we so enjoy on our

300 people in the past 10 years! That is

and quiet among trees, boulders and clear

rural properties requires constant attention

a lot of homes and lifestyles I’ve been

skies. And it is to live where many of us know

and upkeep. It is to live where the population

involved in! Although my clients are all

each other, care for each other and watch

is small and spread out so we sometimes

unique and their homes are as individual

out for each other. But it is also to live where

have to re-invent ourselves and find new

as they are, there are some common

storms and snow can be challenging resulting

ways to make a living.

threads that define many of us:



foothill living

We love our rugged surroundings and the great outdoors. But we also love comfort, so I often help people create inviting and comfortable outdoor living spaces. These clients wanted a pool, and in order to be comfortable near the pool all day, a small pool house with a bathroom and kitchenette was added. The hillside backyard was completely renovated with terraces, stone retaining walls, plantings and a gorgeous pool - all designed by BP Landscapes of Grass Valley. Erin Miller Designs did the pool house design and plan drafting. The poolhouse was constructed by general contractor Robert Foster of Grass Valley, CA .

We love views of our beautiful surroundings. But many homes in our area were built in the 70’s and 80’s without regard to the views. Wherever possible, people are breaking down walls and remodeling to enhance views. In this remodel, the ceiling and roof were raised to create a wall of windows with views through tree tops to Rollins Lake beyond. Design and plans by Erin Miller Designs. General Contractor: Michael Stanley Construction, Grass Valley, CA.





In this remodel and addition, windows were added and views were expanded. An under-utilized formal living room was re-purposed as an office. Now, while working at the desk, the far-reaching western views are spectacular. Design and plans by Erin Miller Designs. General Contractor: Len Stevens Construction, Penn Valley CA.

We often bring the outdoors inside with interior designs that use natural materials like stone and wood and even custom creations that replicate some of our favorite Sierra Nevada features.

This fireplace is a work of art designed and installed by local mason Dan Reinhart. Its mass and material perfectly suit the interiors and surroundings for this home located near Nevada City. It exudes a natural warmth and permanence which is comforting – a common request of my clients.

This client appreciates natural materials as well as more contemporary, manmade items. So when selecting the finishes for the kitchen, we combined both in interesting ways. To bring the outdoors in, I specified a unique backsplash with a stainless steel background overlayed by a granite slab broken to look like a mountain range. The materials are very functional and the design pays tribute to our beautiful, mountainous region. Kitchen Design by Erin Miller Designs. General Contractor: Gary Tintle of Nevada City.



There are extremely talented local artisans and whenever possible, we include their creations in our homes. This kitchen remodel involved several elements common in our area. Walls were removed to enlarge gathering spaces and enhance views for this lake front property. Medium stained cabinets with craftsman styling are often chosen in our area. But in this case, we went a step further by having a local tile manufacturer (Deer Creek Pottery) create handmade tiles using period tile molds. They were then hand-glazed in colors we specified. The result is beautiful, unique, and personal. Kitchen design and plans by Erin Miller Designs. General Contractor: Robert Foster of Grass Valley, CA.

Our surroundings, the walls we live within, affect how we feel. Assisting people to create the best possible spaces for 055_Ads_2011.qxd:055_Ads_2011 5/12/11 2:33 PM 55 people in over 300 homes in this area, I can assure you that nothing their lifestyle and budget is an honor. AfterPage assisting

is ever the same. But most everyone that lives in this area does so because they love the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains, lakes, streams, boulders and trees. And when creating warm and inviting interiors, most people bring some elements of the outdoors in. ff

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the sky’s the limit when considering a second structure on your rural property BY ERIN MILLER




The possibilities are endless when dreaming up an expansion to many homes in the foothills. There are unique opportunities for most homeowners here. The reason is – LAND.


A large percentage of the

residents in the Northern Sierra Foothills live outside of city limits in rural, unincorporated areas on acreage. And many of our parcels have PHOTO BY ERIN MILLER

the space and the zoning capability to allow for additional structures. Our opportunities for expansion are numerous. A gardening shed? A hobby shop? An art studio? How General Contractor: Robert Foster of Grass Valley, CA., Design and plan drafting by Erin Miller Designs, Grass Valley, CA.

about a small guest house? There are several great things

about constructing second structures on a property: They can fulfill your needs for extra storage, living or work space. They are often smaller so it is possible to afford better craftsmanship and more details in the moldings and features. They can fulfill an architectural fantasy for a storybook cottage, a tree house, a rustic log structure, or even a barn with a loft. The ultimate dream for many is a second unit for rental income or extended family to live. In fact, multigenerational properties that have a primary residence and a second dwelling unit are becoming more common. Recently, Jeremy Jones of Solid Rock Builders helped a couple design a residence on their niece’s agricultural land in Nevada County. The owners didn’t want to look at an ordinary house on their beautiful land and they needed a barn. So it made sense to design a beautiful western horse barn and for a portion of the barn to be designed as a second dwelling unit for their relatives. It was a win-win-win: They

Design, plans & General Contractor: Solid Rock Builders of Nevada City, CA.

got a barn, their view was enhanced by the beautiful and appropriate barn structure, and their relatives got a home on beautiful property, custom-designed to meet their needs and wishes. The best structures do just that – meet the needs and wishes of the residents. And sometimes, the dream of sharing life with family on a multi-generational property is the biggest gift. Such was the case when I assisted a family with the interior design of a second dwelling they built on their property near Nevada City. The owners plan was to build a small house for themselves and to have their son, daughter-in-law and grandchild move into their main house. The structure was designed and constructed by general contractor Jeff Boswell of Nevada City. It has a welcoming front porch, is wheelchair accessible, and is perfectly sized for a retired couple. And the owners refer to it as their ideal “cottage in the woods.” In rural areas of the foothills, where many of us have acreage, second units and multigenerational living is quite possible, and quite appealing. What it looks like…well the sky’s the limit! ff




gardening with deer in the foothills BY CAROLYN SINGER


The natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada has lured many a coastal or valley dweller into the foothills to establish residence. Canyons are accented with the native dogwood in spring and the highly colored big-leaf maple in fall. Gentle hillsides support the native toyon, with red berries brightening the winter landscape. The native oaks transition from the blue

heat of summer. Fragrant white blossoms in early spring are a pleasing contrast to the dark green foliage. While this species grows well in six hours of full sun, there are two cultivars that will tolerate considerable shade: ‘Aztec White’ with more delicate narrow leaves, and ‘Sundance’ with young foliage a striking golden yellow.

oaks of the lower foothills to the majestic black oaks. And the lush greens of pines, cedars, fir and madrone offer year-round beauty. Once settled into this wonderful natural landscape, homeowners soon realize the challenges in gardening. Rocky, clay soil thwarts every thrust of the shovel. Dry, and often hot, summers test each plant. And the deer! They just cannot wait to see what you might offer after your trip to the local nursery. Welcome to the foothills! In my more than three decades of gardening in the foothills, I have made many discoveries. Testing plants for deer-resistance, water efficiency (low irrigation), sunlight and soil requirements, winter hardiness, and even tolerance of the hottest summer days has allowed me to develop a landscape that pleases and nourishes me without being too demanding of maintenance. Year-round delight was my goal.

Abelia grandiflora

For full sun or light shade, Grevillea and Abelia grandiflora are good deer-resistant

Deer-resistant plant lists may help with one of the challenges. However, these lists vary

choices. Both are evergreen, and large

from source to source. Most trees (including natives) need protection from deer when they

enough to serve as low screens at six to

are young. Don’t wait for signs of damage where the rutting has torn into protective bark.

eight-foot height and spread. Since form is

Evergreens are just as vulnerable as deciduous trees when young. Trees protected when they

better when the shrubs are left unpruned,

are first planted have a better chance to develop into beautiful specimens. Most deciduous

do not crowd plants into small spaces.

trees may be branched high, out of the reach of deer browsing, without detracting from a beautiful form. Selecting ornamental shrubs in deer country is more of a challenge. Shrubs need to be deer-resistant to avoid a permanent unsightly fence. Mexican orange (Choisya ternata) is an excellent evergreen choice for semishade. I have even grown it at the base of a pine tree, testing

Mexican orange (Choisya ternata)

peony (Paeonia) with snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum)

its water efficiency. After a few

Landscapes are always more appealing when

years, Choisya needs very little

the correct plant is chosen for the site with its

irrigation to thrive through the

eventual mature size considered.


SURROUNDINGS Fortunately, there is a large selection of

pleasing contrast. When the peony dies

straw and compost, deep irrigation once a

deer-resistant perennials and groundcovers.

back after its colorful fall display, the snow-

week is sufficient.

Peonies (Paeonia) are among my favorites,

in-summer hides the bare spot during the

although one summer some baby deer

winter months. Both are low in their irrigation

To prepare foothill clay soil, mix in compost,

requirements. I

plus twenty pounds of colloidal or soft rock

water mine every

phosphate, and five pounds of oyster shell

other week.

per hundred square feet. The preparation

The last perennial

you do in the beginning will reward you with

to bloom in my

stronger plants and many more flowers.

garden, a sunflower

Plants purchased from a nursery should be

called Helianthus

protected from deer for a few weeks. The

angustifolius, is

nitrogen fertilizers used by most growers

a striking plant

seem to result in heavier browsing.

while it is growing,

fall-blooming perennial sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)

All the plants mentioned need good soil.

Those visitors who decide to stay in the

and spectacular

foothills become threads in the natural fabric

in bloom. Plants

of the native landscape. Understanding the

are tidy in form,

challenges and making sensitive landscape

with dark green

decisions contributes to the stewardship of

narrow leaves. In

the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills. ff

browsed on the peony foliage in my garden.

early fall, flower stalks begin to emerge,

That was an isolated incident. Growing the

and by October golden yellow flowers are

groundcover snow-in-summer (Cerastium

a highlight in a garden of any size. Full sun

tomentosum) near the peonies creates a

is the best exposure. With a good mulch of





the silver lining in

Sierra Foothill Real Estate BY BARBARA PARROTT

If you have never seen Western Nevada and Central Placer Counties before, you must take the time to visit this absolutely beautiful area of Northern California!

farms are plentiful. The location can’t be beat with an easy 30 minutes to an hour drive to Sacramento, 2 to 2 1/2 hours to San Francisco and 45+ minutes to High Sierra ski resorts and pristine mountain lakes. Take all of these elements, add our beautiful blue skies and four distinct seasons and you have a most desirable quality

You will be awed by the verdant green forests with tall stands of

of life.

“It was love at first sight…”

Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir and aromatic Incense Cedar trees. The rivers are pure and fast moving and the countryside offers fantastic recreational activities. The very charming Gold Rush era towns of Nevada City, Grass Valley and Penn Valley are situated in Western Nevada County and Auburn can be found in Central Placer County.

I personally arrived in Nevada County in 1990 with my family

You will be struck by how friendly people are, the great shopping,

and a menagerie of animals in tow from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

good restaurants, live theatre, music and fantastic cultural events

It was love at first sight when I saw the setting for the twin cities of

happening (on what seems like) every weekend. This is a haven

Grass Valley and Nevada City…Victorian era buildings, metal roofs,

for artists and musicians alike. Vineyards, orchards and sustainable

narrow tree-lined streets with the back drop of beautiful mountains.

Own A Piece of


You could be the owner of a home in one of the nation’s most desirable regions … a great place to live and a smart place to own property.

License # 00873741

Nevada County’s #1 Real Estate Company for over 10 years in a row!

Grass Valley | 530-273-7293 | 855 Sutton Way Nevada City | 530-265-3282 | 108 Union Street Penn Valley–Lake Wildwood | 530-432-1131 | 11354 Pleasant Valley Rd. South County–Lake Of The Pines | 530-268-1575 | 10193 Combie Rd.


ge 81

SURROUNDINGS I was captivated as I watched both, a man (the Lamplighter) lighting

“Kathryn” wanted to retire here from her job with the US Forest

each individual gas street lamp in downtown Nevada City, and a

Service in New Mexico. She had raised her family in the Sacramento

beautiful horse drawn carriage waiting for a fare on Broad Street

area years before and wanted to come home to be near her daughter

and I remember thinking “Is this for real or is this Disneyland?” And

and grandchildren. In 2005, she had visited our area with the intention

so, it was here in Nevada City that my family laid down our roots;

of investigating real estate for her future retirement. At that point in

bought our home, enrolled our children in school and made great

time, real estate prices were very high and only mobile homes were

friends. We have loved every moment here, never wishing to go back

in her price range. Today, Kathryn owns a darling 1300 square foot

to our previous city lives. We are living in God’s Country.

home just outside of Grass Valley. Time was definitely on her side!

As a 20 year veteran REALTOR®, I personally have helped

Young families, retirees, and people escaping the congestion of

hundreds of clients achieve the American Dream of home ownership.

the big city are all attracted to the Northern Sierra Foothills and the

Like the rest of California, Nevada and Placer County property

downturn in the market has opened up opportunities for affordable

values had skyrocketed in 2006 but by 2010, prices had dropped

home ownership here. Yes these are tough times for so many people,

dramatically with a great deal of inventory being short sales and

but Americans are such resilient people and as the saying goes; we

foreclosures. Very disappointing for sellers however, a silver lining

pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.

for so many buyers and what a great feeling it has been to find these

The real estate activity in Nevada and Placer County is brisk and the number of real estate sales are up. There is no better time

opportunities for some special clients: “Mike” is a young, single parent with two children who never

in recent history to take advantage of our terrific affordable home

thought he could qualify to be a homeowner. I virtually had to twist

prices and the historically low interest rates. This is a great time to

his arm to talk to a lender and after a short time - he was approved

look to the future, put down your roots and experience the wonderful

for a loan! Today, he lives just outside of Nevada City in a wonderful

quality of life that is the Northern Sierra Foothills. ff

home and is realizing the bonuses of home ownership: future equity appreciation, the mortgage interest tax deduction and the great pride that home ownership brings.



te aper


et or g

Mike Bratton, Agent Insurance Lic. #: 0674070 768 Taylorville Road, P.O. Box 1969 Grass Valley, CA 95945 Bus: 530-273-0521 Toll Free: 888-995-0521

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A family passion

from Phoenicia to the Foothills BY COURTNEY FERGUSON

Viniculture dates back to 8,000 BC, and spans the Middle East,

experts and as families? What lured them to a life on the land?

the Far East, Ancient Greece and Phoenicia. Although historical facts

And what compels them to persevere? These are the questions

are sparse, the myths are abundant – and as varied and colorful as

I considered en route to each location. Their answers provide

the vineyards themselves. For example, wine-god Bacchus blessed

personal insights for their profession and lifestyle. Indeed, the first

many a Roman plantation and wine press. Biblical accounts mention

lesson I learned is that their shared passion IS their profession – so

Noah and his sons producing wine at the base of Mount Ararat.

encompassing, it is their lifestyle as well. I also learned that each of

However, let’s fast forward to here and now in the Northern

these three families values the experience of working together.

Sierra Foothills, and meet three families. Their collective expertise spans, maybe not thousands of years, but several generations. In fact, their combined years in the business would certainly total several centuries.

Sierra Starr Vineyard, Grass Valley The Starrs who run it are Phil and Anne, their son, Jackson and his wife Molly. “It’s family all the way,” Phil says with quiet pride. “We purchased the original parcel in 1995. Over the years,

The three vineyards I refer to are Sierra Starr Vineyard and Smith

we’ve cultivated and increased the acreage.” Phil comes from an

Vineyard (both in Grass Valley), as well as Mt. Vernon Winery (in


Auburn). Each produces distinctive, award-winning wines. However

background, and

it’s their passion, creativity and family commitment that aroused my

has been farming

curiosity. Like all agricultural lifestyles, the hours are long, the work

since 1975

is hard, and success depends on weather conditions. For example,

in Monterey

last spring our unseasonably low temperatures caused many Nevada

County. Jackson

County wineries to lose 60% to 80% of their crops. This year, with

attended Nevada

our late snow, the vines are also at risk. Springtime pruning is a

Union and

vital part of vine maintenance. The timing has to be exactly right,

Chico State,

particularly if there’s another cold spell on the way. How do the Starrs, the Smiths and the Taylors cope with the challenges – as

with recreation Jackson (l), along with parents Anne and Phil Starr, “have big plans in the works” for their “Starr” quality business.


as his major.

SAVOR However, his love of the family business lured him back. Now a

and Cody (19) are active and committed. The flat-screen slide show

Certified Wine Judge himself, Jackson’s passion for the winery

above the bar features many, colorful family moments of their life at

matches that of his parents. “Watching the vines you planted as a

the vineyard. “Gary and I enjoy brainstorming,” Chris added. “For

teenager mature to produce grapes that become award-winning wine

example, naming our wines gets our creative juices flowing.” Three

is an emotive, personal experience,” he said, “so I know I made the

Brothers, named after their three sons, is one of their popular blend

right choice.”

wines. So is Julie’s Chardonnay, named after Gary’s sister. From

While Phil and Jackson prune the vines and produce the wine,

vineyard stewardship to harvesting to bottling, the Smith Family’s

you’ll find Anne greeting people six days a week in their late-1800s-

dedication produces outstanding results. Chris’s Dad, Mark Hicks

style tasting room at 124 W. Main St. in historic downtown Grass

gets involved as well. “With Chrystal Jennings, Sue Van Son and Jim

Valley. Anne also manages their popular Wine Club, as well as the

Daly staffing the tasting room, we’ve got the flexibility to roll our

business administration. What does the future hold? A visit to the nearby winery on Gibson Drive made it clear that this family business has big plans in the works. They are building an impressive new gravity-flow facility. “It’s

shirtsleeves up and be involved with every aspect of grape growing and wine production. Sure it’s challenging, and yes, it’s extremely hard work, but I can’t think of a better life for any family.”

Mt. Vernon Winery, Auburn

going to be awesome,” Phil said with unmistakable enthusiasm. “Its design is unique for this area and environmentally appropriate, with

At age 8, you’d find Jim Taylor smiling as he drove his Dad’s tractor

a highly efficient crush pad and extensive storage (15’ underground),

while he worked

we’ll have the space and streamlined production capabilities it takes

on their Oklahoma

to expand.” With “zero interest” in retiring, Phil, Anne and Jackson’s

family farm. Today,

plans are innovative and focused. New grandson Ben is now spending

you’ll find him

three days a week at the vineyard, so who knows, the Starrs could

still smiling and

have a third generation in the making.

driving a tractor, but instead of

Smith Vineyard, Grass Valley Specializing in estate-bottled, organic wines, the Smith family

growing row crops,

is three generations strong. My visit with Chris Smith at their chic

he’s cultivating

and inviting tasting room at 142 Mill St. also in historic downtown

grapes, and making

Grass Valley was full of lively nostalgia. Their wine history started


Jim & Lynda Taylor, along with their son, Ryan (r), have made Mt. Vernon Winery an international award-winning name.

in 1980, when

recognized wines with his wife and founding partner, Lynda and

well-known local

their son, Ryan. Mt. Vernon Winery is the largest in Placer County,

doctor, Wayne

crushing 60 to 70 tons of grapes each year. “While Dad’s managing

Smith, began

the fields,” Ryan said, “you’ll often find me working out the numbers


in the lab.” “Ryan is an agriculture business major,” Jim confirmed,

grapes as a

“and his expertise is vital to our success.” “Expertise in the fields

hobby. Enter

is only part of the whole picture,” Ryan explained. “You have to be

next generation, when son Gary and his Three generations of Smiths have turned a hobby into a “much-loved, family lifestyle.”

wife Chris, got involved.

“That’s when the hobby became a much-loved lifestyle,” Chris recalled. “Gary’s construction expertise brought new vision and skills to his Father’s wine expertise, and our weekends at the vineyard soon became the highlight of the week in terms of sharing quality,

“We have so many fine wineries in this area. Like the wines they produce, each has its own quality and character. Whether we’re related by blood, by grapes or both, we’re very supportive.”

family time. After 30 years of marriage, that family bond has become stronger still,” she told me, “and now our sons, Kyle (26) Kevin (23)


Chris Smith




In vino, veritas – and collaboration

knowledgeable in every aspect of growing and production, and much of that involves careful numeric calculations. You also have to

Meeting these three families gave me new insights. It also gave

develop marketing programs that put your wines in the places where

me a greater appreciation for the hard work involved, not just in the

they’ll generate the best sales.” Ryan learned many of these skills

growing, harvesting and bottling, but also in the strategic aspects

in Australia. “I’m now sharing the knowledge my Dad and other

and the inevitable risks nature adds. The Starrs, the Smiths and the

experts have shared with me, and it’s my turn to mentor others, and

Taylors have a passion for what they do – as well as a deep respect

help them succeed in one of the most challenging, multi-faceted

and love for the land and for their families. One comment I found

businesses imaginable.” Jim and Ryan enjoy a lot of lightning-quick,

particularly memorable came from Chris Smith: “We have so many

humorous banter. Lynda Taylor contributes her talents as well, as she

fine wineries in this area. Like the wines they produce, each has its

manages bookkeeping, bill paying, taxes and their wine club – as well

own quality and character. Whether we’re related by blood, by grapes

as planning the year-round cave dinners they host.

or both, we’re very supportive. You’ll often find us recommending

The Taylors have worked closely with Ernie Bodai, M.D., a renowned breast cancer surgeon. Dr. Bodai, champion of the U.S.

wines from other vineyards, in a spirit that is less about competition and more about collaboration.” ff

breast cancer stamps that raise money for research, collaborated with Jim, Lynda and Ryan to create special Global Journey wines to raise additional funds. For every bottle sold, the Taylors donate 12.5% to Cure Breast Cancer Inc. Bearing the pink-ribbon symbol on each

For More Information

label, these wines attract many people whose lives have been touched by this life-threatening illness. “We welcome many breast cancer

Sierra Starr Vineyard:

survivors,” Jim added. “The connection is powerful stuff, and Lynda,

Smith Vineyards:

Ryan and I have heard many personal stories. This is one venture I

Mt. Vernon Winery:

am so glad I can share with my family.”



Strawberry Jam WITH A TWIST


Strawberries always seem to be the first

and not touching each

real sign of spring to me or in the case of

other or the bottom of

this year, a little closer to summer. They

the pot, with at least

remind me of Sunday mornings, with

1 inch of water above

fresh baked biscuits piping hot out of the oven served with homemade strawberry jam and a cup of coffee. It just doesn’t get any better than that! Every spring it’s become a family tradition of sorts for me go and gather big juicy red

the tops. I have also put my lids and bands in a simmering pot of water on the back of the stove to soften the rubber gaskets for a better seal. The basic strawberry jam recipe using low

Local honey and strawberries can be found at Sunsmile Farms, owned by George Loftus. This 70 acre farm it is located at 10110 West Drive, off of Rough and Ready Hwy in Grass Valley. They have a farm stand that opens in June. Call 530-273-6507 to

strawberries from local growers and make

sugar pectin is; 2 quarts of strawberries, 1

find out more information about their

batches of delicious strawberry jam. But this

cup of water and one package of Ball brand

CSA and when they will be open

year I’ve decided to do things just a little

No-Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin. Always wash

to get your great local honey and

different, I am going to make my strawberry

your strawberries right before using them

jam with a twist by using some local honey

and never before as moisture is damaging

as the sweetener.

to stored strawberries. Once washed, drain,

So I’ve gathered my strawberries and

stem, and crush your strawberries and then

picked up a jar of honey from a local

measure 5 cups. Combine these strawber-

beekeeper. I’ve cleaned my jars and bought

ries and the remaining ingredients in a large

new lids, my bands have been checked for

saucepot, stirring to dissolve the pectin. If

rust and I am ready to go. My canner is on

necessary, add 1/2 tsp of butter to help

the stove and filled with water, (if you have

reduce any foaming. Now bring the mixture

hard water you can add 1 tablespoon of

to a full rolling boil over high heat that

vinegar to soften it). I now place my jars in

cannot be stirred down, all the while stirring

the canner so they are all standing upright

constantly. At this point add 1 cup of honey

strawberries for making jam with.

and return the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes, again stirring constantly then remove from heat and skim the foam if needed. Take one jar out at a time and fill with the strawberry jam to within a 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the rim and sides then place a lid and band on the jar. Hand-tighten the band only being careful to not over-tighten, and place the jar back into the canner. Do this until all jars are filled then turn the heat up on the pot until you again have a nice rolling boil. Start the timer as soon as the water boils and boil for 15 minutes. The recipe calls for 10 minutes but since I live at 1500 feet elevation, I need to adjust for our altitude by adding an extra 5 minutes to the cooking time (the rule of thumb is sea level to 1000 feet is 10 minutes, from 1001 to 3000 feet add an extra 5 minutes). After 15 minutes, remove jars from the canner and place on a cool flat surface. Leave for 12 to 24 hours to let the jars seal then label and place them in your pantry or another cool dark place. That’s all there is to it - now it’s time to enjoy that Sunday morning biscuit and strawberry jam with a twist! ff





at Carpe Vino,

seizethe opportunity to seize the wine BY JANIS DICE

food critic, which makes Gary very proud. “Being in this part of the world, people aren’t interested in fine dining every night. We have to rely solely on the quality and consistency of what we do.” Although the restaurant is a delicious addition to Carpe Vino’s repertoire, select wines are still the stars. Carpe Vino carries PHOTO BY KEITH SUTTER

vintages from Placer County and beyond, spotlighting hard-to-find short run wines. Polished wood floors, hand hewn timbers, wine racks, colorful art and rough brick walls form the backdrop for the snug bar


and slim pair of dining rooms. Built during

he organic warmth and hip coolness

want something, you better provide it.”

the Gold Rush, Carpe Vino’s edifice rounds

of Carpe Vino’s wine bar and restaurant

Frequently changing, the menu features

out a corner of Old Town Auburn. The sense

seem like the fulfillment of someone’s lifelong

starters, entrees and desserts, with many

of history here is as strong as the iron doors

dream. But there’s no sappy story here.

ingredients selected by Eric during weekly

opening to the restaurant’s Wine Mine.

Proprietor Gary Moffat has no romantic

visits to the

illusions about the hard work and infinite


complications inherent in satisfying thirsty,

Market. He

hungry patrons. What he does have is sound

also uses

business sense. “I saw an opportunity in this


marketplace that wasn’t being served. It just

herbs and

happens to be the kind of place I’d like to


go to.”

grown in the

Carpe Vino opened nine years ago as a


The candlelit cavern hosts Winemaker Dinners and other special events. When Carpe Vino partnered with vendors from

tasting room. Guests wanted something


to nibble while sampling wines; that led to


a brief bar menu, then broader fare. Five


years ago fine dining was introduced by

Vino is the

Executive Chef Eric Alexander.

only Placer

“It’s Marketing: 101,” Gary suggests.

County restaurant with a current Four

pit-roasted behind the restaurant and served

“When people come in and tell you they

Star-rating from the Sacramento Bee’s

in the Mine.

the Farmers Market last summer, guests High on a terrace behind the restaurant, Carpe Vino’s garden provides a variety of herbs and produce used in the kitchen.


feasted on two whole lambs


Best seat in the house: For foursomes, Table 80, the corner banquette; For couples, Table 10, looking out on Old Town Auburn.

This July, Carpe Vino’s team will hit the road for the first time, offering a Winemakers Dinner freshly prepared and presented at the Naggiar Vineyards and Winery in Grass Valley. The menu is yet to be determined because, “it’s all a matter

Signature Dish: Steamed Mussels in white wine seasoned with lemon thyme and Serrano chile, served with grilled bread for sopping up the buttery broth ($14). Wine Pairing: For the mussels, a wine that cuts through the spiciness of the dish is what will work—a pinot blanc or either a dry Riesling or Gewürztraminer. Another excellent choice is a white blend I discovered in February on a trip to South Africa:  the 2010 Nederbury Lyric, a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc for $12.50 per bottle.

of what’s available at that time locally and seasonally,” Gary says. Whether it’s freshness, function or fun, at Carpe Vino, it’s all about seizing opportunities.


Seasonal Favorite: Braised Beef Cheek Bourguignon with mushrooms, pearl onions, bacon lardons and fingerling potatoes ($25). Wine Pairing: The beef cheeks need a big red wine to tackle the richness and bold flavors. A big cabernet sauvignon or syrah will work, and I’d recommend the 2008 Pruett Vineyard Folie, a well balanced syrah that has nice acidity that makes it a great pairing with the beef cheeks.

1568 Lincoln Way, Old Town Auburn • 530-823-0320 • Open Wednesday - Saturday -- Guests must be 21 or older • Reservations suggested





a match made in

…a garden

On a wet and stormy mid-March day dressed head to toe in a rain suit and boots, Deena Miller shrugged off the weather in search of willow branches for the hoop house of her newly created farm. Mission accomplished, she headed back along the winding path watching her steps for the dozens of fat earthworms stretching across the mud as the rain swollen Wolf Creek thundered by. This was just another day in her and her partner’s new life – as farmers in the Northern Sierra Foothill town of Grass Valley, California.

Years of hard work and intense schooling had led Deena Miller, 27 and her partner

these 55 acres of rolling hills and giant oaks

Cruz. A course of study which gave them

where Wolf Creek and Poor Man’s Creek

an incredible “toolbox” of information

Robbie Martin,

twist through the

and methodology to help in the ever

28 to this point.

landscape located on

challenging vocation of farming. Both feel

This summer,

the old stagecoach

they are making a lifestyle choice and while

the couple who

route to Auburn.

relishing the physical and mental challenges

met while study-

Much to Deena’s

of farming life, they are fully aware their

ing horticulture

delight, burdock

decision means putting in many long, dirty,

in Santa Cruz

root left behind from

backbreaking hours with little pay.

will leave behind

Chinese cooks can

It’s a choice the couple has not entered

the security of

still be found, along

into lightly. Like many who are now

their day jobs to

with a whole host of

entering farming after decades of attrition,

devote their lives

native plants thriving

Robbie and Deena feel like they can be a

to growing food

happily in earth made

positive force in a system that has broken

for their Western

rich from years of cow

down. Their love of farming comes from a

Nevada County


higher social calling to supply healthy food

community on an historic

Early in the season, Robbie and Deena spend much of their time tending plants in the hoop house.

Robbie and Deena are among a handful

to their neighbors in an era when many have become strangely detached from the source

of young local farmers who have come to

of their food. Although they have a goal

the Northern Sierra Foothills after learning

of creating a small farm that is financially

in North Lake Tahoe, Deena’s father

the lost art of small scale farming in the

sustainable, they passionately feel it also

purchased the land 8 years ago to grow 50

foggy coastal mountains of Santa Cruz.

needs to enhance and not detract from

varieties of tomatoes each summer for use

They tell a romantic story of how they met

society at large.

at his restaurants but mainly for friends,

and fell in love while working in a garden,

family and food bank donations. And for

living in tents and studying horticulture

ing a share of their crops to sell at farmer’s

a century before that, dairy cows grazed

at “The Farm and Garden” at UC Santa

markets and at the BriarPatch Co-op, as

ranching property owned by Deena’s family. The former owner of Mexican restaurants


Immediate plans to this end call for devot-

SAVOR has perfected a style of rendering scenes with small dots to create a whole image – much like a halftone print does. In addition to painting, Robbie creates a variety of gift items made from gourds grown on the farm including birdhouses – some painted and some not. Early season boxes will include perennials and annual starts and later in the fall, subscribers may receive storage crops and gifts such as wreaths and gourd birdhouses. In addition to their inclusion in the CSA boxes, these items are also sold during the holiday season at local festivals and create a valued income during the off-season and are viewed as a missing opportunity on many small farms and an important element in creating long-term financial viability. Though not yet certified organic, the couple soon plans to be, and in the Deena harvesting spring shallots for the first farmers market of the season.

meantime will grow using the same basic

well as feeding 25 families through weekly

a long list of seasonal fruits and vegetables

principles. Last summer, with the help

subscription boxes of fresh produce known

like dandelion greens, arugula, beets, hard

of family, friends and fellow farmers, the

as Community Supported Agriculture or

neck garlic, watermelon and 18 varieties

couple quickly set to work preparing for

CSA’s. By subscribing to a CSA, families

of peppers, CSA boxes will also reflect the

their first commercial season by growing a

pay farmers up-front for a seasonal weekly

artistic endeavors of their creators - flowers

wide variety of crops, testing soils, studying

box of freshly harvested produce. This

and artistic painting.

foothill micro-climates and pests, installing

arrangement gives growers a financial

Deena, who spent her second year at UC

irrigation systems and building hoop houses. While the Northern Sierra Foothills

boost at the beginning of the season when

Santa Cruz’s “Down Garden” pursuing her

they need it most. But as important if not

passion for flowers and honing her flower

is not considered ideal for farming and

more is the connection it gives families to

growing skills, sees flowers as “food for the

agriculture, it’s the incredible natural beauty,

their food source. In this day and age with

soul” and in addition to the produce, offers

cultural offerings and community spirit that

frequent media accounts of tainted produce,

dried floral wreaths, floral arrangements and

attracts people like Deena and Robbie to

there is a certain comfort level in knowing

bulk flowers for weddings and special events

this area. And as it was in days gone by, with

who grows the food that ends up on the

of all kinds.

every new local product-producing business

dinner table. Because most people don’t

Robbie, a self-taught artist, began

that is created, we regain a certain measure

have the time or expertise to grow their own

painting at an early age with his father who

of control over the daily necessities of life -

produce, this is the next best option.

used it as a way to unwind and relax. Now

not the least of which is the food we eat. ff

At Sweet Roots Farm, crops are selected

in adult life with a farm to run and Mother

for flavor and uniqueness giving their sub-

Nature to contend with, Robbie also finds

To learn more about Sweet Roots Farm visit

scribers varieties not easily found. Besides

the benefits of painting for relaxation and

them online at:

The hands-on UC Santa Cruz apprenticeship program referred to as “The Farm & Garden” that took root in the tumultuous 1960’s in a time of both political and social upheaval, has a storied past that includes a Bavarian Countess and a now famous English Gardener. It has since become an indelible part of the popular organic agricultural movement in California and its practitioners are now not only welcomed but are sought after consultants in the agricultural community and farmers trained there have now become the messengers of change throughout the country. It makes for an interesting read and can be found at the following link:





restaurant review

Latitudes Restaurant




This was my first visit to Latitudes and my interest had been kindled

The presentation was thoughtful and artful, but not over the top.

since viewing their website. We easily pulled into a parking spot right

When our warm plates arrived, the portions and presentation said,

on Maple Street directly in front of the restaurant. The first thing I

“this will fill you up!”.

noticed was the beautiful patio dining area shaded by big beautiful,

Our appetizer came first (Crispy Fu Fu Balls) and was delightfully

leafed out Maple trees, making for a very enticing atmosphere. We were greeted by Pete, one of the owners who offered us indoor or outdoor seating. The indoor dining room was cool and elegant, a place under any other circumstances I would love to dine in, however, with the weather as warm and beautiful as it was, I had to sit outside. We took our seats outside and had the best of both worlds, a private shady perch, while still being able to enjoy the view of the comings and goings of Maple Street. My husband Joe and I quickly opened our menus to devour our lunch options. I was immediately

crispy indeed! The peanuts and cassava worked well, though the dipping sauce was quite hot and we couldn’t really decide what was in it. The fu fu felt inspired as though the chef who was cooking it was excited by the chance to mix it up. The taco was flavorful and filling, coming with a hearty side of cumin black beans and corn chips and salsa. I enjoyed every bite and would order it again. Joe’s falafel however, left him feeling overly full but under satisfied. The falafel was a bit dry and lacking in flavor. He commented that

struck by the monthly special menu that featured dishes of the

it would have

African diaspora. In addition to the name of the dish, the menu also

benefited from

noted the exact latitude (34 N to 38 S) where the dish originated

more veggies

from and suddenly the restaurant’s intentions became crystal clear

and sauce.

to me, to highlight the cuisines of the world while also offering the

Since this dish

classic dishes we all know and love.

was on the

The offerings on the African menu included Mishywa, which is a

regular menu,

salmon salad with pickled red peppers and a tomato sauce, Beef Piripiri,

we wondered

a grilled beef recipe from Mozambique, Samosas with an Indian flair,

if it had the

and Crispy Fu Fu Balls, which are made of cassava roots and peanuts,


deep fried with a spicy dipping sauce. Well I had to start with the Fu

that seemed

Fu balls which I recognized from my days as a student of cultural

evident in the monthly specials. When I go back, I will test my theory

anthropology - peanuts and cassava are African staples because they

and make a point to order an entree off the cultural specials menu

are so easy to grow.

because they are new and seem inspired.

In addition to the special monthly menu, Latitudes offers a wide

The prices are good and the service is wonderful. Very attentive

variety of vegetarian, vegan and meat options, which for many people

and all of the staff seemed to have genuine pride in working there. In

is important. The menu is divided into Pasta, Burgers, Soups and Salads

addition to that, the dining area, patio and even the restrooms were

and International Delights. You can get a classic all American burger,

spotless - always a good sign!

a steak, BLT sandwich, Falafel or Mexican inspired dishes. We opted for the Falafel Wrap and the Nutty Taco, a

Since we enjoyed lunch there and not dinner, we didn’t have the opportunity to experience the bar, which seems to be a thriving part of Latitudes judging by the extensive cocktail menu featuring all kinds of exotic drinks. I can picture the buzz (pun intended) on a Friday or Saturday night, which might be the best time to go for the full cross cultural experience! ff

vegetarian taco that features a southwestern style nutty mix.

130 Maple Street, Auburn • 530-885-9535 • Hours: Sun 10am - 9pm, Mon - Tue Closed Wed - Thurs 11:30am - 9pm, Fri - Sat 11:30am - 10pm



Appetite for


He pulled my unconscious 20-year-old body out of the driver side window as the SUV went up in flames. The crash had jarred my back, bones and memory. Refusing to become a victim of it, I became determined to find a way to manage these things knowing I would become a stronger person because of it.

My friend had used Yoga as a tool to heal


Meditation has helped with the way I am affected by things; it is a tool for managing stress. It

herself years earlier when her leg nerves

restores clarity, energy and happiness. Doing asanas regularly helps with meditation by improving

had gone numb from the rare Guillain-Barré

our postures through muscle building and conditioning so that we can sit more comfortably and

Syndrome. Once in a wheel chair, she is now

for longer periods of time. Everything I do now is more intentional, from my routine in the day

mountain biking again! Maybe this could

and making time for important things to making better decisions all around! I still love doing

work for me as well?

other sports and classes in addition to Yoga, but there are a few “hard habits” of thinking I had

The Yoga which most of us are familiar with is the part where we twist our body into pretzels and stand on one foot. These seemingly complex poses have been around since ancient times, designed to bring the body to its optimum health by strengthening, lengthening, and tuning into the various muscles and how your body is feeling. These poses known as asanas, help promote the flow of energy throughout the body while stimulating various beneficial functions in the body. My journey with Yoga began with a small library of Yoga


As many of you athletes know, preseason and conditioning mostly consisted of lots of sweat, cramping, and sore muscles. P.E. class was often feared with its quarter courts and competition, and that’s how we whip our bodies into shape, right? No pain, no gain? No! In Yoga physical fitness is obtainable by much gentler yet effective means. You don’t have to give up your sport to do Yoga - let it enhance your athletic performance by strengthening your balance and focus. #2 EVERYBODY IS A WINNER

I had to learn that pushing my body too much will only cause injury and that by just making the effort alone, my body was benefiting each time. “Wherever my body is today in its abilities is just perfect.” There is no competition in Yoga! #3 JUST BREATHE

Ever feel anxiety creeping up on you? “Just take a deep breath!” Yoga Wave: (breath in: 4 slow counts, and exhale out: 4 slow counts. Repeat, expanding

lessons and DVDs, where I would practice

your abdomen and chest. (Try raising your arms above your head with each inhale and lowering

at home. When I eventually started going to

them back to your sides with each exhale.) Oxygen helps the blood flow and increases brain

classes, I loved them, but it was often difficult

activity = automatic stress reliever!

to make it to them every time. I would go


through Yoga-spurts, but eventually needed

Do your best to rise and unwind with the rhythms of the day. Nocturnal? Why not try an asana?

to come to grips with the fact that it was

Moonlight shoulder-stand anyone? A 10 minute meditation helps to quiet and relax the mind

time for a Yoga revamp and that it should

before and after a busy day.

become a serious part of my life. I enrolled in an intensive training program to become a Sivinanda Yoga teacher. I wanted to know that I was doing poses correctly so that I didn’t hurt myself and I wanted to be able to practice by myself without a gym class


I don’t like to draw attention but when it comes down to either “being that person doing a little yoga in their cubical“ versus being all tight, tense and uncomfortable from sitting in my chair hunched over my desk all day, perhaps even suffering from tendonitis - I could no longer be that person…. I will be the cool chick in the triangle pose.

or videotape. The experience has been life

So, ready to quench your appetite for a balanced life? is in the beautiful countryside

changing for me not only physically but also

of Grass Valley; they offer a range of classes, camps, seminars and retreats for kids and adults in

mentally and spiritually. There is so much

all levels of physical and mental abilities. Whichever avenue you decide to take on the road to

more to Yoga than I had ever imagined. It is

your perfect peace, may you be happy and well! ff

about taking care of oneself and others. FOOTHILLFLAIR.COM | SUMMER 2011




Living Life with a


People move to foothill communities

more than simply treat patients. They embrace a philosophy “to treat the whole person, not just

for many reasons. Some want a quieter pace

the disease”. This dedicated team knows patients have a better chance for curing and healing

away from a big city, some move for a job,

when they know about their cancer and how it impacts their physical and emotional well-being.

some choose to retire here, and some fall in love with the natural setting. When we think of our own health and wellness, we often connect with things that keep us physically fit such as hiking, kayaking

Let’s face it; the initial shock of a Cancer Center diagnosis is scary, stressful, and lifechanging. SNMH Comprehensive Community Cancer Center services combine the skills of expert staff and physicians, state-of-the-art technology and a healing environment. In addition, the Cancer Center is involved with many of the latest clinical trials and offers 20 different support programs. The range of Cancer Center support groups and one-on-one counseling is extensive and

and golf. There are also things that keep

a bit awe-inspiring. Some follow traditional support group models, but many are non-traditional.

us mentally stimulated like theatre, music,

Examples include a “Writing to Heal” creative writing class, a harp group, “Just for Fun” arts and

educational lectures and more. All of these

crafts projects, Kidscope for children and more. Classes offer an opportunity for creative expression

things contribute to a healthy, happy lifestyle.

that enables patients to benefit from a variety of supplemental, non-medical modalities. Some of

When people are not feeling well or are battling illness, they often can’t participate in

these disciplines bestow immediate comfort, and others offer a means to identify, express and respond to individual suffering.

some of the activities they love. That is why

One of the newest and most innovative offerings is Comfort Cuisine. Managed by

it’s important to have outstanding healthcare

Cancer Center Director Ayse Turkseven and co-founders Ann Wilder and Connie Ferrao, Comfort

services right in your backyard. You want to

Cuisine provides tasty, nutritious, home cooked meals to cancer patient families and caregivers

be assured your local hospital is accessible

being treated at SNMH Cancer Center. When families are dealing with so many challenges, knowing

and can offer comprehensive diagnosis and

you can take a meal home and not have to worry is huge.

treatment. This is enhanced when that hospital

While support services are a shining star of our Cancer Center, our physician and staff team

also offers programs and services that will help

is equally stellar. The Center treats approximately 450 patients a year equating to 20,000 patient visits

you get back on your feet and feeling great.

a year. Nationally accredited since 1995, SNMH’s Cancer Center has been given the distinguished

In western Nevada County, Sierra

designation of “Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program” by the Commission on Cancer

Nevada Memorial Hospital’s (SNMH)

of the American College of Surgeons. Only one in five cancer centers in the U.S. has been awarded

Comprehensive Community Cancer Center

this designation!

staff and physicians believe they must do

Living with cancer is about a lot more than taking medications and treatments. Lives,

Volunteers for the Comfort Cuisine program prepare meals at Nevada City’s “In The Kitchen” that include Smart Chicken® graciously donated by BriarPatch Co-op of Grass Valley.

beliefs and every day activities take on a new and demanding dimension for both the patient and their families. These support groups and counseling sessions can make a world of difference in coping and healing. To learn about Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Center and support programs, please go online to or call Cancer Center Director Ayse Turkseven at (530) 274-6644. ff





MARKETPLACE Artist & Art Organizations Artist Studios in the Foothills • page 7 Grass Valley • 530-274-7900

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital • pgs 46-47 Grass Valley • 530-274-6000

Smith Vineyard • pages 36-38 Grass Valley • 530-273-7032

Construction Equipment/Supplies

Sweet Roots Farm • pages 42-43 Grass Valley • 530-277-0338

Jerianne Van Dijk Gallery • page 7 Grass Valley • 530-271-7128

Gold N Green • page 29 Grass Valley • 530-273-0064

Grass Valley Center for the Arts • page 15 Grass Valley • 530-274-8384

Hansen Bros. Enterprises • page 2 Grass Valley • 530-273-3381

Recreation American River Recreation • page 23 Lotus • 800-333-7238

resource guide Nevada County Arts • page 7 Nevada County • 530-278-5155

Nancy Hakala - Artist • page 12 Auburn

Tributary Whitewater Tours • page 25 Grass Valley • 800-672-3846

Food & Drink

Carpe Vino • page 40-41 Auburn • 530-823-0320

Charlie’s Cafe • page 41 Grass Valley • 530-274-1839

Whitewater Excitement • page 24 Auburn • 800-750-2386

Placer Arts 360 • page 48 Grass Valley • 530-885-5670

Latitudes Restaurant • page 44 Auburn • 530-885-9535

Services Coldwell Banker GR Realty • pg 34 Grass Valley • 530-273-7293

Beauty, Health & Wellness

Mt Vernon Winery • pages 36-38 Auburn • 530-823-1111

Erin Miller Designs • pages 26-31 Grass Valley • 530-477-1401

Sierra Starr Vineyard • pages 36-38 Grass Valley • 530-477-8282

Mike Bratton - State Farm • page 35 Grass Valley • 530-273-0521

Haute Domane • page 16-17 Grass Valley • 530-477-1009 Kendra Evans Makeup - • pages 16-17 Grass Valley • 916-657-3507

Arts Council of Placer County 530.885.5670 • Arts for the Schools 530.582.8278 • Auburn Community Concerts Association Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center 530.885.0156 • Auburn Symphony 530.823.6683 • Lake Tahoe Music Festival 530.583.3101 • Lincoln Arts & Culture Foundation 916.645.9713 •


Nicholson Blown Glass 530.823.1631 • North Tahoe Arts 530.581.2787 • Placer Community Theater 530.852.2708 • Placer Theatre Ballet 916.630.7820 • Rocklin Community Theatre 916.740.6229 • Blue Line Gallery 916.783.4117 • South Placer Heritage Foundation 916.787.0878 • Take Note Troupe Theatre Alive!

MARKETPLACE Sierra Flair Publishing • page 49 Grass Valley • 530-273-1284

Clover + Carriage • page 16 Auburn • 530-823-8500

Tess’ Kitchen Store • pages 8, 50 Grass Valley • 530-273-6997

Solid Rock Builders • page 31 Nevada City • 530-272-1511

JJ Jacksons • page 16-17 Nevada City • 530-265-2644

The Earth Store • page 50 Nevada City • 530-265-0448

Turning Leaf Studios • page 5 Grass Valley • 530-274-1557

La Te Da • page 16-17 Grass Valley • 530-273-1930

Utopian Stone • page 52 Nevada City • 530-265-6209

Tripps Auto Body & Paint Shop • page 9 Grass Valley • 530-273-8515

Mountain Mama • page 16-17 Auburn • 530-885-7935

Williams Stationery • page 9 Grass Valley • 530-273-7365

Premier Tile & Stone • page 35 Grass Valley • 530-273-9590

Music in the Mountains • page 10-11 Nevada City • 530-265-6173

resource guide KVMR Radio • page 14-15 Nevada City • 530-265-9073 Shopping

Special Events

Asylum Down • page 16-17 Nevada City • 530-265-9666

Record Connection & Electronics • page 5 Grass Valley • 530-272-7434

Nevada City Summer Nights • page 5 Nevada City • 530-265-2692

A to Z Supply • pages 33, 50 Grass Valley • 530-273-6608

Sole Mates • page 50 Grass Valley • 530-477-1015

Nevada County Chambers • page 3

B&C Home & Garden Center • page 51 Grass Valley • 530-273-6105

SPD Markets • page 13 Nevada City • 530-265-4596





Cool Summer Finds Tired of the same old soda flavors? Why not

Sodastream Genesis Starter Kit $99.99

create your own custom soft drinks with this cool soda fountain. With loads of natural flavors available like Apple & Mango and Orange & Pineapple, there will be no shortage of new and different drinks in your household this summer. Available at Tess’ Kitchen Store, 153 Mill Street Grass Valley (530) 273-6997,

Natural Apple & Mango Soda Mix - $5.99 (not included in kit)

Diet Cola Soda Mix - $5.99

(not included in kit)

26” Explorer Net by Schylling; $8.95

Summer equals outside play, and outside equals bugs! In fact there is a ratio of 200 million bugs to every human, which is about 40 million, or 400 pounds of bugs per acre of land. So we thought helping our kids getting to know their neighbors would be in order with these cool bug-ccessories available at The Earth Store, 310 Broad Street Nevada City (530) 265-0448, www.

Port-a-Bug Pop-Up Bug Holder by Insect Lore; $9.95 A Bug Bottle & Book w/ magnifying lense for little hands by Workman Publishers; $14.95 Praying Mantis replica by Safari Wildlife Toys; $6.95

With the Farmer’s Markets in full swing, why not try your hand at canning with the Summer time is sandal time and these stylish sandals by Reef will not only look good on your feet, but will make you feel good knowing you have

Ball Canning Discovery Kit. Designed to demystify the home canning process, you can be canning in three easy steps. Available

helped someone in the process. Called the

at A to Z Supply for $12.99, 13396 Ridge

Ugandal 2, they include beads made

Road, Grass Valley (530) 273-6608 www.

with recycled paper handcrafted by displaced Ugandan women. Available at Sole Mates for $42, 139 Mill Street, Grass Valley (530) 477-1015



Foothill Flair Magazine - Summer 2011  

Celebrating Life in the Northern Sierra Foothills