San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau



San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
Spring 2011
formerly Farmer & Rancher Magazine
Country I
Publisher’s Note…
san luis obispo
Volume 40, Issue 1 s Spring 2011
Jackie Crabb – Publisher
Mary Silveira – Editorial & Photography
Joni Hunt – Production & Ad Sales
San Luis Obispo Country Magazine, formerly Farmer &
Rancher Magazine, is published quarterly— March, June,
September, December—by the San Luis Obispo County
Farm Bureau, 651 Tank Farm Road, San Luis Obispo, CA
93401-7062; (805) 543-3654; The
subscription price is included in Farm Bureau membership.
Postmaster: Send address changes to San Luis Obispo
County Farm Bureau, 651 Tank Farm Road, San Luis Obispo,
CA 93401-7062.
Advertising: Call the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau,
(805) 543-3654 or Joni Hunt, (805) 545-9547.
Printer: Layton Printing
©2010 San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau retains all
rights to text, photos and graphics. San Luis Obispo County
Farm Bureau does not assume responsibility for statements
by advertisers or for products advertised in SLO Country
Magazine, nor does San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
assume responsibility for statements or expressions
of opinion other than in editorials or in articles showing
authorship by an officer, director or staff member of the
San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau or its affiliates.
came across a recent article that said a nationwide campaign,
led by health advocacy groups to persuade Americans to
eat more fruits and vegetables, has so far proved ineffective.
Only about 7 percent of Americans eat at least five servings
of produce a day, which is the recommended minimum. In fact,
fruit and vegetable consumption decreased among American
teenagers. These health experts say that until Americans consider
fruits and vegetables not just a healthy choice, but a delicious,
cheap and convenient option, habits aren’t likely to shift a lot.
My son recently introduced me to roasted beets mixed with
sauteed beet greens (the tops). They
were wonderful. I now look at beets
Add Extra Pizazz to Vegetables
in a different light.
• Saute or stir-fry in a little seasoned olive oil (garlic,
onion, shallots or balsamic vinegar) and a sprinkle
We are fortunate to live in a county
of salt and pepper.
that has an abundance of fruits and
• Add pancetta or bacon bits to season.
vegetables. One of our vegetable growers
• Make vegetable-rich soups (puree to blend veggie
pointed out to me that if you combine all
flavors); freeze any leftovers.
the vegetables produced in our county,
• Grill on stovetop in a ridged grill pan as well as
the total surpasses the wine industry to
on a barbecue grill.
be the number one crop. (A little running
• Roast—cut veggies into equal sizes, toss with olive
competition, I take it?)
oil, season with salt and pepper or herbs. Bake
So, get out there and explore the many
400º about 20 minutes or until desired texture.
ways to prepare vegetables, and at the
• Roast kale crisps for snacks—spread a single layer
same time support our farmers!
of kale pieces on a cookie sheet, brush with olive
oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake 375º
to 400º; turn them after about 5 minutes.
• Juice vegetables.
“To enhance the quality of the day…that is the highest of the arts.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Horses inspire artisans to craft gear
and artists to capture equine spirit.
04 Handcrafted Artistry
Saddle maker Richard Vieira and
bit maker Gordon Hayes, two men
dedicated to quality craftsmanship,
create functional works
of art for cowboys, horse
and others.
Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
08 In the Garden
Horse troughs make great containers
for colorful plantings and veggies.
10 In the Kitchen
Classic recipes—meatloaf, ribs and
barbecue sauce—are sure to please.
11-12 Local Links
Garden tours and western art grace
the spring calendar.
13 Scene Around…
Unexpected delights in SLO Country.
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
Handcrafted Artistry
Saddle maker Richard Vieira creates intricate designs on saddles and other leather goods
by “tooling” or carving with an array of implements. Leather can also be imprinted with stamps.
SLO Saddle Excellence Spans the Centuries
uadalupe S. Garcia’s family settled
in Santa Margarita in 1877 when he
was 13. Three years later, he served an
apprenticeship at San Luis Obispo’s Arana
Saddle Shop, among the finest in the west.
His first leather-working job (top photo) was
in 1881 at Silas B. Call Harness & Saddle
Shop, 850 Monterey Street, SLO. In 1884,
he opened G. S. Garcia Saddle Shop on
Main Street in Santa Margarita.
Garcia and bride Saturina moved in 1896
to Elko, Nevada, to open G.S. Garcia Harness
and Saddle Shop. He created a special saddle
with gold, silver and diamonds especially for
the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri,
which earned the gold medal.
Garcia retired in 1932 and returned to
California, but meanwhile one of his apprentices, Joe Capriola, opened a saddlery in
Elko. The J.M. Capriola Company continues
Garcia’s legacy to make high-quality leather
goods for ranchers and working cowboys.
A century after Garcia won the gold medal,
Capriola’s had a number of back orders for
their saddles and custom leather goods. The
company contracted out some of the work to
quality saddle makers—including San Luis
Obispo County craftsman Richard Vieira.
Sources:; www.vintagegunleather.
Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
orking with his hands is
what Richard Vieira does.
True to his craft, he doesn’t
rush the process to create
what his wife Kathy calls
“making a western saddle more
creative and artistic.”
“I’m considered slow and poky,”
Vieira says. “I won’t build a saddle
in a matter of hours; if you build
them that fast you miss something.”
To illustrate his point, Vieira
reflects on Hollywood Westerns where
saddles can be made in just a day to
meet film-shooting schedules. “You
see only large flowers or stamps on
the saddle, maybe one on each side.
The decoration covers a big area to
finish fast.”
In contrast, “It can take me up
to an hour to lay out and cut-in one
flower,” the artisan says. “Filmmakers
don’t have the luxury of time.”
For a while, Vieira worked for
a small saddle producer who turned
out good work, but the saddle makers
had to work fast. “The intensity of that
schedule when you are a craftsman
was not what I wanted to do,” he says.
So, in 1991 Vieira decided to work
at his craft full time and opened his
own saddlery. When customers come
to his shop, he listens. “They usually
know what they want, and if I think
I can guide them a little, I will. It also
makes a difference if I know how they
are going to use a saddle.”
Saddle Construction
First Vieira determines the correct
fit for horse and rider and orders a
“saddle tree” (the foundation or frame
of a saddle) with exact specifications
from a custom tree maker in Billings,
Montana. When the tree arrives, he
lays out pattern templates on leather
and cuts the parts that will become the
saddle. If the customer desires a saddle
with a carved or stamped pattern, the
leather has to be wet, so he places parts
in a plastic bag for several hours.
“You want moisture in the leather,
not on the top, so the pattern becomes
more three dimensional,” he says. “If
the leather doesn’t feel cool or dry, you
wet it again with a sponge, set it aside
and let it dry back.”
Leather and metal transform into works of art as two local craftsmen supply cowboys,
horse enthusiasts and others with custom saddles, bits, stirrups and more
Vieira then cuts and bevels the
intricate designs, and all of this tooling
is done by hand. For stamped transfer
patterns, he reverses the pattern and
taps off with a flat nose hammer so
that each side is identical.
Once the parts and designs are
completed, the saddle is assembled.
Since the nature of the leather is altered
on a piece that has tooling, Vieira must
pull and lace it tightly to the frame
using awls so the saddle part regains
its original cut shape.
“You want everything tight and
flat,” he says. “If the assembly is loose
and sloppy, the leather will buckle out
in the future and someone will know
your work wasn’t very good. You want
the leather to snap back.”
Custom Goods
Different cowboys have need
for different types of saddles. Vieira’s
most recently completed one is the
“rough-out” look where the grain side
is used (lower far right photo). The
rough-out leather eventually shows
its wear with discoloring and shine,
which to some owners is a source
of pride. The customer for this saddle,
a Sierra Nevada cowboy, requested no
back cinch and no carving—a no-frills
saddle for a working cowboy.
Vieira also makes different kinds
of chaps. Short “chinks” (right) usually
have more fringe than traditional ones
and are held on with buckles or snaps
rather than zippers. “Batwing” chaps,
often more ornate than a working
cowboy’s, are used by high school,
college and pro rodeo cowboys.
One customer, a college rodeo cowboy, had his Vieira “hair-on” chinks
for a short time when they developed
another use—to put out a grass fire
caused by the cowboy’s burning truck.
As always, the artistry and utility of
Vieira’s work combined to good effect.
Above left, saddle construction begins with a wooden “tree,” the foundation that distributes the weight
of a rider and provides comfort for both horse and rider. A tree consists of five parts—two bars that
run parallel, a fork that holds the bars together at the front, a cantle that holds the bars together in
the back and a horn. Above right is a completed stamped saddle handcrafted by Richard Vieira.
Vieira makes
short, fringed
chaps called
“chinks” (left)
and other
leather goods
Vieira’s Custom Saddlery
Paso Robles; (805) 423-0691
To view a video of Vieira’s tooling and cutting
talent, go to
Above, a no-frills “rough-out” saddle for a working cowboy has hooded stirrups or tapaderos
to help protect feet in brush or snow; they may
have wool lining for warmth.
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
Meticulous handwork is the hallmark of Gordon Hayes’
silver embellishments on a saddle (left) and spurs (above)
as well as on gold and silver jewelry (below left) and silver
money clip (below).
Gordon Hayes fabricates and adds custom artistry to horse bits, stirrups, spurs, reins, saddles and silver and gold jewelry. His handmade aluminum
stirrups (above left) become works of art under his craftsmanship (above right).
f the equipment in Gordon Hayes’
shop could speak, tales from the
more than 40 years he has used
it (and times before that) would
keep you enthralled and entertained. Instead, it’s left to the horse bit
maker and metal artisan himself to tell
the stories surrounding his craft.
His equipment, made in the 1940s,
could not be bought today. He uses the
old implements when he needs that
certain dye or punch press to fabricate
spurs, conchos or mouthpieces.
As with many exacting trades,
Hayes as a young man studied under
other craftsmen. When he began work
for Gary Culley’s ironworks in San
Luis Obispo, learning how to move
metal and forge it, he was a Cal Poly
student from Chula Vista in San Diego
Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
Handcrafted Artistry
County. But he believed that on the
Central Coast he had finally arrived at
a place where the cowboys and horses
knew exactly what they were doing
together. His interest in a horseman’s
needs and his training in the art of
working with metal fused into the
career he embraces.
After Cal Poly, Hayes worked for
Tulare horse trainer and cutting-horse
champion Greg Ward. He made bits
with the coaching of Luns Yandell, a
traditional bit maker, learning details
and trading ideas.
One of his first projects, a Spanish
bit crafted with only a hacksaw and
file, was an example of advice he
heeded from a friend. Carl Norris,
a craftsman influenced by Al Pecetti
(emeritus silversmith from Reno), told
him, “People want something that
no one else has” and “Do your own
thing.” Hayes has ever since.
One of his first ventures into
selling his work at a venue was in
the 1970s when horse events didn’t
bring in vendors. He carried his curb
bits around the show on his arm, sold
every one of them and made $800 that
day. He also donated one of the bits
as a prize for the winner and landed
positive publicity that enhanced his
new business.
As Hayes attained a reputation
as a craftsman in the silver field, his
customer base in this niche market
grew. Among his commissions were
spurs, bits and jewelry for Hollywood
film people, many of whom he
considers friends.
Among his many stories is this
one: A man who bought spurs on
eBay called Hayes to determine their
value. The artisan realized he had
made the spurs for a veteran movie
actor. When he called the actor to ask
if he had lost them, he was told the
spurs were stolen right after they were
made. Hayes put the eBay buyer in
touch with the actor, who repurchased
his long-ago stolen spurs and then
commissioned Hayes to make a new,
identical pair to send to the eBay
bidder. Everyone came out a winner.
To create horse bits, Hayes’
meticulous craftsmanship requires
precision drilling, sanding, grinding
and smoothing metal. A poorly made
bit, especially one with rough edges,
can cause the horse pain and make
riding difficult, if not impossible.
But a bit maker needs more than
physical tools to create a useful piece
of equipment. When Hayes adds silver
conchos and decorative engraving on
the bit shanks, he combines his artistry,
skill and patience to weld and solder
the separate pieces.
Creating jewelry and smaller items
is even more exacting as he etches out
detailed designs for a watch or a ring,
uses silver or gold as he saws and
solders, twists or smooths over fire,
or pounds and engraves. These skills
require diligence and respect for the
metal and the final product. Gold and
silver are handled with care; these are
not metals to be cast aside due to error.
Hayes and his wife, Colleen, own
“GH Bits of Silver” outside of Santa
Margarita where they work with their
own designs or customers’ ideas.
One current project focuses on a
pair of 30-year-old, well-used spurs
that Hayes made. His customer just
wants them updated, a testament to
the permanence as well as the artistry
of his work.
GH Bits of Silver
Santa Margarita; (805) 475-2224
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
In the Garden…
Design Your Own Masterpiece
reate a dramatic look for your garden! Select oversized planters from materials
used in agriculture, such as galvanized drinking troughs or wooden posts.
Whether you have a lot of ground to cover or a patio or driveway entrance that
needs a focal point, you can design attractive, functional plant and planter groupings.
8 Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
Gather the materials you want to use—
containers, plants, seeds, bulbs, fertilizer.
Check local agricultural supply stores
for troughs, poles and plants.
Troughs come in many shapes and
sizes; poles vary in size and texture;
both can be painted. For troughs, drill water drainage holes and consider
placing pebbles in the base.
Plantings can be tall and showy with
the same variety massed together.
Or mix and match varieties, colors,
textures and scents. Choose a tall plant
for your focal point and add complementary ones around it. Plants that cascade
over the container are another idea.
When mixing plants, choose those with
similar water and sunlight requirements.
Monitor soil moisture for correct watering
Spring is here, you’re the designer—
have fun!
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
In the Kitchen…
30% OFF
a single nursery item
(Excludes ag. & industrial chemicals & fertilizers)
Tried & True
One coupon per customer; cannot be
combined with any other offer. Expires 4/2/11.
Barbecue Sauce,
Short Ribs & Meatloaf
Easy Barbecue Sauce
1 cup ketchup
½ cup honey
½ lemon, squeezed
Mix all ingredients. Store in the
refrigerator no more than five days
because it has no preservatives.
Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association (CCGGA) 10th Annual
Open House Nursery Tours & Education Center — Saturday, April 2
Wholesale nurseries in SLO’s South County open to the public one day a year for tours and
purchases. Edwards Barn in Nipomo serves as an information and education center for the event.
Cattlemen’s Western Art Show & Sale —
Friday–Sunday, April 8–10; see page 12.
ndispensable in the kitchen,
barbecue sauce is used for a
multitude of foods when grilling,
baking or even dressing up fries. But
which sauce is best for which food?
Just look on the local grocer’s
condiment shelf, and it will take you
several minutes to determine. Tasting
all of them would be quite costly, so
why not make your own?
Keep in mind that sauces are
created to complement, not hide the
flavors of barbecued meat and other
foods. To this basic recipe, you can add
more ingredients to make your sauce
zingier, smokier or spicier; it can be
made more or less sweet. It’s up to
you and your finger-tasting test.
Easy Barbecue Sauce is paired here
with Beef Short Ribs and Meatloaf a la
1940. Or try it on a homemade quarter
pounder and fries.
Local Links
Strawberry Festival — Saturday–Sunday, May 28–29
Arroyo Grande • Paso Robles
San Luis Obispo • Santa Maria
Arroyo Grande celebrates strawberries and its centennial at this
annual event.
Meatloaf a la 1940
Seen at 2010 CCGGA Nursery Tours
2 lbs. ground beef – combo 80% lean
hamburger and 93% ground sirloin
2 eggs
½cup quick oats (to give meatloaf
that definite ‘40s flavor)
¾cup milk
1 Tbsp. dry minced onion
¼tsp. dry minced garlic, garlic powder
or fresh minced
½tsp. basil leaves, crumbled
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Thoroughly combine all ingredients.
Shape the meatloaf in an ungreased
loaf pan. Brush a small amount of extra
milk over the top. Cook uncovered in
the oven about 1½ hours or until firm
to the touch.
Allow the meatloaf to stand about 10
minutes before slicing. This allows the
meat to firm and makes slicing easier.
Mix up a tasty, moist meatloaf like your Mom
or Grandma used to make.
Greenheart Farms (top) and Native Sons
Beef Short Ribs
Place short ribs, with or without
bones, in a cooking pot. Cover with
water and add a few dashes of salt
(optional) and pepper. Bring to a boil
and continue boiling until a fork enters
smoothly, approximately 3 hours.
Drain the liquid and place ribs on
a broiler pan. Brush on sauce and broil
for 5 minutes.
Make extra sauce to serve on the
side, if you wish.
10 Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
Who won the Bonnie Marie’s gift basket in
our contest? Check your April Ag Update
e-newsletter to find out! If you’re not signed
up for it yet, go to
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
Scene Around
SLO Country…
Handcrafted Artistry
Cattlemen’s Art Show Captures Spirit of the West April 8–10
he beauty of open spaces, the poignancy of historical
events, the interaction of humans and animals—
all this and more are depicted at the 21st Cattlemen’s
Western Art Show and Sale, presented by the San
Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Association.
The event got its start in the late 1980s when a group
of artists—Larry and Jackie Bees, Ernie Morris, Suzanne
Williams—and cowboy Gary Williams thought the Central
Coast needed a
Western art show.
Gary Williams
suggested a
partnership with
the Cattlemen’s
Association as a
perfect match, and
one was formed.
When the show
debuted October
1990 at Madonna Inn Ranch in San
Award-winning artist Shannon Lawlor infuses
Luis Obispo, a
her work, such as “Wind in My Reins,” with
stable of 35 artists
realistic details.
exhibited. They
didn’t seem to
mind that they had
to provide their
own lighting.
About 500 people
turned out for the
two-day event.
The show
outgrew its first
home and moved
One of more than 60 artists exhibiting at the
to the Paso Robles
event, sculptor Craig Bergsgaard recently
Event Center in
completed his full-figure bronze “Recounting
2000. The threethe Coup” (facial detail above).
day event now
All Types of
Licensed • Insured
CA State Certified
Reasonable Rates – $65/Hour
Estimates Available
Discounts for Repeat Customers
PB&B Electrical
State Lic.# 375854
12 Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
(805) 481-0457
includes a Friday artists’
reception and preview.
America’s premier
Western artists participate.
This year, more than 60
painters and sculptors
exhibit 500 all-new
“El Conquistador” is by featured artist
landscapes, scenes and
Shannon Lawlor.
wildlife depictions.
Featured artist is Shannon Lawlor, whose images of the
working stock horse combine anatomical accuracy and
historical authenticity.
Sunrise. Sunset. Artistry indeed.
Cattlemen’s Western Art Show & Sale
April 8–10 at Paso Robles Event Center
Free Admission: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Sunday. Barbecue l1:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; $10 each.
Friday Artists’ Reception: 5–9 p.m. Art preview and sale; $20 each.
Information: Jo Ann Switzer, (805) 462-2810; Dee Pellandini, (805)
472-9100; or
Specializing in Metal Buildings
Farm & Ranch  Winery
Equestrian  Commercial
 Permit
Assistance  Excavation
 Foundation  Erecting
Call Mike Armenta
for on-site Consultation & Free Estimate
(805) 550-5194
License No. 782045 - Fully Insured and Bonded
Serving the Central Coast
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
Business Members
Adler Belmont Dye Insurance
Ag Box Company – 805/489-0377
Complete listings for these businesses that
support San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
are listed at
Madonna Inn – 805/543-3000
Nick’s Telecom – 805/441-3135
Hub International Insurance Services
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
California Meridian Insurance Services
805/466-3400; [email protected]
Pacific Sun Growers, Inc. – 805/929-1986
Ewing Irrigation – 805/545-9530
C&M Nursery – 805/929-1941
C&N Tractors – 805/237-3855
Central Coast Propane – 805/237-1001
Farm Supply Company – 805/543-3751
Coast National Bank – 805/541-0400
Filipponi & Thompson Drilling Co.
Days Inn – 805/549-9911
Heritage Oaks Bank – 805/369-5203
J. B. Dewar Inc. Petroleum Products
InWest Insurance Services
TWIW Insurance Services – 805/922-7301
Eagle Energy, Inc. – 805/543-7090
[email protected]
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard
Electricraft, Inc. – 805/544-8224
E. C. Loomis & Son Insurance
Associates – 805/489-5594
Pat Phelan Construction – 805/929-1739
Quinn Company – 805/925-8611
Rabobank – 805/541-5500
Roadrunner Construction
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Santa Maria Seeds, Inc. – 805/922-5757
Shimmin Canyon Vineyard
South County Realty – 805/481-4297
We protect the people who
make California ag work
You can count on the strength and stability of State Fund. We’ve been protecting
those in California ag for 96 years. Visit today to learn about the
6 percent discount on premiums we offer eligible Farm Bureau members.
Your individual business may qualify for even more discounts.
Together, we’ll help keep California working.
State Compensation Insurance Fund is not a branch of the State of California.
Spring 2011 s SLO Country Magazine
SLO Country Magazine s Spring 2011
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