Author: Debra Hasbrouck

Pine Blossoms Repurposed Goods With Jennifer Guthrie

Photos & Story by Debra Hasbrouck It’s not often you find someone who creates an extensive variety of items that are unique, high-quality, attractive and useful…plus does it all with repurposed goods. Local artist Jennifer Guthrie of Pine Blossoms, uses up-cycled material to make pillows, purses, wallets, plush animals, scarves, pin cushions, coasters and much more. Purses are one of her most popular items and it’s easy to see why—they are beautiful, well-made, functional, light weight and very stylish. Jennifer started sewing at a young age and worked at a fabric store in high school. She grew up wearing...

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Roberti Ranch: A Time Honored Partnership with the Land

Roberti Ranch: A Time Honored Partnership with the Land By Debra Hasbrouck Living in the mountains can be an extraordinary experience—spectacular beauty is a daily standard, often accented with breathtaking seasonal changes. Although the volatile weather may be exciting, it can create challenges for the residents of these majestic environments. In the time that Sierra Valley was my home, I developed a deep sense of respect and admiration for the farmers and ranchers who live and work in the big, mountain valley. The level expanse sits at just under five-thousand feet elevation and the surrounding mountains seem to create...

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WANDER BACK IN TIME AT THE MILTON GOTTARDI MUSEUM By Debra Hasbrouck When I last visited Sierra Valley, I was told that I must see the new museum. The Milton Gottardi Museum was recently moved to its present site in the City Hall Building (which used to be the junior-high school) at 501 School Street in Loyalton. The museum is operated by a staff of volunteers who are dedicated to “preserving the history of the Sierra Valley.” During the off-season, the museum is open by appointment only. However, curator Jackie Mitchell was happy to accommodate me. I was greeted...

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DEXTER CATTLE: A Compact Version of the Old-Fashioned Family Cow

In recent years there has been a resurgence of backyard agriculture.  Gardens have always been a popular way to ensure that you have a healthy selection of vegetables available—but many people are looking for ways to expand homegrown food choices. Backyard chickens have experienced a comeback, allowing people to produce fresh, local eggs.  There is also a current trend to incorporate fruit trees and berry bushes into residential landscapes. However, when it comes to small-scale dairy and meat production, there can be many challenges.  Most dairy cows and beef breeds require more feed than the typical family acreage provides. ...

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Forget those expensive coffee syrups full of mysterious ingredients.  Make your own dark chocolate sauce to flavor up your morning cup of Joe. Ingredients 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark) 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp cornstarch 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use Hershey’s Special Dark) 2/3 cup half and half (separated) 1 tsp vanilla Combine cocoa powder, sugar and cornstarch and set aside.  Melt the butter, chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of the half & half in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Once melted, stir in the dry mixture then...

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