Melanie Blankenship, 34, started studying nursing in Arizona, but she has devoted her career to supporting farmers here. “They need an outlet in order to stay farmers,” she says. For 13 years, Nature’s Touch Nursery and Harvest – family-run with locations in Templeton and Atascadero – has sold heirloom plants and fresh, locally raised food. Blankenship, who traces her local lineage to the 1880s, also serves as a volunteer with the Templeton Area Advisory Group, Vineyards Growing Veggies and the Institute of Sustainable Living. She co-hosts Earth Talk Radio with Bill Spencer, owner of Windrose Farm. Blankenship and her high school sweetheart, Clint, have two children: Cody, 7, and Savanah, 3.