Herb Walks and Nature Hikes
with Lanny Kaufer
“We are constantly walking on herbs, the virtues of which no one knows.”
– Chumash tradition*
Check the Calendar in the left sidebar or scroll down to Upcoming Events to see what’s coming up.
Official Herb Walks video by Coby Kaufer:
What are Herb Walks?
Herb Walks with Lanny Kaufer are interpretive walks and hikes with an emphasis on edible and medicinal plants, those classified as “herbs” for their culinary and medicinal properties. The primary focus of Herb Walks is to learn to positively identify native plants in their natural habitats, something that cannot be done accurately with books, photos and web images alone.
We also explore the field of ethnobotany, discussing and demonstrating the plants’ native and traditional uses for food, home remedies, botanical medicine, survival, wildcrafting, foraging, landscaping, camping, crafts, ceremony and more. Birds and other wildlife are identified and discussed when they make an appearance.
Herb Walks and Nature Hikes are a great way to discover the many wonderful trails of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties of Southern California and meet interesting like-minded people. We also offer occasional Medicinal Plant Walks, Primitive Skills Days, and other events with special guests.
Please scroll down to the Upcoming Events in the left sidebar or check the Calendar and plan to walk or hike with us from the seashore, up the wooded creeks, across the chaparral slopes, and into the pine-forested mountains. Use the Register for an Event link to sign up right now! Due to the weather conditions and other considerations, we generally take off most of August, December and January.
Shorter, more information-packed walks of less than 1 mile each way are called “Herb Walks” on the Calendar. Longer hikes of more than 1 mile each way or that include moderately difficult creek crossings or significant elevation gain are titled “Nature Hikes.” By necessity, these include more walking and less talking. Walks are $20 for adults; hikes are $25. We offer a $5 discount for seniors 62-and-older and full-time students 13-and-up. Kids 5-12 can attend free with a parent by prior arrangement. All participants below the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. No dogs, please. Events with special guests are priced higher and may not include usual discounts.
Herb Walks and Nature Hikes in the Los Padres National Forest are provided under U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit #ORD1404T for Outfitting and Guiding Services.
You can use the Join the Mailing List link on this page to sign up now for the email list to receive our monthly newsletter and be among the first to learn about new events. You can use the buttons at the bottom of the page to subscribe or see past issues.
*Hudson, Travis, Ed. Breath of the Sun: Life in Early California as Told by a Chumash Indian, Fernando Librado, to John P. Harrington. Malki Museum Press, Morongo Indian Reservation. Banning, California: 1979.
See Lanny in the “Gardens of the Wild” video series by filmmaker Robert Barrett:
Lanny’s Guest Appearance on Amanda McQuade Crawford’s VeriaTV Show, “What A Relief”
November 2011 Herb Walks in Horn Canyon with Julie Tumamait-Stenslie
In November 2011 we presented two Herb Walks with special guest Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, Chumash educator and tribal leader. The response was overwhelming. As a result we plan to do more events together in 2012.
After we identified the Southern California Black Walnut tree along the trail, Julie (pictured) demonstrated the Chumash game played with pieces made from walnut shell halves filled with asphaltum and decorated with abalone shell.
Julie also spoke at length about the stately oaks and their central role in Chumash life. See video below shot by Lorraine Walter in November, 2011: