“We are constantly walking on herbs, the virtues of which no one knows.” – Chumash tradition*

Hike Ojai and Southern California and learn to forage edible and medicinal herbs with the author of Medicinal Herbs of California.

What are Herb Walks?

Lanny Kaufer offers herb walks, guided nature hikes, and workshops focused on edible and medicinal herbs and ethnobotany of California.  Lanny discusses and demonstrates the traditional and modern uses of herbs for food, home remedies, botanical medicine, survival, sustainable foraging, wildcrafting, landscaping, camping, crafts, ceremony and more.

  • You’ll learn to positively identify native plants in their natural habitats and those suitable for foraging.
  • You’ll discover the plants’ roles in the ecology of the area as well as their applications for humans and the concept of sustainable foraging.
  • This type of learning engages all your senses to be able to understand the “language of the plants” and cannot be accomplished with books, photos and web images alone.

“Herb Walks” are usually less than 1 mile distance each way and accessible to beginning hikers. “Nature Hikes” are longer, more strenuous versions of Herb Walks. They are usually 2-4 miles round-trip and may include creek crossings, higher altitude trails, or significant elevation gain while hiking. Each event listing includes a description of the difficulty of the walk or hike. 

Herb Walks and Nature Hikes with Lanny Kaufer are also a great way to discover the many wonderful trails of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and the greater Los Angeles area of Southern California while meeting interesting  like-minded people. Walks and hikes in the Los Padres National Forest are offered under a Special Use Permit for guides and outfitters from the U. S. Forest Service.

Before attempting to collect wild plants, please read my blog post on Sustainable Foraging. Thanks!

*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.


Lanny describing the ecology of Potrero John Creek to summer hikers. Photo: Enrique Villaseñor