Sustainable Foraging with Dan De Lion @ Greater Goods
Feb 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Join East Coast native Dan De Lion of Return to Nature and Ojai’s Lanny Kaufer of for a family-friendly plant walk and class on lowering your ecological footprint eating weeds! This event is part of the “little footprints” environmental series at greater goods, a non-profit interactive community space in Meiners Oaks.

From 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Dan and Lanny will lead an outdoor plant walk at Steel Acres Farm, identifying and discussing plants and foraging for edible weeds. Then join them at greater goods from 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a foraged meal, herbal medicine making class, and discussion about humans’ place in the environment and medicinal, edible, and utilitarian uses of plants.

Kids of all ages are welcome for the morning walk. Older children may also be interested in the afternoon class. Suggested donation is $25 but all donations of any amount will be accepted.

Please use the REGISTER button below to sign up as space is limited for the afternoon session.



Dan De Lion is an Earth Herbalist, Forager, Musician, and Teacher dedicated to working with Nature to facilitate the reunion of the people with our planetary purpose.  He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines.

He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and grounded way.

Dan grew up in a life full of exposure to plants in the herb and vegetable garden which his mother grew, with continuous herb books as part of his upbringing as well as roaming access to the back yard which led to a farm.  As he grew with this passion, he began mushroom hunting at 20 years old, and soon realized that wild plants could also be foraged, and received his formal herbalist training in 2010 from Heart Stone herbal school in Van Etten, NY.  That same year, he started his business Return to Nature as a vehicle for sharing his passion for herbal medicine and his outreach to build a community with a deeper expression of Nature as a continual and abundant provider of nourishment, medicine and spiritual connection.

Dan has been teaching and leading community workshops and gatherings throughout NJ, NY, and PA and the surrounding area since 2009, and before that toured extensively throughout the country and recorded 2 albums in the musical group, Natural Breakdown. In his herbal and spiritual explorations, he has also traveled across the world, from India, to South America, to many places in the United States seeking and sitting with teachers and guides who have deeply expanded his knowledge about herbal healing, deeper perspectives on causes of illness, and working in respect with the natural world.  Through teaching and facilitating now hundreds of interactive workshops, plant walks and community gatherings, along with receiving global exposure to many forms and permutations of community he has built and helped raise a strong core community based on herbal practice, nature skills, potlucks, and regenerative methods in his local home town of NJ.

Teaching from a deep passion to inspire children and adults alike to return to nature and remember that there is deep treasure around each and every corner of life, Dan teaches through hands on mentoring with focus on engaging the senses in and with nature to create and bridge a deep connection to the earth and our immediate surroundings that continue to deepen in students for the rest of their lives.  Dan also offers private mentorship to students of all ages.

Dan leads several group plant walks a month and teaches workshops in symbiosis with local communities as well as classes for any groups including birthday parties, boy scout groups, homeschooling groups, and just about any other occasion. His class topics include Foraging and herbal remedies, Community building, hands on herbal medicine making, how to harvest, identify, and prepare wild food, Mushroom identification, vegetable fermentation, kombucha making, bird language, and primitive and survival skills, and nature awareness.




PRIVATE Herb Walk – Gaviota Coast
Mar 3 @ 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Photo by James Wapotich

This nature walk is private and not open to the public. It is posted here to remind you that I am available to take your family. friends or organization on a private Herb Walk or Nature Hike of any distance and time from 2.5 hours on up. Outings can be tailored to your group’s specific interests. Land owners can find out what is growing on their property and brainstorm ideas for more native plantings.

For more information about booking a private event, email


Stunt High Trail Nature Hike @ Stunt High Trail, Calabasas Hills,CA 91302 USA
Mar 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm


We’ll take a break from the fire recovery zone around Ojai and revisit the secluded Stunt High Trail along Cold Creek in the Calabasas Hills on the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains. This will be an easy, slow-paced walk other than the steep descent down into the canyon and the inevitable climb back up. We’ll be mainly under the oaks by the stream. A lunch break of 30-45 minutes will give us time to appreciate our surroundings.

You will learn to positively identify native and naturalized herbs of the riparian and chaparral plant communities and discover their many uses for food, medicine, survival, crafts, ceremony, and much more.

We’ll also see evidence of previous Chumash occupation and search for a rare orchid. Information will be shared on the ecological value of native plants, sustainable use of natural resources, and other aspects of natural history. To learn more about me, see the “About Lanny Kaufer” link.

Stream Orchid


Pre-registration is recommended for this hike. Just click the Register link at the bottom of this page or return anytime to the “Register for an Event” link on the left sidebar of this website. No pre-payment is required, just your promise to let me know in a timely fashion if your plans change. Once you register, you will receive an email with all the relevant information including what to wear, directions to the trailhead, etc, as well as any updates that may come up. After the hike, participants will receive an email with a complete plant and animal list including common and scientific names of the plants and animals and their families.

The Stunt High Trail is located in the Santa Monica Mountains near Calabasas and easily accessible from Malibu and Topanga Canyon as well as all points in the San Fernando Valley. Carpooling is encouraged as there is limited parking at the trailhead. The hike will go on rain and shine unless there is a downpour that morning. No dogs or smoking, please.





Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden with Carol Wade @ Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden
Mar 24 @ 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Ojai herbalist Carol Wade tending the Rosemary bush and enjoying some aromatherapy while she works

“A Breath of Fresh Air”

The experience of the Thomas Fire and the mudslides that followed continue to impact the hearts and minds of all who lived through it. On the physical level, particulate matter in the air coupled with an especially virulent flu has many still coughing. Other respiratory conditions such as colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and allergies also are on the uptick.

Interestingly, the lungs are connected to sadness and grief in more than one ancient healing tradition (TCM and Unani Tibb). One of the overarching emotions that many of us are dealing with is the sense of sadness and loss surrounding the aftermath of these events.

We invite you to join us on Saturday, March 24th at Ojai’s Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden — miraculously spared by the fire — to appreciate the nature still standing, the resiliency of the natural world and of our human bodies, and the many ways plant medicine lends itself to respiratory and whole body/mind health. The paradox is the strength that can come from destruction, the literal growth from ashes and the new healthy life that emerges.

You will spend a lovely morning visiting this East End jewel with the garden’s founder, herbalist Carol Wade, as your guide. Enjoy the beautiful vistas as you learn about how to grow and care for the many herbal allies that live among us.  Many of these gems are native and can lead to and support respiratory health. We will gather a few for some of the herbal preparations we’ll be making in the afternoon:

  • “Clear the Air” room spray (antimicrobial and uplifting)
  • Herbal vapor rub
  • “Respiratory Relief” tea
  • Sinus/headache steam

After our in-depth tour of the garden, we’ll break for lunch and reconvene at a downtown  kitchen for some from-the-earth herbal medicine making. Lunch options, including a homemade lunch at the kitchen, and other details will be described in a confirmation email sent to registrants.


Carol Wade has been practicing as a professional herbalist and nutritional counselor for over 25 years, and is a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild. Her garden, the Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden in Ojai, California, serves as a hub for several medicinal herb-oriented ventures that bring the idea of using medicinal herbs in daily living as a viable and logical choice to the community at large.

After practicing privately for much of her career, six years ago Carol joined her work as a practitioner and educator with her background in the herbal and organic gardening fields to bring herbal medicine to a wider audience with the Earth Island Herbs Medicinal Herb Garden and the Earth Island Herbal Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project in Ojai, CA. She currently offers Eco-tours of the garden that combine medicine making with garden tours, workshops for the general public,  and presentations for school classrooms.

Last year Carol founded the Ojai School of Herbal Studies, an 18-month herbal studies program that utilizes the garden, hands on medicine making, and an in-depth education in how to use herbs safely and effectively, including terminology, plant chemistry, anatomy and physiology, an extensive materia medica, and actual herb cultivation.


There are two steps to registering. First, use the REGISTER button below to sign up. Second, to secure your space, please use the PayPal button to complete payment.







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Spring Medicinal Plant Workshop in Ojai with Professor James Adams, PhD @ Meet at AT&T Parking Lot
Apr 28 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo of Professor Adams holding Purple Sage branch provided by USC School of Pharmacy.

Please join me and special guest Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for a Spring Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Dr. Adams has been a frequent and popular contributor to my events for the past six years. This workshop is based on his ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants. All his workshops here have filled up so, as the saying goes, he’s “back by popular demand.”

The plant identification session will take place on the pathways at the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Cluff Vista Park and the Ojai Valley Museum’s Chumash Garden, two native plant gardens in downtown Ojai, where Dr. Adams will identify and discuss the medicinal uses of a wide variety of plants. The afternoon hands-on preparation session will be held at a community kitchen nearby. After the workshop, participants will receive a complete list of all plants that are identified and/or utilized as well as recipes and other info.

Lanny and Jim on OVLC’s Ventura River Preserve. Photo: Harold Wissell

The morning outing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. will be a slow-paced walk around the two gardens. They are both wheelchair-accessible although there is a hill entering Cluff Vista Park. The morning session will involve stopping for discussion for periods of time. A few benches are scattered about. A lightweight campstool could be useful as well. After a one-hour lunch break, the afternoon kitchen session from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. will focus on preparing seasonal plants for edible and medicinal uses. Dr. Adams will demonstrate how to prepare edible and medicinal products from seasonal native plant material such as California Sagebrush, Sacred Datura, and Black Sage. After the workshop, participants will receive a complete list of all plants that are identified and/or utilized as well as recipes and other info.

A prepared lunch option will be available. Info on that and a short list of cafes will be shared in a confirmation email sent to those registered.  If you’d like to stay overnight, here is a guide to some camping and lodging options.

Photo: Christopher Nyerges

Dr. Adams brings to Ojai a wealth of scientific knowledge and field experience as well as a singular perspective on herbal medicine. As he tells it, “My family came to Virginia in 1635 and has always survived by using American Indian healing. On the frontier, there were no doctors. American Indian healing was better than European medicine anyway. I continue this tradition.”

He is the co-author — with the late Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia — of the groundbreaking book, Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West: Cultural and Scientific Basis for Their UseThe book can be purchased beforehand at that link and will also be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Page 14 of Fall issue of Results magazine published by USC School Pharmacy.

As an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the prestigious University of Southern California, Dr. Adams has been teaching pharmacy students, medical students, doctors and other healthcare professionals for over 25 years while researching the natural pharmaceutical compounds in native plants. He has over 200 publications. He was recently featured in a beautifully illustrated cover story in the School of Pharmacy’s magazine, Results. Here is a link to an online edition of the magazine. Advance to page 14 for the article “The Healing Power of Plants” as seen here on the right side of this page. You may have to do a quick, free signup for the online viewing service.

Running parallel with his academic career, Dr. Adams has worked with the Chumash people since 1998 and studied Chumash healing with Cecilia Garcia for almost 15 years. In addition to their book, they wrote 30 journal articles together. Jim is now the carrier of the healing knowledge passed to him by his teacher. Dr. Adams will have copies of all his several books with him for purchase and signing.“Humans have used plant medicines ever since humans came into existence, about 200,000 years ago,” Dr. Adams explains in Healing with Medicinal Plants. “That means that our ancestors experienced an intense natural selection. Those who responded to plant medicines survived and passed their genes on. We are the products of this natural selection. Our bodies are designed to respond to plant medicines.”

Please note: This workshop will go on RAIN OR SHINE with the exception of a heavy downpour in the morning and/or a 100% chance of heavy rain that day. No dogs or smoking, please.

The cost for the Spring Medicinal Plant Workshop is $75, including all materials for preparing plant medicines. To pre-register, please use the REGISTER button below.

To secure your space with a payment, use thePayPal button below. Registrants will be emailed a receipt from PayPal and receive another email from with all necessary information including directions, what to bring, etc.

Please contact if you prefer to mail in a check.



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