Calendar

Sep
30
Sun
2018
Fall Equinox Nature Hike on Pine Mountain @ Maricopa Plaza parking lot for carpool
Sep 30 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Coniferous forest on the north side of Pine Mountain

As the 42nd year of Herb Walks winds down, I will lead my 6th annual Fall Equinox Nature Hike in the peaceful Mixed Conifer Forest on Pine Mountain (elevation: 7000 feet) at the time of year when the pine nuts usually are dropping. This year it’s a week later due to my involvement in co-producing the Ojai Bowlful of Blues on Saturday, September 22, but still only a week after the equinox so the name sticks.

According to Craig Carey, author of Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura, the Reyes Peak Trail along the northern slope of the peak is “quite simply one of the most beautiful stretches in the southern Los Padres.”  I promise that first time visitors to this area will be surprised and delighted to find a thick forest of pines, fir and cedar so close to the Ventura coast.

The outing will start at 9:00 a.m. with a carpool caravan of about 35 miles up Highway 33 from the Maricopa Plaza, (1207 Maricopa Highway, Ojai, CA 93023) to the Reyes Peak trailhead. The final 5.5 miles are on a narrow, winding paved road and the very last half-mile is dirt. Trucks or SUV’s are preferred for the last stretch but most passenger cars with high clearance can also make the drive.

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Rondia at the trailhead

We will start walking into the Sespe Wilderness from the trailhead (where there is a restroom) at about 10:30 a.m. and return to the trailhead at 3:00 p.m. or so, arriving back at the Maricopa Plaza by 4:00 p.m. This hike will follow a well-used trail through Mixed Conifer Forest habitat. We’ll stop often to identify and discuss native trees, plants, birds, and wildlife. Midway, we will take 30-45 minutes to relax and enjoy our sack lunches and snacks in the peace and quiet of the forest.

Lunch in the pine forest. Photo by Chris Kudelka.

Pine Mountain is considered by scientists to be a “sky island,” isolated mountains surrounded by radically different lowland environments. We can expect to see several conifers like White Fir and Sugar Pine more commonly found in the Southern Sierra range than in Ventura County.

This intermediate level hike is suitable for moderately experienced hikers or physically fit beginners. There will be some minor elevation gain and loss skirting the north side of Reyes Peak, although sometimes traversing steep hillsides on a narrow trail. The total hiking distance will be a little over 3 miles.

Weather and marine layer permitting, we will have panoramic views of the Cuyama Valley to the north and the Channel Islands to the south.  The hike is another in a series of backcountry walks and hikes under an Operating Permit from the Ojai Ranger District Office of the U.S. Forest Service designed for guides who provide recreational and interpretive services to the public.

There is no prepayment required, just your promise to notify us in a timely fashion if your plans change. You will receive a confirmation email several days before with all necessary info.

The cost is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62 and older, and $15 for students 13-18. Kids 5-12 can go free, one per adult, by prior arrangement. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Lunch is not provided. No dogs or smoking, please.

Carpool: If possible, please be prepared to either take a few passengers or share in the gas cost as a passenger. There is no obligation to participate in the carpool but parking is limited at the trailhead and we like to cut down on our group’s gas consumption and exhaust emissions when we can.

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View of Santa Cruz Island from Pine Mountain by Erika Klohe.

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View north of the Cuyama Valley from Pine Mountain

Oct
6
Sat
2018
Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop in Ojai with James Adams, PhD @ Downtown parking lot
Oct 6 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo: Angela Kirwin

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Please join me and special guest Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for our annual Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, October 6, 2018, 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 native 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.

Dr. Jim with a wild Buckwheat cake fresh out of the oven at the Fall 2016 workshop

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 wild foraged plant material such as yerba santa, California buckwheat seed, oak acorns, black walnuts, and hollyleaf cherry. The specific seasonal plants to be used will be determined as the date gets closer. those who register.

A prepared lunch option will be available. 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 camping and lodging options.

Lanny and Jim on OVLC's Ventura River preserve. Photo: Harold Wissell

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

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.”

Dr. Adams 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.

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.

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Photo: Christopher Nyerges

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 Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop is $75, including all materials for preparing plant medicines. After the workshop, participants will receive a follow-up email including plant lists and recipes.

To pre-register, use the REGISTER button below. To complete registration and secure your space with a payment, please use the PayPal button. Registrants will be emailed a receipt from PayPal and also receive a confirmation email from register@herbwalks.com with all necessary information including directions, what to bring, etc.

Please contact lanny@herbwalks.com if you prefer to mail in a check.

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Number of participants



Nov
16
Fri
2018
Ojai Herbal Symposium @ Ojai CA
Nov 16 @ 7:00 pm – Nov 18 @ 6:00 pm

Coming November 16-18, 2018. Register now at OjaiHerbalSymposium.org

 

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