Calendar

May
29
Mon
Memorial Day Nature Hike to El Nido Meadow @ Oso Trailhead, Ventura River Preserve, Ojai
May 29 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Join me on Memorial Day Monday for this 5-mile Nature Hike to the El Nido Meadow on the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Ventura River Preserve where we will visit several different plant habitats including riparian, chaparral and oak woodland.  After rock-hopping across the Ventura River, we’ll take the gradually elevating Rice Canyon Trail up to the Meadow, located in the saddle between two canyons, where we’ll break for lunch and take a moment to honor the meaning of the holiday. We’ll return by way of the Wills Canyon Trail, making a loop. Along the way we’ll discuss and demonstrate sustainable foraging and identify edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants.

You can  register now at the link below or return later to this event page or to the “Register for an Event” link in the left sidebar menu. 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. No dogs, please. Payment by cash or check is accepted on the morning of the walk. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the OVLC for maintenance of the trails.

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Jun
3
Sat
Health Classic Herb Walk and Slideshow Talk @ La Casa De Maria Retreat Center
Jun 3 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

I have been honored with an invitation to join the faculty at the 25th Annual Health Classic held from June 1-4 at the beautiful La Casa De Maria Retreat Center in the Montecito area of Santa Barbara.

My class will take place on Saturday, June 3, from 11:30 a.m.to 1:30 p.m. and will consist of an Herb Walk on the neighboring San Ysidro Trail followed by a slideshow talk about the edible and medicinal plants to be found in the Santa Barbara foothills and mountains. Health Classic enrollees can attend any or all of the classes offered over the four days, including mine.

I can also offer you the opportunity to sign up for just my class for $25. Those who attend my walk and talk are invited to stay for a delicious, gourmet vegetarian organic lunch for an additional $12. SPECIAL OFFER: Lunch will be included free of charge for the first 5 people to register for — and attend — my class. Parking is free for all participants.

If you are interested in attending the entire Health Classic or signing up for classes other than mine, please call 805-898-0089 or email healthcl@silcom.com. For a full description of the 4-day seminar visit www.healthclassics.com.

To register for my class only, please use the button below.

 

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Jun
17
Sat
FULL: Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop with Dr. James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy @ Cluff Vista Park
Jun 17 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo by Christopher Nyerges

Please note: This event is fully booked so registration is closed. Please contact lanny@herbwalks.com to be added to a list to be notified about Dr. Adams’ next visit to Ojai.

Please join me and special guest Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy on Saturday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m for a one-day Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop on how to treat summer colds, adjust to the changing season, treat pain and anxiety, and stay healthy all summer. The morning plant identification session will take place on the pathways at the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Cluff Vista Park, a native plant garden in downtown Ojai, where  Dr. Adams and I 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 in Ojai. After the workshop, participants will receive a complete list of all plants that are  identified and/or utilized with recipes and other info.

The morning outing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. will be a slow-paced stroll around the park. It is wheelchair-accessible. It 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. Some of the plants to be used are Green Everlasting, Elderberry, Datura, Prickly Pear, Cleveland Sage and acorns.

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

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 Use. The new revision to the 3rd edition will be available for purchase and signing at the workshop.

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.

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. “Humans have used plant medicines ever since humans came into existence, about 200,000 years ago,” Dr. Adams explains in the book. “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.”

Dr. Jim with his handmade traditional Chumash ceremonial skirt.

The cost for the workshop is $75. To pre-register, please use the link below or email register@herbwalks.com. Once you secure your space with a payment using the PayPal button below, you will be added to the “registered” list, emailed a receipt from PayPal, a confirmation from me, and another email from register@herbwalks.com about a week prior with all necessary information including directions, what to bring, etc. Please contact register@herbwalks.com if you prefer to mail in a check.

Dr. Jim speaks to the group on the trail at the Fall 2016 Medicinal Plant Weekend.

No dogs or smoking, please.

Please note: This event will go on RAIN OR SHINE with the exception of a heavy downpour that morning and/or a 100% chance of heavy rain that day.

Jul
2
Sun
Nature Hike to Potrero John Camp @ Maricopa Plaza for carpool
Jul 2 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Hikers entering Potrero John Gorge. Photo by Jill Forman

Please join me and a friendly group of like-minded learners and lovers of the outdoors for a Nature Hike to Potrero John Camp deep in the Sespe Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest on Sunday, July 2.

The hike will take place on Potrero John Creek, 20 miles north of Ojai. We will cover 1.7 miles each way on a mostly level trail with some elevation gain through chaparral and riparian settings, beginning at 3700 feet. Our destination is a (bring-your-own) lunch stop in the shade of large oak at Potrero John Camp.

The focus, as usual, will be on identifying both useful and poisonous wild plants and learning about the many ways that they have been used by the Chumash people, herbalists, campers, and gardeners for food, medicine, wildcrafting, survival, landscaping and more. We’ll also look for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Discussion will include the ecology of the southern Los Padres National Forest, traditional and modern methods of sustainable foraging, and resource conservation, among other topics generated by the participants’ interests.

Lanny teaching on the trail to Potrero John Camp. Photo: Rondia Kaufer

This hike is presented under a Special Use 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.

The day will begin with a carpool from the Maricopa Plaza parking lot in Ojai at 9:00 am and return there by 4 pm. The cost is $25 for adults,  $20 for seniors 62 and older, and $15 for students 13-18.  Kids 5-12 can go free, with one per adult, by prior arrangement. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Toddlers must be in a carrier. No dogs or smoking, please.

Register at the link below or by calling 805-646-6281. You will receive a confirmation email with all necessary info. No pre-payment is required, just your promise to let us know as soon as possible if your plans have to change.

(The background photo for this website was taken in the gorge at the mouth of Potrero John Canyon.)

PLEASE NOTE: Light rain will not cancel. Heavy rain or thunderstorms will. Once you register you will receive weather updates.

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Jul
15
Sat
CANCELLED: Arroyo Hondo Herb Walk @ Street parking on Hope Ave. for carpool
Jul 15 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Hollister Meadow at Arroyo Hondo Preserve. Photo by James Wapotich.

THIS WALK IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE SMOKE FROM THE WHITTIER FIRE. AN AIR QUALITY ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR THE AREA. I WILL RESCHEDULE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING.

I was introduced to this beautiful coastal location by writer and hiking guide James Wapotich who says “Arroyo Hondo is considered by many to be the jewel of the Gaviota Coast.” The preserve is managed by The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. The Arroyo Hondo Preserve features a year-round creek surrounded by coastal chaparral and grassland. It is where the Chumash village of Tuxmu was once located.

Photo by James Wapotich

We’ll start with a 2-stage carpool. First, at 8 a.m., those of us in Ojai will meet at Maricopa Plaza to carpool to 23 S. Hope Avenue in Santa Barbara where we will meet the Santa Barbara, Ventura, and other contingents. Then at 9 a.m. we’ll carpool from there about 30 minutes up the coast to Arroyo Hondo Preserve. All carpools are optional.

The plant diversity there is exceptional. In the creekside riparian habitat we’ll see a wide array of Southern California native trees including White Alder, California Bay, Blue Elderberry and Bigleaf Maple among others. The creek is also home to California Newts.

Under the canopy we’ll look for Giant Horsetail, Humboldt Lily, Fuchsia-Flowered Gooseberry, Stream Orchid, Hummingbird Sage, and Giant Chain Ferns. In the sunnier chaparral areas Toyon, Black Sage, Coastal Sagebrush and Greenbark Ceanothus are thriving.

Rondia in a primeval forest of Giant Chain Ferns

After some easy walking, identifying plants, and stopping for a lunch/snack break, we’ll plan to depart from the Preserve at 2:30 for a 3:00 p.m. arrival at the Santa Barbara carpool location.

Once you are registered you will receive an email with more information and directions to Arroyo Hondo if you prefer to meet us there at 9:30 a.m. The cost for the day is $25. There is no pre-payment required to register. Participants will receive an email afterwards with notes and a complete list of all plants and animals observed.

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Jul
22
Sat
Wild Gourmet and Medicinal Beers with Pascal Baudar @ Maricopa Plaza for carpool to Wheeler Gorge
Jul 22 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

pascaltoyoningPascal Baudar, author and renowned professional forager for L.A.’s top chefs, will return to Ojai as our special guest on Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He will join me for an Herb Walk on Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail and then lead a field workshop on making wild gourmet and medicinal beers and other creations from his best-selling 2016 book, The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir.  A limited number of copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.cooking_new_wildcrafted_cuisine2

In addition to the wild brewing demonstration, snacks will include primitive menu items like acorn hummus, spicy dried crickets, pickled black walnuts and similar wild-foraged delicacies. Exact items to be determined as the date gets closer.

Last year’s event sold out quickly so pre-payment is highly recommended to secure your space. See PayPal link at bottom of page.

Left: Horehound and California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica). Middle: Fresh Mugwort leaf and Sugar Bush berries (Rhus ovata) – very lemony. Right: Mild Hops flowers

ABOUT PASCAL BAUDAR:
Pascal Baudar is a professional forager, wild food instructor, and a self-styled “culinary alchemist” based in Los Angeles. His locally sourced wild ingredients and unique preserves have made their way into the kitchens of celebrated restaurants like Trois Mec in L.A. and such star chefs as Ludo Lefebvre, Josiah Citrin, Ari Taymor, Michael Voltaggio, Chris Jacobson and Niki Nakayama. His website is www.urbanoutdoorskills.com.

Over the years, through his weekly classes and seminars, he has introduced thousands of home cooks, local chefs, and others to the flavors offered by the wild terroir of southern California.

Pascal has served as a wild food consultant for several TV shows including MasterChef and Top Chef Duels. He has been featured in numerous TV shows and publications, including Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, and the New York Times. In 2014, he was named one of the 25 most influential tastemakers in L.A. by Los Angeles magazine.

His unique primitive brewing techniques were featured in a January 2016 article in Craft Beer & Brewing magazine entitled “L.A.’s Wildest Homebrewer.”

The $50 fee includes the walk and all foods and beverages to be sampled. Click on the REGISTER link below to register and the PayPal button to secure your space. If you prefer, you can mail a check..

Lanny and Pascal at their 2016 workshop in Ojai. Photo: Steve Toscher

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PAYPAL BUTTON:


Number of participants



Aug
19
Sat
Arroyo Hondo Herb Walk @ Street parking for carpool
Aug 19 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Hollister Meadow at Arroyo Hondo Preserve. Photo by James Wapotich.

THIS IS A RESCHEDULING OF THE JULY 15 WALK THAT WAS CANCELLED DUE TO THE SMOKE FROM THE WHITTIER FIRE AS AN AIR QUALITY ADVISORY WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE AREA.

I was introduced to this beautiful coastal location by writer and hiking guide James Wapotich who says “Arroyo Hondo is considered by many to be the jewel of the Gaviota Coast.” The preserve is managed by The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. The Arroyo Hondo Preserve features a year-round creek surrounded by coastal chaparral and grassland. It is where the Chumash village of Tuxmu was once located.

Photo by James Wapotich

We’ll start with a 2-stage carpool. First, at 8 a.m., those of us in Ojai will meet at Maricopa Plaza to carpool to 23 S. Hope Avenue in Santa Barbara where we will meet the Santa Barbara, Ventura, and other contingents. Then at 9 a.m. we’ll carpool from there about 30 minutes up the coast to Arroyo Hondo Preserve. All carpools are optional.

The plant diversity there is exceptional. In the creekside riparian habitat we’ll see a wide array of Southern California native trees including White Alder, California Bay, Blue Elderberry and Bigleaf Maple among others. The creek is also home to California Newts.

Under the canopy we’ll look for Giant Horsetail, Humboldt Lily, Fuchsia-Flowered Gooseberry, Stream Orchid, Hummingbird Sage, and Giant Chain Ferns. In the sunnier chaparral areas Toyon, Black Sage, Coastal Sagebrush and Greenbark Ceanothus are thriving.

Rondia in a primeval forest of Giant Chain Ferns

After some easy walking, identifying plants, and stopping for a lunch/snack break, we’ll plan to depart from the Preserve at 2:30 for a 3:00 p.m. arrival at the Santa Barbara carpool location.

Once you are registered you will receive an email with more information and directions to Arroyo Hondo if you prefer to meet us there at 9:30 a.m. The cost for the day is $25. The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County also requests a small donation to cover stewardship of the land. There is no pre-payment required to register. Participants will receive an email afterwards with notes and a complete list of all plants and animals observed.

REGISTER

Sep
23
Sat
Fall Equinox Nature Hike on Pine Mountain @ Maricopa Plaza parking lot for carpool
Sep 23 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Coniferous forest on the north side of Pine Mountain

As the 41st year of Herb Walks winds down, I will lead my 5th 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. 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.

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. There will be some elevation gain and loss skirting the north side of Reyes Peak, sometimes traversing hillsides on a narrow trail. The total hiking distance will be about 3 miles.

This intermediate level hike is suitable for moderately experienced hikers or physically fit beginners. 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
7
Sat
Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop in Ojai with Dr. James Adams @ Meet at AT&T Parking Lot
Oct 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo: Angela Kirwin

Please join me and special guest Dr. James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for our annual Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Dr. Adams has been a frequent and popular contributor to my events for the past five 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 list of specific plants will be shared with 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.

07-19-2013JimAdamsbyChristopherNyerges copy

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. To pre-register, please email register@herbwalks.com.

To secure your space with a payment, please use thePayPal button below. Registrants will be emailed a receipt from PayPal and receive another another 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.


Number of participants



Oct
14
Sat
Edible and Medicinal Native Plants Seminar @ Green Thumb Nursery
Oct 14 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join me at Green Thumb Nursery in Ventura for a free seminar on edible and medicinal plants for Southern California gardens. Most of the plants to be discussed are drought-tolerant. All will be available to purchase that day. This is the time of year to plant natives.

Subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on this and other events by emailing mailinglist@herbwalks.com.