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January 2022 HerbWalks & OjaiHerbal Newsletter
It's here at last! You now can order my new book by visiting this link on my website. Remember, local authors appreciate when you buy direct from them in person or at their websites. You can also find it at Bart's Books and Rainbow Bridge in Ojai, Barnes & Noble in Ventura and Santa Barbara, and other bookstores.  Book cover photo of White Sage by Jess Starwood
Jess Starwood's guest workshop on January 22 filled up fast so we scheduled an encore on Sunday, February 27. It quickly sold out, too, so we added another on Sunday, January 23. Now that one is full! Click on any or all of her workshops below in the events calendar to join one of more of the waiting lists.
Herb Walks
Jess Starwood with wild-foraged Chanterelle Mushrooms (Cantharellus spp.)
More Mushrooms of Southern California and Wild Food Lunch workshops with Jess Starwood 

Due to popular demand, Jess Starwood and I have added two more workshops on Mushrooms of Southern California on Sunday, January 23 and Sunday, February 27, in addition to the original date of Saturday, January 22. All three are now sold out but I encourage you to join one or more waiting lists.


Jess is the author of Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager’s Guide to Finding, Identifying, and Using More Than 25 Wild Fungi!, now available in my book shop at the linked title above.


All three workshops are designed to be the same, just on different dates. You can click on their links in the Herb Walks Events calendar above to learn more about what expect.

Author Lanny Kaufer describing Black Sage for a group of herb walkers.  Photo: Bruce Vincent
Inside the writing process behind Medicinal Herbs of California
My new book for Falcon Guides,  Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants, was finally released into the world on December 30, 2021.
In these newsletters I'll share some of the principles that guided the writing of the book. In the December newsletter I shared Principle #1: "Nature is the teacher; I am a guide." If you missed it, you can find that issue in the newsletter archive.
Principle #2: Value the wisdom of Indigenous healing traditions.
When writing about uses of California’s medicinal plants we must give credit where credit is due — to Native Californians — not only because it’s the right thing to do but also to try to atone for the horrific mistreatment of California’s Indigenous people. Sadly, because of the racialist Eurocentric attitudes of most of the occupiers of early California, Native Americans were not deemed worthy of having knowledge that could be useful to a European. For a variety of reasons, many Indigenous people did not pass down their original languages or continue their centuries-old oral traditions of herbal medicine.
In truth, we’ve learned almost everything we know about uses of California’s plants from Native tribes. Granted, much of that information is second-hand, recorded by anthropologists, ethnobotanists, ethnographers, early physicians, and other European newcomers. I was fortunate to study Chumash uses of plants with Juanita Centeno and Jim Adams, a student of Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia. I also learned about Native American medicine from my Anishnaabe friend Ken Littlefish.
As for the recorded information, I’ve applied Principle #3 to that in an attempt to provide the most accurate record of Indigenous use from all the various sources of information.
Principle #3: Consilience
I first learned this wonderful word from acclaimed author Obi Kaufmann. It’s similar to “consensus” but slightly different. Merriam- Webster defines it as “the linking together of principles from different disciplines especially when forming a comprehensive theory.” By comparing the data from all the diverse sources I had, including first-hand sources, books, and online scientific journals, I arrived at what I consider the most accurate summary of the evidence for Indigenous uses of medicinal plants.
Stay tuned for Principle #4 and the rest of them in upcoming newsletters.
You can now find it in most bookstores but please consider ordering the book on my website where I am able to make a small profit from the sales. Look for a field at checkout entitled “Order notes (optional)” in which you can request either a simple autograph or a book signed to your name. Please specify which type of signature you would like.
Price slashed! Read all about it below.
New discounted price for the priceless Milt McAuley classic
In order to make room in my limited storage space for my new field guide to Medicinal Herbs of California, I've discounted the price of Milt McAuley's Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains from $19.95 to just $14.95.
Contrary to the title of the book, it is not limited to plants of the Santa Monica Mountains nor to what we usually think of as wildflowers. It's a complete 565-page flora of every flowering plant growing below 3000 feet in Southern California and includes almost 500 beautiful color plates. A book like this published today surely would cost in the neighborhood of $50.
While we're still in the rainy season, this is a good time to plant natives. Visit my website's free Resources page and scroll down to the headings GROWING NATIVE PLANTS and NATIVE PLANT NURSERIES & SEEDS for lots of info.
Click on the USFS logo above to visit the Ojai Ranger District webpage for the latest info on trails, campgrounds, closures and more.
Jess Starwood's 2021 book is availalble in my online bookshop
Mushroom Wanderland

Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager’s Guide to Finding, Identifying, and Using More Than 25 Wild Fungi! by Jess Starwood is that rare book that is both coffee table art book and field guide at the same time.


It's available in my online and mobile book shop at the linked title above. Jess will sign them at her upcoming workshops.

Don't see the event you want in the schedule? Did you know you can plan a private herb walk or nature hike with me? Just email me at to learn more.
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304 N. Encinal Ave., Ojai, CA, 93023

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