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October 2021 HerbWalks & OjaiHerbal Newsletter
Click on the image above to sign up for Christopher Nyerges' Fall Harvesting & Survival Workshop on Saturday, October 9. Space is limited so act now if you want to join us.
Jim Adams, Professor Emeritus of USC School of Pharmacy, is back on Sunday, October 24, for a Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop. Just two openings left as we "go to print." Click on the image to learn more and grab one of the last limited spaces. Photo: Lisa Fimiani
Due to supply chain and volume issues at the printer, the release date for the book has been pushed back to December 30. I hope to have them in hand a few weeks before then if the current schedule holds. You can pre-order it and possibly receive it in late December by visiting this link at Cover photo of White Sage by Jess Starwood
Herb Walks
Renowned survival expert and author Christopher Nyerges returns to Ojai on Saturday, October 9.
Fall Harvesting & Survival Workshop

Please note: At this time (Tuesday morning) there are just two spaces left for this workshop. If you don't get one, be sure to sign up for the waiting list.


Join me and renowned author/forager/survivalist Christopher Nyerges on Saturday, October 9, for an outdoor Fall Harvesting and Survival Workshop.

You will:

  • process acorns and black walnuts for eating
  • learn to identify edible and medicinal plants
  • practice making cordage from yucca leaves

There may be other activities, depending on seasonal foods and supplies available.


Click on this link to learn more and sign up.
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Photo: Craig Fosdick (
Harbinger of Winter
As many of you know, we in SoCal live in a Mediterranean climate. We have just two seasons: a long dry summer and a short, relatively mild winter during which we get almost all our much-needed annual rainfall. Each October, the White-crowned Sparrows arrive in Ojai from up north to remind me that the rainy season is coming. I love their distinctive whistling song and heard it again today! Listen below and you may recognize it.
Jim Adams introducing students to White Sage. Photo: Enrique Villaseñor
Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop
Please note: At this time (Tuesday morning) there are just two spaces left for this workshop. If you don't get one, be sure to sign up for the waiting list.
Professor Emeritus Jim Adams of USC School of Pharmacy has been a frequent and popular contributor to my events for the past eight years. Join us for a Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop in Ojai on Sunday, October 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This workshop is based on Dr. Adams' ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants and his personal commitment to sharing the traditional medicinal practices he learned from Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia. He will be joined by plant educator Enrique Villaseñor and acupuncturist Michelle Wong, co-authors with him of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West.
Click on the photo above or on this link to sign up. Don't delay!
Pine Mountain mixed conifer forest. Photo: Bryant Baker
Protect Pine Mountain
The Forest Service just announced approval of the Reyes Peak Project to log trees and masticate brush on Pine Mountain. According to Los Padres ForestWatch (LPFW):
"Today’s decision — issued under a loophole to rush the project and avoid robust environmental review — comes despite overwhelming opposition from more than 16,000 people who sent emails and hand-written letters to forest officials.
Collectively we asked them to do one thing: hit the pause button and prepare an environmental assessment. Their refusal to do so is irresponsible and just plain wrong."
I agree and I'm asking you to consider supporting LPFW's legal challenge to make the USFS prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement if they plan to move forward with the proposal.
Other Local Events
The back cover of my upcoming book, featuring photos of Sacred Datura by Joshua Kaplan and California Poppies by Neil Reichline. Click on it to enlarge.
More advance praise for Medicinal Herbs of California
My new field guide, Medicinal Herbs of California, is at the printer now and wil be released on December 30. Last month I shared a few pre-release comments by some esteemed reviewers who had a chance to see the book ahead of time. You can read all their comments at this link or pre-order the book by clicking on the book title at the top of this paragraph. Here are some more reviews:
“This is a well-documented field guide for layperson and herbalist alike, excellent for responsible gatherers to find and use helpful medicinal plants. So, get the book, put on a hat, and go out into our glorious California wild areas. Happy hunting!” — Mary Hardy, MD, Integrative Medicine Physician; Founder/Director, Wellness Works; Coauthor, Best Remedies: Breakthrough Prescriptions that Blend Conventional and Natural Medicine 

[Medicinal Herbs of California] is an outstanding book! As a professional field botanist, I really appreciate the author’s focus on the conservation status of the plants that he discusses, his many years of experience with these plants, his inclusion of propagation hints so that readers can avoid over-harvesting plants in the wild, the references that are cited, and the extensive bibliography that empowers the serious readers to do further study and research on their own.” — Steve Junak, Author, A Flora of Santa Cruz Island; Research Associate, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 

“This is an outstanding resource for any herbalist, botanist, or conservationist in California! ... Both practical and humorous, the tales of our local herbal allies are beautifully illustrated and brought to life. I will be recommending this book to my students for years to come!” — Emily Sanders, Founder/Director, Artemisia Academy of Herbal Arts & Healing
Click on the USFS logo above to visit the Ojai Ranger District webpage for the latest info on trails, campgrounds, closures and more.
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