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September 2021 HerbWalks & OjaiHerbal Newsletter
Due to supply chain and volume issues at the printer, my publisher has informed me that the release date for the book has been pushed back to December 30. I should have them in hand a few weeks before then if the current schedule holds. You can pre-order it and probably receive it in mid-December by visiting this link at Cover photo of White Sage by Jess Starwood
Here I am at Arroyo Hondo Preserve fashioning a Chumash toothbrush the way I learned from Juanita Centeno. If you've never visited "the jewel of the Gaviota Coast" you owe it to yourself to join us on Saturday, September 18. Photo: Linda Blue Photography
Sometimes the sunset outshines the moonrise on these full moon hikes but most times it's a stunning display 360° around. What will it look like on Monday, September 20? Use this link to join us and find out. Photo of Ojai sunset by Lanny Kaufer (September 2014)
I hope you don't mind that I never get tired of looking at Bryant Baker's photo of Pine Mountain at sunset and sharing it in my newsletter. It helps that I've been up there many times so I can fill in the scents, sounds and stillness when I gaze at the picture. Join me and Rondia on Saturday, September 25, for the 9th annual Fall Equinox Nature Hike on the Reyes Peak Trail.
Herb Walks
Discussing the differences between the look-alikes
Wild Fennel and Poison Hemlock. Photo: Trish Salvatore
My go-to summer destination on the cool Gaviota Coast
Please join me on Saturday, September 18, for an Herb Walk in the canyon at Arroyo Hondo Preserve, 30 miles north of Santa Barbara off Highway 101.
This place is amazing! The ocean is just across the highway and the lushness of the landscape and sheer diversity of plants and plant communities at the Preserve are exceptional.
Register at this link.
Late summer full moon rising over Sulphur Mountain. Photo: Rochelle Castillo
September Full Moon Nature Hike
On Monday evening, September 20, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., I’ll lead a Full Moon Sunset Nature Hike above the Ojai Valley where we can watch the sunset followed by the rising of the full moon. Register at this link.
Renowned survival expert and author Christopher Nyerges returns to Ojai on Saturday, October 9.
Fall Harvesting & Survival Workshop

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

Participants will:

  • process acorns and black walnuts for eating
  • learn to identify edible and medicinal plants
  • practice making cordage from yucca leaves
  • watch Christopher start a campfire using only natural plant materials (weather permitting)

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


Click on this link to learn more and sign up.
Coast live oak ( Quercus agrifolia) with mature acorns. Photo: Lanny Kaufer (October, 2020)
Processing acorns
Local Ojai acorns are gradually ripening on schedule for an October harvest. They are a premier wild food but, as the old saying goes, "there's many a slip twixt the [acorn] cup and the lip." I mean that there are many steps to processing them, including harvesting, drying, hulling, pounding and grinding, leaching, and drying the meal if you're not using it right away. There's no better way to learn the fine points than firsthand in the workshop with me and Christopher Nyerges on October 9.
Look! It's the Channel Islands!
The view of the islands from Pine Mountain is usually the clearest in the fall when the marine layer is not around. Please visit this link to read more about the September 25 hike. Photo: Erika Klohe
Title page of my upcoming book
Advance praise for Medicinal Herbs of California
Although circumstances beyond everyone's control have pushed back the release date to the end of the year, my book is at the printer now and is coming out soon. In the meantime, the publisher has shared 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. Here are just a few:
“Amazing work! What a joy to dip into such a concentrated yet accessible resource!
Here we have a field guide that in its thorough, accurate and comprehensive coverage
crosses the boundary from field guide to outright herbal. Carol Wade,
Founder/Director, Earth Island Herbs and Ojai School of Herbal Studies

“Whether you are a beginner or a Ph.D., I trust that this will be your favorite new field guide. I love this book!” — Amanda McQuade Crawford, MA, MFT; Author, Herbal Remedies For Women; Director, PhytoHumana: Integrative Medicine

Medicinal Herbs of California represents an immense undertaking in bringing the worlds of traditional herbal medicine together with modern science." — Roy Upton, RH, President, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia

“Lanny Kaufer brings together all the best elements to create a classic compendium
of ethnobotany.” — David Crow, Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Founder of Floracopeia, Inc.
The entire Los Padres National Forest and all other national forests in California are temporarily closed until September 17 to prevent fires and conserve firefighting staff. Click on the USFS logo above to visit the Ojai Ranger District webpage for the latest info on trails, campgrounds, closures and more.
We're going back up to the forest on September 25 for the 9th annual Fall Equinox Nature Hike. Just click on this link to read more and sign up.
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