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September 2023 HerbWalks & OjaiHerbal Newsletter
Early-bird Ticket Prices for In-Person Attendance at the November Ojai Herbal Symposium are in effect through September 21! Online Zoom admission available, too.
The homegrown, locally produced Ojai Herbal Symposium is back Saturday-Sunday, November 11-12. EARLY-BIRD TICKETS FOR IN-PERSON ADMISSION ARE NOW ON SALE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 21! The website at has the schedule, presenters, and more. Here's a direct link to the registration page. Tickets for Zoom live streaming are available, too. 
Please click on the flyer to download it for digital sharing with your friends and colleagues. Your support is greatly appreciated!
September Events
Wednesday, September 13

Please join me online via Zoom on Wednesday, September 13, at 6:30 p.m. for a free one-hour slideshow talk on my book, Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants. I will identify and discuss some plants from the book that can be found in the vicinity of Torrance and in the surrounding area of Southern California. Here is a link to the event listed at the Torrance Library website.


To register and receive the Zoom link, please email Librarian Victoria Nikolov at VNikolov@TorranceCA.Gov. Please join me and stay after from 7:30 to 8:00 for a question and answer session.

Thursday, September 21
Mark your calendar! September 21 is the last day to take advantage of early-bird pricing for in-person attendance at the Ojai Herbal Symposium to be held on Saturday-Sunday, November 11-12, at Krotona Hall. Book by that date to save $70 off the full price for the weekend or $35 off the one-day price for either Saturday or Sunday. Acupuncturists, take note: We are offering 12 Category 1 CEUs at no additional cost. Click on the image to go straight to the registration page.
Saturday, September 23
On Saturday, September 23, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. I will lead an Edible Plant Walk at Cluff Vista Park, Ojai’s premier native plant demonstration garden. The walk is open to the public but it will be of special interest to those attending the Autumnal Equinox Beer Dinner at Ojai Valley Brewery, featuring Barbareño Restaurant of Santa Barbara. See image below for the dinner. Click here or on the photo above by Doc Pierce to sign up for the walk.
Saturday night, September 23

Please join me and Rondia at Ojai Valley Brewery for this very special dinner collaboration with Barbareño Restaurant of Santa Barbara celebrating fall harvest season in California. This dinner will be served outdoors family style. My walk at Cluff Vista Park is from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. 


Purchase tickets on the Barbareño OpenTable page or by clicking on the image above.



Course 1: Local halibut ceviche with nopales, prickly pear, fennel aguachile

      Paired with East End Fruit Ale


Course 2: Acorn tamales, local mushroom, nasturtium-pistachio mole verde, toasted chia seed

      Paired with Chaparral Sage Amber Ale


Course 3: Oak smoked rabbit with elderberry glaze, pickled mustard seed, barbecued carrots

      Paired with Sugarbush Sumac Ojai Pale Ale (IPA)


Course 4: Pinyon cake with pine needle cream and candied pine nuts

      Paired with White Gruit Hopless Beer

Sunday, September 24
Following the success of the Summer Solstice Walkabout at Taft Gardens in June, we planned another for the Fall Equinox. Please click here or on the image above to learn more and sign up for this trip back through time to our ancestral past.
Thursday, September 28
On Thursday evening, September 28, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., Rondia and I will lead a Full Moon Sunset Nature Hike above the Ojai Valley where we can watch the simultaneous sunset and moonrise. Click here or on the photo above by Joe P. Powers to sign up.
Friday-Sunday, September 29-October 1
John Hickey and Judy Jackson of Shiatsu Rincon are presenting internationally renowned Classical Chinese Medicine scholar-teacher-practitioner and Taoist Priest Jeffery Yuen, in-person and live-streamed, for a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday, preceded by an in-person Friday evening conversation between Yuen and Dr. Lansing Smith, Professor of Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. 15 CEUs offered for Acupuncturists. Click here or on the image above for details and registration.
If you own my book or you're considering it, here's another reminder to read the article below in the newsletter or click on the following link for the free hyperlinked bibliography I created to save you the hassle of copying long URLs from the printed page to the web sources cited in the book.
Don't have a copy yet? You can order the book on my website by visiting this link or clicking on the book cover image above. Then at checkout you can use the “Order notes (optional)” field to request a simple autograph or a book signed to you. This personal touch is something not available when purchasing on Amazon. Plus you can support my authorship financially by buying directly from me. Thank you! 
If you're out and about, you also can find the book on the shelf in Ojai at Bart's Books, Crystal Corner, Evergreen WellnessFarmer & the Cook, Ojai Cannabis Company, Ojai Valley Brewery, Ojai Valley MuseumRainbow Bridge, Sespe Creek Collective, Westridge Market Midtown, and Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center (when the highway reopens); in Ventura at Barnes & Noble, Ema's Herbs, Green Thumb NurseryTimbre Books, and Ventura Spirits; in Oxnard at REI; in Calabasas at Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center Store; in Sun Valley at Theodore Payne Foundationin Santa Barbara at The Book Den, Chaucer's Books, REI, and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden; in Goleta at Island Seed & Feed; in Solvang at The Book Loft; and in REI stores and Barnes & Noble locations throughout California.
Herb Walks Events
Cluff Vista Park signage. Click to enlarge.
Cluff Vista Park Edible Plant Walk

On Saturday, September 23, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. I will lead an Edible Plant Walk at Cluff Vista Park, Ojai’s premier native plant demonstration garden. The walk is open to the public but it will be of special interest to those attending the Autumnal Equinox Beer Dinner at Ojai Valley Brewery, featuring Barbareño Restaurant of Santa Barbara. You can reserve tickets at the link in the previous sentence for the dinner which begins at 6:30 p.m.


On this particular walk, I will focus on edible (and drinkable) herbs and wild foods that will be featured in the beers and on the menu at the dinner to follow the walk that evening.


You can expect to see two species of oaks, elderberry bushes, three species of sage, wild California grapes, and a lemonade berry bush that produces sumac berries like those used to brew the Ojai Valley Brewery’s Sugar Bush Ale.


Pick up your $20 tickets at this link.

Click on the image above to enlarge it and use the QR code to buy a signed copy right now!
Get a free hyperlinked bibliography for Medicinal Herbs of California 
If you own a copy of my book, Medicinal Herbs of California, or are thinking of buying one, I hope you'll check out the free hyperlinked bibliography I created to save you from having to manually transfer URLs from the printed page to a web browser. 
If you appreciate the book, please share your enthusiasm by leaving a testimonial on the home page at or a review on Amazon if you bought it there.
Other Events of Interest
An Australian Bottle Tree in the Taft Botanic Gardens where we will begin our "walkabout." Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Walk(about) with me on Sunday, September 24

Please join me for a Fall Equinox Walkabout at Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve on Sunday, September 24, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. “Walkabout” is an Australian term for a temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in modern society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush. That is what I have planned for you in observance of the fall equinox, although for a much shorter time than the traditional Australian journey and as a group instead of solo.


Beginning in the Australian section of the Gardens, we'll make our way through the wild plant communities in the Nature Preserve to the Four Directions Circle, a replica of a Native American medicine wheel on a mesa with a 360 degree view. There we will interact with the four directions as we connect with the annual solar cycle and our own ancestral origins somewhere on Planet Earth.

To learn more and sign up, click here.
Full supermoon rising over Ojai on August 30. Click on the image to enlarge it. Photo by Joe P. Powers.
Next full moon hike is on Thursday, September 28
After our private viewing of the spectacular August 30 Super Blue Moon, Rondia and I look forward to having you join us at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 28, for the next Full Moon Sunset Nature Hike. We'll walk to a one-of-a-kind vista point above the Ojai Valley where we can watch the sunset and moonrise happen around 8:00 p.m.
Along the way up we’ll stop to meet some valuable edible and medicinal plants. To learn more and sign up, click here.
The Ojai Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest remains closed until repairs are completed on Highway 33 from South Matilija Springs Rd. to 9 miles south of the Ventura/Santa Barbara County line, due to rockslides and significant damage. The latest Forest Closure Order is in effect until October 30. 
For the latest info on road closures, trails, campgrounds, fire restrictions and more, click on the USFS logo above or the hyperlink at the top of this column. The Santa Barbara Ranger District and others can be accessed in the footer on that page.
Jeffrey pines in the heart of the project area. Photo by Bryant Baker
Update on Pine Mtn. Logging Project
In July, a federal judge declined to halt a controversial logging and vegetation clearing project atop Pine Mountain and Reyes Peak in the Los Padres National Forest. The ruling comes nearly two years after the project was approved despite widespread opposition. The Forest Service received more comments on this proposal than any other project in the history of the Los Padres. Over 99% of the comments opposed the project.
Click here or on the Jeffrey pine photo above to watch a video and learn more about the ruling and Los Padres ForestWatch's response to misleading claims the forest service is making in their press releases.
Early-bird ticket sales are open now at
Get your early-bird in-person tickets now for the 3rd Ojai Herbal Symposium in November 
Early-bird discount tickets are now on sale for in-person attendance at the 3rd Ojai Herbal Symposium on November 11-12, 2023, at historic Krotona Hall in Ojai. Tickets for Zoom live-streaming are also available now. This year's theme is "Herbs: The People's Medicine."
Early-bird price for the full weekend in person is $295 through September 21, a savings of $70 off the regular full price. One-day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are $150. All tickets will include free admission to the Meet-and-Greet with Zhena Muzyka on Friday evening, November 10, and online access to a video of the event. The Zoom live stream price is $250 for the weekend or $125 per day.
12 Category 1 Continuing Education Units for Licensed Acupuncturists are approved by the CA Acupuncture Board and available at no extra cost.
Visit the website for details on 20%-off student discount tickets and volunteer opportunities. Here's a direct link to the Volunteer Application Form.
Hope to see you there!
New evidence for psilocybin mushrooms was just published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read my article about the editorial and study report below.
Journal of the American Medical Association editorial and clinical study describe the potential of psychedelic therapy 
An August 31, 2023, editorial in the online Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled "Psychedelic Therapy—A New Paradigm of Care for Mental Health" stated that "psychedelic therapy represents a novel way of approaching mental health treatment that may benefit many people." The authors go on to say "psychedelic therapies necessitate a rethinking of mental health care delivery."
The editorial was written in response to a groundbreaking study published by JAMA the same day, "Single-Dose Psilocybin Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder."  
The study found that:

 "In a randomized, placebo-controlled, 6-week trial in 104 adults, a 25-mg dose of psilocybin administered with psychological support was associated with a rapid and sustained antidepressant effect, measured as change in depressive symptom scores, compared with active placebo."

The editorial and study titles are hyperlinked above. You may have to subscribe to the free online journal in order to read full articles. Or you may be able to find them reposted elsewhere online.
If you missed it last month, see the article below about Christopher Hobbs' video on psilocybin mushrooms.
It's not too late to watch a recording of Christopher Hobbs' free video on "Microdosing with Mushrooms." He actually goes beyond that topic and discusses the full range of therapeutic uses for psychedelic mushrooms. Click here or on the image above to register.
See also my JAMA article above this one. 
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